If you were a bit lighter,I'd say get a Chatham 16. I own one and it's brutally stable in flat and rough water. But I think it's a boat for someone 160-200 lbs or so.
Despite of what I have read about the Nordkapp, the plastic version I have tried a couple times felt very user-friendly to me. Sure,like pretty much all Valley boats it's equally happy at any given angle of tilt without much warning before tipping over,but it's not what I would call twitchy.
Tsunami is what I would best describe as a "touring boat for non-kayakers". It'll haul stuff, travel distance and keep you upright. It's also ungodly stable to the point that it WILL hinder your skill development.IMHO it is meant for people who just wanna get on the water with minimal investment into skill. I would guess similar applies to the current Necky Looksha 14/Looksha 17(Not the Looksha Elite,that one's actually fun)
NDK Explorer HV would be a decent boat for you, I think, but test paddle it first. NDK boats are what I'd classify as 'lean-happy' but basically stable and good in rough water.
P&H Delphin is good in rough water,very stable, slow like any of the coastal playboats and excellent at surfing. Should fit you fine.
Thanks for the recommendations, Rider. I think I want stable but not 'brutally
stable'. And even from my limited experience I agree that the Tsunami "just ain't all that". Really
pudgy boat ('specially the 145), and I didn't even like trying to self-rescue in one, it just felt so fat/high-volume and had a tall rear deck, so it was kinda hard to push or pull down and clamber back on.
(Now I know what Ryan Seacrest would feel like if he was trying to make love to Kirstie Alley.
The NDK boats sound really interesting and they keep coming up in my conversations with ppl on what to buy. Everyone I've talked to seems to love 'em, the only alleged drawback is the quality control, or lack thereof. I'd sure hate to get a bad one.
Are most dealers helpful in fixing matters when the boat-maker messes up? Anyone get stuck with a 'lemon'?