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A LEGEND in Carbon
Length: 14' 7"
Height - Bow: 14"; Middle: 11; Stern: 10"
Width - gunwale: 22;
- at 3" waterline: 26";
- at widest point: 27"
Rocker - Bow: 3/4"; Stern: 1/2"
An adventure in 14.5 feet
REVIEW The GRB Legend: Solo Canoe and Pack Boat
by John Ozard
Tampa Bay from Lassing Park, St. Petersburg, FL
I had the privilege of bringing the GRB Legend prototype with me to Florida in February 2020. It can be paddled with a single blade as a solo canoe, or with a double blade as a pack boat. In Florida I paddled the open waters of Tampa Bay and canal networks along the Tampa Bay coastline, using both single and double blades. Back home in northern St. Lawrence County, I have been paddling it on the Little River, a narrow, winding river near Canton, NY.
It is nimble and quick for short boat (14’ 7”), equally at home on open water and winding, twisting rivers. With its padded tractor style seat the Legend is comfortable to paddle long distances. The sliding seat can be adjusted easily and quickly while on the water to accommodate different size paddlers or to adjust the boat’s trim. The full width adjustable foot bar with toe straps, similar to those found on marathon racing canoes, allows the paddler to lock their feet in place for increased forward stroke power and efficiency by helping to engage the more powerful core muscle groups.
To assist in turning, edging the boat slightly reduces the waterline length and helps it to carve tight turns on the narrow, winding Little River. The Legend feels stable while edging, and by shifting your weight in the seat slightly to one side it is easy to maintain an edge while turning. However, as with any boat, stability is a very personal and subjective trait. Seat time paddling this boat will help you to dial in the appropriate amount of edging while still maintaining stability.
Single Blade Paddling on Tampa Bay
Double Blade Paddling on the Little River
I have a high angle paddle stroke when using a double bladed paddle and therefore, a corresponding paddle with a shorter shaft and shorter, wider blade. Most pack boat paddlers use a longer low angle style paddle, a 230cm or longer. These are often required because many pack boats are designed with the seat lower in the boat, and that necessitates using a longer paddle. The GRB Legend seats the paddler slightly higher than in typical pack boats, and has a narrow paddling station due to the boat’s tumblehome. With this design I was able to paddle comfortably with my 205cm paddle and a high angle stroke. However, for most paddlers with a high angle stroke, I feel a 215cm paddle may be a more appropriate choice, and a 220cm or 230cm paddle might be best for those with a low angle stroke.
Overall, I have to give GRB Newman Designs an A+ on the Legend prototype. It is a fun boat to paddle either as a solo canoe or pack boat. It is nimble for carving turns on sheltered water, narrow, winding streams, yet is capable and inspires confidence in choppy open waters. The Legend is comfortable to paddle for long distances, and moves through the water efficiently and quietly. It is suitable for day trips, but also has plenty of room to pack for long weekend camping trips, or explore areas with your favorite pet on board!
IMy double bladed paddles are a carbon Werner Cyprus 205cm and a carbon Werner Shuna 210cm. For single blade paddles I used a carbon GRB straight blade 12° bent shaft, 52” long, a carbon GRB curved blade 12° bent shaft 51” long and a wooden Bending Branches Espresso Plus straight blade 56” long.