Lazzara Yachts got its start in Tampa in 1990. Its first launch, the Lazzara 76 in 1992, turned a lot of heads and got people buzzing about this new family-run company. Still in the same family hands, Lazzara Yachts, under the name Lazzara Yachts Group, is expanding its footprint. It has added a second facility, in the Antalya Free Zone of Turkey. In addition, the newly acquired facility has its first project, set for delivery to an American customer in 2020.
Earlier this month, Lazzara Yachts finalized an agreement for the Turkish shipyard. Joe Lazzara, president of Lazzara Yacht Group, emphasizes that this is indeed an acquisition. “Our group presently owns our shipyards and does not have plans to outsource production,” he explains. Neither is the company shifting all design and construction work overseas. Design and engineering, for example, continue in its Tampa Bay office. The builder has always had these disciplines in house, too. Furthermore, although no yachts are under construction at that yard yet, the company has not abandoned it. “Lazzara Yachts have always been built in Tampa Bay, Florida, and we are considering continuing construction in Tampa Bay for some of our yachts,” Joe Lazzara explains.
For the near future, though, the Antalya facility will handle new projects. In fact, its first such project is the new Lazzara LSX65 series. Hull number one, as mentioned above, goes to a U.S. cruiser in about two years’ time. The LSX65 gets her name not just from her LOA. In addition, she gets her name from marking the 65th anniversary of the company’s roots. In other news, a catamaran line, Corona Yachts, inaugurates with the Corona 80. Details should follow the Palm Beach International Boat Show later this month.
In 1955, Vince Lazzara—Joe Lazzara’s grandfather—built a sailboat for his own use with AeroMarine. The yacht employed fiberglass techniques that Vince himself pioneered, too. Five years later, he established Columbia Yachts, focused on fiberglass sailboats. He sold it in 1967 and then established Gulfstar Yachts in the early 1970s in southwest Florida. While Gulfstar struggled in its early years, it earned renown for high-performance motoryachts. Vince’s sons, Brad and Dick, joined the company, and embraced the entrepreneurial spirit. They departed to open their own company, Lazzara Yachts, in 1990.
Some of the yachts and megayachts that emerged from Lazzara Yachts are inspiring Joe Lazzara, and the Lazzara Yachts Group. While he doesn’t mention specific sizes or models, he does say that more yachts and megayachts are coming. “We plan to further develop where Lazzara left off with the sport yacht line (LSY) and the motoryacht line,” he writes in an email. “Our goal is to build a few high-quality, innovative yachts that set the industry standards.” He’s even open to other construction sites. “We are also constantly evaluating other build locations in the United States and around the globe,” he says.
Lazzara Yachts lazzarayachts.com