Thank you for taking the time to poll your staff and provide me with answers to these questions that I have had for some time. I now fully understand your answer to why it may be more difficult to do self-rescues in shorter sea kayaks; most have little bow and stern volume compared to the flooded cockpit volume. My situation is a little unsusual in that I padddle a Warren Light Craft 12.5 that is narrowest at the small cockpit and has high volume bow and stern sections. I also weigh about 130 Lbs, which makes a difference in self-rescues. My expereince in the WLC 12.5 has been that unlike in my 16.5-ft Folbot Cooper, I cannot do an over-the-stern cowboy rescue since I cannot force the stern low enough into the water as it does not narrow at the end like most kayaks. However, I have found paddle foat rescues are very quick and easy in my WLC 12.5.
The relative advantages of longer kayaks in maintaining a straight course in following wind and waves was less clear to me. I agree that my longer kayak will bridge waves under certain conditions, which makes geting pushed out of alighnment on a wave face a moot point. However, as you say, the shorter boat is less affected less while on following waves and is easier to correct. On the inland lakes where I generally paddle, a combination of high winds and accompanying steep chop are often more of a problem than large waves, so this may be why I think that a shorter handles these conditions better.