I would definitely rent if that is a possibility. Not to steal business from the Fairhope store, but I would not buy a 2015 when a 2016 is just a couple weeks away. Mostly because you will probably hang on to that mentally months from now when the urgency is gone that you somehow got "less". You planned a trip down to the Gulf for fishing and to not fish would also weigh on you for a long time coming. Will you spend more money having to rent? Yup. But in the scheme of things you already spent the big money for the trip. Not to mention the time invested. Why not try one of the kayak charters? Brandon (I think) runs a charter and I am sure that not only will the trip be fun and have a better chance of catching fish than fishing blind, but the insights you would pick up on layouts, technique, and other equipment/gadgets you would want would be well worth the money. As a disclaimer, I dont know Brandon and have no personal interest. I am sure there are others as well, but he seems to have at least taken an interest in your plight.I'm in north Alabama so a trip down to purchase cost money and I knew I'd save sales tax thru Austin.
Austin has offered a 2016 PA as a replacement for the one here. However, I can not get it until after my vacation. I have a 7 day beach trip that I'd really like to get to fish, starting Friday.
I contacted Fairhope Boat Co. today and they have a new 2015 that they will match the price of the damaged one. I could get it on my way thru town.
Here is the kicker Austin night time customer service guy says they will not credit my debit card until they have possession of the damaged kayak. I can't have over $6K tied up in yaks for a week. I'm not sure what I'll do if ACK doesn't do the right thing in the morning.
Just my thoughts....