Thanks for the input!
I'm definitely staying away from regular kayaks, those aren't for me! I'm sticking to looking at kayaks people are raving about their stability and that's not a ton of choices so the feedback from others is appreciated. The 12 still felt stable but I'm trying to put as much why behind the better performance of the 14 as i can. I thought maybe a 2" higher seat would account more for it than the 2" less at the width and that could translate to the 14 if the seat is installed in it in the next version.
I'm also thinking maybe the tracking had some to do with my comfort level with the 12. There were (thick) weeds where I tested them and they asked me to paddle out past them before engaging the Mirage drive so the inexperience + the short paddle, wide boat left me going back and forth more than I probably needed to. That continued when I got out where i could use the drive and tried turning the 12 with that... knob doohickey? Very responsive but I was over steering a lot trying to get a feel for it.
The 14 is definitely the way to go then. Does anyone know if the seat material "gives" over a bit of time? Is the fabric holding up well?
If anyone is interested, the first kayak I tried was the Native Ultimate 14.5 with the propel. I really liked the canoe-kayak hybrid-ness (and the chair
) and the price but I started adding up the boat, a paddle, the cooler bags for storage then the skirts that would keep general spray out that it wouldn't self bail and THEN all the stories about how once it's swamped (by accumulated spray as much as tipping) it's pretty impossible to get back into... If I was staying on a river I think it would be great but for my purposes, the Hobie started not looking like the price was that far out there for what I'd get.
All the videos of you guys heading out into the ocean definitely ups the confidence in the PA! I'm on a small, choppy lake but with big cabin cruisers going full tilt in it. Their wallet I guess when it comes to fueling the beasts but they have more money than courtesy and I know they won't slow down for a smaller craft. That and I've been in a 26' cabin cruiser and have been knocked around in some of their wakes. Hobie PA 14 wins the day I think. Just need to think about jumping into it now or wait. I've done some decent damage getting camping gear already this year...
But I hate waiting!!!