Tight Fitting Romany?????

I am trying to figure this out and perhaps you can help me.

I recently bought a used Romany that was supposedly a 2001 model. I had paddled other Romanys and knew it was a good boat / fit for me.

After spending a day on the water with the new boat I found that it was too small for me.

I was at a BCU symposium so I had the opportunity to compare its fit with about 4 other Romanys and it was SIGNIFICANTLY tighter in the thigh braces than the others.

Several sat in my Romany to include the shop owner and one of his instructors. Both of them paddle Romanys. They felt my boat was an LV model for sure. My boat had the decals removed so I could not determine by looking at it.

So…I thought that perhaps the gentleman who had sold me to the boat might have accidentally mis-represented it and sold me an LV unknowingly, but before I called him telling him this I wanted to be 100% sure. So I asked Nigel Dennis who happened to be at the Symposium.

He took one look at the boat and said it was defintely not an LV. He was really surprised and said that it was a really old one…one of the first he had made. He said that the first ones he made had a lower front deck and a tight fit…too tight for most. As a result they raised the deck height a bit on subsequent models. This was surprising to me as the boat was in excellent condition and did not appear to be 20 years old.

So…I am selling the boat and looking for another Romany that will fit me better.

However…I contacted the guy I bought it from (whom I trust at his word) and he says it is a 2001 model. He says you can tell by the last digit in the serial number.

I am trying to figure this whole thing out because I want another Romany but can’t deal with one of this size. I found another used one that is a long drive away from here. It is a 2001 model. I don’t want to drive to get it only to find out it fits the same as this one. I am interested in trying to find out if this is a function of all 2001 model Romanys or not. Maybe they have a higher seat in them???

Or, perhaps the boat is actually a 1991. It is possible that the owner believed it to be a 2001 because of the last digit in the serial number and that it was actually a 91 instead. This would seem to be consistent with what Nigel Dennis said as this would make it a pretty early Romany model.

I know that the NDK boats have some variability due to their handmade qualities, but this is a huge difference. Also would find it hard to believe that Nigel himself would not be able to tell an early model from a late model.

What do you think about this whole thing? Just curious.




I think you should ask the owner of the new used 2001 boat you’re considering to take some measurements for you and see how they compare to what you have.

My .02 worth.

What are the last TWO numbers…
Maybe a 9 looked like a zero…


It seems like comparing
some measurements would be a good way to start. Possibly the kayak you currently have was custom made for someone requesting a tighter cockpit.

How do you read the number?
How do the last two digits of the serial number read to you?

I think the Romany was officially introduced in 1993, so it is unlikely to be a 1991 model.

Ask the seller of the one you are considering to measure the height of the foredeck at the coaming (inside measure).

FWIW, I just happen to have paddled with someone this week who is still happily paddling one of if not the first Romany imported into the US and it was built and bought in 1994. It and she were going strong.

Maybe seat height
I have a Romany (brand new one). If Nigel Dennis says it’s not a LV then maybe it’s the seat height. That’s my 2 cents.

last two digits
The last two digits of the hull ID# are the year. I have an '01 Explorer, and it follows this standard. However, HIN#'s are supposed to be a certain number of digits and mine is one short, much to the dismay of the State during the registration process. I had to send them a tracing of the HIN. Also, mine was hand marked on the boat and it looks like they used an electric engraving tool. I don’t know if they still do them that way but “9” vs. “0” could be a case of sloppy handwriting.

Good idea about lowering the seat - or trying a foam seat. Maybe that would solve the problem without having to sell it.

Thanks for the responses…interesting in talkig to Nigel that he never bothered to look at the serial number.

This is still a bit puzzling to me. I realize that there is some variability in NDK manufacturing, but this is huge.

On selling the boat…I had considered the foam seat. Good idea. But I did not want to go through the time, trouble, expense of doing so only to find out that it still was not just right.

As a result I left the boat in NC on consignment (8 hours away) so keeping it is pretty much no longer an option. It is officially for sale (in fact it might have sold today according to the shop owner).

I am in the market for a better fitting Romany… maybe I should avoid 2001 models (although I have a lead on a used one that just happens to be of this same year).


Maybe it’s a 1901 model.-)

Romany measures
My Romany is a 2004 that was special ordered by Tom Bergh. I have reasonable confidence that the deck height and coaming size are as they are supposed to be for this model.

The fore deck at coaming front measures 11.5" inside from the floor of the boat at centerline to the bottom edge of the coaming. The coaming, inside measures at maximum, is 32" long x 15.5" wide.

Celia’s 2004 Explorer LV, again custom ordered by Tom Bergh, coaming is 28" x 14.25" inside measures. The smaller coaming is an important feature of the LVs. I wonder if your Romany has the deck height of an LV but the coaming of a standard boat?

With NDK anything is possible.

I think the changes have been pre-2001 by a few years. I can’t remember any real changes to the Romany since '01 other than skeg control options.

NDK anything is possible
having seen a good number of his boats over the last few years, and a bunch from 2007, i have to agree.

no truer words have been typed.

i can only hope, that my s/o Romany S comes to spec, as ordered, colours and features, etc. it’s gotta be the easiest boat ever. foam seat, no skeg, std bulkhead, no footbraces. easy peasy!

i will say there is a powerful charm associated with this guy’s company. he designs them, paddles them, in a biggg way, and confirms to you via email, himself, the order. i even sent the order direct to him first. try that with any other company. now if he can dial in that consistency…

seems to be a paddler than happens to manufacture boats and not a manufacturer that happens to paddle.