Feedback re Hurrican Santee 116 Sport

I’m looking for a kayak and am seriously considering the Santee 116 Sport.

I love the weight and that’s a very important consideration for me as is having at least a small storage compartment.

I’m not sure about the foot pedals; they seemed a bit awkward, but I was wearing rubber sandals rather than water shoes, so maybe that’s why. Have any other Santee owners noticed pedal awkwardness?

It seemed to head to the right when I intended to go straight, but I am a novice, and it could well have been my paddling ability or the wind. I also tended to wobble a bit while padding. Again, probably me? I will be taking another class next weekend, but I don’t want to buy a boat before then if it has known “cons”.

The last thing is more of a wish. I love the open cockpit, but I wish it was maybe 6 - 8" shorter. I want to paddle into the late fall, and I can’t see a skirt on this boat being really feasible due to the huge cockpit, which I would want for warmth. And also I want to avoid water intake issues. But I don’t want a small cockpit, just one not quite as extreme as the Santee if I can find one. But I don’t know of any other lightweight boats with slightly smaller cockpits. If anyone here does, I would really appreciate it. 40# would be my maximum weight.

Anyway, any comments are appreciated and, again, info about any similar models is also very welcome. My purpose for this boat is exercise and recreation on lakes and slow rivers. Thanks!

feedback & options (long)
Hi Laurel:

no one answered so far, so here’s my take:

I’ve owned a couple of Hurricane boats - not the Santee series but have paddled them. Like you I wanted something light and easy to paddle when I got into kayaking.

Your contact w. the pegs will improve if you get fully soled water shoes w. a closed toe, flexible sole and good heel. Strappy sandals ofen don’t have enough grip. Also, if a strap hangs up on a footpet when you capsize and are trying to wet exit - an entrapment problem.

Santees do track very well. You prolly just need some time paddling. You might be sitting ever so slightly to the right in the seat, and/or you favor your right side when you plant the paddle (are you righthanded?)

An experienced paddler or instructor can help you get a good stroke, in the wind or not.

Good for you for getting lessons :smiley: Saveral years ago a kayak instructor said to our class that maybe 1 or 2 people out of 100 has a good natural kayak stroke.

It does take a little practice to acquire good technique. Most people use their arms far too much instead of their torsos, and don’t extend as far as they could or use their feet effectively. They grip the paddle too tightly, and don’t open their hand as they spin the blade into position before it goes into the water. Sometimes they pull the paddle back farther than their hip which is in effect a turning stroke. Sometimes they are using a paddle that is too long, or just too heavy for them, their paddling style and the width of their boat. These are just some aspects to a good forward stroke.

The Santee Sport cockpit was designed to be extra long in response from people who like to fish or do on the water photography. They wanted an extralong cockpit to easily access their gear.

Check out the regular Santee 116. The cockpit is 38"x21", down from the enormous 55"x24" in the Sport model. The Santee 116 weighs 36 lbs - one lb more than the Sport - and is outfitted the same way - with one important difference:

The Santee 116 Sport has only one bulkhead in the stern to keep things dry and give the boat added floatation. The Santee 116 has two - a real advantage in doing self and assisted rescues - more good stuff to learn.

You are correct that the larger the cockpit area, the harder it is for the skirt to stay taut and not implode under waves.

If you would like an even better fit, in a cockpit that, unlike the Santees, has thigh braces and is a bit snugger (more control, more fun to edge and brace)

try the Tampico 135S - dual bulkheads, thigh braces,

a low backband that will ultimately be more comfortable than the high backbands of the Santees, and a cockpit of 33x18". It weighs in at 41 lbs, 1 lb over your limit but IMO well worth it as a kayak you can enjoy now and as your skills develop.

I paddled a 135S one month into kayaking and it was a great boat for me for several seasons- very fun, very light and great for learning.

Not affiliated w. Hurricane AquaSports or any other kayak maker, just a very happy paddler who enjoys their boats and their customer service. Hope you will too.

My wife used to have one and loved it
She really like the wide cockpit and being able to just let her legs dangle out of it when she took a break. She sold it when she got really serious about kayaking and wanted a boat that would handle the ocean better and had more room for our camping gear. She does however miss that boat.

Not true…

– Last Updated: Sep-12-10 2:24 PM EST –

It was said: "The Santee 116 Sport has only one bulkhead in the stern to keep things dry and give the boat added floatation."

Nope, it also has a bulkhead in the bow, accessible through a Beckson port in the front of the cockpit.

Due to the long, small keel, it tracks very straight, but can be a bit difficult to turn sharply.

I sometimes use a half-skirt with it.

catalog & website say differently
the Santee 116 Sport is listed as having only one bulkhead in the stern:

the other Santees - incl the 128 Santee Sport do indeed have two bulkheads.

the OP was asking about the 116 Santee Sport.

Not to call you out. It’s easy to confuse the two models.

wreck boat
This is a wreck boat (misspelling intended) in the worst sense. Ok for ponds and not much else.

Bill H.

Huge Cockpit opening
Lots of first time kayakers seem to be attracted to boats with large cockpit openings. This is a mistake for several reasons and makes for a poor performing boat. I don’t like them and can’t get comfortable in a kayak with my knees making no contact with the hull.

I understand

I don’t care what the website says, it’s wrong.

I have the Santee 116 Sport, it has 2 bulkheads.