Thanks everyone for your input regarding which kit to build. So far it looks like the volume and the length of the boat is important as it relates to paddler size (5'4" 150-155lbs.)? I want a boat that I can use on open water (large lakes) that are at the mercy of the weather. Lake Texoma mainly (on the TX, OK state line). Moderate winds (10-15 mph) are pretty normal. But I'd like the boat to be somewhat lively, something I won't get bored with.
Someone suggested the Petrel, a shorter boat, but I'm afraid I would have a hard time with tracking. The Greenland Night Heron is I think a low-vol.(?) 10 cubic something-or-others, and knowing that I can change the cockpit size is awesome, but it is 18' long. Am I totally off track thinking this would be a good boat for my size, paddling ability (beginner) and conditions I'll be using it? The Shearwater 16 Hybrid is a shorter boat but with greater volume. Both of these boats on the web pages suggest that they would be good for smaller paddlers (defined as <160 lbs.). I also read a post from someone who said they paddles the Night Heron and found it too big for 170#/6'+ paddler. I guess I'm a little confused. I am going to try taking another paddling class and trying out a few more boats before I buy.
Thanks for putting up with my rambling. I'm hoping to buy my kit in the next few months.