Legacy L70 Review by Boating NZ
Tuesday 20 December 2022
We invited Boating New Zealand's John Eichelsheim to Whakatane to put the L70 to test. In his following review he described the Legacy L70 as “the sort of sportfishing paragon others will be measured against”.
A Model of Perfection
It’s not every day a new boatbuilder enters the New Zealand market with a range of locally-designed and manufactured production motor yachts, especially with a flagship vessel that’s 25m (78ft 9in) long and constructed from aluminium.
Of course, Whakatane’s Legacy Marine is hardly a boatbuilding newbie, since it’s owned by the same people who have brought multi-award-winning Extreme aluminium trailer boats to markets in New Zealand and overseas for almost 20 years. Extreme Boats manufactures around 300 trailer boats a year, one-third of them going to Australia, the Pacific Islands, USA, and Europe. The new, purpose-built Legacy Marine facility is right next door to Extreme Boats’ existing factory.
The L70 is currently the largest vessel in the Legacy range, which also includes L35, L45 and L52 models. Paragon, built for company founder Glenn Shaw and his family, is the first L70 launched. It’s Shaw’s dream boat, constructed to exacting standards to fulfil the family’s desire for extended South Pacific sportfishing and cruising adventures. The Shaws have extensive offshore experience with their previous vessels, the lessons learned hugely informing the L70’s design and fitout.
Paragon was tied up to the town wharf in the Whakatane River with barely a metre to spare between her bow and transom and neighbouring boats, and with the flood tide pushing strongly up the river. Todd Shaw, who shared skipper’s duties with his younger brother Ben, calmly pulled Paragon away from the wharf using the Twin Disc Express Joystick System (EJS) proportional thrust control outside on the flybridge’s aft deck.
That such a large vessel can be so easily and precisely controlled is amazing, testament to the effectiveness of EJS, which coordinates both engines and the vessel’s Twin Disc hydraulic bow and stern thrusters. It was precise and powerful enough to move Paragon directly sideways off the wharf and into the river’s current, where Todd spun the big sport-fisher in her own length and proceeded downriver to the sea. Docking later that day was just as easy.
The Whakatane River bar was calm, so we were soon in open water, the big MAN 1900hp V12 engines quickly propelling the 60-tonne vessel (half load) onto the plane. The impression from the helm is of being completely in control. The L70 glides gracefully and effortlessly onto the plane, rides softly and feels stable and predictable at all times. At a comfortable (and quiet) 26 knots, the synchronised engines were spinning at 2000rpm. Twin Disc’s EC300 QuickShift Control System with two dual-leverhead stations controls propeller engagement, rotation direction and engine…