BOAT REVIEW Legacy Marine L35 Awatea

June 2023 Launch Reviews
Words by Andrew Howard. Photography & video by Roger Mills.
Build Quality
MODEL Legacy Marine L35
DESIGNER LoMotion Design
BUILDER Legacy Marine
LOA 10.58M
LENGTH (Waterline) 10M
BEAM 3.31M
ENGINE 1 x Cummins QSB 550hp, shaft drive
Maximum Speed 28 knots
Cruise Speed 22 knots
ACCOMMODATION Six in two cabins
  • Versatility
  • Quality of build
  • Sharp looking craft

Whakatane’s Shaw family have produced high-quality, award-winning aluminium trailer boats for over 20 years.

It is the family behind the renowned Extreme aluminium trailer boat range, but Glenn Shaw always wanted to build offshore cruising boats capable of completing voyages beyond the scope of most trailer boats. So, the Shaw family drew on its boating DNA to create Legacy Marine, producing a range of high-quality aluminium motoryachts to fulfill that goal.
The very first Legacy 35 (L35) was built for the team behind Hauraki Express. Hauraki Express is a water taxi and fishing charter business, which means it has high expectations of its fleet. Vessels must be able to cope with adverse weather and sea conditions, have decent range and good fuel economy, and carry big payloads for their size.
For Hauraki Express, the knowledge their new boat came from a builder with a deep understanding of how to manufacture durable aluminium boats that last the distance was just as important.


The Legacy 35 was designed by the world-famous, New Zealand-based LOMOcean team. Craig Loomes, a Naval Architect, and Andrew Moltschaniwskyj, a Specialist Marine Composites Engineer, are part of the brains-trust behind the design and were hands-on throughout the project. This level of thinking and support, along with Legacy’s exceptional build quality, will give any Legacy owner peace of mind.
The L35 is the smallest model in the Legacy range, designed to meet Lloyds standards. Lloyds is an independent organisation that establishes, administers, and advises on standards for the design and construction of ships and other marine structures such as oil rigs and bridges.

Shape and size
With an overall length of 10.58m, the L35 fits easily into an 11-metre berth, helping keep down operating costs when compared to bigger vessels needing bigger berths. With a beam of 3.31 metres, a draft of 0.8 metres and a wet weight of 9 tonnes, the boat feels solid, confident and well suited to a family overnighting.
We took Awatea, the first L35, out for a morning. She has a single Cummins QSB 6.7-litre, 550hp engine mated to a shaft-driven, four-bladed propeller tucked into a tunnel under the hull. The tunnel accommodates a large-diameter propeller for increased efficiency, reduced draft, and improved dynamic stability at speed. The propeller is positioned well aft to keep the drive shaft angle shallow, which optimises horizontal thrust.

There are twin rudders, one on each side of the tunnel, to provide accurate steering. The large propeller diameter also reduces blade loading, and during the testing session, we could not create any cavitation at all, let alone get the boat to feel unstable.
For all these design benefits, a reluctance to steer in in reverse, unless using prop torque, is a downside of the L35’s single-engine installation, but it is mitigated by the boat’s stern and bow thruster set-up, which work very well.
At planing speeds, Zip-wakes ensured optimal trim for the conditions and the load. At wide open throttle, in fairly calm conditions, the test boat moved along at 27-28 knots, using 106 litres of diesel per hour. Our cruising speed of 21 knots at 2850 rpm used 75 litres per hour and at 8 knots trolling speed, the fuel burn was 10 litres per hour. That is decently efficient cruising for a planing monohull of these proportions. And given that the boat carries 750 litres of fuel, 150 litres of fresh water, and a watermaker, there’s plenty of scope to clock up the nautical miles and the memories between refills.

Cruising back to the marina at the end of our test, we ran the boat at 24 knots in a 20-knots of wind with a moderate chop and we can report that the ride was smooth for the conditions and surprisingly quiet.

Angler’s cockpit
The L35 is a clear example of what is possible with such a versatile design. The test boat is used commercially – and worked hard – but it was so well finished and set up that it could just as easily be the pride and joy of a couple or a family wanting long weekends away cruising around our coast.
For the angler, this boat delivers. The layout and size of the rear cockpit mean that several people can happily fish at the same time without clambering over one another. The teak-capped gunwales are high enough to leverage off when pulling up hapuku or fighting kingfish, and the coamings are wide enough to sit on comfortably when needed.

When the Legacy’s game poles deliver a gamefish strike, the cockpit helm station’s joystick control makes it easier for the skipper to back up on the fish, and the self-draining cockpit’s twin scuppers are enormous should any water slop over the transom.
The test boat is fitted with four 12V electric reel receivers, a live-bait tank, tuna tubes, and a kill tank set up to pump out the water and any mess. There are rod holders everywhere, which swivel to suit different fishing duties, and the under-gunnel side shelves have a plenty storage space. There is enough cockpit area to install a game chair too.

Cruising too
For cruisers, this boat also delivers. Stepping down from the galley/dining area, the companionway stairs are wide and safe with a big grabrail for security if moving around the when the boat’s underway. The front cabin has four good-sized single berths, and the port cabin has a decent double berth. There are ample storage areas under the front cabins’ lower bunks. The head and shower compartment are to starboard – with full head height and spacious enough to actually use.

In the saloon, the dining table is large enough to seat 4-5 adults around, and the galley is nicely proportioned with a large sink and modest but sufficient counter space for food prep. The hob and oven are large enough to cook a roast dinner with trimmings. Opposite the stove, under the galley seating, is the Isotherm fridge.

The captain’s chair at the helm station was comfortable and provided excellent visibility around the boat. The front windscreen is in three sections, providing a lot of strength, and each section has its own windscreen wiper. The console and dashboard, which has a soft finish, allowed brilliant clarity of the twin Raymarine MFDs, which have the typical array of functions, including Radar and a sonar with a powerful 1kW transducer.

The test boat is equipped with CZone, with easy-to-access control panels to operate the system positioned all over the boat. Behind the captain’s chair is an internet- and satellite-ready pop-up television, the saloon’s sunroof operates electrically and leaves enough roof space for solar panels and roof racks for storing toys or a tender.
The saloon’s large stainless steel-framed glass door feels solid and is well-finished. When open, these bi-folding doors provide excellent access to and from the boat’s interior, which – when combined with the aft-facing, electrically-operated window behind the dining table – does a great job of connecting the interior with the exterior. And when conditions are unpleasant, they can be closed and kept watertight. A small diesel heater might be a valuable addition for weekends away during the colder months.

In the cockpit on the port side is an electric BBQ powered by the onboard genset. To starboard is a chest freezer, an excellent place to store fishing bait, the catch or food for longer voyages. There is a saltwater deck wash to the starboard and a hot/cold freshwater shower to the port.
The swim platform aft extends across the boat’s full beam and is deep enough for to easily enter and exit the water. Sturdy steps give access to the vessel’s side decks with the walk-around and foredeck bounded by a two-inch thick bow rail.

For anyone planning on using the L35 for a lot of overnighting, I recommend installing a removable canopy over the entire rear cockpit area, perhaps using the rod holders to hold the poles. Once enclosed, the cockpit would be an ideal space for camping or keeping wet dogs out of the weather but also out of the cabin!

Easy to live with
This is an easy boat to live with and like. The cleats are large, the transom walkthrough is generously sized, and all the boat’s systems are straightforward. Soft edges and soft-touch surfaces make for a better passenger experience, and I was struck by how the whole boating experience aboard the L35 was surprisingly quiet.

The L35 is not a large trailer boat – it is a small launch. There is a lot to like about this boat, from its excellent fishabilty, its versatility, modest operating costs and exceptional roominess. But one major highlight – and this goes to the heart of the team behind Legacy Marine – is the build quality. Legacy’s attention to detail is superb and getting the details right has a very real on the overall experience of any boat.
In pushing the boundaries, the Legacy team may well have created a genuine all-rounder in aluminium.


Elite 15.8m Sport Sedan

The pride and joy of a multi-generational family, Bliss resides on a pier that’s home to a couple of other Elite motor launches – Sandspit Marina is a hot-spot for the Bill Upfold-designed vessels, with several calling this small marina home.

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Office: 09 373 3436

PO Box 301063 Albany,
Auckland, 0752
New Zealand

Contact Us

Subscriptions: 0508 692 628
Office: 09 373 3436

PO Box 301063
Albany, Auckland, 0752
New Zealand

Contact Us

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