In conversation with John Lu, Horizon Yachts’ CEO
SuperyachtNews speaks with John Lu about the Taiwanese shipyard’s proposition…
What projects does Horizon currently have in build?
We have 19 projects in build now. Most of them are Horizon’s most popular model – the FD series. As well as the popular FD85 and FD87 models, the FD92 Tri-deck is currently under construction and on schedule to be delivered to its American owner in July of 2020. The collaboration with the owner of the FD92 not only led to a yacht that met his design criteria, but also to the creation a new model for our FD Series. Additionally, we have a further two FD models under construction, the FD102 and FD75. The introduction of the Horizon Fast Displacement Motoryacht Series has seen unprecedented success. In the four years since the introduction of the first FD85 Fast Displacement motoryacht, we have sold more than 20 hulls of FD series yachts. The number of FD yachts delivered proves that we are on the right track with our focus on innovative products.
How does Horizon position itself in the superyacht market?
Horizon mainly focus on producing the yacht range from 21-37m. Horizon has delivered over 835 luxury yachts, with more than 205 of these over 80 feet in length. We provide a complete solution to our clients. For example, we have an experienced FRP factory, Atech Composites, which is responsible for producing the hull, decks and superstructure of every Horizon yacht built. Atech recently unveiled the new 6D Infusion, a patented technology that takes the resin infusion process to the next level. Furthermore, we also have a professional delivery/refit centre and City Marina, we’re creating a one-stop shop for our customers.
Horizon’s dedication to prompt delivery and customisation has been long since been the bedrock of the business. The Horizon Group has more than 50 in-house designers and engineers who oversee the custom design and construction details of every build, as well as hundreds of on-site workers with over 20 years of experience each. Our employees are our most valuable assets; it is their contribution that wins the appreciation of our clients.
How does Horizon differ from its competition?
Building a superyacht is a very difficult challenge. Thousands of details go into the construction of every quality yacht build, and even the most minor design change or adjustment requires in-depth discussion by an experienced team to ensure that safety, comfort, budget and delivery schedule are not compromised. I have seen many shipyards declare the capability to build highly-customisable yachts but then fail due to mismanagement and a lack of professional process for customisation, despite their willingness to tailor the yachts to their owners’ needs.
We keep investing in advanced or unique technology. We were the first ones in Taiwan to do vacuum infusion. We are also investing in non-destructive testing, and there are very few yards that can do that. Using X-rays and ultrasound, we can show clients that there are no voids or cracks in the lamination, and we keep a record of test results for every hull and component made. We also adapted the latest engineering management systems and wrote our own software to track every single element of each build, which means we can guarantee that every delivery will be on time and all the client’s requests will be under control.
How does Horizon plan to develop its superyacht offering in the coming years?
Basically, we won’t jump out from our current range. However, we still keep our eyes on the superyacht market and adjust our marketing strategy based on the owner’s demand. We now have some groups of potential buyers who are interested in the FD125, one of the models in Horizon FD series. The FD125 is a perfect combination of a true ocean going yacht and a luxurious beach house for outdoor lovers who want to spend a luxurious and comfortable vacation with family and friends. FD125 Skyline superyacht is currently in her conceptual design stage, and more details will be available soon.
Mastering market trends, exploring possibilities, daring to challenge and pursuing excellence have long been Horizon’s main focus and strength. Although the global economic environment can always change, we remain confident in the future and believe that 2020 will be a fruitful year for us as well as for our clients.
According to The Superyacht Agency, Horizon has delivered an average of 2.4 superyacht projects per year since 2010, with its most prolific year coming in 2011 when it delivered five projects. However, if Horizon’s order book proves to be accurate, it is due for a record-breaking year in 2020 with seven projects due for delivery and a further three scheduled for 2021.
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