Submitted: 11-10-1999 by GWH
I bought my diolene Romany 16 in 1995, first production run, no skeg, and I'm still loving it! I chose it as a good all-around boat with an emphasis on surfing and rips, and time has vindicated my decision. It has a little rocker, so is as agile as one could want a seakayak to be, easily making quick turns (so desirable when that perfect wave is bearing down on you!). Its high-volume bow resists burying on steep waves, and the shallow-v hull picks up waves readily. It rolls like a (good) dream and is very comfortable. Cute, too.
Downside? It's not as fast as some longer boats, but still keeps up. Despite the claims in the ads, it does need a skeg: it weathercocks in moderate wind, and in high beam winds and chop can even anti-weathercock if the bow porpoises and is blown downwind. Attention to trim (loading up the bow) takes care of the latter. Following seas are a ball, if you like riding a bronco (which I do), but your paddling pardners will want to give you some room to move in those conditions. This boat improves you paddlework. At 6'0" 210 I ride a little low in the water, a good reason to watch my weight.