US yacht builder Lazzara Yachts is back in business. It's a new company with a design office in Tampa, a new shipyard in Turkey, a new line of yachts and a familiar name at the helm.
Joe Lazzara, third generation of the boatbuilding family well known in the US for its Bahamas friendly motor yachts and sleek sports yachts, is president of the new Lazzara Yachts Group. The group markets two lines, one under the Lazzara brand and the other under Corona Yachts, a line of innovative catamarans.
It was the design firm Lazzara Ombres Architects, which Joe Lazzara established with designer Ian Ombres, that designed the Corona concept originally known as Oasis. The line currently includes the Corona 80, a 24 metre tri-deck catamaran, and the Corona 67, a new 20 metre concept. Both feature an interesting layout that includes a full-beam lower deck.
Joe Lazzara worked several years in the design and engineering office of the shipyard his father Dick and uncle Brad established in Tampa in 1990 until the company ceased operation.
"Everything I learned at Lazzara and everything I learned since then will be applied to bigger boats," he says, adding that innovation and technology will continue to be hallmarks of the brand. New designs in the works reprise some of the features of Lazzara Yachts' popular motor yachts and LSX sport line.
The company's "core focus" for the motor yacht line "will be bigger boats" measuring 25 metres and upwards, Lazzara says. This is alongside the introduction of a new sport yacht line between 30 and 32 metres.
The flagship of the LSX line built by Lazzara Yachts under Dick Lazzara's leadership was the 28 metre LSX 92, launched in 2008. The new Lazzara Yachts is not a copycat of the former, however.
"We are more custom builders than Lazzara Yachts was. We will have a couple of optional backends and flexibility with the interior design, that will be a little bit of our competitive advantage."
Although he says there are longer-term plans to re-establish a construction hub in Florida where the design and engineering office is located, the current shipyard is in Turkey.
The Lazzara name is floated on flagpoles in front of the Euro Marine Shipyards the group owns inside Antalya's the free trade zone. The new yard occupies the space that once was the Turkish outpost for superyacht interior company Metrica.
"[Metrica] laid it out originally and the equipment they have is really incredible," Lazzara says. "[It] is set up for bigger constructions." The capacity allows the construction of four 40 metre 130s at the same time as a 36 metre 120.
There are two yachts currently under construction. "The first we can't talk about," he says. The other is known as the LSX 65. Its length of 20 metres (65 feet) is symbolic and a nod to the yacht building dynasty that the Lazzara family has established.
When it launches in 2020, it will have been 65 years since Joe Lazzara's grandfather Vince Lazzara built his first fiberglass sailboat in Florida.
It's also a product that Lazzara wanted to build to the market at a time when there to be renewed interest for large and fast day boats. He describes it as "out of the normal Lazzara product line, more of a day boat, with open areas and foldout balconies."
"One of the unique features is that you can walk from the beach into the master stateroom," Lazzara says.
The LSX 65, which is sold and under construction, is powered with twin IPS 1350. "It should be the fastest IPS boat to date, 42-45 knots is the target speed," Lazzara says. It will also be manoeuvrable and more economical to run thanks to IPS propulsion. The plan is to present it at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show next year.