I have the opportunity to buy either canoe for about the same price. On paper, they seem to be very similar in design. Any comparison from people who have paddled them? Handling in WW? Loaded with several days of gear? Initial and secondary stability? Unique design advantages? Thanks!
Legend 16 experience
I haven’t paddled the Appalachian before, but I have a Legend 16. I use it for solo/tandem paddling and camping on up to class II rivers. The Legend has a slightly different hull shape than the OT in that it has a primarily flat bottom but a shallow arch design out toward the ends. The OT is primarily a shallow arch design I believe. This design gives the Legend a lot of initial and secondary stability. That was something I was looking for since I would be taking my children and my inexperienced wife with me on some trips. The OT should have less initial stability but more secondary stability.
The OT is probably geared up for a little more WW paddling than the Legend, but the Dagger will do well there as well. The Dagger isn’t that much fun on long flat stretches, but I doubt the OT is either. - Daryl
Dagger Legend 16
I have a Legend 16 and 15. I paddle the upper New in WV including surprize and upper RR. I have not paddled the OT Appalachin, but one difference is the rounded bow and stern on the legend. This will benefit you in WW. The boat will stay a lot dryer. I usually pack for at least a two day trip and have no trouble with stability with the 16 or 15.
I have a Legend 16
set up as a tandem. It is a much more flexible boat than the OT and can be very tippy in WW if you are not kneeling as a few of my paddling buddies have found out.
Personally I like it as a tandem or paddling solo with a little weight in the bow. It is less rockered than the OT, but it does not take much water in waves as it has a more blunt bow. Since I have a WW solo boat now, it gets relegated to overnight trips when I need to carry a lot of gear on ww rivers. It handles this very well too. It is much better on flat water than the OT thanks to having less rocker. If I could only have one, I would keep the Legend.
I see you list PA in your profile. I’m in western PA north of Pittsburh, what are your home waters?
I’ve owned a Legend for 12 years now and have used it for my primary whitewater tripping boat for most of that time. First, the legend is a moving water boat and it excels at whitewater with a load. If your objective is mainly flatwater punctuated by a few class I/IIs, you’d be better suited with a narrower/faster canoe. But if you like running II/III with a lot of gear, the legend will meet your needs. Understand that you will be humping this bulbus beast on the flats to keep up with narrower boats…but the effort pays off when you reach the rapids…they’re unloading to portage and you’re scouting a run. Anyway, my idea of whitewater tripping has never been to race form one campsite to the next, so the lack of speed isn’t a problem for me…“most of the time”.
Haven’t paddled the OT so won’t comment on comparisons.
PS…have run the Lehigh, at most levels, solo in my legend. Brought me through just fine.
In the big picture, these are very similar canoes: river trippers that carry gear well, that are not extreme playboats which are a nightmare on flatwater, but that are shaped enough to be relatively dry and manuaverable in class II-III rapids.
If you want to paddle mostly rivers and enjoy the class II+ rapids, you won’t go wrong with either boat.
I think any strong preference between them boils down to personal preference.
Which colour do you prefer?