Does the Nigel Foster Rumour exist?

One of the suggestions Salty and others made for a smaller-range touring kayak is the Nigel Foster Rumour. I see it dscribed on the Current Designs site and on the Nigel Foster site. Looks really interesting as a possibility for my wife (5’9" 160 lbs). But there is no review on or anywhere else that I can find, and none of the Current Designs dealers in the Mass-R.I.area seem to have it in inventory. Has anyone owned one or paddled one? Is it available?

Kayak Center in Wickford RI?

– Last Updated: May-03-09 12:06 PM EST –

They had one two summers ago. I tried it and found that, at 5'4", I'd need to build thigh braces into the cockpit. My knees were jammed under the edge of the coaming to control it - not comfy. Someone here - maybe bnystom? - did that for one for his wife and had pics.

I didn't have it beyond their pond, but spoke with the owners and verified that in conditions it did the same thing as on the flat. The boat really loves going off-center, and will scoot to being nearly vertical sideways in a heartbeat. Not a beginner's boat. But it is a Foster boat, so it should be fairly fast.

Of the Foster boats, someone who fits the Rumour may also want to look at the Silhouette. I know of at least one all-GP paddler whose boat is the Silhouette and has taken the boat in surf as well as regular larger water - finds it works fine. Note that I have known of more than one woman who has started out with a Silhouette but after a season or two switched out to something more comforting for their day to day paddling. The Silhouette is a boat that most agree takes some attention from the paddler, rather than something like the Romany where you can pretty much forget about the boat.

So the Rumour is available, but it's a little nichy so you may have trouble finding anyone who stocks it.

CD usually shows up at Paddlefest run by Mountain Man out of Old Forge NY - the wknd after Mother's Day. If you can make ti there, it might be worth checking.

Also to consider if you feel like a trip to NYC - the kayak place in Manhattan has the TideRace boats, both the Excite and the Excite S. The hatch system in the S version is a little odd, but if the S paddles like the regular size it'll be a boat that has some of the comfort of an NDK Romany but with decidedly more speed and a little more excitement in its feeling.

Rumor here
Kittery Trading Post in Maine has one and likely at a good price. Same for Contoocook River Kayak in Concord, NH I think. They have demo day on May 17 weekend as I recall. The Rumor is not a boat for the faint of heart, but it is not an expert’s boat either. Just be ready to tell it what to do and be ready for it to do what you tell it to do. For someone around 150# it should be a high performance rocket ship.

From watching wife (who was too small for it) use it in a variety of settings I surmise the following:

great hull…fast, neutral in wind, wants to surf, turns easily, responsive as small inputs work and work fast.

I have been wanting to try
A Rumour as well but haven’t been able to find one anywhere in NY.

That was my primary reason for going to Mountainman last year. CD evidently had a Rumour there the year before but didn’t bring it last year. In fact, the CD rep did all he could to badmouth the boat, saying that CD was phasing it out, Foster’s design was bad (!) and CD had had to redesign the boat, the deck was too low and so forth. He was clearly trying to sell me on the Suka, Willow or Cypress, all of which WERE available, so I didn’t put much stock in anything he said about the Rumour.

If anyone knows where one can be found and tried, I would love to hear about it.

One thing that is true of CD boats, and the Rumour falls outside of, is having an immediately comforting feeling from the boat that says, for lack of a better work, seaworthy. Like it’ll take care of whatever you find. The Rumour feels like it’s willing, but the paddler is going to have to participate. So I can see CD not wanting to work hard for this boat. And the lack of actual thigh braces is dated.

That said, the reason they tried the Rumour in the first place was that, alone among kayak manufacturers of their scale, they have always always tried to put boats out there that would fit women. They have come up with designs that fit their profile better than the Rumour - so be it. But at least they have a record of trying.

2 at Maine Sport
Last July, Maine Sport (Rockport) had 2 Rumours in their showroom.

So the boat is out there…

Another neat lower volume boat is the Avocet LV.

Yes, forgot that one!

Question for Celia
How does the Rumour compare to your Vela? On paper, they seem somewhat comparable as to size, hard chines, etc.

At your wife’s size…
…she will be near the top end of the capacity of a Rumour. Depending on her leg length, she may not even fit, unless CD has moved the forward bulkhead and foot braces farther forward than in my girlfriend’s Dutch-built Rumour. The Rumour is a very low stability boat that best suits advanced paddlers and those with a low center of gravity. My girlfriend is a very good paddler with excellent balance and she’s only 5’1", 115#, but even she find the Rumour to be challenging at times. Essentially, you can’t fully relax in it when in conditions, which is the same feeling I had when I had in my Silhouette.

It does exist
The numbers look perfect for dayboat, at least at my 5.9x150. Unfortunately, no one in the area has one. Double unfortunately, CD dealers don’t have representation in the events that I have interest in. As a recommendation, person that I know found it interesting; that constitutes both paddles up in my mind.

Well, one of these days, I’ll happen across it.

Long enough

– Last Updated: May-03-09 7:28 PM EST –

I am at 6'4" and 190 with size 15 shoes and I could sqeeze-in -;)

My feet were against the bulkhead (no way to use the foot pegs - too short) and everything was rather tight. Definitely not a fit for me but someone of smaller statue would have no problems as long as they do not insist on a seat-first entry (the cockpit is short for this for anyone).

It's 19" wide and for me I had very little primary and pretty much no useful secondary stability at all - it was almost impossible to for me to sit in it in one place without an occasional brace. A shorter and lighter person might do better but I think even a shorter person might have to have decent bracing skills and be comfortable in a boat like this.

When I tried it I did not know enough to understand what to think of it, other that I thought it had a nice turn of speed and it became considerably more stable as it moved...

Thanks for the information - it is clearly not the right boat for my wife, who is a twice-a-month summer paddler. I am glad to be saved driving a couple of hours to look at it.

I took a Foster Silhouette out at a demo day about 3 years ago and almost instantly capsized in completely flat water for no reason I could figure, next to the boat of the one of the outfitters putting on the demo. At least it rolled up almost as eaily as it went over, or I would have been even more embarrassed than I was.

real question
this is a genuine question. is there a reason either you or your partner are wishing to choose a boat that is known to be very very nervous to paddle?

Do you feel it is necessary for the boat to have so little heeling resistance in order for it to be a fabulous day and short tourer?

Even advanced paddlers would often not choose it for their use. I understand that sometimes we choose a boat that has low heeling effort to refine our balance. But as a general tourer, would she not want a boat with a bit of reserve and confidence for encountering difficult conditions?

Just curious

Limited experience, but I think diff

– Last Updated: May-04-09 10:23 AM EST –

As above, I have no time in conditions in the Rumour - just a demo on a pond. I have considerable time in the Vela, from flat water to a day on vacation in Maine where the waves were too high for our 6'4" friend to see over and running on the steep side, some breaking at the top. I think the highest wind I've had the Vela out in was steady 27 mph and gusts to 30-odd mph. (standard, not nautical)

I also took the Vela on my first day trying to learn to surf and found out the boat is considerably faster than I am, especially in waves that were coming in at 4-5 ft rather than the nice 2-3 ft the coaches had wished they had for a beginner group. If that hard chine catches a wave just right you'll be doing a 180 turn faster than you can blink twice. I spent a lot of time perfecting coming in sideways and launching vertically out of the cockpit - probably not probative experience. (The next time I took the Explorer LV so I'd have some time to figure things out.)

I find the Vela is increasingly my go-to boat because she is spritely and weighs a lot less to carry than the Explorer LV. The downside of the Vela is that there really isn't much of any volume behind the cockpit - trying to put a 6' tall guy on that back deck in conditions is a short path to a capsize. I don't have the kind of head room for that which I have on the Explorer - so the Vela stays under the porch if I need insurance for an open water rescue.

I think the Rumour has more of a back deck - but is also much twitchier so you may be in the same fix as a rescue platform.

As to allover personality - again I caution that I haven't had the Rumour in conditions but I gotta think that the Vela has much more protective stability than the Rumour. There is a pronounced point where the boat will settle, though as you get to a larger person it may be less so.

The Vela is, because of that disappearing back end, pretty skeg-dependent compared to my Explorer or Jim's Romany. I suspect that the Rumour is less skeg-dependent than the Vela, just because it's a Foster design. But perhaps bnystrom can talk better about that.

Between the two, the Vela is neat, a little quirky but still reassuring if you understand how that catch point operates. The Rumour is less interested in reassuring the paddler and likely to give you a good bit more bracing practice.

Later thought - the Rumour may be easier to push past 4 or so knots. Somewhere just above that the Vela starts pushing a lot of water, something that Foster designs tend to go light on.

I suspect too small

– Last Updated: May-03-09 11:06 PM EST –

At 135 pounds plus gear I had a nice deep water line on the Avocet LV. It is a pretty low deck with the thigh braces brought well back - I suspect it'd be too much of a tight shoe for a 5'9" 160 lb woman or the 5'11" guy. And I think they'd be pushing enough water to lose any advantage from the low volume in terms of speed.

CD was phasing it out
Still in current catalogue and on website:

The Rumour is a niche boat. I imagine CD never had plans to produce a lot of them, but they are out there and apparently still in production.

I like the Rumour alot, I’m “way” to heavy for it, but it’ll paddle with me in it and I’m 6’ and 200 lbs. Fast and for it’s width, stable.

“One thing that is true of CD boats, and the Rumour falls outside of, is having an immediately comforting feeling from the boat that says, for lack of a better work, seaworthy. Like it’ll take care of whatever you find. The Rumour feels like it’s willing, but the paddler is going to have to participate.”

Um…if you don’t want to participate, don’t go into rough water with a kayak. Narrow boats generally are better in rough water, I suspect the Rumour will be an excellent rough water boat.

Carved minicell foam is the standard way to customize a kayaks cockpit. Glue a block in the spot where you need support and carve it to fit you, sands easily with coarse sandpaper. Do this outside though, makes large quantities of foam dust.

Bill H.

Boats for your wife

– Last Updated: May-04-09 7:31 AM EST –

As you state (correctly), a few times a summer paddler in a boat that scares them is not a plan unless you want them to be a never-again paddler. The Rumour is plenty solid if you are comfy taking a boat well over and doing a combat roll here and there, but I strongly suspect your wife is not that kind of paddler.

At 5'9" and 160 lbs some of what has been mentioned is likely to feel intimidatingly small to your wife, like the LV versions of the NDK (NDSK) boats. They have the same hull as the regular version so same volume boats, but a lowered deck with an extra small cockpit that can feel tight on me with a drysuit and two layers, let alone someone 5 inches taller. At 5'9" your wife is a fine fit for the regular Romany and will feel more comfortable in there.

That said, my above comment about CD boats made me realize that this is a likely manufacturer for a boat for your wife - just not the Rumour. I suspect that she'd do fine in the Willow (15'6"), or if you want to go longer the Suka (16'6") Given that these are CD's own boats, they likely have the kind of head room that would make your wife comfortable and keep her on the water with you if you hit some conditions.

The other one may be the Necky Eliza - again smaller but not really small paddler - but I am kinda partial to the Willow. Fish form and a few other features that I know from my past experience with a Squall may give her some head room while still being a nice ride.

BTW - I presume that your wife paddles with you when she goes out, so there is some safety margin there. Also, I agree with what my husband posted from Aled Williams a bit back about his thoughts on the TideRace boats, that they needed to provide the paddler some head room in handling conditions. If you have occasion to go to Manhattan and shell out bucks for a new and hot boat, I suspect that she'd like the TideRace Excite S quite a bit.

The CD Andromeda?
It is on the narrow side too but more stable than the Rumor. Still very lively and one of the easiest to keep cruising at typical group touring speeds (low wetted surface). TOp speed is not huge but below that it is easy to propel.

May be a little tender feeling initially, but will be a relatively compact and lively boat to enjoy down the road. Enough space in it for the 5’9"/160lb person and the kevlar version is nicely light. Rolls easy too… I paddled one for a couple of hours and did my first successful rolls in it - felt a little less stable and livelier than my Tempest 170 but not terrifyingly so (where the Rumor made me nervous just sitting in it in flat water at the time).

Didn’t know it is nervous
I didn’t realize the Rumour is “nervous” until getting these comments, which have been great. I couldn’t find a review of it, and that’s why I asked.