There is only one Etain near me and it is the 17’5" or now what Valley is calling their MV Hull of this design with the 17’3" being their LV version and the 17’7" being the HV version. Valley’s own web site and talking with one shop puts me definitely in the largest boat going by my body weight and size, but another shop thinks I should go with the middle size boat if it is to be primarily a day boat. My size is 6’, 220 lbs and 10.5 foot size. I do fit the MV model and can demo it, but I am not near anybody who has the larger boat so I could compare the two side by side on and off the water. If anybody has paddle both of these two Etains and wants to chime in … appreciated.
I’d demo the MV, and if it works, go for it and don;t worry about the large one. If it feels small, then I would look further into the large. My $0.02.
I’ve demo’d the Etain HV. I’m 6’1", 210lbs, size 11 feet. I found it very roomy and too much buoyancy unloaded. For a day boat personally I’d go with the MV.