I read the product description and at first blush, this looks like a surf playboat only. But then the copy mentions “day or weekend use”. Assuming one can use a Pintail, for example, for a weekend coastal tripping boat, would this boat also suffice in a pinch? I know that’s not so much the original design intent but I’m curious (it does have hatches!).
Pretty much the Romany HV
They may have messed a bit with the hull, but it’s still a Romany. It may be a bit slower is all, compared to a boat that isn’t fast to start with. Check the sizing and cockpit fit though.
Among sea kayaks, the Romany is a good boat for messing around in surf without any tweaking. It didn’t take major redesign to come up with something called a surf Romany.
At 314 liters, the Romany S is 3 liters
less than the Explorer HV. It has a good deal of room for multi day tripping and has an enormous cockpit. Even at 6'3" and 250lbs I have completely foamed out the cockpit in mine after cutting out the seat (seat pan,backrest,bulkhead, and under deck). As Celia mentioned, it is no speed demon for acceleration, but once moving it will keep a pretty good pace. Flat bottomed, it rides waves well and takes advantage of the wave push off wind. Tracking is excellent with little or no need for the skeg. Rolling is excellent. The storage areas are large, especially the day hatch that will fit a pump's length through the 8" hatch and into the broad compartment. If you want to demo it you are welcome to use mine (fiberglass version). I thought the boat was going to be more of a compromise, it wasn't.
My impression is that it's really just a high-volume Romany, more than a boat that's specialized to a particular environment.
I spent a day in a Surf RM last week with Jen Kleck, and I really liked it. I wouldn't call it a play boat as much as an all-around sort of boat. It does surf well, as I had good opportunities to discover. It didn't strike me as unusually slow. It tracks fine - better than a Pintail or a Delphin.
My biggest complaints with this boat are construction. The composite seat and coaming are riveted to the plastic deck, and that joint leaks quite a bit. I could feel water pouring on my leg when surfing a wave and edging the boat enough to submerge the coaming. I'd rather they just rotomolded the coaming, and made a boat that didn't accumulate a few inches of water in the cockpit after a couple hours of surfing. Secondly the bulkheads are foam. It would be nice, for strength, space, and longevity, if they welded in plastic bulkheads like Valley.
I agree that there's plenty of room in the boat, but I didn't find that a problem. At 180 pounds, 6'0", I was comfortable in the Surf RM with no extra foam outfitting.
thanks - that’s very generous of you
I’m dreaming right now, but I’d like to add a second boat to the fleet this summer. Thanks for the input and generosity.
The Romany Surf and Romany HV (aka Poseidon) are nearly identical. It can easily be used as an all round boat.
Every RM Romany I know of has had problems with the leakage at the coaming attachment.
follow up question on leaks
The SKUK website mentions a seat option other than the 'glass seat bucket. Do you know if ordering that option might avoid the leak issue?
I hope they have a foam seat option. The glass seat I saw had two bolts pretruding into the seat at the hips. They had some foam around them to protect you hips but if that foam comes off your hips will get hurt and your drysuit, wetsuit, etc… is probably going to be damaged.
Slush, if the coaming on the non glass
design is molded from poly, you will not get the same leaking. I have found however that my poly boats have leaked more at the skirt rand than my glass boats. The first thing I did with my Romany S was cut out the seat as it pinched me at my hip bones (like every other seat I have used except Eddyline and Valley's plastic seat). If you plan on spending much time upside down or sculling, ANY boat is going to let in some water. I have to believe you could seal the coaming to deck joint with several good flexiible sealers. 3M 4200 and West System G Flex come to mind first. I like this boat a good bit more than I thought I would. It was between it and the Eddyline, and at the time I had a burr up my ass with Eddyline so I bought the NDK instead. Nice boat. Bill
ps- The new Eddyline Fathom still strikes me as a great boat. If I fit in the Rockpool Alaw Bach I would seriously consider it as well. If I win the lotto, the new Thai Tiderace boats are the bomb. Sorry to get off track, sometimes I get a little too excited.
It might be that the fiberglass coaming would keep a better seal with the boat if the seat weren’t attached to it, and constantly pulling on it. So a foam seat boat might decrease the leaks. Just speculation.
Design of NDK coaming means
that it has to be attached secondary, as it cannot be roto-molded as other coaming designs can. Now, if the coaming were roto molded seperately or vacuum formed out of polyethylene, it could be drader welded in place and be perfectly water tight. I got to where i could drader weld a cut out coaming from a production boat to a proto-type in about 15 minutes.
Problem would be having a skilled worker do this so it looked presentable. Valley has an exclusive source for their flat mesh wire, but that could be figured out easily as well.
other poly options?
Any other PE options one might suggest to match the intended use of the Romany S? I would look at other boats, but the ones I have in mind right now only come in composite.
Absolutely the best all around boat I
have ever owned is my Aquanaut LV RM. My problem with it is the weight and flex. An absolute winner in my opinion. Decent speed, carrying capacity, comfort, and rolls as well as my skin boat. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Bill
PS- I have trimmed the inner lip of the coaming for about six inches in my hip area removing approximately one inch of width. It looks factory (almost).
I’ll have to try that one
Another that I didn’t think of is the nordkapp RM.
Not clear on your intended use
Even looking at a Romany S (or mentioning a Pintail) means that you want a high degree of maneuverability over tracking. But you also want a day boat, usually meaning a compromise in maneuverability towards tracking. The Nordie, unless it's the LV, is a tracker.
So - exactly what are you looking for in a boat's performance?
My Nordkapp is Carbon/Kevlar, I think of
a Nordkapp RM as a Delorean of sorts, great lines, but it ain’t going anywhere too fast. Mostly from the car to the water. The one thing I hate about my Aquanaut RM is carrying it. You are of course welcome to borrow it as well, or I think I will be at the Eastern MI University pool with it this Sunday if you feel like checking it out in a warmer climate :). Bill
The RM Nordkapp is supposedly between the LV and the “normal” Nordkapp in size. I wonder if its handling is somewhat between the two.
I know someone who absolutely hated Valley kayaks, she loved her P&H kayaks and the RM Nordkapp was the one Valley kayak she liked.
Many use poly Avocets for the conditions for which an RM Romany Surf is designed.
Something different than my explorer!
Something for day trips and playing in conditions, something with more maneuverability and to use on the odd chance I get to play in surf and currents. And lastly, something that I don’t have to be as careful with as a composite boat.
Durable (brittle in high impact or freezing conditions), fast, manueverable, surfs well, tracks well,and is lighter than poly. I would give it a look. I don’t know your size, if you fit in the Avocet I would consider it as well. Bill