romany speed?

How slow or fast do owners of this fine craft

find it to be. How’s it for keeping up with longer

boats, can it keep up given the paddler is up

to the task. Or is this boat just more of a

play more.

Depends on who you are paddling with

– Last Updated: Jan-23-07 11:38 PM EST –

I could not keep up with the longer boaters on a flat water paddle in the Romany but would be near the front in my Nordkapp.
Editted to add.. the longer boaters were speed minded on flat water. On general group paddles, no problem setting the pace.

For goodness sake…
Speed again! Look, most touring paddlers do not even reach 4 knots on average. Below 4 knots the drag profile of most touring kayaks is so close as to be a non-issue. If you are paddling with fit, skilled paddlers in longer skinny boats, and the agenda is speed, you will not keep up. I say thats rare. I did a trip on Vancouver Is west coast with two guys in Current Designs Exrremes who were convinced I would not keep up in a Romany. I waited for them every day. VERY few people understand the difference between Frictional and Residual resistance, and the crossover point which extensive Sea Kayaker data shows us is between 4 and 4.5 knots. I did 50 knot days in my Romany, and yeah, I was spent.

Noone interrested in legit speed would paddle a Romany or any of these Brit/ Greenland designs.

What is up with this constant focus on speed? Get fit and paddle often and you’ll make any boat go 4-4.5 knots all day. Wanna go faster, get a fast boat and get fit. I’m out…

As above…

– Last Updated: Jan-23-07 11:39 PM EST –

Jed, a coach, manages to keep up with and pass just about anyone he wants to in a Romany. But a lot of paddlers probably aren't strong enough in form etc to do that. It depends mostly on you.

Up to 4 knots …
… most “sea” kayaks, from a 13-1/2 foot Mariner Coaster to a 19 foot Futura Surf Ski have about the same drag – within a range of about 20%, assuming a 250 lb. load.

At 6 knots, the range in drag will increase from 4.7 to 8.8 kg – almost a 100% increase in drag going from a surf ski to a small ocean playboat. So, if you plan to paddle 4 knots or less, then it depends much more on you (skills, conditioning, conditions) than the boat.

How fast do your paddling companions tend to paddle and in what conditions? And are they willing to paddle at a slower rate if one of their paddling team is having trouble?

The other aspects of smaller kayaks like the Romany, such as the lower wind load, greater maneuverability, ease-of-rolling (and limited cargo space) are sure to be more important factors at “normal” touring speeds.


Take a laxative Salty
It is a legit question.

Mr salty
Mr Salty gets worked up pretty easliy, but

he also provided some help full information.

Thanks for input

Hey salty
I have pretty much the same thoughts as you regarding these “speed” questions. Under 4 knots (sustained) - largely a non-issue. Much more important things to consider. Over 4 knots things change and kayaks should to.

What about this “Greenland” kayak? Legit or not, it’s pretty quick.

19’ 8 1/4" x 18 7/8" and Swedeform (that’s what happens when someone with 3 years in a QCC700 - and has a Surf Ski hanging over it gets building a SOF).

As easy or easier to drive than the Q and more maneuverable. Maintaining 4-4.5 knots is nothing special in it - not even for this short fat out of shape middle aged guy. Precisely what it was designed for - and capable of a good bit more if I drop some ballast and get back in better shape.

Doing a similar hull hard shell, slightly shorter, faired and edges smoothed to optimize and take better advantage of composites, with a nice small understern with gas pedal setup is on my “someday” list. Faster than sea kayak, not as fast as skis but nearly as light - just as rough water capable (if not more), and more versatile than either for day paddles (which is what most are doing most of the time anyway).

I don’t know much about sea kayaks
But we have two P&H Quests and they seem to be fairly quick. What “Class” do these boats fall into and would they be considered fast boats, mid range or fairly slow?

These brit boats seem to be well made and are certainly easy to paddle.


Yep, it’s the motor
…not the boat at cruising speed.

I have two friends I paddle with who are famous around here for only being recognizable from behind their boats. One paddles an Explorer, and the other is a designer/builder who can show up in most anything. In his slowest playboat, he’s still faster than almost all of the rest of the people he paddles with.

Unless you’re racing or a naturally slow paddler (To the point of not being able to keep up) a faster boat isn’t an issue.



– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 10:20 AM EST –

Not sure what you mean by class, but the P&H Quest is intended for tripping rather than playing. They are big person's boats anyway - unless your your wife is quite unusually big, tall with the weight to boot, she'd be very challenged to use it more as a play boat. The more playful boats generally have lower deck heights to provide good contact for more aggressive edging etc.

I think think the Quest is about average among full length sea kayaks in drag etc, as are the Capellas, but if you have the boats for tripping you are not likely to be going 5 knots anyway. Probably more like 3 and change overall with bursts to 4 knots. You shouldn't have problems on that score.

I agree
that it is the paddler, not the boat, and would add that this whole speed question looks very different when the wind in 25 knots and there is a lot of chop on the water. On the other hand, I have a P&H Quest and have owned NDK boats at various time. It “feels” as though it is easier to hold the Quest steady at 3.5 knots than to hold the Explorer at that speed. I also have an Outer Island, and it “feels” like it takes less effort at a given speed than any of the other boats in my garage. Not talking about high end speed–I have a Pintail that hits its top end at about 4 knots, and it is very different from the Quest or OI, but rather the effort (work) it takes to hold a typical fast touring pace of 3.4 to 4 knots. Comments appreciated.

Agree and disagree with Salty

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 9:30 AM EST –

I have a Romany and an Aquanaut (among the 8 boats in the family task force).

I use the Romany for nearly all my afterwork and play paddling. It is a fun boat and very easy to paddle.

However, for all-day paddles and paddles with my friend in his Outer Island etc... I prefer my Aquanaut. The smaller group with which I often paddle on weekends frequently cruises at 4-4.5 knots and sprints significantly faster. At these speeds the bow wake of the Romany is enormous and the feel of the resistance is greater than one would expect from the drag statistics.

So yes, at the most common stated average cruising speed (3 knots) there is no difference among sea kayaks in effort required. However, if you paddle with a faster pod or one that likes to sprint, you may find a boat other than the Romany is easier to push.

BTW A few weeks ago we intersected with a guy paddling his Epic Endurance 18. Very nice boat. I was in my Romany and it seemed obvious that at faster speeds it took me a lot more effort than he to stay alongside to keep up conversation. And when he turned it on, there was no way I would have been able to stay with him. At slower speeds not much different.

Sea Kayak - touring class
The Quest is a Brit syle expedition length sea kayak. It is about average in speed for its cohort. The drag stats from Sea Kayaker indicate about the same as for an Explorer up through 4.5 knots. Above that speed the Quest produces more drag than an Explorer which in turn produces more than an Aquanaut which in turn produces more than a Legend.

Remember we are talking knots (3 knots = 3.45 mph, 4 knots = 4.6 mph, 4.5 knots = 5.17 mph, 6 knots = 6.9 mph)

Once again, the answer is in your use, conditions, and in those you paddle with, not in the boat itself.

the answer is in your use, conditions…

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 10:35 AM EST –


This is one of the practical reasons many of us have more than one boat.

If someone can only have 1 boat (they deserve sympathy) then it is much tougher making a decision. Among paddlers I know, those who can have only 1 boat, the boat most often chosen is an Explorer.

So where is the disagreement?
I’m not as PC as some of you, but it seems my message is consistent with those that followed, including yours. Sure, sounds like one of your groups is into fast touring with sprints etc. Yeah, another boat would be better, even your A boat. A fit paddler in a ski of Epic will drop all of you in your Brit boats because you then have a combo of fitness, skill, and design focused on speed. Please find me a speed specific hull that looks like any of our Brit boats!!! Does the Rapier look like your A boat? NOT. If we all spent the time we do on the darn computer and put that into workout time, we’d all be faster and happier.

So where’s the disagreement?
That reads 100% Salty to me.

OK - that was weird!

the dilemma
It’s something new paddlers need to learn and people need to be patient with (and it gives you reasons to buy more boats ;).

But I wish those of us who are seasoned would be more specific when asking about speed, for example. Who are your fellow paddlers? What kind of canoditions? That sort of thing.