I'd read the article in the Spring 2012 issue of California Kayaker Magazine on getting butt time. Can be read online for free at http://www.calkayakermag.com/magazine.html.
Basically, what the others said about making sure it fits is important. I would also take the basic day long sea kayaking class (which covers things like rescues, strokes, fitting in a kayak, other gear, etc.) before buying, as that would tell you a lot and help you decide if the T170 is the right bot for you.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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