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Romany Surf

by Nigel Dennis Kayaks, Ltd.

Reviews

If you are looking for a great all-around boat this is it…

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If you are looking for a great all-around boat this is it. Not too heavy (I have a standard glass layup), cockpit is easy in and out, and the boat has the same legendary rough water performance NDK/SKUK boats are known for.

The boat tracks great - I have a wire skeg but find I rarely need it. Storage is more than adequate and of ample size for weekend trips. Speed is good for a 16' boat. Handling and maneuvering is outstanding.

Paddle this one and it will be your day to day favorite as it is mine.

A great boat for almost any condition. If you are a…

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A great boat for almost any condition. If you are a larger paddler (I'm 6'3"") this is the boat for you. May not have the capacity for longer trips, but is more than enough for weekend outings. The shorter length (I have an NDK/SKUK Expedition as well) makes it easier to load and move without much loss in speed or handling in rough water.

The construction quality is great and the boat is easily adjusted for leg length to lock yourself in, and the larger cockpit opening makes it easy in and out. (The seat back is, as others have mentioned, not up to the quality of the rest of the boat - the only slight negative I have.)

Easy to keep on line even without the skeg down. The boat paddles easily - perhaps not the fastest boat, but certainly stable and able to absorb a chop without any discomfort. As others have said, this boat excels in confused water.

Paddle others to see for yourself, but you will come back to this one. All in all this one is a 10!

I am 6'1 and 230 lbs. I have been kayaking for…

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I am 6'1 and 230 lbs. I have been kayaking for several years and am BCU 3* working on 4.

Fit:
The fit is very good for my size. It could definitely take someone a little taller and a little heavier. The knee bumps make the boat very comfortable. I did not love the seat band so I replaced it with a foam block.

Handling is fantastic in terms of edging. I do not find the boat slow even though it is around 16 ft. I have a Cetus HV and this boat has no problem staying up with it when my son is in it. It rolls quite easily. I also have an Explorer HV and find this boat more stable in terms of initial stability. I dare say it compares to the Cetus with regard to confidence building.

In terms of surfing, the boat does well in that it is a bit easier to turn and catch a wave as compared to the Explorer or Cetus. While it will eventually broach it comes out of it fairly quickly. My Explorer or Cetus tend to stay in the bongo slide longer. Mine has the recessed fittings that don't screw out but have a bar running through them which the deck line and bungees go under. I thought this was going to be a major pain because I didn't like the bungee stringing pattern and wanted to change it to match the Cetus and the Explorer (which I changed). It was actually easier not having to unscrew the fittings. The bungees went under the bar and passed beside the deck lines with no problem. So now I am a fan of those fittings.

Finish on the boat is very good, but not as good as Cetus. The only real gripe I think I will have is the coaming edge. P&H coamings are thicker and rounded on the edge and thus a little easier on the spray skirts. Not a big issue, but the rest of the boat is great, why not just make the coaming a little nicer. Oh yeah, one more thing that is easy to correct is that the hatches are not secured by a teather. Not a big deal, but when you pay that much for a boat, why not finish it off right. Fix those 2 items and I would give it a 10. Performance wise, for what it is designed to do I do, give it a 10, It is a pleasure to paddle. I give it a 9+ due to the finish items pointed out.

I have had the boat out in flat, confused heavy chop, and 3 - 5 foot surf both spilling and dumping. I love it. While I love my Cetus, and like the Explorer, If I had bought this boat first, I may never have bought the explorer. The boat is extremely versatile.

I was looking for a plastic kayak to complement my Explorer HV…

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I was looking for a plastic kayak to complement my Explorer HV because I live in central PA and sometimes paddle rivers that in late summer-fall months have low water height. The are a lot of big boulders and at times you scrape the bottom. Even though my Explorer is as bomb proof as a fiberglass kayak can get, I wanted the piece of mind that comes with plastic. I wanted something that handled like an NDK. I tried the usual range of kayaks that dealers carry, Wilderness, Necky, Perception, etc. but they don't even come close to the NDK feel I was looking for. I kind of figured a P&H, Valley, and plastic NDK would be best. It is hard to test out any of them with the Valley being near impossible to locate a dealer nearby. The Capella 166 RM was kind of slow and not real great tracking. I located a few used NDK Surf RMs, tried one out, liked it and bought it.

I have the triple dump one which is 3 layers to make it stiffer and less prone to the plastic's oil canning. For a 21 inch or so kayak it is very stable. I am not great a rolling but easily managed 3 in a row. It tracks great, surfs well and is an over-all really fun boat to paddle. Edging and steering are very good, too. No leaks so far. My cousin and I took a paddle with me in the Explorer and him in the Surf RM, then switching off. I paddled with the same effort in both kayaks while he compensated. He felt that it required about a 1/4 more effort to keep up with me in the Explorer which has 20 more inches in length and is fiberglass but he could keep up.

I don't know if I would be as happy if I had to pay full price. Buying an almost new kayak at a used price of $1050 makes it a really great boat that I would be happy to have as my only kayak. New price is like $1900 vs. fiberglass list for $3400. I guess you don't see more Brit plastic kayaks because of the lower price the larger companies have using Chinese kayaks. You can get a new Wilderness Tsunami or Zephyr under $1400 and although they are good boats, they just don't handle the same.

I gave it a 10 based on comparison to other plastic 16 ft. sea kayaks, it would be a less if it you compared it to the range of kayaks a fiberglass Romany is in.