Is a Romany Classic the best boat for me

I currently have a Chatham 17 (composite) which IMO is a super multi-purpose boat. I am looking however for an additional boat which would not be used for overnighters, but which would be a more agile boat for day trips in areas with some surf and the possibility of rough-water play (or survivability). The one thing I don’t like about my Chatham is that I have to throw my weight into it a bit to get it up on edge, and the inertia compromises my ability to hold it there. So I think I’m looking for a good rough-water boat which can get up on edge and stay there, if that’s where I want it to be. Some of the things that appeal to me about the Romany (based on what I’ve read and based on flat water paddling) is it’s sloped bulkhead, the ease of factory customization (e.g., pump options, color options, front bulkhead placement), and its low rear deck to facilitate rolling…and of course the general perception that it is a great rough water boat. So I am just wondering if there are other boats I should test paddle. At nearly 200 lbs (but only 5’6"), I believe I am beyond the recommended load rating of the Avocet, but otherwise that would seem like another excellent option. I once test paddled a Whisky 16 and Romany side-by-side and gave a slight nod (for reasons that I don’t now recall) to the Romany, but that was on flat water. I wonder too about a Tiderace boat (i.e., Xcite). Eager to hear any opinions, especially but not limited to those who have paddled more than one of the above mentioned boats.


Take a look at…
Sterling Refection and Illusion.

other options
The P&H Aries is a composite version of the Delphin. Great rough water surf boat and big enough to camp in if you go light. A friend used one at Skooks and had a great time.

I have a Sterling Reflection. I find it very comfy and my friend with a Romany borrows my Reflection for surfing. It turns on a dime, great rock garden, surf boat.

The Tiderace xcite is also an option, lower volume stern and good rocker. Solidly built. A friend does week long trips in his xcite.

excellent choice
Have had mine since “98. I too weigh in at 200 and am 5’8”. Use it on rivers, flat water and coastal areas. The rougher it gets, the better the boat handles. Surfs well. Can carry enough stuff for overnighters and doesn’t seem to affect performance. Spray skirt is necessary. Love the offset day hatch. Very sturdy, but not a light boat. Extremely dry hatches. No need for a rudder and have only used the skeg a few times. Can’t go wrong. Best wishes.

…the Sterling boats. At 200 pounds don’t discount the Grand Illusion. I weigh in about the same as you and the GI is quicker to turn and edgier than my Illusion.


Check this one
Eddyline Raven. This boat can do it all, but as for the cockpit fit … The Current Designs Gulf Stream, or Sirocco will almost certainly fit and these boats will also do anything you ask of them.