Check out the Dagger Blackwater series as well. Most new paddlers (i’ve introduced to kayaking) find it easier to use a boat with a skeg to help in the begining. prices should be comprable and the 12.5 is big enought to swallow some gear.
You may also want to figure out what boat you like best and try finding it used. (they re-did the blackwaters for this year and I think you’ll find older ones for sale)