What is the difference between the Perception Access 9.5 and the 11.5? Novice kayaker. Kayaked 3x. 2x in an 11.5. Liked it. I like to kayak on lakes, streams, and easy rivers.
Longer is better, the ten footers are simply not worth bothering with unless you want something for dragging over beaver dams. But SOT’s are also heavier than sit insides. The Perception 11.5 weighs about the same as a 14 ft SINK boat in many layups. This starts mattering when you have to load and unload a boat solo.
I saw your post that you had no interest in the ocean. That works until you are on a quiet stream being eaten alive by bugs with the flat looking ocean bay and that bit of breeze within sight. (My husband was from LI.)
I take it you have a periodic reason to be up in the Saratoga area? Contact me via email if you are up this way in August (my email is available here) and I can get you into a proper sea kayak. We could do Fish Creek again and you can get a chance to make a choice based on experience. Best used boat deals happen as the fall advances.
Here is an article worth reading on this site -
Longer boats track (go straight ) better. A longer boat usually has a longer water line, and longer water lines means the maximum speed is higher. A longer boat also is usually less wide, and a less wide boat provides less friction so is easier/faster to paddle at slower speeds.
A shorter boat usually turns easier (though boats like you are talking about often have keels built in to try to make them track better, which slows their turning ability).
Go to a real kayak store and look at some real kayaks.
My son went to SUNY Albany for a year and my ex and I ended up at Saratoga Lake on a fluke due to a hotel flyer for Kayak Shak. I had been dying to try kayaking but was afraid to go alone. Three hours was not nearly enough time for me. I was enjoying it so much. I will be going to the Long Island Paddlers meeting tomorrow to investigate and perhaps join. Hopefully I’ll find some people willing to mentor me and help me out. U all seem like a real friendly bunch! And there is so much I don’t know! Don’t want an inflatable, but can’t go hog wild on price. I do see biking, gardening, hiking, and kayaking in my future, preferably on lakes, easy rivers and creeks. Guys, the ocean is scary! But that feeling of being in nature and taking advantage of the beauty of the world is amazing.