Okay guys, here's my delimna.
I used to be a guide, and the NDK Explorer was perfect for me. The guide business went under, stupid me bought my boat with company funds, there went my boat. Time to get a new one. The obvious answer would have been to buy my boat from the company before it went under, but I didn't have the money at the time, and not being a guide anymore, I suspected I wanted to step down to a Romany, or Valley Avocet anyway because I absolutely love to surf and play in the soup. I also plan on continuing to instruct/coach occasionally.
I am 5'10", 175 lbs with a 34" waste, and 30" inseem. Should I go with a Romany or a Romany S?
What experiences have you guys had with the Valley Avocet (I really like the fact that it has two oval hatches. . . why in the hell does NDK stubbornly stick to round hartches?), or the Necky Chatham 16?
And now the loaded question - any other suggestions?
Okay guys, here's my delimna.
If you like the oval hatches, consider the Avocet. Similar dimensions, niche, as Romany but It’s supposed to be a bit faster . I know a lot of Avocet owners and its a boat that I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about. Rock solid, you-can’t-go-wrong boat. You may have noticed that you rarely see one for sale. Probably means that their owners love them and won’t give them up.
Not Romany S
The Romany S is essentially a Romany HV or Poseiden. It would be quite big for your size. Either an Avocet of Romany would work well for your size. I paddle an Avocet RM and am currently 5’8" and 160lbs. with a 30" inseam, but I bought the boat and paddled a couple of years at 190-195lbs.
I am right about your size, and 185 lbs. I tried out a Romany, but I felt like the Avocet just fit me better and responded more the way I wanted, but that’s just an individual judgement. It’s fun in the surf and very responsive. The oval hatches are a plus, although the Avocet is mostly a day boat for me. I have other yaks for multi day trips.
I’m About Your Size
5’9" 165 lb. Really like my Tempest 165. Very, very comfortable for long days and handles well for me.
Either Romany or Avocet
The husband has an Avocet, which he loves for the fit, craftsmanship and speed. He's 5'9" and 145-150 lbs and needs to add just a wee bit of padding to the cockpit. However,the boat works fine for him now and rolls and sculls like the proverbial dream.
This kayak replaced his TempestPRO165. Casting no aspersions on the Tempest, but the gelcoat just didn't hold up and we're not going to discuss the hatches nor the local Confluence rep who proved to be useless when we talked to him about the QC issues with the Tempest. Other than that, it's a great design and a fun boat to paddle.
I have a Romany which I love and worship despite its sluggishness. It surfs beautifully and really shines in rocks. And yes, those round hatches are a pain.
I'm looking forward to trying the AvocetLV in the spring when it hits the States.
the new factory bugs are worked out. I rejected the first “T” I ordered because of quality issues. The 2nd boat was a keeper. It was definitely worth waiting for. I have a reputable dealer nearby.
I’m 6’,180, with 33" inseam. I love my Romany. It is fabulous in tide races and surfing. It is a ball of fun. I use it as a day boat so the round hatches aren’t a problem. You do not need to get a Romany S - though some like its larger cockpit and its reportedly slightly longer squarer hull.
The Avocet is also a very fun boat. I just happen to prefer the fit and feel of the Romany - even though two of my other sea kayaks are Valleys (Nordkapp LV & Aquanaut).
Neither boat is a ‘better’ design than the other. Each has a bit of its own personality, feel and fit.
BTW, Celia sat in an Avocet LV today while we were picking up my replacement Nordlow. She very much liked the fit.