RE: Long and Short Board suggestions
I'm sure Roger will help you out but to start with......
You don't say how heavy you are or what sized sails you have which would help.
I'm 80 kg's, have had the FF168 and the newer 158, have had the carve 161, and had a freeride similar to the 279. I also sail about 80 days per year.
I use a 9m 40% of the time, 7.6 40% and 6.4 20%. I'm just giving this backround so you can relate it to your situation :-).
Sounds like you might be on the heavier side, and sail gusty lake conditions?
I believe the carve would give you way too much overlap between your two boards. It could just about replace both of them.
I hate to talk about the opposition products but the last 4 months I've had a Kona as my only board and really like it. I can use all my sails on it quite comfortably and I'm even thinking of getting a paddle to use in no wind at all.
I truely believe it is the most versatile board I have ever owned. You are rigth, it is initially tippy at only 70cm but the 220L volume gives it the stability that the 279 will never have.
It doesn't have quite the low end that my 158 had but then again I'm also using it in winds which overpower my 6.4!
No wind, light wind, strong wind, freestyle, yep. It even carves a reasonable jibe.
I really hope Starboard eventually produce a similar board. It would round out their already extensive range nicely.