Visionary would be an appropriate way to describe the new Vision E54 from Vision Yachts, part of the Horizon Group of companies. Renowned internationally for its craftsmanship and innovative engineering, with the release of the E54 Vision Yachts has defined what our flybridge cruisers could look like in the future.
Vision Yachts chose US based world-class yacht design company Espinosa Yacht Design for the styling and the result is a sleek exterior profile emphasised by continuous lines and dynamic window designs. Vivid hull colours and the low profile radar arch contribute to the E54’s look of speed and elegance, while an oversized windshield and large glass windows further accentuate the streamlined styling.
Following Horizon’s eco-conscious philosophy, the E54 utilises energy-saving materials and construction systems wherever possible. Vision hulls are all built by Horizon’s Atech Composites, using the highly efficient SCRIMP technology (Seemann’s Composites Resin Infusion Moulding Process). SCRIMP allows Atech to laminate each hull in one shot, including the stringer system, giving the finished product more strength and durability without compromising weight or performance.
Vision Yachts is led by Austin Lin, a master interior designer and craftsman. His talent in interior design helps build unique, quality yachts and the all-new E54 is testimony to that. In recent years, Vision Yachts has applied green technology into new models, showcasing Horizon’s commitment to the environment and providing more options for eco-conscious cruisers.
Let There Be Light
It has to be said that when you first step aboard the E54 you cannot help but be impressed with the spaciousness of the saloon and lower helm area, plus the amazing amount of natural light that radiates throughout the interior. Large glass windows offer panoramic views from practically anywhere, even in the forward galley and adjacent dinette areas. Horizon has incorporated not only large side windows, but also an oversized forward windshield which as well as improving visibility from the lower helm also creates a spectacular skylight for the dining area. Horizon also chose Low E-glass windows that invite natural light but reflect solar heat. The large main deck windows flow into a uniquely streamlined effect that maximises the natural light and complements the custom interior LED lighting for optimal lighting day or night.
The interior is extremely modern, with squared edges on all the cabinetry and furnishings, and it looks right for the boat. Gone is the traditional ‘bling’ of many Asian built boats of the past. The E54 heralds a whole new approach by Horizon with a strong European theme throughout the boat.
The layout is innovative and yet practical with a lot of attention gone into making the best use of space available. In the boat I reviewed, #1 off the line, the main deck layout was the standard design with galley forward. However there is also an aft galley version available, which apart from the helm completely changes the layout of the saloon space.
In the standard version, the forward galley is on the port side, opposite the helm with an upper dinette area and lower lounge. There are no bulkheads cutting sightlines from the cockpit to the helm and one feels in touch with everyone no matter where they are in the saloon.
The large galley surfaces are Corian with generous storage cabinetry, a stainless steel sink unit, full height refrigerator, Seimens electric cook top and Microwave convection oven. There is also a deep pull out pantry.
Opposite, the lower helm station incorporates a double leather covered bench helm seat looking forward to a carbon fibre coated facia complete with a Raymarine E120W hybrid touch screen electronics package. The steering wheel is fully adjustable so you can set it where it best suits you. Visibility is excellent all round, even through to the cockpit area.
Aft is the L-shaped settee dining area with a drop-down outside leaf that gives easier access past when not being used to entertain your guests. There is comfortable seating for at least six diners.
The split-level lounge drops down one step to the aft entertaining and relaxing space, with a rear L-shaped settee to port and a leather covered vanity with TV opposite. Storage lockers throughout take care of all your smaller items and a couple of occasional chairs complete the seating.
Sliding glass doors divide the saloon from the cockpit, so whether they are open or closed your vision and also the natural light are not interrupted.
From its large cockpit to its multitasking flybridge, the E54 has been well set up for social boating. The cockpit sole is all teak and there are plenty of stainless handrails that come easily to hand. Access to the full-width boarding platform is either side of a central four-berth lounger and GRP outdoor table. The transom houses a large trunk storage area and a hydraulically operated high/low swim platform makes access to and from the water that much easier. There is also a built-in hot/cold fresh water hand-held shower for rinsing off after your swim. To starboard of the cockpit is a Volvo Penta docking station alongside the stairs that lead to the flybridge. Wide side decks provide good access forward where you’ll find a large foredeck sunpad.
The flybridge has the wow factor from the stylistic central helm forward to the low profile radar arch aft. In between is a multifunctional layout that can be either a cocktail/dining area or a massive sunpad.
The flybridge is available in two versions. The standard layout has a U-shaped sofa and a single central helm seat, with the upgrade version featuring a larger U-shaped convertible sun pad and a hi/lo helm seat.
The central helm features a well-equipped instrument and control console with a sports-type steering wheel and a chart table on the starboard side. As I found during the trials it is an extremely comfortable place to be when doing 30 knots plus across the choppy waters of the South China Sea.
With the sunpads and alfresco dining for eight, plus a bar area, barbecue grill and fridge, this is one area that has been well set up for having a good time. Although an enclosed hardtop is not an option, there is a soft-top bimini with clears to help fend off the harsh UV found down under.
Full Width Master
All accommodation is forward with a three-cabin, two-head layout designed for comfort and useability. Like the saloon, the layout reflects a very modernistic style with an emphasis on straight dark timber accents and squared edges, countering the vivid white soft furnishings, doors, ceilings and panelling. The only departure is the teardrop shaped side windows, although their external shape is somewhat disguised by the internal panelling. The overall result is stylish opulence with a warm and welcoming feeling.
One of the benefits of the pod drives’ aft location is the increased interior volume for the lower accommodation space. In the E54 this has allowed for a full beam master stateroom aft with walk-in closet, head and 1m x1m oversize shower cubicle located aft of the stateroom. Other features include a starboard side settee, flat screen TV, Queen size island berth, rear bulkhead mirror and space to port for either a bureau or extra seating. Concealed pelmet and lower LED lighting add a nice mood touch.
Forward and to starboard is a guest cabin with twin single berths using the benefit of the space under the companionway stairs to maximise the area to best advantage. The VIP stateroom takes up all the forward space and is exceptionally large for a boat of this size. Natural light radiates into the stateroom through side ports and overhead deck panels, adding to the feeling of openness. Your guests will not be disappointed to spend a night or two aboard with such luxurious surroundings. All the cabins have individual air handlers so you and your guests can set the temperature to whatever best suits you.
There are plenty of storage areas, a large hanging locker and private access to the shared guest head. The head/shower area features a Sealand MasterFlush head, complete with touch pad panel, ceramic sink, Corian counter top, wall mirror and an extra large walk-in shower with double opening glass doors. The shower base is recessed so no water spills through onto the bathroom sole.
As I have found in all boats in recent years from the Horizon Yacht Group of companies, the engine rooms are well planned, spacious and intelligently laid out. In the E54 the twin engines are set over a honeycomb floor and the whole space is sound and heat insulated with foam and lead combination material. A Seafire automatic fire extinguisher system is standard and all systems such as the generator, inverter, battery charger and water maker are easily accessed. Colour-coded wiring makes for easy identification in time of need. There’s also space provided for the optional Seakeeper Gyro.
The E54 was designed right from the start to take advantage of the innovative Volvo Penta IPS drive technology and for that reason is not available with any other power. Your only option is twin Volvo Penta IPS900s producing around 700hp each. And as I found during my sea trial off the port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, that is plenty. Sea conditions were moderate to rough and the E54 loved it. I was impressed at the precise handling and response of the boat both in a moderate sea and in the smoother water. At maximum rpm the Volvo Penta gauges indicated a speed of 33 knots and best cruise was around 28 knots.
It’s a nimble and easily driven boat that does precisely what you ask of it. It was so cool and relaxing driving from the flybridge that I never actually got to drive from the lower helm.
The E54 is also fitted with Humphree auto trim tabs which provide precise control of your boat trim and worked really well during our test time at sea, taking a lot of the guesswork and decisions away and letting you simply drive the boat. The Interceptor Trim Tabs are made of corrosion free composite materials and the servomotors are electric, using 12 or 24 volts DC. The basic principle of the Interceptor trim tab is to create pressure underneath the hull, at the stern of the boat. The pressure is created when the blade is deployed into the water flow underneath the hull, and the lift changes the running trim of the vessel, resulting in a lower wave resistance.
The design mandate for the Horizon E54 was to offer a modern and elegant yacht with larger than normal interior volume, speed, economy and safety. As the brochure says…..mission accomplished.
Engine RPM Speed kts Fuel L/hr Range NM*
600 6.6 8.6 1535
800 8.4 19.0 884
1000 9.9 34.0 582
1400 12.2 93.0 262
1800 18.8 158.0 238
2000 24.3 185.0 263
2200 29.2 208.0 281
2300 31.5 228.0 276
2350 32.0 240.0 267
2410 33.5 263.0 255
NB: Performance figures were recorded with full fuel, full water and 12 persons aboard and using the Humphree trim tabs on auto mode.
- Design Name: Horizon E54
- Boat Name: Horizon E54
- Builder: Vision Yachts Co, Ltd
- Country of Origin: Taiwan
- Designer: J.C. Espinosa
- Interior Designers: Horizon
- Year Launched: 2012
- LOA: 16.48m
- LWL: 13.25m
- Beam: 4.80m
- Draft: 1.28m
- Displacement: 23 tonnes (light ship)
- Max Speed: 33.5 knots
- Cruise Speed: 28 knots
- Fuel Capacity: 2000 litres
- Water Capacity: 600 litres
- Construction: Foam core and GRP using SCRIMP
- Engines: Volvo Penta IPS900 @ 700hp
- Drive Train: Volvo Penta IPS
- Propellers: IPS
- Generator: Onan 13.5kW
- Inverter: Mastervolt 24V
- Battery Charger: Mastervolt
- Air Conditioning: Marine Air
- Stabiliser: Seakeeper M8000A (optional)
- Watermaker: Sea Recovery (Optional)
- Rise & Fall Swim Platform: In-house
- Interceptor Trim Tabs: Humphree
- Lighting: LED
- Underwater Lights: Aqualuma
- Anchor Winch: Maxwell RC10
- Anchors: 105lb S/S
- Steering: Volvo Penta IPS
- Engine Controls: Volvo Penta IPS
- Paint (Antifouling): International
- Windscreens: Energy saving Low-E glass
- Portholes: Man Ship
- Heads: SeaLand Masterflush
- Wood Finish: Satin
- Autopilot: Raymarine ST70
- GPS/Plotter: Raymarine E120W
- Depth Sounder: Raymarine E120
- Radar: Raymarine E120
- VHF: Raymarine Ray240
- Engine Instruments: Volvo Penta IPS
- Switch Panel: BEP
- Base Price: From $A1,395,000