kayaks- capella vs romany

Can anyone tell me if a capella 161 is very similar in handling, in rough water, speed vs a romany? Would like to use in Great Lakes and inland lakes. Any info would be appreciated.

Add the Avocet to your list …
… And you’ve got the top 3 small sea kayaks to try out and see what fits and feels best to you. All 3 are very capable boats, can handle anything they encounter, and are of top quality build. The only differences are how each one fits you. You are the unique part of the equation: how these boats fit other people may be helpful, but cannot replace the need to put your own bottom in each one and go paddle.

Only a general recall
I spent two days in rather moderate conditions in a Capella 161, have time in an Explorer and some in a Romany in the same conditions. FWIW -

I thought the Capella 161 was faster at acceleration. Once up to speed, I am not sure it was much different than the Romany. Faster really has two components, acceleration and cruising once up to speed, and a given hull can be quite different between these two.

As to handling, granted I didn’t have the boat in anything nasty but I thought the 161 was as solid as the Romany. It was differently solid though, that is I felt the occasional whack of a wave to the stern more abruptly than I would have in the Romany. But both of these boats are kind to the paddler and should need minimal tending when things get nasty.

The 161 has a higher deck, less keyholed cockpit and a quite different cockpit fit than the Romany. The Romany is lower up front, so if you need your knees to be up a bit for the sake of your low back or overall comfort you should make sure you spend some time sitting in each of these boats.

kayaks-capella vs romany
Thank you for your information. I have actually sat in all three (didn’t mean to leave the avocet out) and feel pretty comfortable. Because of the time of year have not been able to test paddle yet and that is why I am very interested to hear what people have to say in regards to what their experiences are in them and in different conditions. The romany is such a highly regarded boat that I wondered if the capella even came close. Again, thank you for your response.

Capella 161 and Romany LV

– Last Updated: Jan-16-11 6:11 PM EST –

I've paddled those and consider them both good all-round kayaks. Romany LV's fit is much snugger. They're both easy to roll, easy to maneuver, stable. Would not call either of them fast, but they're certainly not slugs.

Biggest difference I noted, aside from cockpit fit, is that Capella 161 was easier to control when back-paddling.

They have quite different feels, so you should test-paddle them, not just sit in them.

You might also want to consider a Tempest 165.

when was there a general recall?

Capella 161, Romany, Avocet…
Chatham 16, Tempest 165, are all very well designed and capable boats. They are comparable in their performance. Fit and personality varies among these boats and how those traits suit you are the significant differences.

Personally, I love my Romany. I also find the NDK keyhole the best of any sea kayak. YMMV

All great kayaks
All are slow, all are excellent in rough seas if a skilled paddler is operating them. Like a ski boot, no one can tell you which feels best on you. Paddle all in the real world and you’ll gravitate toward one. Forget the logo’s and buy what feels right to you. Your head, instincts, intuition will tell you more than any review possible can. Trust yourself. You can’t make a bad decision here.

NDK Pilgrim
The NDK Pilgrim is worth considering. I’ve only paddled the Expedition, which is 17’ rather than the regular Pilgrim’s 16’. I’m going to get the PE, and I’ve been looking for a long time.

Here are two Paddling.net reviews of the regular Pilgrim:


In what way?
“They have quite different feels”

Curious as to what the differences were from your perspective. I understand its a personal thing, but would be interesting to know what the differences you found when paddling them. Thanks.

NKD Posidon
If your on the larger side, consider a used NKD Poseidon or a new NKD Surf-the same hull with a changed deck. I bought a used NKD Poseidon last summer. It is a large person’s kayak and at 6’ 1 ", 200 lbs, with size 13 feet I fit in it better than the Romany. Paddling is similar to the Romany but being slightly wider and with a flatter bottom I feel a little more stable-being long waisted, I think I am a bit top heavy for the Romany even though it is a fine hull that I enjoyed.

The build quality is better than the Explorer (average build quality) and Romany Elite (very poor build quality) that I’ve owned in the past. So much so that I’ve wondered if NKD subbed out the Poseidon construction-no evidence that its true, just the improvement is that noticable. At 51 lbs the Posiedon’s weight is less than the 54 lbs Romany Elite I sold to buy the Poseidon. Before buying this Poseidon I looked at another and would have bought it except it had a rope skeg and I prefer slider skegs. That other Poseidon was one lb heavier (mine has a foam seat) and showed similar good build quality.


maybe you want a helicopter

– Last Updated: Jan-19-11 10:21 AM EST –

Or maybe you've narrowed your choices down to those two boats, for presumably good reason, and we should all be a bit more respectful of that. And the server space.

Sounds like a trip is due …
… to a sunny warm water port where you can try them on and get wet. If you’re from Northern parts, where the snow is deep and the water better suited for skating these days, this might be a good excuse for a vacation!

One way was already mentioned in my first post (about back-paddling).

The other way is how they feel when edging to turn. The Capella 161 felt like it had a smoother (more linear?) transition from flat to well on edge. They were both easy to edge, though.

kayaks-capella vs romany
Thanks to so many for responding. I will keep all these thoughts in mind when spring comes around and I can actually do some test paddling. It’s just nice to have an idea of what other more experienced people have encountered with these kayaks. This is my first post and nice to know such a resource is available.

Diff is a little predictable
The Capella 161 is a more rounded hull than the Romany, without the slab side. So it moves to its edges with a smoother feel than the Romany, which sometimes feels more like you dropped onto it.

The brilliance (IMO) of the Romany is that somehow even with the slab side, the chines are rounded enough that the boat will turn without being fully dropped onto its edge. In my experience most boats with such a vertical side, or even with diamond chines like in the Necky Elaho, aren’t going to change direction so well unless they are sitting fully over on certain points along the hull.

Again though, all good boats that’ll do their best to get you home.

For what is worth…
I did paddle boath boats 18 months ago.My impressions were: The Capellas seemed faster and good traker with pretty good handling. The Romany did not feel significantly slower and perhaps more lively in the water than the Capella. By “lively” I mean that I felt more feedback and control from the Romany. That’s the best way I know to explain it. For that reason, I purchased the Romany and it’s a really good boat. Capella or Romany;You can’t go wrong but for my taste, the Romany. LOVE my Romany.