BOAT REVIEW Legacy L70 Paragon

November 2022 Launch Reviews
Words by John Eichelsheim. Photography and video by Geoff Cox. Additional photos by Legacy Marine.
Build Quality
MODEL Legacy L70
DESIGNER David DeVilliers
BUILDER Legacy Marine
ENGINE 2 x MAN V12 1900hp
Maximum Speed 36 knots
Cruise Speed 24 knots
  • Superyacht standard of finish inside and out
  • Comprehensive fishfinding electronics package
  • Impressive turn of speed
  • Supremely practical, sportfishing-oriented layout complemented by luxury interior
  • Huge range and matching offshore capability

It’s not every day a new boat builder 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 manufacture 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 speed. Express Position System (EPS) utilises GPS compass to hold the vessel’s position and heading by automatically controlling the engines, propellers, and thrusters – it was impressive to experience EPS working as advertised on such a large, tall vessel.
At trolling speed (8.5 knots), Paragon sips just three litres per nautical mile, so with 9000 litres of diesel, her potential range is impressive. Top speed is 36 knots, and in a seaway the vessel benefits from a gyro stabiliser.
The Legacy team took particular care with the engineering set-up to minimise noise and vibration. The engines and shafts, which run in tunnels, were aligned using laser technology and Legacy really went to town with noise deadening insulation. The aluminium hull and decks are supported by lots of structure at close centres, which has resulted an exceptionally fair finish and very quiet running.

“There is a perception by some that aluminium boats are noisy, so we were determined to demonstrate they are not,” said Todd. Paragon is very quiet, underway and at rest, whether you are sitting in the upper cockpit lounge, the saloon, or upstairs inside the enclosed flybridge. With the doors, windows and roof closed, it’s quieter still, while below decks, the loudest noise is the whisper of water against the hull – even in the master cabin just a bulkhead away from the engines.
And as Todd and Ben explained, most larger vessels, including superyachts, are built from steel or aluminium, not composite, so Legacy’s new range of aluminium vessels isn’t revolutionary in that sense.
Paragon is a superbly presented vessel inside and out. Interior styling is by Donna Marie and Di Shaw, who have created a modern yet timeless look that will stand the test of time. It’s tasteful and luxurious, but also nicely understated, with a focus on practicality.
This is first and foremost a sportfishing vessel, reflected almost as much by the inside as the outside – good quality engineered wood flooring on the upper decks, wool carpets below, durable upholstery fabrics, and hardwearing, easy-clean surfaces.

All the joinery, with its Shining Grey Oak veneers and rounded corners, and the upholstery, was crafted in house by Legacy Marine’s skilled joinery and upholstery teams. Glazing, stainless-steel work and paint were also provided in-house. The interior and exterior are finished and detailed to a superyacht standard that more than exceeds expectations.
Legacy paid particular attention to the cockpit, which is optimised for sport fishing, including for gamefish species. The transom doors open outwards for safety at sea (hidden handles), the swim platform with its corner cages for fishers is relatively shallow (easier backing up), but still wide enough for divers, and the central transom live well (with integrated tuna tubes) has rounded corners and baffles. There’s a Bauer dive compressor onboard.
There’s rod storage galore, in the rocket launchers when fishing, and in a ceiling rod locker in the flybridge overhang as well as in clever racks in the engine room. Six 12V outlets for electric reels are built into the cockpit, protected from the elements with covers. When trolling, top-quality, wire-stayed 15.2m Rupp outrigger poles are hydraulically deployed while Exploding Fish rod holders (x8) allow optimum adjustment of fishing rod angles.

The vessel’s vast, teak-soled cockpit is self-draining, as are the wide, walkaround side decks, which shed water before it can run down into the cockpit. The stainless-steel bow rail extends right back to the cockpit and the railing’s oval section is particularly nice to grip.
The cockpit features ample under gunwale locker storage, huge kill tanks/wet lockers under the sole, plus an insulated underfloor locker with an IceSea fresh and saltwater icemaker. The upper cockpit level offers lounging and entertaining under the flybridge overhang, along with superb sightlines into the cockpit and the lures fizzing in the wake. The lower cockpit, as well as the saloon, are only a few steps away.

Between the upper and lower cockpits there’s an outdoor kitchen and utility area and a tackle/bait prep zone with massively deep tackle drawers built in. Access to the engine room is via a central hatch and ladder between the two.
Like the cockpit, the brightly lit engine room is vast and uncluttered, despite the vessel’s extensive equipment inventory, which includes twin Fisher-Panda PMS45i generators. Wiring and plumbing are tidily tucked away behind the lining and there’s ample space between the big MANs, with easy access to service points and other equipment. Headroom is excellent.

Teak is also used on the side- and foredecks, as well as the flybridge’s aft deck. Access to the foredeck is good and there’s ample room to work Paragon’s serious ground tackle: an 80kg Manson Boss anchor with 120m of chain, raised and lowered by a Muir 4500 capstan winch. The foredeck is also home to Paragon’s 5m aluminium RIB tender, built by Extreme Boats of course. The tender has a Mercury 60hp outboard and is lifted on and off its cradle using a Steelhead ES1500 davit with a lifting capacity of 680kg. There’s also an eight-person, self-deploying life raft.
A huge electric cavity window and stainless-steel and glass doors open the saloon to the aft cockpit area. The L70 has a galley-aft layout, the galley boasting top-quality Miele appliances and HiMacs worktops – a lightweight engineered stone that’s extremely durable and available in a wide range of finishes. The workspace is stylish, spacious, and very workable.

Forward, the saloon provides comfortable seating, floor level lighting and recessed downlights (LED), excellent sightlines through Paragon’s large windows, a large-screen pop-up TV and a premium sound system. Windscreens are fitted with 16mm glass and lots of mullions – no need, says Todd, to fit plywood covers on ocean passages.
Sleeping accommodation is in four air-conditioned cabins off the atrium-style companionway, which also houses a full-size washer and a-dryer. There’s a spacious bunkroom with two berths; a double cabin on the port side; a VIP bow cabin in with a queen berth, ample storage, TV and luxurious ensuite bathroom; and the full-beam master cabin amidships. The vessel’s day head has a separate shower compartment.
The master suite is luxurious with its own nicely appointed bathroom, a queen berth in the centre, a settee, cabinets and storage in lockers, bookcases, drawers and hanging lockers. The high-end bathroom is spacious with a massive shower, a lighted mirror and stylish décor. Only the master cabin gets windows, on both sides – in keeping with the vessel’s seagoing ambitions, the forward cabins closer to the impact zones are unglazed.

There’s no helm position on the main deck level –the boat is conned from the flybridge, either at the main helm or from the second helm on the upper deck aft. At 5m above the water and with an excellent view of the cockpit and transom, it’s the ideal spot when docking the boat or fighting a big fish. The aft deck is a great spot for watching lures as well, seated behind the teak table in the shade.
The fully enclosed flybridge is at least as well appointed as the main living areas. With big windows, internal access and designed to be social during long offshore passages, it’s furnished with plenty of seating, ample refrigeration for food and drink, a Webasto electric sunroof and a pop-up, large-screen TV. There are three CZone panels on the flybridge.

The helm station is impressive. The layout is well thought out and nicely ergonomic – important to reduce fatigue on long ocean passages. The console is dominated by four 19-inch Raymarine Axiom XL MFDs, but there’s still plenty of space for the engine’s digital displays and the usual suite of switches and controls for the anchor FLIR light on the flybridge roof, trim tabs, helm angle indicator, fire control system, and much else besides. The VHF is Raymarine and the vessel is also equipped with a Vesper VHF/AIS system.
With so many features, a lot of thought and effort has gone into the switching and programming to make it functional and simple to use. CZone digital switching has enabled pre-set modes to be activated from touch screen displays throughout the L70. These include ‘moored attended’, ‘moored unattended’, ‘steaming day’, ‘steaming night’ and ‘fishing day’.

When a mode is activated, the system switches on everything required and switches off any electrical components not required, making the vessel not only supremely functional but safe and simple to operate. The CZone touch screen displays provide full control of the vessel’s electrical components and monitor charging systems and tank fluid levels.
I noted the lightness of the steering, which is electric over hydraulic, and the wheel’s adjustable rake. Stidd helm seats are comfortable and supportive, and the helm seat is positioned amidships within reach of all the main controls.
Paragon was untroubled by the slight chop close to Whale Island, her progress smooth and quiet. With fuel carried in four separate tanks – useful if you want to isolate, say, ‘dirty’ fuel bought somewhere in the Pacific from ‘clean’ fuel purchased in New Zealand or Australia – she has a 3000 nautical mile range at 8.5 knots. With that sort of range, there’ll be no need for fuel bladders on deck. Fuel is also easily transferred between tanks to adjust boat trim and, with a view to extended offshore expeditions, Paragon carries 1000 litres of freshwater.
The L70’s performance is a testament to David DeVilliers Yacht Design and the Shaw family, who have delivered a new motor yacht that exceeds expectations on so many levels. The L70 fuses sea keeping ability, handling, cruising economy and functionality into a motor yacht that inspires confidence and for which no horizon need be out of reach.

I could easily envisage provisioning this boat and pointing the bows northwards: a few days passage in considerable comfort would see her in Tonga or Fiji, or perhaps somewhere in northern Australia. And once there, she’s superbly set up to enjoy the exceptional fishing and diving opportunities of the tropical South Pacific.
But first up is a shakedown cruise this summer to Fiordland and perhaps Stewart Island, followed by Tonga mid-2023, says Todd, who reckons the family can hardly wait.
The word ‘paragon’ is defined as a model of excellence or perfection. Legacy Marine’s first L70 is the sort of sportfishing paragon other vessels will be measured against – a brilliant addition to New Zealand’s maritime legacy.


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