There is an article in the Spring 2012 issue of California Kayaker Magazine (can be read online for free at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html) about why and how to get butt time. Basically, you have to find the right boat for you, and only you can do that. We have some people here who absolutely love their boats, but they may not be the right boat for you nor for your conditions. Most of us have gone through many boats until we found the one for us. Buying new boats and then getting rid of it shortly after to get something different is an expensive prospect.
I would take some money now and do the basic sea kayaking course. Learn the basics of the boats, how to make them move efficiently, how to get back in if you flip over, etc. In your area, they may not have classes until spring or early summer.
Other option is go cheap by buying a used boat, but spend some money on good gear (paddle, PFD, thermal protection, etc.).
Classic Freestanding Rack
PFD's (Life Jackets)
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Touring Kayak Paddles
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