YOU’D REALLY BE SURPRISED…
...at just how maneuverable a 14-footer can be!
I run a 17'-7" Valley Aquanaut; Jack & Grayhawk -responders above -respectively -run an 18' QCC 700 and a 17' 9" (?) CD Caribou; my wife runs a 16'6" Hurricane Tracer, and Jack's bride Nanci runs a 15' QCC Q10X.
All of us have paddled impressively narrow, less than shoulder height low, and twisting with turns shorter than our boat length mangrove tunnels in the Everglades and coastal mangrove habitats of Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys, doing the kayak limbo, the kayak hula, and every so often, the kayak break-dance, for many years, and many miles.
We make it thru VERY tight spots in very long boats, which were designed for and certainly MUCH more than adequate for the open waters of the Atlantic, Gulf, Florida Bay, and Biscayne Bay. Now except for Jack & Nanci, we're all larger than you, so larger boats tend to fit us a tad better -but you can outfit almost any boat to comfortably fit almost any paddler. And don't forget, Jack & Nanci paddle an 18-footer & 15-footer quite comfortably (and QUITE well, I would add) in all conditions and environments..
I think you may be selling the considerable advantages of even a "short-to-us" 14-foot kayak short, so-to-speak, and of your sizes, as a number of responders have already noted, that 14-footer would be the best choice for you to buy and happily
-Frank in Miami