2017-03-16
Horizon’s Focus on Safety in Yacht Design and Builds– Part One

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Horizon Yachts has always manufactured our luxury yachts following a simple concept we refer to as “safety by design.” We do this in various ways, from the visible areas such as safe and secure passages around the yacht, both at the dock and at sea, to the “unseen” items like redundant systems and accessible engineering systems. Horizon also stays on top of the most advanced technologies available, often improving upon our designs and processes to ensure that our owners have peace of mind when enjoying their yacht with family and friends.

l   Safety by Design

One of the major areas of safety in Horizon’s yachts is the construction of our hulls, and in recent years we have gone above and beyond the original SCRIMP (Seemann’s Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process) method. In 2009, we received authorization from EADS (The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V.) to implement the VARTM (Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding) process, which provides a strong, durable and light superstructure and hull. This also allows hull and stringers to be done in a single layup procedure, reducing the possibility of delamination or “tabbing release” for long-term part stability.

Horizon uses rails set at approved heights, and our boarding gates use spring-loaded catches as well as hidden hinges and locks to prevent accidental opening. The sweeping staircase on the aft deck that flows up to the flybridge is not only aesthetically pleasing but also safer and more comfortable at sea than stainless ladders or nearly vertical staircases. Twin staircases from the aft deck to the swim platform are also designed with easy access or egress in mind. Another small but important feature are items related to visibility. The windshield wipers utilized by Horizon were developed for high-speed naval vessels and European high-speed trains, and thus are able to withstand higher winds and green water displacing the wipers ­– after all, visibility entering a port is paramount to safe operation. To reduce the possibility of losing a windshield to impact from flying objects, our windscreens are tempered glass, and the portholes are all CE-type approved for safety and durability. Additionally, our frameless window designs mean zero leaks, zero frame failures and zero frame maintenance.

l   Emergency Situations

As fire safety is a number one concern for many yacht owners, Horizon takes numerous safety precautions, such as providing concealed escape hatches in the master and VIP cabins. Aft accommodation areas also have two egresses, one into the salon via the internal staircase and one through a weather-tight transom door to the swim platform. In each area of the yacht, Horizon installs smoke and CO2 sensors that register both visible and audible alarms if they detect abnormal readings. While fuel sources and ignition are harder to control in an engine room, oxygen entering the space can be eliminated via hydraulically controlled dampers over the air intakes – a feature standard on all Horizon yachts. The dampers instantly stop the flow of oxygen to the engine room and also concentrate the fire suppressant to quickly minimize the effect of a fire. In addition, every engine room is laid with ceramic wool – the approved structural fire insulation material – to prevent the fire from spreading past the engine room and ensures all the passengers have sufficient time to escape. One item that is considered an “aesthetic” feature is the tempered glass viewing port in the engine room door. In reality the glass is there so the crew or owner can visually confirm the fire is out before opening the door – this is extremely important, as entering fresh oxygen into the engine room could cause a fire to reignite.  

These safety details and concerns may go unnoticed by clients, when one is caught up in the sleek lines of a yacht or the fantastic interior layout, but they are a part of the passion for quality that drives Horizon Yachts. They are also a part of our unwavering commitment to our owners that their Horizon experience is safe and enjoyable for everyone on board.

Stay tuned in for part two of our safety by design feature, coming soon! For more information or questions, please email us at marketingcenter@horizonyacht.com or contact your local Horizon dealer. 

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