The powerboat line, dormant since 2008, will even be expanded in the sailboat builder's Ohio facility
It appears that the Legacy line of New England-style powerboats will survive the recession. Sailboat builder Tartan/C&C Yachts has acquired Legacy Yachts, the Middletown, R.I., builder of express and sedan cruisers from 32 to 52 feet.
Legacy built its last boat in August 2008 under the previous ownership, according to former president Paul Petronello. "I'd rather see the brand succeed than stay in a state of limbo, and that's where it has been in the last year, in a state of limbo," says Petronello. "There are enough dead boat companies." The Legacy brand was launched in 1995 with a 40-foot sedan. Its most current fleet included 32-, 42- and 52-foot vessels.
The acquisition was completed early this year, says Andrew Drumm, sales manager of the company, now known as Tartan/C&C/Legacy Yachts. All molds and tooling were expected to be relocated to Tartan/C&C's Fairport Harbor, Ohio, location this spring, he says.
The company plans to continue offering Legacy's latest models, as well as a new 36-footer, says company president Tim Jacket. "In the marine industry, new product gets the juices flowing, so it's very much a part of our plan with the brand," says Jacket.
Early this summer, the company expects to begin completing a Legacy 32 that was under construction in Portsmouth, R.I., says Jacket. "That 32 will wind up building out over the course of the early part of the summer, helping get our guys accustomed to building a powerboat rather than something with a big piece of lead bolted to the bottom of it," he says.
Mark Ellis designed the 32 and 42, along with a 34 and the 40. Bill Langan penned the 52 and the 28, the latter from a 26-foot mold Legacy had acquired. Langan's company, Langan Design Associates in Newport, R.I., was working with Legacy until the recession hit.
"We were well along with a modified design of the 52, which was stretched to a 54 and fitted with [Volvo Penta] IPS drives," says Langan. "The molds were being modified when things fell apart at Legacy, so that project was sidelined."
Langan was also working on designs for a 29 and a 39 that were "quite different than other Legacy boats in terms of styling," he says. Joystick helm control also was part of the equation with these boats, he says.
Jacket is interested in working with Ellis and Langan but hasn't reached any agreement about hiring them to design future models, he says. "Once we get sorted out with what we are going to be doing with the brand, we will have a better idea of what we wind up putting together with both Mark and Bill Langan," he says.
Ellis says he would like to design future Legacy boats, and it would make sense since he has designed earlier models. Plus, Ellis will be in touch with C&C/ Tartan to work out contractual matters regarding the builder's use of the 32 and 42 designs and their tooling, he says.
Langan, former chief designer for Sparkman & Stephens, says he designed a "fair number of boats" for Tartan when he was with the venerable New York design firm. "I have a long history with Tartan," he says. "I would love to work with them, re-establish the relationship. I think Legacy did a nice job with [its boats]. They had a pretty loyal clientele, so I think it would be good for them to know that [the brand] will live on."
This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue.