Why a Legend?
Mark and Liz Tipping share their experiences of buying a Legend
We have put together an account of our first months of owning of our Legend 40, 'Boogaloo'.
Before talking about Boogaloo, we'd like to say a few words about what we were looking for in a new boat. Our sailing experience is now about 8 years and very much focused on the relaxed side. Our previous boat - Day Dreamer, a Legend 356 - served us very well and proved an excellent introduction to boat ownership; being robust and forgiving under sail.
With a draft of 2m and berthing in Chichester Marina, we soon learned the need for exercising caution. In fact, we have since equated manoeuvring in these waters as something akin to flying - due to the need to constantly be aware of water under the keel and the changing tide (which was sometimes down to 1 inch on a well calibrated depth gauge in the marina).
Last year we came to the conclusion that our sailing experience could be improved by addressing the deep draft and easier sail reefing (Day Dreamer has single line slab reefing). These factors, combined with a desire for change, prompted us to consider a new boat. With Day Dreamer we very much enjoyed the excellent accommodation and robust construction that served us so well. Hence, the Legend brand was very much in our minds when we started looking at new boats. In addition, we formulated a number of other criteria that needed to be met:
- Shallower draft (no surprise there) - 1.5m being our target
- In mast reefing
- Easy sailing
- Good manoeuvrability for coming alongside
- Bow thruster considered
- More spacious accommodation (hence the 40ft size)
Choosing a boat
We had always liked the appearance of Legends - modern but with looks that last, so it was perhaps inevitable that we gravitated towards the new Legend 40, having first encountered her at the 2015 Southampton boat show. Having fallen in love with the boat we decided on a test sail to check that she lived up to the expectation we were rapidly developing. Needless to say, this occurred during an October weekend with lights winds in Chichester Harbour. To our delight she leapt to a speed of 9 knots with very little effort we were sold! This increase in speed would increase our cruising range noticeably.
The spec - what did we want (the key decisions anyway)?
- Twin Keels if we do ground it could be less fraught (we have yet to properly ground any boat!)
- 1.6m draft was close enough to 1.5m - this gives a great deal more latitude
- In mast reefing - okay we want an easy life
- Good manoeuvrability - bow thruster
- Auto pilot
- Flexiteak deck looks good and very anti slip
- Powerful engine 54hp (makes for smoother pilotage and passage under engine)
- The ability to chill wine and beer!
The New Legend 40
Compared to the previous generation of Legend, what's different? Apart from the obvious change in hull form, which introduces a pronounced chine and scalloping of the water plane forward, the primary and very welcome difference was the inclusion of extensive ribbing. This leads to a more rigid hull structure. This, coupled with a change in lay-up of the hull to a honeycomb structure, reduces weight without losing any strength. The mast is considerably further forward which changes the bias on sail area, but more about that later. Inside there is a change in and the quality has moved up a notch that gives the brand a refresh and lift in terms of décor. One feature we do like is the change from wooden grab rails to stainless steel and there is no shortage of them. The layout remains very much the same, which is fine with us - if you have something that works then why change it?
Another of the new features to appear on the 40 is the dual wheel arrangement with port and starboard footings to increase comfort when on the wheel. We did wonder how we would get on with this (having only been used to one wheel) and have found that it does give better visibility when underway - the only downside can be coming alongside on the opposite side to where the engine controls are located as in this instance visibility is not as good. However on balance we are very pleased with dual wheels.
Whilst Legends have always had stern access the size of this on the 40 is considerably larger and very welcome as when stern-to, ease of access is fantastic.
So how does the boat perform? We have been very impressed, and could summarise our observations as follows:
- Under engine Having a powerful engine is well worth the money, as it is smoother and has more power available on demand. The only downside is that when taking the boat to around 8.5knots under engine the force on the rudder provides considerable feedback to the wheel. However we are a sail boat so this is only ever an issue when getting away from a potential issue and thus for a brief period of time only. Another interesting observation in comparison to our 356 is the time lag between applying revs and the effect the thrust has on the boat: it's not enormous but noticeable compared to Day Dreamer where the effect was almost instantaneous.
- Boat handling She is a pleasure to handle, very responsive under sail and, despite being a bilge keel boat, handles as well as Day Dreamer (a full fin keel). When manoeuvring, the bow thruster is a boon and in many respects we have not noticed the increase in size at all.
- Downwind - She handles well, but to get the most out of her you either need to gull wing or get the cruising chute out as the Genoa is on the small side due to the mast being sited well forward. For those with Legend 356/36 this would be a noticeable difference as the large Genoa on these boats meant it often isn't worth bothering with the main when going downwind.
- On a reach - In 15 knots of wind, 8 knots through the water is a breeze and you feel like you are flying. This is a major benefit, as it means we can go further in a weekend!
- Pointing into the wind - We haven't really noticed any loss of performance compared to Day Dreamer. As with any boat, this is not always the most comfortable part of sailing! Again, comparable with other boats due to the large flat bottomed area underneath you slamming is inevitable and if fatigue is to be minimized you are going to have to slow down(both the boat and yourselves)!
To summarise Boogaloo in a word she is awesome. In fact, we were so impressed with her that was nearly her name. But choosing a name is another story
Last updated 11:40 on 10 October 2022