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Legacy Yachts: A Gentleman’s Cruising Boat

The classic Downeast-style boat has been a favorite among seasoned boaters since they were first introduced as a recreational vessel. Born as a working boat for fisherman off of the coast of Maine, the deep-v hull and bow flare are able to tame the rough waters of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Today, there are several manufacturers worldwide that continue to produce different variations of Downeast yachts, yet none with the quite the same history and pedigree as Legacy.

Legacy Yachts were first introduced in the early 1990s through Freedom Yachts in Rhode Island which was a builder of high-quality sailing yachts. Built for speed, performance, and efficiency, the first Legacy’s were a 40’ Downeast yacht designed by Mark Ellis and a 28’ lobster-style day boat. As the boats grew in popularity, Legacy started to become a leader in the boating industry until the global economic recession of 2008.

But with adversity comes opportunity and it was the esteemed sailing yacht builder Tartan Yachts, who acquired Legacy Yachts in 2010 and moved production to their state-of-the-art factory in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. With access to the highest quality materials available and innovative design and construction techniques, the Legacy brand would be able to achieve a higher level of quality. Today, the Tartan factory offers 3 Legacy models: The 42, 36, and 32.

Legacy Yachts 36 Running

“Legacy Yachts Have Good Bones”

While many boat builders today rely on fancy new components, electronics, and gadgets to set themselves apart from the competition. Legacy Yachts simply goes back to the basics of using the best possible materials in the best possible methods to produce a boat with “good bones”. All of the laminates used on Legacy’s hulls are a unique combination of uni-directional E-glass, synthetic foam coring, and an epoxy-modified vinyl ester resin, which when combined, results in one of the strongest and impact-resistant laminates in the industry. The vinylester resin, which has better properties than polyester resin or epoxy but it also more expensive, is infused into the hull via a vacuum bag which sucks the air out and allows the resin to fill any voids.

This painstaking process means that production isn’t as fast as some builders, but the end result is a hull that is strong, stiff, and flexible. The difference can be felt at sea when the waves get a little rough. Other benefits of the resin-infusion process are that each Legacy looks newer longer. Polyester hulls, when exposed to long periods of sunlight, will begin a post-curing process which causes the resin to shrink and thereby making the hull look worn and dated. Legacy Yachts also have a resin-to-glass ratio of 30% resin and 70% fiberglass, which is the opposite of the 70-30 ratio than other Downeast-style manufacturers use in their deck construction. Legacy’s tend to last longer and look better, even when sunlight and constant high temperatures try to wear it down.

Classically Elegant Interiors That Are Simply Beautiful

Legacy Yachts Custom Interiors


Setting foot inside the salon of a Legacy Yacht is akin to walking into a beautiful mountain home with wood accents, furniture, and the classically rustic appeal. Every interior on a Legacy is custom designed and built for each owner’s specific standards and taste. From the solid cherry doors to the teak flooring to the custom carved cabinetry, everything inside a Legacy Yacht is real, high-quality natural wood. You will never find any fake or man-made products passed off as wood on this boat. Every piece has even been cut for accuracy on a CNC machine, ensuring that every cabinet door is flush and no gapes are present where the interior walls meet.

Teak handrails are strategically placed throughout the boat from the cabin to the helm for safety when the boat is underway. All of the corners and edges of the furniture and throughout the companionway are rounded as well in the event someone loses their footing. There are countless examples throughout each Legacy model that create a world-class ownership experience and displays the Tartan factory’s keen attention to detail.

Look no further than the doors on the Legacy to see a shining example of design ingenuity and execution by the craftsmen building each piece. Real cherry wood is used in each passage door as well as the door jambs and has raised panels for a distinguishing appearance. Again, this sounds like a small detail, but when compared to the doors on other boats that were merely an after-thought, it becomes apparent that Legacy is floating work of art.


Legacy Yachts: A Breath  Of Fresh Air

Legacy Yachts Superior Ventilation

Back in the days of ocean voyages, passengers often slept below deck in dark rooms without windows or fresh air. On a Legacy, no owner or guest will ever feel like they are trapped in a dungeon with no light or breeze. While they can’t control the sunlight, Legacy can, however, control how much air is able to move throughout the boat. Ventilation is one of the most important and well-planned design aspects of today’s Legacy models.

The portholes and hatches aren’t just any generic pieces of hardware on a Legacy. While other brands might use lesser quality hatches that are less expensive, they also typically underperform when it comes to air flow. Legacy’s hatches are stainless steel, CE-approved deck hatches that are up to the test of ocean crossings. Portholes are strategically placed throughout the boat to maximize ventilation opportunities for the comfort of everyone on board. Each hatch is even equipped with a low profile shade screen to keep the air flowing while keeping unwanted bugs outside. There is simply nothing more relaxing than sleeping on our Legacy Yacht with the hatches open and listening to the waves as they meet the fiberglass of your hull.

Legacy Yachts are timeless, classic pieces of hand-crafted art that happen to have an engine inside of them. Whether you have aspirations of cruising the Great Loop or entertaining a few friends on the water, the Legacy model line offers the quality, performance, and elegance that cruising boaters desire. Get Legacy 40 express yacht on rightboat.

Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

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