NDK Romany, other suggestions??

Don’t see the need
The Elaho was a target of opportunity that was available locally and saved me a bunch of money over shipping something in from the mainland. The next closed-deck boat is likely to live at my sister’s place in Portland, and for that I’ll likely be more interested in one of the other boats discussed on this thread.

one more…
One more idea. I’ve got the Necky Looksha IV in Kevlar, and find it very easy to manuver in the tight spots.

I haven’t done more than 2.5’ of chop in 20 mph winds on a lake, but it seemed to handle that with grace and style. Sure was pleased to have the rudder in the quartering winds, though.

Tracking is not it’s strong suite.

Paddle one if you get the chance.


In my experience the Looksha IV is a dog
Which mostly says demo. But the Looksha IV is a rudder dependent boat. That poses a safety problem. There are lots of boats out there that are better designed and don’t cost any more.

something you like in rough water…there is no such thing as a kayak that isn’t nimble enough for nooks and crannies…now if you were considering turning around fast to go rescue someone…that’s a differant story.

any kayak short enough to go into caves and tunnels in your paddling area will work…you just turn slower in some.

Best Wishes


What a range of boat opinions/options.

If a Romany “fits” you, get it. You really won’t find a better boat for the size.

As for the speed of the Romany vs the Avocet, I have both & don’t really notice a difference. The Avocet is a great boat, but seems less “forgiving” than the Romany. The Avocet also seems to me to be more reactive to wind action (weathercocking/leecocking) than the Romany. Both are easy rolling boats but I think the Romany is far superior for gaining skills. The Avocet was originally a plastic boat that sold so well they decided to make a F/G version. For an abusing play boat (ie-surf, rock gardens, etc…), the plastic Avocet cannot be beat. For F/G boats - although the Avocet is a great design - in the 16’ boat range, the Romany can’t be beat.

As far as QC problems are concerned - they all have their share, though I haven’t seen anything that can’t be handled by anyone reasonably handy who cares to pay attention.

Most deal with it.

Welcome to the world of small boats.

Love the C.D. Andromeda
A blast in the rough, plenty fast, turns well on edge. Some here have stated it to be way too tender, including some supposed B.C.U lots o’ stars. Well I ain’t no pro, but I think it’s way stable, enough to near fall asleep lookin’ at stars. And plenty stable in the wind and waves. And she’s perty, and a hoot to paddle!

The Romany is a great boat design
but I would expect a $3000 boat to have a working skeg, hatches that do not leak, a cockpit rim that has space to fit a spray skirt, hardware that does not seize after a couple years and gelcoat not covered with spider cracks. Impex and Kajaksport boats have all the handling characteristics of a Romany without the QC headaches.

Waaay slow?
I find my CH16 to be slightly faster than my Romany, and the Avocet slightly faster than either. “Slightly” is key here as these are all VERY similar boats in speed. All are slow and not particulary fun in flat water. All excel in big water. Again soo much focus on speed. I would recommend against all of these if you are a flat water paddler focused on speed.

I’d be looking at:
In no particular order.

Nigel Foster Legend


Tempest 165/170



Didn’t mean acquire
I didn’t mean you should acquire an Elaho DS. I simply meant you should paddle one if you get the chance.

I purchased mine new in 2001 and enjoyed the boat as my primary boat. It was displaced by my Aquanaut in 2004 and further by my Romany in 2005. I paddled it this summer for the first time in a couple of years and had a blast with the boat! It is even more fun than a Romany for rolling, bracing, etc… However a Romany or Avocet is much better behaved in quartering or following seas.

Second that!
Last year I sold my Romany for the P&H Capella 161. It is very responsive, quicker than the Romany and really nimble.

I love mine!


Pintail, hands down, but the AA is close
The Pintail is by far the best rough water boat I’ve paddled and just seems to have a sense for rolling with the waves and staying upright. If you trust the boat and just let it do it’s thing, it will rarely let you down. I wouldn’t be without on in my “fleet”. The older, pre-'94 Pintails (more rounded, lower-volume hull and flat aft deck) are somewhat better than the newer boats and are highly prized by Pintail “afficionados”, but the newer boat is probably better for paddlers over 200 pounds.

The downside is that Pintails are sluggish on flat water and the bow tends to wander and hunt like a hound dog puppy, until you drop the skeg.

The Anas Acuta is a better all-around boat IMO and I paddle mine much more often than my Pintail. It’s good in rough water, but not quite as confidence inspiring or maneuverable as the Pintail. On flat water, it’s faster and approaches it’s speed limit gently, where the Pintail just “hits a wall” at around 4-4.5 knots. I haven’t noticed any speed difference between the boats in rough water. IMO the Anas Acuta has the sexiest shape of any kayak on the market, FWIW.

If you haven’t tried an ocean cockpit in rough water, it’s hard to appreciate the increased level of security and control it provides. There are no thigh braces to slip off of and you can position your legs anywhere across the width of the boat, which provides a variety of leg position options.

handling characteristics of a Romany
IMHO no Impex nor Kajak-Sport boat has the handling characterisitcs of a Romany.

A Montauk is closer than a Viking, but even the Montauk feels quite diffeent than a Romany.

I think it is a plus that each manufacturer’s boats have slightly different personalities.

Fair enough
I just get so little chance to paddle on mainland trips that I tend to be more interested in trying boats that I might be interested in acquiring. Tough stuff, living out here in the middle of the ocean. :wink:

Great comments!

– Last Updated: Oct-12-06 1:48 PM EST –

op: "I have heard of the Romany. Any others like it?"

Neither of these boats (Pintail, Anas Acuta) is -like- the Romany.

I haven't had much time in either, but, personally, I prefer the Anas Acuta.

One thing nice about the Romany-style boats is that they are good "all rounders": they have reasonable tracking, manueverability, and speed.

By the way, keep in mind that boats will behave differently for paddlers of significantly different weights. This may be one reason why people's comments sometimes appear somewhat contradictory.

Most derive from Anas Acuta
The Pintail, Romany, and Avocet all fairly directly descend from the Anas Acuta. For that matter just about all the current Valley and NDK sea kayaks descend from the Anas.

Yes, I know that.

Well, humans derived from apes but they aren’t exactly concidered “similar”.

Presumably, you don’t really think a Romaney and and an Anas Acuta are “similar”.

Romany and AA

– Last Updated: Oct-12-06 3:57 PM EST –

The folklore is Nigel Dennis used AAs and Pintails in his classes originally and he eventually decided to build his own as opposed to buyinng Valley boats. The goal was twofold: 1.to create a boat that had the basic handling traits of the AA and Pintail but a more forgiving boat more suited to students; 2. retain enough performance that instructors would like it and find it fun for their own adventures. That's the folklore and it helps explain why some say the Romany is a beginner's boat and some say it is great for going in harm's way. Not mutually exclusive traits it seems to me. So in an odd way there is a connection if you believe the folklore.

Has anybody tried the new Ikkuma 17
By Seda? I haven’t, but didn’t know if this hull will be considered a boat in the same design/performance class of most of the other boats that have been talked about in this thread.

familial relation

– Last Updated: Oct-12-06 5:34 PM EST –

I'd say a Romany and an Anas Acuta are more similar than a Solstice or an Epic Endurance 18 is to either.

I agree that there are definite differences among these boats of shared genetics. However there are also similarities.

Aled Williams confirmed the use of a mold from Valley (he stated it was a Pintail mold, others have said it was an Anas Acuta mold) as the starting point for the Romany.

Referred to here:

BTW: Many feel humans and chimpanzees are more similar to each other than either is to other mammals.