Exploring New Horizons
Fyran has recently come out with a new model, the 580 Horizon, and not only is it offered in a spacious cabin version, but demand has also led to the introduction of a hardtop model. Freddy Foote went and looked over both boats on a blustery Auckland day.
The Fyran 580 Horizon made its first showing to the public at last year’s boat show. Essentially, the design of the boat stems from the already popular 550 Horizon, the hull being extended 300mm, which has given the boat more room in the cabin, making it more suitable for overnighting.
Recently, Fyran has started to offer the 580 with a hardtop, the same top as used on the 630X. The hardtop concept had originally been done for a couple of commercial versions of the 580, for fishermen on Waiheke Island, which then had been seen by a couple of other customers who sought similar ideas for their next boat.
Traditionally it was thought that hardtops were the realm of the 7m plus length of boats, but not so, you may still have all the benefits of hardtop and only need one or two people to launch and retrieve it, all at a fraction of the cost of a bigger boat.
“There certainly is a requirement for hardtops. People are now looking for the security of a hardtop, as they are venturing further afield to go fishing, and they are also doing more boating throughout the year” says Mark Street, managing director of Fyran Boats.
The 580 is a big seller for Fyran, and it’s a boat that the company tries to target at the ‘family’ market. “It’s a 6m boat, it has a full-length cabin which not many boats in that size have, it has plenty of seating for the whole family, and it’s easily affordable with a 115hp engine,” says Mark.
Luckily enough for our test we managed to get hold of not only a 580 Horizon from Family Boats, the main focus of the test, but also the hardtop version, the 580 Pursuit.
Forward in the cabin, limited storage space is available underneath the side squabs, while the space underneath the forward squab has been utilised for positive buoyancy. Additional storage inside the cabin is available via side shelves. These bunks are longer than those in the 550 Horizon model, and measure out at 1.8m, which is enough room for an averaged sized adult. An infill is also available to make it into a double berth, and a portable head is also available to be fitted as an option.
A hatch is located in the foredeck, giving access to the anchor well, and if required, an auto rope/chain winch can be easily fitted at the Fyran factory so that anchoring duties can be performed from the helm.
At the helm, the dash is a clean and tidy one-piece moulded unit, which is fitted with an array of Yamaha gauges. Above, there is room for additional electronics, and on this particular boat a Navman fishfinder is mounted on a bracket while down below in the entrance to the cabin a Navman VHF unit is located.
Storage pockets are available on both the driver’s and passenger sides, which are lined with carpet and are ideal for storing those small miscellaneous items such as wallets, keys and cellphones. Immediately in front of the passenger is a grab rail that runs along the top of the cabin entrance, an ideal handhold when water conditions get a bit rougher.
There are large full-length side pockets on both sides of the cockpit, ideal for rod, gaff and ski storage, while limited storage space is available underneath the aft seating, which could accommodate the tackle box.
Seating is in the form of a king/queen arrangement on both sides, which is fitted as an option to this boat, the standard layout comes with twin pedestals. However, seating can be customised and so you are able to have twin pedestal seats or singular king/queen options also. The benefit of the king/queen option is that it provides additional storage space underneath the seats.
Aft, seating is available in both corners, this seating platform also forms part of the duckboard, which adds to the boat’s strength and rigidity. Instead of welding on an outboard pod to the transom, Fyran run a full plate from inside the boat through to the engine bracket, which adds a huge amount of stiffness to the transom area.
On this particular model marine vinyl flooring is fitted, which is often favoured by those who want to soften the look of the boat when it comes to family orientated boating, while there is also an option for tread plate flooring for those who want a no-frills boat.
Our test boat was also fitted with a transom-mounted bait boat with built in rod holders, which complements the already four standard rod holders which are set into the top of the gunwales, and the fold-down rocket launcher which also forms part of the bimini top.
The transom and duck platform area is fitted with a boarding ladder, and the boarding platform is big enough to accommodate divers.
Unlike some other hardtop models from other manufacturers, the Pursuit features as standard a fibreglass hardtop. I thought it would add more weight than an aluminium hardtop, but according to Mark Street it weighs about the same. Also, to fit a full aluminium hardtop is a lot more labour intensive to get the precise fit for the glass screen that fits into place, so using a moulded fibreglass unit is the obvious answer.
Our 580 Horizon test boat was fitted with a Yamaha 115hp four-stroke outboard, while the hardtop Pursuit model was fitted with a 90hp Honda four-stroke.
In the small amount of flat water that we did manage to find, the 580 Horizon managed to get up to 40mph@6000rpm with the engine just hitting the rev limiter. Bear in mind that this engine was fitted with a 17” propeller – fit a 19” prop and expect to lose a few revs, probably down to around 5300rpm, and with a few hours on the clock, the speed may creep up a bit. The Pursuit model fitted with the Honda 90hp was slower, reaching 32.0mph @ 5500rpm.
We had been waiting for a gap in the weather for about a week, as the weather in mid-December had been very blustery, with a number of fronts coming across the country. So a week before Xmas we saw a break in the weather and took the two boats to Browns Island in the Hauraki Gulf for a photo shoot and a chance to run them in varying conditions.
Conditions on the day were far from perfect – in fact there was quite a gnarly wind blowing down the harbour and in the Motuhie channel the wind was gusting at around 25-30 knots. The only other boats we saw were large launches and yachts.
The 580 Horizon was a nice comfortable boat to drive and with the 115hp four-stroke had plenty of power on tap and liked to be driven with lots of revs on the tacho and plenty of speed but not excessive amounts of trim to get it up and running.
Taking it into some rough and choppy water conditions, it was reasonably quiet for an aluminium hull and had quite a soft ride, but with the wind and water conditions a fair amount of spray was taken onto the windscreen. And looking at the full-bodied bow shape in rougher water it would keep the majority of the water out of the cockpit.
The driving position was excellent, with both the sitting and standing positions allowing me to the drive comfortably and easily.
The Pursuit model with the 90hp Honda would, I felt, be more suited to a 115hp engine, as it just seemed to lack a little power, and in the rougher conditions the fitting of trim tabs would be an absolute must. The driving position on this boat wasn’t quite to my liking – it’s obviously been set up to the owner’s personal preference, but for me I would like to see the seat positioned a little further back, to give a little bit more standing room.
As far as the finish goes, both boats were exceptional. The Horizon model had the option of the painted hull sides from chine to gunnels, leaving the interior untouched, while the Pursuit model had the full paint job, with hull sides, top decks and interior features of the boat painted.
The concept behind the Horizon as I mentioned earlier is to make it an affordable boating option to get people out onto the water, it only needs a 90hp or a 115hp engine, and with a trailerable weight of just 1160kg, an average sized 2.5 litre family car would be more than enough to tow it to and from the ramp, and as sales numbers have already proven, the Horizon is a sure way to get the family out onto the water over the summer months.
As for future developments at Fyran, investigations are underway into a bigger hardtop, with a 7.6m model on the drawing board.
- Model: Fyran 580 Horizon
- Price as Tested: $45,000
- Designer: Fyran Boats
- Builder: Fyran Boats
- Material: Aluminium
- Type: Cabin
- LOA: 6.1m
- Beam: 2.18m
- Deadrise: 16 degrees
- Hull Configuration: Monohull
- Trailerable Weight: 1160kg
- Engine Capacity: 90-115hp
- Power Options: Outboard only
- Fuel Capacity: 90 litres
- Engine: Yamaha 115 4S