ROMANY - S ???

Anybody had the chance to try one? Just curious how it compares to the standard Romany other than fit / how different it is from Romany HV / Poseidon. As I understand the hull is a bit different from the Romany HV, but not much.

Disclaimer: For those of you who have followed my posts…I am still keeping my Explorer! Just curious about this new boat. Maybe one day I will supplement my Explorer with a play boat…maybe.


from what I understand
it is about 1/2 an inch wider than the Romany HV and the hull has a more pronounced chine which means a ‘flatter’ underside.

It is on my short list as well.

There are subtle differences to it. I remember talking to Nigel at a couple of the symposiums. He was highly recommending that boat to me given my weight.

I remember him talking about some of the differences in the hull. I believe he said it had a bit less rocker. Also want to say he said it was a hair longer…or maybe just that it had a longer water line due to the decreased rocker.

I sat in one a few weeks ago at a shop and I really liked the fit. Fit felt very similar to the Explorer (not as tight as the standard Romany).

I have not heard any feedback yet from anyone who has paddled one other than Nigel…and he is a little biased!


I tried the Romany S
My wife has a Romany, and I have an Explorer. The Romany S is not as playful as the Romany , but more playful than the Explorer. It has more volume than the Romany, and tracks a little better, but I will keep my Explorer also.


call Sea Kayak Georgia and ask them
I am pretty sure a few of them have been out in a Romany S.

if you come to the RWS this year we can make sure you get a chance to spend some time in one in some current and bump.

greg in ct and tom in me both have one/two laying about…don’t know who’s closer to you down that way (mid-atlantic, i think?)

i think you and i are about the same size (200+) and so the boat is coming close to capacity (water starts piling up on the rear when we edge and turn) but nevertheless i find it to be more responsive than my explorer…seems to me the hull width is brought back farther astern and with a slightly more defined chine than the romany. i think that it surfs well for a long boat and in all it’d make a nice day boat for plunking around and surfing but folks with some size to 'em might be challenged to pack more than minimal gear - one/two night out rough.

have fun.

Fun boat
I have paddled both a Poseidon and a Romany S in significant conditions (surf zone, high wind, tide races). While I liked the hull and performance of the older boat, I disliked the cockpit.

The Romany S fits much like an Explorer HV, especially as regards knee room. One difference in the fit from the S vs the HV is that the S, in addition to the knee bumps, also has thigh hooks. The fit is much like a whitewater boat. That is,perhaps, one of the reasons why some of the people I paddle with fight over who gets to use it (this is the crew at Alder Creek Kayak, most of whom started out as darn good whitewater paddlers, and now spend as much or more time sea kayaking).

Of particular note in reference to the fit, it is much roomier than the “low volume” partisans might like. It is a knees up and splayed out position. Again, the whitewater analogy comes to mind- one coach has said that, in addition to planing hulls, a major technological change that helped boost the growth of play moves over the last decade has been the move towards boats that fit in this way. Better leverage for aggressive edging.

The hull between the S and the Poseidon, while it may be different,is subtle enough that I couldn’t really tell you the difference. Much like the standard Romany, the boat is amazingly wind neutral; the Poseidon I used for a couple of weeks in Anglesey did not have a skeg, and I never missed having it (winds to Force 7). The hull is slightly wider than the Romany, but much flatter. Again, it is fought over because it is perceived as being a really great surfer.

If you have seen the “Pacific Horizons” video, there is an orange deck/yellow hull S that appears many times, often with a different paddler in the seat. Who it was often came down to rock/paper/scissors (actually, our tradition is cowboy/ninja/grizzly).

Very fun boat.

Stay tuned, the same crowd is putting the new Tiderace Xcite through the same trials. Also a very nice boat, and being fought over. As is the Avocet, the Chatham 16…so many nice boats, so few surf days!


Romany S
One additional difference between the Romany HV and the S is the cockpit rim and the seat are all one unit. No more broken seat mountings. Perhap Nigel was invisioning the larger backsides ploping into the seat. I have one available for demoing for kayakers in the Puget Sound area.


Tide Race Xcite
I sure hope some of the Tide Race boats make it to the East Coast.

about mine

– Last Updated: Mar-15-08 12:44 AM EST –

i've had one for 5 months now and paddled it in all conditions, lots of moving water, open coast, surf, etc. as a matter of fact, i just spent the last week doing 5 star training and paddling Deception Pass and around Cape Flattery using that boat.
Nigel isn't clarifying, but i'm sure it is the Poseidon with the improved deck and cockpit. imagine the cost of developing new, ever so slightly different molds. no way. a few different hulls and a few more decks and cockpits, thats the NDK line up i reckon. side by side it is only a wee bit different than the Romany, a smidge longer, a smidge flatter under the seat, chine seems the same amt of 'hardness' and about an inch deeper. of course the main dif is as noted by Karl, the cockpit is an inch wider, and about the same longer, with the nice knee bumps moulded in a la Ex HV. it is an awesome fit for me. i cut off the extra long flanges on the thigh braces as my legs are plenty long enough to grip well under the hull into the bumps and they just got in the way.

dunno how a regular Romany paddles as i can't fit in one, but this boat is excellent. it doesn't have a skeg and i rarely miss it. also the ends get hammered a lot on rocks and stuff, so i'm glad not to be breaking a skeg box... quite neutral in high winds. the only thing that i would prefer is greater turnability. even on hard edge, the very low back and flat back deck cuts into the water. my Assateague turns more readily on any degree of edge than this boat, but weather cocks brutally as well. i don't think there are many sea kayaks that edge as and spin as well as the Ass. high rounded back deck, big belly and butt, she spins.

anyhow, it is a very user friendly boat, does most everything i ask it to well, stable on any degree of edge, rolls silly easy.

Your 18 foot Assateague turns better than the Romany S???

That is a somewhat damning statement for the Romany since maneuverability and playfulness would be the main selling points in getting this boat to supplement my Explorer.

I would think that the S has to be similarly maneuverable to the standard Romany which spins on a dime. The S may have a bit less rocker and therefore not turn quite as readily, but I would think it would be pretty close.


i hear what you’re saying
but that is indeed the case. as someone recently pointed out on a different thread, length has little to do with turning ability. there are many rec kayaks in the 12-14 foot range that track straight and long sea kayaks that turn. the Ass., like the Gulfstream is remarkably maneuverable, can spin within it’s own length. the Romany S does not spin like this. as all designs are compromises, i think the RS has many excellent qualities and i suspect that some of it’s features that make it so well behaved in high winds and snot, which include solid tracking, hinder it from ultimate maneuverability.

i know a guy who also has an Explorer and a RS and personally i don’t get it at all. why would anyone want to own 2 boats from the same manufacturer? they feel so similar, have the same poor build quality, etc. if i were in your shoes, i would look at any number of boats that are much more spin-y, like the Avocet, Capellas (the 173 is a bigger boat and is incredibly maneuverable) and probably others i don’t know of. the boat i’m most interested in getting in right now is the WS Zephr. i get the impression it is going to be one hell of a maneuverable boat, which comes in two sizes. the other down side to the Romany for me, is that i love to play slalom through rocks, which means a lot of contact, and i’m drawn to the idea of a material that allows for that without worrying about repairs.

did some research…
Seems that the Romany HV / Poseidon have a bit different hull shape than the standard Romany…not just bigger cockpits and thigh bumps.

Seems they have the volume of the boat extended farther forward and aft. This would change the handling of the boat fairly significantly I would think.

I’m not sure how much different the hull of the Romany S is from the HV.

Perhaps the larger two models in the Capella line might make a more playful boat for a larger paddler.

Not looking to get one any time soon…just wondering.