-- Last Updated: Oct-04-12 5:42 AM EST --
Don't worry about nit-picking. To try to answer your Qs:
"What's the difference between a "fast expedition" vs "expedition" boat?"
Expedition boats are traditional 'old school' touring sea kayaks, pretty much 'expedition boats as we've always known them'.
Fast-expedition boats are the 'new school' plumb-bow, long-waterline, surf-ski-inspired touring boats, such as the Epic 18X, Rockpool Taran, and Tiderace Pace family (now 3 boats of this type from them).
"Why can't a Greenlander by marketed as a "transitional" boat?"
Gosh, for any number of reasons I'd think. They're quite different, after all.
Greenland boats tend to be low volume, low initial stability, 'skills-oriented' boats for more advanced paddlers, or ppl who want to become more advanced (be able to do every kind of roll, etc).
'Transitional boats' are more geared to newer paddlers, ppl who want an easy-to-transport, easy-to-store, shorter, more maneuverable, cheaper, higher-initial-stability boat.
It would seem that the goals and design of those two categories are at odds with one another.
Did you think I meant something else by 'Greenland boat' or 'transitional boat'? I know it's hard to keep up with all the marketing-speak.
"Who would use a LV version of expedition boat? After all, you're throwing a lot of extra weight into that boat for your expedition..."
Either considerably smaller/lighter paddlers (such as our own Celia), or regular-sized paddlers who want to use a smaller expedition boat as a 'day boat' that they can easily throw around in the water.
If that answer does not suffice for you, I guess you could ask Valley, since they make even the famous Nordkapp expedition boat in LV. I doubt they would do this unless there was a market for it, so some ppl must be using LV boats (cynics might simply say, "women").
You're not saying that expedition boats should be made in only one size, are you? Don't let Aled Williams overhear you saying that– Tiderace makes the Xplore in *four* sizes.
"Last, which other manufacturer currently offer both surf ski and traditional kayak besides Epic?"
Besides Epic? Stellar comes to mind. Why do you ask? Is there a minimum number of kayak-makers who have to already offer both for the idea of offering both to be valid?
If that were the case, then Epic would've offered only one or the other, and thus missed out on a good number of sales/opportunities.
You can't always play it safe or 'me too' in business. =\