By coincidence, an occasional paddling partner of mine called to ask me about my 16X--he had been up to Maine and paddled an 18X (Ultra layup) and liked it a lot, but wanted to know what I knew. I told him basically all that I've posted here, but warned him that Epic advises care with the Ultra layup, as it's just not as robust as the regular (but still very light) layup. He said he knows about that, and has read every scrap of Epic literature on the kayaks. So, who knows? There may be another Epic on local waters soon. And maybe yet another?? I wouldn't myself get the Ultra layup--too fragile and way too pricey--and the regular layup is pounds lighter than equivalent boats anyway.