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Head for the Horizon
  |  First Published: August 2001



The Horizon 515 Pacific centre console has a perfect fishing layout; the centre console is a bit further forward than standard to give more fishing room at the back.

Shifting the console forward can often result in a loss of comfort in the rough stuff but that isn’t the case with the Pacific, which handled the slop surprisingly well.

The layout of the Pacific – a raised forward casting platform with under floor storage, fold-down console, helm seat with storage box, underfloor kill pen/wet well at the stern, built-in live bait tank and baitboard with twin rocket launchers provides an excellent ready-to-fish rig.

Access over the stern is good with a fold-down ladder to port making it easy to board and alight on the water and the trailer.

The full-width duckboard with a grab rail running down the top of the fastback stern offers plenty of support when clambering aboard.

The full-height transom makes it safe in a following sea, although the configuration does slightly inhibit fishing in the rear corners. Just the same, a rod can easily be swung around the back of the motor when fighting a big one that’s circling down deep.

The bolt-on bait board sits over the motor and is basic yet functional with a raised lip to stop blood and guts spilling onto the floor or motor and two large-diameter drain holes to prevent clogging.

Rod holders in the rear corners provide four rod positions across the stern to set a full trolling spread if desired. The port transom top has a good-sized plumbed live bait tank in an ideal position for easy access.

Side pockets are big enough to hold a pair of paddles and a few handlines up out of the way and they are raised off the deck to allow feet under for good support.

The padded helm seat will hold two and has a large storage capacity that could easily be turned into an esky. An under-console shelf provides more storage, along with an open glovebox on the top of the console.

The electronics could be mounted on top of the moulded console or on the sloping face of the dash.

The console easily folds forward to allow garaging in low-clearance situations. While the acrylic windscreen provides a windbreak it doesn’t really offer much protection from the elements. The support struts, however, make excellent passenger handholds in the rough stuff.

The raised forward casting platform has a hatch to access storage below and, in keeping with the simple and functional layout, the anchoring system consists of a split bow rail that feeds the anchor rope straight onto the bow roller, with a cross bollard on the front of the self-draining anchor well.

We took the Pacific for a run in sloppy conditions and I was surprised at how well the Horizon handled the sea. It got up on top and cut the swell nicely and there was no spine-jarring re-entry off the wave tops. It landed nicely on its tail and turned the spray away pretty well.

The Pacific behaved like an obedient Labrador dog when turning, with no signs of playing up by letting go or shearing off a swell.

Stability was excellent both on the fly and at rest. The three of us were comfortably able to stand on one side with our knees against the gunwale.

The 90hp Mercury OptiMax gave the Horizon a good turn of speed and a stack of punch out of the hole. At 3500rpm it clocked 18 knots (33kmh), at 4000rpm it produced 20 knots (37kmh), at 4500rpm 23 knots (43kmh), at 5000rpm it reached 27 knots (50kmh), at 5500rpm 32 knots (60kmh) and topped out at 6000rpm and 35 knots (64kmh).

All up, the Horizon Pacific 515 centre console is a no-nonsense fishing rig that is ready to be loaded with gear and hit the water straight out of the showroom. It has all the basics necessary to provide trouble-free fishing for years to come without the need to continually upgrade the layout.

For further information on all Horizon boats visit www.horizonboats.com.au.

Neken Marine, now located at 83-85 Darley Street, Mona Vale, has a special package deal available on a Horizon 515 Pacific identical to the test boat but with a Suzuki DF90 four-stroke and a Dunbier Loader trailer for $36,866. Base packages start from $33,595. Neken Marine also has electronics packages available to suit all budgets.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Length: 5.2m
LOA:5.3m
Depth: 1.23m
Beam: 2.4m
Bottom Sheets: 3mm
Side Sheets: 2mm
Transom: L/s
Weight (boat only): 480kg
Rec hp : 80
Max hp: 100
Transom weight: 178kg
Max Passengers: 5
Reads: 425

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