An L or S for you. An S for your wife. I cannot tell you how many people have told me if they only could have one boat it would be the Alchemy. Appomatix River Company is selling them for about $1200 but maybe you can get a deal somewhere when buying two.
If in a few years you don't like it; I see used ones for around $900 to $1000 that get bought quickly. That's not a bad deal for trying a boat for a couple years.
They track well with the skeg down, but as your skills improve you will keep it up in all but the windiest conditions. They turn like a much shorter boat. I'd happily take one on rivers to class 2 and I love them in ocean surf. I keep up with most sea kayaking groups in one. They are a little faster than a Romany, so they are not fast.
They pack enough gear for a weekend trip and if you have expensive gear or it is summer you may fit in a weeks worth of gear and provisions.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
Cartop Kayak Carriers
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