Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:50 PM
Sorry for the delay. I spent a bunch of time researching speeds relative to boat dimensions (width, depth, length) and discovered that "hull speed" (from what I read the speed at which the boat starts to surf its own wave) is directly proportional to the length of the boat (actually proportional to the "water line": the length of the boat and "water line" can be quite different depending on the design of the hull). If I did the calculations correctly, the Marvel 12 should have a hull speed at least 25% higher than the 10.
In the end, I am not trying to cover great distances, just more distance in the time I have allotted on my outings. I do a lot of "one-ways" where my wife and I drop a car at one place and then she drops me of with my boat elsewhere. As there are not a infinite number of put-in and take-out spots, I have found that a few of my combinations are a bit far in a typical 2 hour paddle in my other boats (and some of the other combinations are too close and are finished in too little time).
Alas the problem I have with touring boats are the seats. I am not very flexible at the core (because of some skeletal limitations) and find that I need a very firm and rather high-backed seat. To date the only kayaks to fit the bill are the Magic 12 (my first boat with a "chair") and a bunch of boats with fixed, high-backed seats: my 2 Jackson Kayak rec boats (Regal and Riviera) as well as a few older boats I have by Dimension (Sandpiper/Cricket, Mayfly tandem), and Old Town Kayak (H2Yo). Almost all are SOT (except the Regal but it is really a SOT with a higher deck: can't even take a skirt) with very short water lines (for instance 3 of the boats are 11'4" but have water lines just under 9 feet). I love the seat in my Magic 12 (which I just got a few weeks back new: yeah, I know, hard to believe I found one new but I did in the back of someone's warehouse). I tried the Intuit but the seat back is too low and not firm enough for me. I am a high-angle paddler that puts a lot of pressure on the seat and foot bracings because of my style (think Hawaiian style ala Hawaii 5-0 but in a kayak) and the only sit-in kayak that seems to meet my seating requirements so far that I can see is the Marvel (or the Jackson Ibis but I do not really like the Jackson removable seat and the Ibis has an odd foot area).
FYI, besides my day job (the one that actually pays the bills), I moonlight 2 or 3 nights a week as a kayak tour guide for a local kayak company where everyone uses tour boats: I keep up in my SOTs (actually more than keeping up: I'm usually the one in front pushing the pace). However, I have noticed that my boat is definitely surfing at the speeds we go while theirs appear to be just cruzin' (I just learned researching all this that that means I am reaching the boat's hull speed). In truth my wife recently got a Perception Sport Swiftwater 10.5 and I got a demonstration of boat length and speed. Her boat's water line is the same as the boat length (given its hull design) and combined with the hard chines in the hull, suddenly she started to keep up more when I am in boats with shorter water lines (where I was always having to slow down a lot for us to stay together). She was able to go a little faster still in the Magic 12 (which surprised me because the flatness of the bottom of the boat I thought should have made it slower but it was on calm water it is definitely the fastest in my fleet).
All-in-all, I love my Magic and am sad to realize they are no longer made. Would have loved to have gotten a Magic 14.5 (to use both as a solo and as a tandem).