Horizon 78 Motor Yacht — By Capt. Bill Pike
— April 2005
They Did It Their Way
When Richard Kull joined the U.S. Coast Guard after the end of World War II, the folks in his hometown of Larchmont, New York, gave him a going-away party. A big one. With a cast of thousands. Then, the morning after, he hooked up with yet another cast of thousands, or at least a cast of hundreds, standing in a long gray line in New York City, the point of departure for various boot camps around the United States.
Late afternoon came eventually, and with it the departure of Kull’s fellow inductees to destinations as disparate as Alameda, California, and Mayport, Florida—places that sounded incredibly exotic and exciting to your average untraveled, inexperienced 17-year-old kid.
But Kull? He alone was handed a five-cent ferry ticket to the Coast Guard facility on nearby Staten Island. Then, once he’d presented himself at said facility, he was told to go back home, take the weekend off, and not bother reporting for duty until Monday. Good news for the fledgling Coastie?
“Heck no, I couldn’t go home,” Kull reminisces. “My friends and family had just given me this great big going-away party. And on top of that, everybody was expecting me to wind up stationed some place really cool—not Staten Island!”
So what did he do? “Well,” he laughs, “I rode the New York City subway system for three days. You know, the subway back then was safe and reasonably comfortable, although I did get a little hungry towards the end.”
Besides its humor and humanity, this little story offers some insight into Kull’s character—he’s the kind of guy who puts his imprimatur on things, who takes standard situations and events and gives them his own spin. Is there any wonder the vessel he and his wife presently own and keep docked in their South Florida backyard is an extensively customized Horizon 78 Motor Yacht?
Both Kull and his wife Mary Anne are proud of the minor adjustments they’ve made to their boat as well as the substantial alterations. On the first score, they’ve added extra bookcases, individualized door hardware and faucets, crystal lighting fixtures in the dining area, and drawers in sofas and lounges instead of less-convenient bins under cushions. On the second, they’ve extended the swim platform to facilitate tender usage, enlarged the saloon to full width, added two heads (a day head on the upper deck and an en suite head for the forward guest stateroom on the lower deck), created an enclosed flying bridge or skylounge, and replaced the lower helm with an expansive dining area that has loads of ambient light from the windshield.
“So to a great extent we’ve been able to have our new 78 built and configured our way,” concludes Kull, with nodding assent from Mary Anne. Which, when you think about it, is not bad for a guy who once rode the subway for three days because he couldn’t go home. —B.P.
This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.