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Horizon 525 Scorpion cuddy
  |  First Published: June 2016



The Horizon 525 Scorpion has a family-oriented layout, so with this in mind we tested it with three aboard. Scott James of Horizon Boats showed how easily the craft could be launched, while Fishing Monthly’s Steve Morgan and myself enjoyed the ride.

Bad day: good boat

The weather was bad during our review. Admittedly it wasn’t raining, but it was blowing hard enough, and with enough wind against tide chop on hand, to make me doubt the wisdom of heading out in a 5.25m craft.

However, once we were out and on the Southport Broadwater, my concerns vanished due to the top quality ride the Scorpion was treating us to, along with the shelter from the stiff southerly the cuddy cab and bimini provided.

For a 5.30m long cuddy craft, the Scorpion does offer quite a lot of comfort and features. And, thanks to the punchy F70A Yamaha 4-stroke on the transom, respectable performance as well. None of this was really surprising given the many years of boat building experience and practical know-how that’s behind each Horizon 525 Scorpion. Also of interest was the Scorpion’s hull rating of 70-90hp with the 70 Yamaha being ideal power in every way – but more on this later.

Once aboard, I saw the rig as being ideally suited to family cruising, bay and estuary fishing, exploring estuaries, impoundments and the like as well as overnight camping with the ice box and lunch box stove aboard. Plus – wait for it – a run offshore in suitable sea conditions. Mum, Dad and up to three youngsters would suit the craft admirably, while a more dedicated fishing team would be ideal at three persons.

Features for all

The Scorpion’s features included a decent bow rail, a cabin hatch amply large enough for a person to easily enter or exit from the craft as well as provide full access to the self draining anchor well, comfortable cabin bunks for both seating and shelter from the weather along with deep storage areas beneath them, sufficiently high cockpit sides with aft rails to make parents comfortable when youngsters were aboard, a fully carpeted floor and full height transom with locking door, ladder, and swim platform to starboard.

Seating was yet another highlight. Up front very comfortable and sturdy high-backed swivel-style pedestals allowed both skipper and mate to either stand or be seated underway, with bolster sections to provide support when travelling. A folding seat aft offered seating for two persons – or a brace point courtesy of the backrest when folded down – with sufficient padding for plenty of comfort underway.

A fishing boat as well

As well as being a great family boat, the Scorpion would make a very handy fishing rig as well. Rod holders in gunwales complemented those on the cutting board, and side pockets were set up off the floor to provide a decent toe-hold under them. Metre-high interior sides also offered brace points, and with a large area of boarding platform aft of the transom gate it would be easy to haul a decent fish in via that entry point.

The 525 Scorpion’s dash layout saw paired gauges for the Yamaha F70A directly ahead of the skipper, and switches handy nearby. The craft’s Lowrance sounder was set up atop the dash which is exactly where a larger unit could also find itself as there was plenty of room aft of the one piece windscreen. Small pockets up front, each side of skipper and mate, allowed for storage of personal items, such as keys, phone and the like.

70 Yamaha the way to go

As mentioned earlier, engines rate as high as 90hp but I was more than satisfied with the performance of the Yamaha 70 4-stroke. An acclaimed engine from its release thanks to its light weight, punchy performance and economy, the 70 was whisper quiet at idle, hardly noisy when working hard, and made easy work of powering the 450kg Horizon hull with its 3mm bottom and side sheeting. Even with three aboard the rig was out of the hole and planing in around two or three boat lengths when pushed hard.

Test runs saw the craft planing freely at 16.3km/h, cruising very sweetly at 4000rpm at 31.5km/h, and with a top speed of 53km/h. Of course, nobody wants to run around on 6300rpm WOT for long, and with a fuel consumption of a recorded 10.45L per hour at a sensible 4000rpm (31.5km/h) the 110L under-floor tank would provide a very handy cruising capability when travelling at around 30km/h.

SUMMING UP

All in all, the Horizon 525 Scorpion is as highly desirable family or fishing rig. It packed in a lot of features for its modest 5.30m length and 2.20m beam, and offered high levels of comfort. The fit and finish of components and overall general finish was of a quite high level. Looking at the complete package, I saw it as an absolutely ideal rig for a family, beginners to boating, or for really keen and dedicated anglers to enjoy as well. The price as reviewed, including a braked Dunbier trailer, was a modest $31,990.

Horizon Boats can be contacted on (07) 5598 1033 or on the net at --e-mail address hidden--

Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.

Facts

SPECIFICATIONS

Length overall5.35m
Beam2.20m
Depth1.16m
Weight hull400kg
Fuel110kg
Horsepower70 Yamaha 4-stroke
Max transom weight155kg
Persons5

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