Ndk romany classic seat

I’m sure this has been covered before. But if not not here goes. I have the above boat . It’s 16 years old. I only have it one year. I find it unstable and wobbly. Plus the seat is uncomfortable and the back support strap gives little support. I want to replace the seat to get a bit lower in the boat and increase stability. So I’m thinking foam, carbon fiber or a different fiberglass one glued directly to the boat with a foam block for the back support. I can’t find the foam block precut for back support so if anyone has a template to cut my own , that would really help. Any recommendations regarding which seat? I’m relatively new to this, ideally I want a seat that’s a good all rounder , rolling , day trips , rock hopping and everything in between. Please put me out of my misery and indulge me with your worldly knowledge.

FIW, that is my go to boat for paddling solo because it will do more to keep you from capsizing in slop than anything else I have. Yes it will react to waves, it is supposed to, but it takes a hell of a lot of edge to take it fully over. Both for that and its longer cousin the old Explorer. Unless the paddler gets nervous and stiffens up. I have had a wave surprise me and kick these boats up way past the edge of the skirt being wet, as long as I stayed loose they rebounded back rather than capsize.

The seat is already sitting close to the bottom unless it is not the original, not sure that you get much in the way of lowered height by replacing it. It is admittedly not a crowd pleaser. I happen to prefer a hard seat that does not go nuts trying to be ergonomic, but one option with the present seat is to put in a layer of quarter inch or so minicell foam in the seat pan. And some have also added something in front of the seat to help support the thighs a little more.

The back band is only there for limited support, for any sea kayak your core has to pick up some of the work. That said, back bands get old and lose adjustment capacity over time so may be due for a new one.

You will not find a better sea kayak for learning to roll, at least one that also is relatively protective of the paddler and prefers to stay upright. The Romany is also highly maneuverable so it is great in rocks and sloppy surf.

It is highly rockered and has a slower hull speed than many touring kayaks with a “trackier” hull. But it will also turn more easily than those boats - something that you will appreciate coming home tired in sloppy stuff.

I do suggest weighting the bow a bit unless you are going to be in surf or rock play. It is a quite loose bow boat so for regular travel from point A to point B taming the bow makes it easier to keep on track in wind.

1 Like

Hi. Yes it is the original seat, it’s around 2 cm off the base of the boat. When I add weight it’s not too bad, otherwise very wobbly. I’ve tried newer NDK boats and all the seats are on the base of the boat, no gap at all. What do you do for knee rest? I added a few peices of thin foam but even that seems to make everything too tight. I also kind key hold too small and loose balance when getting in on water. I was out with a group of 50 people and my key hole looked the smallest of all the boats. I appreciate its good for all the things you described, but I feel I need to increase the stability somehow and not rely on putting extra weight in.

You need to not equate a sea kayak moving with it being likely to capsize. The boat has to do that in order to properly manage the water surface in waves. Secondary stability kicks in if you let the boat do its thing.

Weighting the bow is not about stability but helping to counter weather cocking. If you check, you will find that the seat is not exactly centered in the boat. It is actually back of center, which leaves the bow more free to react to wind. This responsiveness is great in surf and rocks but can create more weather cocking than in boats with the seat centered. Hence my suggestion.

I am not familiar with the newer NDK boats. But in general the manufacturers have made more recent models frankly less reactive. This has little to do with stability against capsize - as I said the Romany is tough to beat there. It does seem to calm things down for how newer paddlers feel in the boats.

What were the other boats you were out with? If they were rec/transition boats, yes the Romany keyhole may have looked smaller. But if you have the standard Romany, not the LV, it takes one of the bigger sized skirts for a sea kayak out there.

How tall and heavy are you? My husband was 6’1", 180 pounds and he added minicell to pad the knees down a bit. I haven’t changed anything because the boat is such a good citizen I can work with a slightly looser fit in it. And thre is a bit more of me in there at this point in my life.

I can’t really tell from what you say if your problem is fit - like maybe you are too heavy for it - or simply needing time and probably some instruction to learn to take advantage of a sea kayak. Being overly heavy or extremely tall of torso can impact stability.

But I really suspect you most need some work with someone on basic skills. The Romany was designed to be a boat for new paddlers to learn sea kayaking in. So it will take on all kinds of edge without capsizing, it will turn without having to take a deep edge, it frankly will complete the second half of the roll for you if you stay out of its way, and is very friendly for a Cowboy self-rescue. All the stuff that new paddlers need.

Use your paddle to brace when entering or exiting the boat. It should be enough.

Have you tried to hook up with anyone for training?

1 Like

The seat in my wifes Romany was at least an inch off the bottom of the boat. It was actually a tighter fit on the thighs for us than our Anas Acutas. I cut it out and replaced it with an NDK foam seat with a foam pillar behind it. Your correct that it’s a super stable boat, it’s one of the few that I can actually stand in. But lowering the seat made it MUCH more comfortable for us. I like to be able to relax and let the boat do it’s thing, the original seat had my thighs uncomfortably tight at all times.


This is what works for our Romany. I cut out the glass seat pan and ordered the NDK foam replacement.

2 Likes

Did that for an old GF in her Explorer LV years ago. Works like a dream.

My Explorer LV came with a piece of flat foam for a seat and a block for the back. The original owner did also include the factory foam seat & backband. I’ve put the foam seat back in but use an IR Reggie backband that I had on hand. Works well for me.

1 Like

@Celia is 100% right here. Here’s a good video to explain what you’re feeling.

My first sea kayak initially felt awful but it eventually felt wonderful. I paddled that for about 10 years. Then I got my interim boat, which I sold almost immediately, it wasn’t a sea kayak! Then I got my next boat, a true sea kayak and I felt at home again.

Then, a few years later, I had a single lesson from @Marshall wow, what a great experience. Seek out an instructor and you’ll benefit so much!

1 Like