“We are Ian and Chris Wilson, originally from Manchester UK, but have lived in the USA for 20 years.

Before we bought our first boat we chartered with Horizon back in 2003, we were with our kids, who back then were 8 and 10. I (Ian) had a fair amount of sailing experience but Chris didn’t, so we took a skipper and we did the ASA 101-104 course. We had a very nice skipper called Julian, found by Horizon, and chartered a Bavaria 36. We passed the exams quickly and dropped him off after 3 and 1/2 days and had the rest of the week on our own.

We really enjoyed ourselves, Horizon were great, met us at the dock, very quick to do the boat briefing, and a thorough chart briefing. Made everything very simple, easy check in and we stayed on the boat the night before.

After 4 more charters we loved what we were doing and, call me crazy, but decided to by a boat, so we bought Aquila, a Bavaria 42. She was two months old and in the charter fleet, I emailed and spoke to Andrew Thompson (Tubes) and soon afterwards exchanged contracts.

That’s where we began, and now we‘ve had three boats with Horizon, the first two purely for use in the charter fleet and now this one, Kibo, which is slightly different. We wanted a boat that could start in charter but with the option to take her out and use as a full time live-aboard; And Tubes is really good at that. He knows what is needed for charter but also for the convenience of living aboard, he was really very helpful in that respect. We chose her at the Annapolis Boat Show; she’s a Bavaria Vision 46.

In the charter programme we always use our own boat. When you arrive the boat is in great shape and the Horizon staff are friendly and attentive and make sure everything is ship-shape and Bristol fashion, ready to go.  Sheets are on the beds, very clean, and they do nice towel sculptures for the kids, nice little touches like that. And typically you get a bottle of rum and some coke for a celebratory sundowner, which is really nice when you get to your boat.

When we eventually took the boat out of the charter fleet, we sailed down the Caribbean chain and ended up in Grenada. We had contact with Horizon in Grenada, James and Jacqui Pascall, and we were very comfortable to leave the boat with them. We also became good friends with Gary, who works for Horizon, so as well as working on the boat he introduced us to the local Grenada scene and we went to music jams and the like. And we still do!

Horizon in the BVI was very useful when it came to transitioning Kibo from Charter to full time cruising boat. We took 3 -4 weeks working together with the Horizon team, rewiring, adding wind gen etc, all onsite and they were very professional.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not a charity, it’s a business, we paid for their time, but it’s a great service they offer and it was really very good.

Overall our experience with Horizon from chartering,  purchasing boats to charter management , and now guardianage services, has been really great, it feels like a family oriented, family run company with really nice people, and we now call them our friends. We’d definitely recommend them.

Ian and Christianne Wilson; previous owners of the Bavaria 42 Aquila, Bavaria 35 Short-Cut and now KIBO, a Bavaria Vision 46.  Interviewed  January 2019.” 

Ian and Chris Wilson