The Legacy 52 follows in the tradition of New England styling, but with offshore powering capabilities. Her deep-V design and deadrise of 17 degrees at the transom should meet the need for speed and comfortable motion, and her wide chine flats aft are built for stability when cruising at a low speed. The Legacy 52’s deck is designed for three layouts: a flying-bridge model, a sedan model and an express.
The Legacy 52 borrows from the past to capture the future.
By Dennis Caprio October 3, 2007
Freedom Yachts left nothing to chance when it launched the program to produce the Legacy 52 motoryacht. The company hired Langan Design Associates for the naval architecture, engineering and styling; and interior designer Ron Alose to select cabinetry details, lighting fixtures and fabrics.
“We want to create a 52-footer in the Legacy tradition”, Paul Petronello, president of Freedom Yachts, said about the design brief for the new flagship. “Salty New England” styling with great offshore powering characteristics. Assuming owners would run the 52 without professional crew, Langan and Freedom produced what the designer referred to as “a big small boat, not a small big boat”.
Captain’s Report Hull #1
Edited from a Boat test.com review of the Legacy 52
As You Like It The new 52 from Legacy Yachts is available in not just one, but two very different models. By Capt. Chris Kelly13,000 man-hours. That’s 3-1/2 years of a man working 10 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s also how long it takes to build a single Legacy 52 Flybridge, according to Legacy’s president Paul Petronello. Of course, when you have 25 engineers, electricians, plumbers, and old-world craftsmen on the job, the yacht comes out a bit quicker. But that number is telling of just how much custom workmanship goes into every Legacy 52. The 52 is a big step up from the 40, and in fact, she was designed and built with input from former 40 owners
Although she bears the heritage lines and sea-keeping abilities of a Downeast cruiser, the Sedan Flybridge is very much state-of-the-art. Our test boat was a three stateroom, two-head layout, but with all the amenities modern mankind has to offer. On top of that, don’t let her traditional looks fool you…with a pair of 705-hp Caterpillar C-12’s in her belly, she can run with any motoryacht you’ll find here on BoatTEST.com. She is versatile and well prepared for entertaining both on and in the water. Her teak swim platform is 2-1/2 feet long, making it a perfect staging area for swimmers, divers, or for storing an inflatable dinghy on her beam-ends. Moving aboard, the transom door has the solid feeling of a bank vault, yet it’s well balanced so it’s easy to open and close. Commercial-grade 316L stainless steel hardware keeps it closed, and you’ll find this level of quality all around the boat—hawse pipes, cleats, deck hardware—all of it is first rate and heavy duty.
The Cockpit The cockpit itself is guttered all around so it’s a self-draining affair, and is well suited for director’s chairs or an optional aft-bench seat. You gain access to the lazarette from here, and the electrically opened hatch is supported by a single ram to make life easy. The lazarette provides direct access to the rudder posts, tie-rods, hydraulic-steering rams, autopilot gear (all above the waterline), and stowage on either side. Surprisingly, you are also greeted with a dog-latched, watertight door that leads forward to the engine compartment. Here the 705-hp Caterpillar diesels came close to the well-insulated headliner, Both oil dipsticks were routed inboard and there was great separation—20 inches—between the power plants to make it easy to walk fore-and-aft. Other features here included Tides Marine dripless rudder-post seals, trolling valves for low-speed maneuvering, and the engine bolted directly atop the stringers via rubber isolation mounts (not on brackets) for superior power transfer to the hull. Having confirmed the proper fluid levels for oil, coolant, and gear oil, it’s an easy egress up five teak-treaded stairs to the cockpit and then forward up to the foredeck. The side decks on the 52 are impressive—19 inches wide! —and surrounded all the way by raised toe kicks single steel handrails. Fully forward on the raised bow, you’ll find two lockers—one for fender storage, the other for anchor chain storage. A freshwater wash-down is right there to remove the mud you’ll undoubtedly drag up in Northeastern waters.
The Flybridge When it’s time to weigh anchor and take command, you’ll appreciate the gradual ladder that leads up to the flying bridge. This is the most surprising area of the boat. Thanks to the raised elevation, visibility all around is excellent. I couldn’t see any reason not to dock her—and run her most of the time—from the flybridge. An isinglass panel is a nice touch that slides in to the top just forward of the helm station, protecting the helmsman from wind and possible spray.. At the helm, itself you’ll find a stainless-steel destroyer wheel, and—unlike Palm Beach sport fishermen—a pair of single-lever electronic engine controls for easy maneuvering. While not required for safe operation, Legacy does have the optional bow and stern-thrusters for the 52 .
Below Deck Once you’ve reached your cruising destination, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the good life in the main saloon located just forward of the heavy-duty aluminum companionway door. Here you’ll find a teak-and-holly sole and the interior is American cherry wood. Once inside, any hint that you are on a “fiberglass” boat disappears, and the expertise of Legacy’s team of wood smiths grabs your attention. To starboard, an optional flat-panel TV raises electrically at the touch of a button, and you’ll find curved storage cabinets in many locations. This is your first indication that Legacy’s craftsmen could be making cabinetry for a mansion just as easily as they do for a yacht. Across to port there’s a lounge area with cocktail table, and overhead the liner is completely done in ultra-suede. Moving forward, to port there’s a a custom galley up, across from the single helm station to starboard with its Stidd helm chair. Which is highly customized. On Flyaway there was complete raised-panel, custom cherry cabinetry combined with two SubZero freezers and refrigerators, plus a four-burner hotplate and microwave/convection oven. Big, frameless windows provide great light and a good view forward, and twin-strut windshield wipers maintain visibility when the going gets rough. Perhaps the most interesting part of the 52 is her lack of noticeable bulkheads in the cabin. The dining area sits across to starboard with relaxed seating for 4 adults and good cabinet storage. Moving forward up the centerline hallway, you’ll find a guest stateroom with twin berths and access to the “day” head with shower (also accessed from the hallway). To port is a large cabin with twin berths. Fully forward in the bow, the master stateroom has a centerline queen-sized double berth with good steps on either side for easy access. That, combined with plenty of drawer storage, and an ensuite head with separate shower stall, New lifting strakes forward on the hull ensure a smooth, high-and-dry ride. All in all, the Legacy 52 is a great example of what happens when a team of craftsmen get together and pitch in for 13,000 man hours.
Legacy 52 Notes
There is a certain purposeful look about the Legacy 52’s crisp, traditional lines. Some might call her salty even, and her looks are not deceiving. When underway, the Legacy 52 seems as capable as any vessel conjured up in New England fishing lore. Her fairly fine vee entry smoothly parts the waves while a relatively flat aft section makes for a comforting stability. At mid-section, the angle moderates between the two to reduce pounding and a skeg gives the boat impressive tracking. Her cornering attitude and her rise to plane are flatter and more reassuring than on most yachts, so in combination with her hydraulic steering, handling seems positively breezy. The boat’s architect, Bill Langan, has designed this boat for perfect seagoing function as well as form. To illustrate the strict attention paid to the boat’s details note that underway she is remarkably quiet, striking just 76 decibels at top speed of 25 knots. This is the result of arduous sound insulating of the engine room, careful gasketing of the sole penetrations and a sub-sole that is isolated from the stringers. Air conditioning flows from above the salon’s overhead valance to keep the temperature even throughout the cabin. Her engine room is easy to access from the cockpit with generous storage lining the entryway, a watertight compartment door and 5 feet, 5 inches of headroom in which to perform the necessary functions of maintenance.
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