I just bought a house on a lake in upstate NY. I have been going out for an hour about 4 times a week. Neighbors tell me the lake rarely freezes because the waves keep it open, so I hope to continue all year long.
I have a Necky Zoar Sport (http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pdf/Retail/Kayak/Necky/Zoar-Sport-Low.pdf
) that I think is pretty much impossible to capsize. I took it out in Sandy with 2.5' waves and it seemed perfectly stable, though a bit difficult to control. So if I take it out when the water is reasonably calm, I don't see much danger.
I have a wetsuit (and wore during Sandy, as I expected to go swimming) but it is awfully uncomfortable and I really really prefer not to wear it. They are designed to be worn wet, and just don't do well dry.
I did go over in a canoe once in icy water and didn't care for it; but I think the chances of capsizing the ZS in calm water are about the same as being hit by lightning.
So... am I being an idiot for not wearing a wetsuit, or is it a reasonable thing to do.
(Actually the toughest thing about Sandy was just getting into the water. The wind would kept pushing the bow into the beach before I could even get into the kayak.)