Between the older Romany HV and the older Dagger Meridian does one have the edge over the other for floating at it’s optimum waterline with a a larger (220+ lbs) paddler?
The legend is…
…that they are both the same hull…“borrowed” by Dagger from N.D. while they were in some preliminary negotations to possibly manufacture the Romany…Salty will be the mythbuster of this one.
Like many legends, this one has a basis in fact, then goes astray. I’ve heard that ND was PO’d when Dagger came out with a 16’ Brit boat after their deal broke down, but the two hulls are completely different.
I paddle a Meridian, and use Romany’s of different flavors at work. I’m usually in the standard Romany, so can speak to that better.
The Meridian is a sports car - it feels quick and fast, has minimal tracking unless you use the skeg. You have to think about going straight in this boat, but it maneuvers very nicely.
A Romany goes where you point it - no thinking needed. But it feels slower - no slouch, but not the light, quick feel of the Dagger.
I weight 190 and have lots of freeboard in the Meridian. I think either would float you fine, but the feel will be different - you need to paddle both!! The Romany has a shallow V hull - the Meridian does not have the V and the cockpit is placed something like 4" forward compared to a Romany.
A Romany S or Excel is very steady with a heavier person, but I’m not sure about the older HV. The S in chop feels to me like it’s got gyro-stabilization. Edging the Excel takes extra effort at my weight - should be great for someone in the mid-200’s.
The Meridian took me a while to warm up to, but now it’s my fav. It’s the one boat of my fleet that I would not trade for anything…
What I’m saying is that these are two very different boats - you need to test paddle them.
Having worked a bunch with the Meridian on the Zephyr project, which was inspired by the Meridian, I concur on what you say!
ND was mad when the Meridian came out. He was mad when the Tempest came out too. Completely different boats. The old HV will have more volume than the Meridian. You may find moving the seat aft in the Mer is a good thing. It’s cockpit is too far forward.