Legacy 35 Boat Review

Nick Jones reviews the Legacy L35...

The backstory

High-end aluminium launches in the mid-tier size bracket aren’t something you see every day. But Legacy Marine is looking to change that with a range of production boats from 35 to 70 feet long and a vision to leave a wake rather than follow one.

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Legacy Marine’s company founder Glenn Shaw and his family are well-versed in the production of aluminium vessels, being the faces behind the popular and award-winning Extreme Boats brand. A desire to push the boundaries (both literally and figuratively) inspired the creation of Legacy Marine.

The L35 is currently the smallest vessel in the Legacy range, which also includes the L45 (sedan cruiser), L55 (enclosed flybridge) and L70 (enclosed flybridge) models. This first L35 built, Awatea (meaning the dawning of a new day), was commissioned by Hauraki Express, a family business that has been running fishing charter, water taxi and on-the-water fuelling vessels in the Hauraki Gulf for over a decade.

“We liked Legacy/Extreme right from the start. Their can-do attitude, commitment to quality and trustworthiness cemented our relationship. There was no question when it came to expanding our fleet; first and only choice, Legacy Marine,” says Hauraki Express owner Pete Bourke.

Design and construction

Renowned New Zealand-based naval architects LOMOcean were contracted for the design. The L35 is built to Lloyds and DNV standards; providing structural engineering rarely found on motor yachts of its size. Design approval is also ready for survey if required.

The hull design features a full bow and forward section for maximised internal volume, and an extended hull under the swim platform to extend waterline length and eliminate swell slap. The drivetrain consists of a tunnel-driven shaft and steering is handled through a twin rudder system accompanied by both bow and stern thrusters.

The hull design features a full bow and forward section for maximised internal volume, and an extended hull under the swim platform to extend waterline length and eliminate swell slap under the swim platform.

The hull design features a full bow and forward section for maximised internal volume, and an extended hull under the swim platform to extend waterline length and eliminate swell slap under the swim platform.

The fit-out of Awatea blends the Shaws’ production know-how and the Bourkes’ commercial maritime experience. Componentry has been selected based on field experience about what works and what lasts – high-quality no-leak hatches, hard-wearing upholstery, and strong latches on the lockers and cabinetry (to name a few examples).

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There is also a great balance between practicality and luxury in the design, making the L35 feel like a huge step up from an oversized trailer boat. The level of finish is outstanding, and those more familiar with composite launches would not be disappointed. All the paint, upholstery, glazing and joinery work is carried out in Whakatane by Legacy Marine’s own experienced crews.

The teak covering the cockpit floor, coamings, and swim platform, in conjunction with the liberal application of stainless steel, gives the cockpit a nice ambience. This feel flows through into the saloon, where the interior styling is clean and modern.

Layout and fishability

With a 10.58m length and 3.31m beam, the L35 offers ample scope for long-range fishing and cruising adventure. Up forward, four tall adults can be accommodated on their own single berths that also provide room for bags and equipment. The double berth on the port side is private and spacious with good natural lighting. Opposite this is the shared walk-in bathroom with hot shower, head, sink and extractor fan to cater for your more fragrant friends!

Interior styling is modern and comfortable.

Interior styling is modern and comfortable.

Moving up into the saloon there’s comfortable seating for four around the table, together with an induction cooktop, microwave oven, 85L fridge, and plenty of storage. The electric hotplate, chest freezer and freshwater maker in the cockpit round out the L35’s provisioning ability. If the fishing is a bit slow, entertainment options include an electronically recessed TV and Fusion sound system complete with a subwoofer.

Nevertheless, Awatea skipper George Bourke wants nobody to be under the illusion that the L35 is more of a cruiser than a sportfisher.

“She’s made for serious missions to remote fishing grounds – we’ve already done a few multi-day fishing charters over to Great Barrier and the feedback received so far has been wicked.

“Awatea will be heading to the Three Kings and maybe even the Wanganellas next year.”

The helm station offers great visibility and reflects Awatea’s role as a serious fishing boat. The full Raymarine electronic package features dual 16” screens, radar, autopilot, a 1kw transducer and digital switching. A Fisher Panda 5kw generator and inverter keeps everything running during overnight trips with both 12 and 24-volt power on offer.

Interior styling is modern and comfortable.

Interior styling is modern and comfortable.

A bi-folding door and electric window arrangement creates an open-plan connection between the saloon and cockpit – perfect for both entertaining and fishing… or entertaining fishing!

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The self-draining cockpit is huge, dwarfing the oversized 210L YETI chilly bin. Clearly optimised for sportfishing, the Cockpit features Exploding Fish rotating rod holders, outriggers, electric reel ports, an underfloor kill bin and plenty of storage in below-gunwale lockers. I would perhaps have included more than six slots in the stainless rocket launcher, however.

The livebait tank is a beast; fed by the pumps from the dual built-in tuna tubes, it can accommodate over 100 mackerel and dozens of larger baits such as kahawai or koheru. There’s also a passive tank concealed under the swim platform – handy for overnighting if you don’t want to leave the livie pumps running.

The transom doors open outwards to access the wide teak-soled swim platform. Throwing up minimal ‘blowback’ thanks to the extended hull, it is very pleasant to fish from even in a decent chop.

The cockpit offers a huge amount of space for fishing and entertaining (for reference that is a 210L chilly bin).

The cockpit offers a huge amount of space for fishing and entertaining (for reference that is a 210L chilly bin).


Awatea is powered by a single tunnel-driven single Cummins 6.7L 480HP. She cruises contentedly at 20 knots (burning 70Lph) and has a top speed of 29 knots. At trolling speed (8 knots), Awatea burns a meagre 10Lph. The 750L of diesel capacity underfloor gives Awatea the range required for multi-day trips far offshore.

Experienced mariners know that stern legs, while great for trimming and manoeuvrability, are not well-suited for commercial engine hours. Hence, why the L35 was designed and built with a shaft drive instead.

“Reliability was the big factor that determined Awatea’s shaft design”, says George.

Awatea is quick to get up on the plane. The deadrise ensures a soft entry and chine flats hold the hull true in a following sea, ensuring the automated Zipwake trim tab system is not overworked. An optional gyro stabiliser can be fitted to the L35 to further reduce any roll. The steering is responsive, and close-quarters berthing is simple with stern and bow thrusters. Thermal and acoustic insulation rounds off an enjoyable helming experience.

My boat review on the L35 was atypical – a far cry from the standard ‘pick a nice day and go for an inshore jaunt’. We left Auckland for Great Barrier Island on a Monday afternoon, cruising up the Motuihe Channel before turning head-on into 25 knots of northeasterly. Awatea maintained a speed between 18-20 knots all the way to Port Fitzroy – roughly 50 miles from the city. The fact that some of the crew enjoyed a few refreshments along the way is a testament to the seakeeping ability of the Legacy 35.

The dawning of the following day brought horrific conditions; the nowcasting at Channel Island was reading wind gusts over 45 knots from the east. After a fun morning fishing session along the Barrier’s leeward shore, it was time to brave the elements for the return voyage. To her credit, the L35, beam on to some nasty steep chop sitting atop two-metre swells, got us home in a little over three hours. The crew disembarked in great spirits, leaving Awatea poised for her next adventure.


Model: Legacy L35

Designer: LOMOcean

Builder: Legacy Marine

Construction: Aluminium

LOA: 10.58m

Hull length: 10m

Beam: 3.31m

Dry weight: 6,000kg

Fuel capacity: 750L

Water capacity: 150L

Sleeping capacity: 6

Engine: Cummins 6.7L 480HP

Price as tested: $POA

December 2022 - Nick Jones
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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