Lots of great suggestions folks…thank you!
I was doing some additional research last night and as @kfbrady suggests…the 10 foot range are typically ‘guppy’ shaped…very wide at 28-29 inches…and I do want to avoid that. While that girth is required to support a 250# guy…it’s way overkill for a 125# woman and does little for performance and lots against.
I did run across the CD Kestrel 120R…looked pretty reasonable…the Vision 135R also looks quite good…thx.
@dc9mm I just looked at the smaller Tsunami’s…I was aware of the 140 from a search in years past, but I didn’t realize they had such an extensive size-line of them. The smaller ones don’t look bad at all…thx.
@Guideboatguy Manitou 13…hadn’t seen that one…nice! That’s ~what I was thinking about…a touring influenced rec boat. I appreciate your GF’s first hand experience…what you describe is how it’ll be used. Cool. The 14 looks nice too,…if she’s willing to go longer.
@Rookie That Eddyline Rio is another I hadn’t seen…specs look great…very light weight…I’m sure she’d love that. Nice boat. A friend had a thermoform boat and she had no issues with it. Seemed tough from what I could tell.
@Peter-CA Hello! We traded a couple emails probably a couple years ago. What do I paddle…key & good question. I have a CD Gulfstream that may well get sold this year as I don’t use it enough. On slack water and mild rivers I mostly paddle a Dagger Alchemy 14L…I think this is the boat we discussed when I was last looking for myself. I believe you had an Alchemy at one point. I like it…nice boat & would buy it again. I also have a Perception Prodigy 12 that I use on moving water rivers/creeks…got it cheap…good loaner… It handles reasonably well…in my moderately-limited experience. Actually, my GF has paddled both the Prodigy 12 and my 14L. While the Prodigy “works”…she does like the 14L much better…even if it is big for her. If I paddle the 12 & she takes the Dagger we tend to be more evenly matched on the water. Good point on something cheap…I may look for a decent-close to being sized right used/cheaper boat for her while I/we look for ‘the’ boat. She seems to enjoy kayaking so far and likes the exercise. Having a second boat never hurts.
So far…I’ve been looking more seriously at boat widths in the 24-25"range. My 14L is 24" and it feels very stable…though at 225# I get it to its waterline pretty well. Even at her weight (125ish) she thinks my 14L feels fine stability-wise. The Alchemy 14s is 23" wide…I’d guess this would be fine also as the boat is more sized to her frame. Thermoform’s light weight would no doubt be welcome.
Good idea on the skirt-sizing…hadn’t considered that…but it’s a good measure of overall cockpit size. I’m familiar with the Alchemy(14s)…but I’ll look into the Jackson. I did run across the Necky Looksha 12 and as I remember it looked pretty good. Need to revisit.
I too am biased toward a longer boat…I’m just leery of her getting on a twisty river/creek (class 1-2) and having difficulty turning fast enough. Her skill level won’t be real high and I don’t want to spend the money and then have her get frustrated… A longer-ish boat with a little rocker would help… She’s paddled my Alchemy on lakes only…though it does have some rocker and she handles it fine.
Thanks again to all…there’s quite a few real contenders here & many I wasn’t aware of…