Need Help Choosing ROMANY Replacement

I purchased a Romany three years ago when I first started kayaking not knowing if I would like the sport or exactly what facet of it would most appeal to me. I LOVE MY ROMANY, however, my interests are trending toward longer trips (5-7 days typically) and it just doesn’t hold enough gear.

My goal is to purchase a new kayak in the 17–17.5 ft range that will give me the extra cargo capacity I’m looking for while retaining as much of the Romany’s handling characteristics as possible. Particularly the primary stability and its uncanny ability to handle rough water.

About me: 6’ tall; 175 lbs; Intermediate skill level

Thanks to all in advance for the help.


Try a Nordkapp low volume might
have most of what you are looking for in an expedition boat.

the obvious answer
would be the Romany Explorer.

Other than that, the Aquanaut, Force 4, and Nordkapp LV are other nice boats you may want to check out.

Yup, the obvious is the Romany Explorer. As it is the long version of the Romany, it is the 17.5’ boat whose characteristics are closest to the Romany.

The other boats mentioned (Nordkapp LV, Aquanaut, Force 4) would be my short list of equivalent boats, each with a slightly different personality.

Though there is certainly an Explorer cult, I do not think it is a better boat than the others mentioned. Though, it might be the most forgiving or confidence inspiring.

Revise your thinking first…
Keep the Romany and learn how to pack it. I did 20 +/- day trips with mine no problem. I was an alpine guide for years so my mentality around packing is atypical for sea kayakers. Leave all that shit at home…you can easily make that boat work and you’ll be glad you did! Less crap makes for more fun, and faster packing. BTW, I was in luxury…two tarps, tent, etc.

May I suggest a subscription…
to Backpacker magazine? Seriously, the volume in kayaks has to be the greatest enticement to bulky, crap gear and shoddy p[acking. In packing for a backpacking trip of a week I would LUST after the volume of a Romany.


keep it
and add another boat to the fleet. I replaced mine with a Skerray.

Yes, but
Were you traveling where you had to carry all potable water for 20 days as well as carry out on human wastes for 20 days?

When you need to do both for more than a few days the space and weight required starts to add up.

I agree with the premise that the Romany should be good for a few days regardless and for a long time if the above requirements do not exist. Just in some places/situations the extra space/capacity might be needed.

keep it and add an Explorer or Force 4.

Oh yes, keep the Romany
It is great having more than one boat. Most dedicated paddlers I know have at least a day boat and an expedition length boat (these days also at least one ww boat as well). I move back and forth between my Romany and Aquanaut regularly. Different boats excel differently.

new P&H Cetus
This is a new boat that should be arriving in the US this March…P&H hopes to have it unveiled at Canoecopia.

I’ve paddled the prototype and really liked it. The Cetus is 17’10" by 22" with a unique feature: a knee tube that is accessible through a small Kajaksport hatch on the fore deck. It will also feature a new skeg system and whitewater-style outfitting in the cockpit.

I used to paddle an Explorer, and found the Cetus to have similar handling characteristics…only a bit livelier, and definitely faster.

If you’re looking at boats such as the Aquanaut or Force, keep an eye out for the Cetus.

For disclosure purposes, I paddle for P&H. That being said, I have a choice of boats and Cetus is the one I’ll be paddling this year!

–Mark P (P&H)

Good Point!
Yep, where I paddle those are NOT concerns. One boat I tested for 13 days on a guided trip was the Kajak Sport Millenium. That thing just kept taking more gear after more gear, and was great to paddle as well. I’d look at that as an option.

We have both
Tho’ the Explorer is my Explorer LV. And I can see wanting more room - we are not at all efficient campers in terms of space, and for the relatively short stints of camping we do it is more important to spend the time enjoying the trip than researching how we pack for it.

The logical choice is, as above, an Explorer. I obviously think this is a great expedition boat. The one question I’d have for you is whether you want two boats of such similar behaviors, or do you want your other boat to give you a different personality and set of challenges.

My short boat is a P&H Vela, and I rather appreciate that the boat is quite different from my Explorer and makes me work a little harder on some things. So while it wouldn’t be the preferred boat for long trips in questionable conditions, it does end up being a perfect after-work or day paddle boat because it is much quicker off the mark than the LV is.

what they said
do you simply want bigger or more glide?

A Capella would be a good choice for a bigger rough water boat. For bigger and more glide the list is big and a lot more choices once you include rudders.

if you think
you’ll pack out more than you’ll pack in, you’re full of crap

Diarrhea is hereditary
Runs in your jeans…


– Last Updated: Feb-16-07 4:45 PM EST –


??? (edited to limit my use of question marks for effect)

"Research how to pack efficiently" who does that? If you stay away from the big sleeping bags with the little ducks printed on them and the Coleman double burner or downsize the Barnum and Bailey to say, a Sierra Designs you are going a long way. Leave the screw cap Gallo at home and bring along a 3 liter box of Black Box or Delicato. Backpacker is reading a magazine, not research and they have better tips than cut your tooth brush in half. I have a few friends around here that use Romay's or similar for trips up to a week, including a 3 day water supply.

I agree with the sentiment that having a play boat and a long boat is good, I just disagree that a shorter boat can't do what you want given the post-ers requirements. A short boat is a lot more fun than sitting on some island staring at all the crap you brought along.


Not into a fight

– Last Updated: Feb-14-07 6:15 PM EST –

In honor of Brent's efforts, deleted this content. He's right.

True about boats with rudders - the rear compartment seems to be a lot bigger and not having a skeg box in the way makes things easier. Personally I prefer British boats so I put up with it.

I have an Explorer and like most everyone said, it’s the obvious choice. You may want something a little different just for fun, so try some of the other good choices listed. I’m still searching for a Pintail which is a lot different than an Explorer…

I agree. Ever get tweaked waiting for people to pack all their crap? The folding chairs amuse me. What’s wrong with a log, or kickin the gravel aside to form a nice seat? People carry way too much crap.