Nigel Foster Legend

-- Last Updated: Apr-08-04 11:23 PM EST --

I currently have a Seaward Ascente and I'm thinking about trading it in for a "Brit" style kayak. I'm considering at moving into a Foster Legend. I have paddled it on a couple of demo's in flat conditions and loved the way it responds but felt that it wants to always be on a chine. I don't know if this is a result of my paddling skill or if it is inherent to the round hull/hard chine design. Other boats I'm interested in are the VCP Argonuat and NDK Explorer, I haven't been out in either yet, but have been following the discussions about these two with interest. I haven't seen much discussion about the Legend and I'm interested in some feed back. Also as an aside, any input on "packability" of the three VCP hatch designs vs the my current boat, North American design -2 big hatches no skeg box, as I use the boat for everything from day trips up to 2 week trips.

All great boats!

– Last Updated: Apr-09-04 8:50 AM EST –

No doubt the explorer will be the most difficult to pack given the small hatches.

I love the legend but since my balance is not the best and I weigh 225 I find I have to pay a lot of atttention to it. I hav only paddled it on flat water for about 3 hours. A bit less atttention is required for me in my explorer, which is also easier to roll. I have never paddled the argonaut which is a bit higher volume. It might well have a higher carryying capacity.

For a backpacker a kayak is no problem to pack. So much mmore room than a pack. Small dry bags and or two small tapered bags at the stern (for skeg kayaks) and a large one at the bow make packing easy. Get into a system of some type and you will not have to think about it. I can use 1500 cu inch black canyon dry bags in my explorer at the biggest. You can buy mesh duffel bags with shoulder straps, thro the small bags into them whe you take out, an make minimal trips.

the Legend has amazing volume
I don’t think you will have a problem packing it. Just think small. Small stuff, small drybags, and anything that can be loose stuff loose. I went from a P&H Quest, (similar volume) to a Foster Silhouette the least volume of that line-up. And I have room to pack for even cold weather trips here in Michigan. Extra clothes extra stove. Big down bag. The large oval vcp hatches make it very easy. I don’t think I would buy a trip boat again unless I really, really liked the hull, that did not have the 17" VCP hatches fore and aft.

The legend is a really nice boat to paddle. Easy to edge and turn, it’s reasonably fast for it’s length, and not too beamy.

Some have complained of weathercocking. In the two times I paddled it, I did not notice this. Once in light wind but flat water, the other time on rough water in high wind.

The Aquanaut would be a closer match in volume I think to the Legend, than the Argonaut. The aquanaut is a really nice boat as well. Might also think about an Impex Currituck or the susquehanna. The P&H Quest is a fine tripping boat in the same league of volume as the legend. Good quality fast hull.

Legend endorsement
I have been paddling a Legend for two years and have no regrets. It handles any condition the paddler can handle and has no strange quirks in any condition I have been in. The skeg allows you to fine tune the helm for whatever condition you are in, though rarely needed. I do not find the boat tippy. The boat does go on edge easily and this trait is what allows it to turn so well. On edge it is extremly stable making edged turns a joy. The Legend loves to be on edge. I also paddle a Valley Pintail and a NF Silhouette. The Silhouette is a Legend with less volumn and almost no rocker. A very fast boat.

If you purchase a new Legend it is made by Seward and the construction quality is excellent. Legends made by other companies have had quality issues.

Silhouette vs Legend

– Last Updated: Apr-09-04 3:42 PM EST –

Thanks for the input. How do find the Silhouette compared to the Legend. My impression was that they were very similar except in volume. I'm 6'-2" but am a feather weight, but I like a little room for my legs. So I'm thinking that the Legend might be a little more comfortable. Any thoughts? Does the Silhouette track better than the Legend? The fact that Seaward is making the NF kayaks is a big selling feature for me, that and the fact that I might be able to trade my Ascente in on a NF boat helps.

Legend, Explorer, etc…
For build quality, you cannot beat the Seaward constructed Foster boats.

I’ve only paddled a Silhouette, but it seems that the Foster boats have a feel wholly different from Explorer or Aquanaut (most feel the Argonaut is too high volume).

All are good designs - among the best available -IMHO. So, paddle each in as many different conditions as possible. You are unlikely to regret whichever one you decide to buy.

I have
the NF Legend its a great kayak does all things well. It turns with a lean and has lots of room for packing. I find it to be stable and fun to paddle surfs well for a long kayak. Back band has to go!!! but everthing else is great.

I find that the silhouette
is simply faster, and more nimble than the legend. The low volume and the low rear deck make it very nice for rolling and greenland maneuvers. I find I can keep up with almost any kayaker(bobdobbs and his qcc700x included) using my home made Greenland paddle with this boat. I personally find that the only reason to have a legend would be if I was doing a lot of long trips and needed the extra room.

How much do you weigh?

agree on the backband
I replaced it with an IR backband, and found that to be a good replacement, as well as the seat, I took that out and made a custom foam seat.

A tippy bathtub
I owned a Legend for one summer and didn’t really care for it. I had a few accidental capsizes when sitting still (thus tippy) and I found that even though I am a larger paddler, 6’2", 200 lbs the Leggend had too much volume for me (like a big tub). The interesting thing about the Legend is that light weight paddlers seem to find it more stable than heavier paddlers which is odd given its volume. I liked the Silhoutte much more than the Legend-as it was responsive and more stable for me. If you can find a Silhoutte to try out-I would strongly encourage it.

Of course, I personally have found the kayak of my dreams in the NDK Explorer. The hatches are a little smaller but that is no reason not to consider one. After all, Explorers have been used on unsupported trips around Iceland, Ireland, etc. You just have to know how to pack them.


for almost every boat I’ve seen
Lightweight paddlers ar more stable. Look at the stability curves for 150 and 200 pound paddlers in Sea Kayaker reviews .

tippy bathtub
:slight_smile: is a funny critique. I suppose for it’s volume and it’s size it could seem that way. I wonder if my 170 lbs affected the stability of the kayak in the manner you suggest. It would be interesting to paddle it and find out. I will say that the legend due to it’s increase in volume does not have the lack of leg or thigh brace problem that the newer silhouette has.

I wiegh 240lbs and do not find the Legend tippy at all. So I don’t think it as much as a wieght issue as it how much balance you have.

I half agree

– Last Updated: Apr-10-04 3:51 PM EST –

Bruce K. as an ACA instructor might have a bit ;-) more time on the water than I do after four summers, and a bit of year round paddling. So his criteria might be a bit different. On the other hand I do have some faith in stabillity curves fron sea kayaker. Weight mattters, and where it is matters.

My test paddle
I came real close to buying your Legend David. The only thing that I didn’t like was how it sat on flat water. It always wanted to be on one chine or the other. Given how much time I spend in flat water I just couldn’t justify it.

I’m surprised that it felt like a tub to you. I only had the one test paddle in it but it fit me better than the Explorer. Just goes to show that anyone asking opinions about boats should take the time to form their own before buying. Boat fit and feel is hard to quantify.

I agree

That is the same concern I have. It seems like it always wants to sit slightly to one side the other. I typically paddle on the great lakes and some smaller inland lakes and can’t decide if this behaviour is a deal breaker or not. did you find that the kayak tended to yaw?

I didn’t
I didn’t really mean my balance coment as a knock on ones skills as I’m far from an expert paddler. What I should have said its more what you are used to. To me the legend is stable and I think anyone who paddled it for a few weeks would feel the same once they were use to its charistics.

Not really
It tracked reasonably well without and very well with the skeg for me. It carved turns nicely and seemed to cruise efficeintly. I would have liked to paddle it in some choppy stuff and wind to see how it felt in the type of water it was really designed for.

I was sure I would like the Aquanaut when I went to test paddle it last year, but it didn’t quite have enough room for my legs. (I’m 6’4, 215). It is also a very nice boat.

I did find that the Legend would yaw more than some of the other kayaks I have owned. Of course this was always with the boat unloaded for day trips…


What about waterline beam?
Perhaps, as weight goes up, displacement increases, increasing waterline beam, making the boat more stable?

Generally, lighter paddlers are more stable. But, on boats that have some flare on the sides (like Mariners, for example), the waterline beam can be greater for heavier paddlers and with heavier loads. Not sure if the legend may have this design also, but it is something to think about.