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  You're on the right track,
  Posted by: on Feb-26-13 8:35 PM (EST)

demo, demo, demo. I,(5'10" 155#), own a T-165pro, Z-155rm & a Alchemy 14s(tight fit, the 14l is what you should look at). They are IMO, all very different boats with a fair amount of overlap; in turning & general playfullness, they'd be rated A, Z, T, in tracking without skeg, T, A, Z, in beginer friendliness, A, T, Z, in ease of rolling, T, Z gets an edge on A, in speed, T, Z, A, in "rough water paddling"(as in ease to hold course, least effort & least effected by quartering seas), T, Z, A, they all have enough storage for what you're asking. I should add that I'm usually more comfy in my Z than the Alchemy, so do a lot of rock gardening & surfing in it; if I could only have one, for me it'd be the quirky little Z since it's better in ways that are improtant to me & I can back surf it :).

You should go to the "Kayak Academy" web site & read what they say about your first kayak. I would lean toward recommending the Alchemy because it'll take good care of a newb and when you decide to get a second kayak it'll be your go to rock garden beater.

All the best,

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