First Brit day boat?

Usually the Romany is said to be the first boat of its kind - 16’ fully outfitted Brit style sea kayak. It is ofen said that all others (Avocet, Meridian, Chatham 16, etc) descend, at least in concept, from the Romany.

However, North Shore Kayaks asserts otherwise: (from their website)


This is where it all started in 1984, the very first sea kayak designed by Mike Nelson at North Shore. In its day it was way ahead of its time, the reason for this was because all other sea kayaks were very large expedition boats. A small short day-weekend boat was unheard of, but the quick stable and very manoeuvrable hull proved to be an instant hit around the world. In 1986 we used the Shore Line to make a record breaking crossing of the North Sea, proving it was more than just a coastal touring boat. Today after completely redesigning the deck to cater for modern trends with a large Valley Canoe Products oval rear hatch, VCP round day hatch large cockpit and VCP front hatch, the Shore Line is proving to be more popular than ever.”

This boat dates to about a decade before the Romany. It may be the same boat that is sold as the Montauk by Impex.

Anas Acuta?
Certainly not an expedition boat, and the design was brought to the UK in the late 1950’s by Ken Taylor. Not sure when it went into production, though.


You’re Wrong!
we all know the Brits invented kayaks and kayaking. :slight_smile:


Anas Acuta in 1972
Valley put the Anas into production in 1972. As such it is the oldest Brit kayak model in production.

In some manner all Valley and NDK boats owe some ancestry to the Anas. (Though I am not sure of the original Nordkapp direct relation) The Pintail is a soft chine version, the Avocet is based on the Pintail, the hull section of the Aquanaut is based on the Avocet etc…

Nigel Dennis borrowed an Anas mold from Frank Goodman when he embarked on designing the Romany.

However, the Anas is very much a composite close adaptation of a West Greenland boat which is not the same as the Romany etc…

i thought
the Nordkapp series grew out of the Anas Acuta line?..well at least in my mind I can see the lines of the Anas Acuta in my Jubilee series (probably more so than in the original)…

It seems likely that the Nordkapp derived from the Anas as the Anas was the first boat Goodman (Valley) put into production and the Nordkapp the second.

Looking at an older HM this past Autumn, it was difficult to see the lineage. However, I guess if you made an Anas longer, rounder, higher (deeper) with less rocker, it might end up being a Nordkapp?

Nordkapp HM
I think the original Nordkapp HM design was a significant departure from the original Anas Acuta. High decks, clipper bow, rounded chines and integral skeg. They were looking to design a fast and seaworthy kayak that went straight and could hold an expedition volume of gear for a circumnavigation of the Nordkapp (North Point of Norway). They suceeded and the rest is history. I kind of miss my old Nordkapp HM from time to time.


Get on the water!

Cabin fever or chlorinated water setting in a bit too hard? Great thesis topic but I’m thinking you need to up your water fix. Go paddle.

If the water is still too hard in your neck of the woods you know you’re always welcome down around my place, Hudson’s ice free in this neck of the woods.


See you on the water,



If both spiritual and cosmology/string theory books I’ve read are possibly correct, then timelines are meaningless Jim. Thus, it is highly possible that your Romany actually descended from the Impex Montauk!


Thank you. These photos do show a kinship between the Anas and Nordkapp.

Yup. too much time out of boat…


It’s been a bit of a break since last pool session with the holidays etc…

Pool session tomorrow night. If this weather holds, maybe real paddling Saturday.

Really missing regularly being in boats more this winter than in the past.


Here is an Anas Acuta and a Pintail


– Last Updated: Jan-12-06 2:59 PM EST –

In the photos, I do see some similarities between the Anas Acuta and the Nordkapp. I also see quite a few differences. I see more similarities between the Anas Acuta and the Pintail.


If we’re talking British Style Day Boats
If we’re talking British Style Day Boats we should dismiss the Anas because although not an expedition kayak I would argue it is Greenland (hard chine) style not British (softer chine) Style, pedantic I know. The Pintail did predate the Romany by a year or two, was designed as a day boat but is a full foot longer than the Romany/shoreline.

Another Brit 16ft day boat that predated (just) the Romany was the P&H Outlander at 16ft by 23inch this was very much the forerunner to the Capella that followed a year or two latter. The Outlander, although a new boat from scratch, was intended to compete head to head with the Shoreline. At the time it has to be remembered that NDK did not exist and North Shore were seem as the new kids on the block, being innovative and threatening the status quo of the two established manufactures P&H and Valley. Therefore it is possibly fair to say Northshore influenced P&H to develop the Outlander then the Capella and for Valley to develop the Pintail.

Like all these things it is hard to say what form a new product would have taken were it not for what the competition had out at the time but I do have two clear memories from the period (92/3). Firstly I remember going to the British Canoe Exhibition, looking at the North Shore Stand and thinking how refreshingly new there sea kayaks looked compared to ours (P&H) and Valley’s. Secondly a few months latter when I started the Outlander project I remember key paddlers telling me that to be competitive in the market place as a small (16ft) sea kayak the performance benchmark would be the Shoreline. The Shoreline was certainly a boat ahead of its time

Thamk you Peter

– Last Updated: Jan-13-06 4:47 PM EST –

(I wish one could edit the subject -- of course I mean "Thank you" not "Thamk you"

Once again much useful and interesting information.

I would very much like to see a history of British kayak design and manufacture. The evolution of the boats and cross influences are fascinating to me.

I knew nothing of North Shore until a BCU coach, this past season, noted that many of the Impex boats were actually North Shore designs.

It was only recently I learned that Nigel Dennis borrowed an Anas mold from Frank Goodman when starting on his design for the Romany - which explains a lot.

Two years ago in Maine I saw a Valley boat of a model I had never seen before. It was notably shorter than my Aquanaut, seemed wider, and had the distinctive Valley bow. It was an older boat. Unfortunately, the woman paddling it had borrowed it from a friend, spoke only French and did not know anything about the boat.

A well illustrated publication or website giving the history and evolution of British kayaks would be valuable. This would be timely with the increased interest in Brit boats and while so many of the significant designers are still around to contribute.

yes, a timeline…
I have been curious about when certain VCP kayaks were introduced…especially the avocet/aquanaut/and glass skerry.

Where does Mega fit in ?
I have noticed that the Mega sea kayaks seem to be very much as the description of the North Shore 16 ft kayak mentioned in the original post.

Thanks… Chuck

Until Peter responds
The Aquanaut was introduced in 2003. It was preceeded by the Avocet. The Skerry is the oldest of the three you mention. However, it might take Peter Orton to give introduction dates.

Avocet in 1999
Just checked my old Sea Kayakers and found the review of the Avocet in the April 2003 issue. There it gives the design date as 1999.