Romany v Capella

I’ve been paddling a p&h Capella for a couple of years and for absolutely no good reason want to buy another boat (I already have seven). I used an explorer on a recent trip in the San Juans and although I liked the boat, I rarely do more than day paddles / short trips so carrying capacity is a low priority for me. My observation of the Romany is that it’s a bit of a slug. My favorite rough water boat is my Mariner Coaster but it’s a bit slow also. Thoughts on these and others(anas acuta, pintail, etc) would be appreciated.

neither the Romany nor the Explorer will win any speed contests. i have a P&H Sirius that is faster than my Pintail and Explorer. 'course, “fast” is relative. are you looking for surf ski fast?

How big are you?

– Last Updated: Aug-31-05 7:19 AM EST –

If you could give your height and weight... would help. (That is what I meant... too early for me.)


– Last Updated: Aug-31-05 12:09 PM EST –

A Romany is not about speed on flat water. It excels at rough water handling and responsiveness. You'd find a Romany a lot more playful than a Capella and infinitely more lively than an Explorer.

If you want playfulness and somewhat better speed then I would suggest you try an Avocet.

If you are relatively small and want a truly fun quick boat, you might try a Vela.

6’1", 175# Its not that I want a surf ski. I may be searching for that elusive “perfect” boat but would like something with the speed of my capella that handles like my coaster or chatham 16.

kajaksport viking
you might fit into a KS Viking. it’s not the cockpit volume that’s the issue, just the legroom. i’m 5’9" with a relatively long 32" inseam. there’s another inch or so left in the pegs. you could just pad the bulkhead though.

it’s definitely faster than all the boats you mentioned (it has the waterline of a typical 17’er.) won’t spin around as well a romany or avocet but it’s certainly responsive and really fun in the rough stuff. rolls great, too.

to me the tradeoff of a small amount of manueverabiltry for more speed was a no brainer, but i paddle with some fast people and in strong current so i needed every edge i could get. the other selling points were weight and quality. the KS boats are so carefully made and well thought out it’s hard to compare them to brit boats. careful laying up of glass makes a lighter boat and mine is (when i empty out all my crap) about 48lbs.


Tempest 165?
Not as loose as my Avocet but responds nicely to an edge, and feels faster on flat water. I haven’t had a chance to try one in serious weather.

Feltman has a point…
Depending on what you want, it’s hard to beat any Kajak Sport boat.

balance of two
You won’t fit in a Vela, which is in someways one of the most fun and quickest of day boats.

The fastest day boat, of Brit or West Greenland style, is the Kajak-Sport Viking. As mentioned, it is not as playful as an Avocet or Romany.

You have to determine where, for you, the balance of responsiveness and speed lies. Of the boats thusfar mentioned, the Romany is in someways the best for play while being the slowest when pushed on flat water. Many find the Avocet a good balance of the two characteristics.

As far as the Pintail, which you mentioned in your original post, it is probably the ultimate ocean play boat. However, common word is that no one can paddle it straight with its soft chines and big rocker, also it is not fast.

wanna sell
your Mariner Coaster?

Try the boat

Since you have so many boats, you would really need to try a boat to see if it meets your requirements.

The Romany (I own one) isn’t fast but it’s fun. The Avocet appears to be a bit faster. Both these boats focus on maneuverability.

The Anas Acuta and Pintail are not fast either. Again, these focus on maneuverability.

The Anas Acuta is a very fun boat.

You might want to look at an Impex Outer Island.

Capella vs Avocet
…I was getting ready to start a new thread but this one is exactly on the subject. My wife has a 2002 RM Capella and we find it is a nice boat but too slow to turn and it does not handle quartering seas so well. The seat is very comfortable. I read so much good stuff about the Avocet that I looked at it thinking it would be the right boat to replace the Capella. BUT…side by side visual comparison with a new Capella the Avocet looks like they have very similar hull shapes. I have one of the early Necky Elahos and I think it is perfect with it’s hard chines and lots of rocker. The only fault I have with my Elaho is the uncomfortable seat. Our ideal moving on up replacement for her Capella would be something with a hull shape like my Elaho and a comfortable seat. We are probably ready to move up to a fiberglass boat but not ready for an ocean cockpit yet. We are in our early 50s. I am 5’7" 165 and my wife is 5’4" 145. Any suggestions? Should we be looking at the Vela? How big is the biggest person who likes paddling the Vela?


Outer Island
Is fast and a blast to roll, but otherwise is not very playful.

As you know, there are so many boats with so many differing strengths. Get out there and play with each of the ones under consideration.

One can always use another boat :wink:


– Last Updated: Aug-31-05 5:32 PM EST –

I wanted the Vela my wife has. It is an extremely neat boat. It is quick, responsive, and beautiful to look at.

Unfortunately, a 6' tall, I lost significant skin off my shins every time I got in it. Though I could brace off of the bulkhead.

You should try a Vela. Both of you would fit in it. It is quite unlike any other boat I've paddled.

You may think the Avocet and Capella have similar hulls, but if you get into an Avocet, you will find it is a very different boat from the Capella.

I have an original design Elaho DS. It is a very fun boat. However, it is a bear in rear quartering seas.

If you like your Elaho, you should like the Vela. After that I would say a Romany is the most fun.

Some things go beyond money. I got one of the last ones (#515), kevlar hull, vcp rear hatch, bulkhead pushed back to accomodate my pump setup…sorry I just lose it sometimes when I think about this boat. I guess I already have as close to “perfect” boat as I can get.

they have a personality…
My Coaster is #467, with just a standard layup, rear bulkhead, and large hatch. I think of it as my “mini-Cooper”, and not only use it for play but also for two week kayak camping trips on Lake Superior.

I know of two people that were looking for used Coasters, but they didn’t want to pay the going rate at the time.

Capella vs. Avocet

– Last Updated: Aug-31-05 7:25 PM EST –

The Capella and the Avocet (RM) feel very different. I tested them side by side before settling on the Avocet RM about a month ago. To me the Avocet was more playful than the Capella and that's what I was looking for. It also felt a little faster but I can't really prove that. You really should try the boats yourself, if at all possible.


Try building a design suited for you?
Have you ever thought about building the ‘right kayak’?

I am building Nick Schade’s Hybrid Night Heron…my first building project.

I mention this boat because it provides many of the features you are looking for. It is 18’ x 20"…is very fast…tracks very well…handles well (I am told as I only demoed it). I know Nick uses it regularly for surfing as well as for longer trips.

You can build a stitch & glue (doesn’t take very long…and Nick offers a class to build 90% of the boat in one week! )…or a stripper model or a hybrid like me.

This has been a true ‘labor of love’…an INCREDIBLE experience. Give it some thought…best of luck in your search.


I have paddled the Montauk and the Currituck and really like them boat. The Romany is a great rough water boat.

nordkapp lv
My 2 cents

I think the Avocet might be a touch faster than the Romany. However, that is difficult to say for sure. I tend to like the Avocet a little better in that it seems more playful. I do think they are both excellent boats. I personally cannot tell from looking at photos if two different boats will paddle alike or differently. I can get some clues from dimensions but even then it is only a rough idea.

If you are not in a big hurry you might want to wait till the new Nordkapp LV comes out. It is supposed to be geared towards a day boat for paddlers your size or an overnight for paddlers that find the reg Nordkapp to big.