My wife and I are buying our first kayaks and, due to a back problem, weight is a major consideration as we make our selection. We plan to purchase recreational vessels for coastal river and estuarine use. At this point, considering kayak reviews and weight, we’ve narrowed our choices to four: Manitou Sport (44 lbs), Old Town Dirigo 120 (39 lbs with the new “hydrolite” construction), Hurricane Santee 116 (36 lbs), and Hurricane Santee 100 (31 lbs). We’ve been told by a sales rep. that customers who have purchased Hurricane’s Santees have commonly complained about the seat, saying it is uncomfortable. Those of you who have a Santee, has that been your experience when kayaking for a few hours? Have Santee 100 owners found it to be a bit small for their recreational needs (stability, item storage, wind effects, etc.) when compared with a Santee 116? Are there any other kayaks we should be considering? Any suggestions at all would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have never paddled the Hurricanes, but if you are interested in a slightly longer rec boat, the Manitou is only 45 lbs. (one lb. more than the Manitou Sport.) A great boat. I have really been pleased with Necky. It is very stable for a width under 25"
Probably not as much help as you wanted, but thought I’d tell you anyway.
Don’t take somebody else’s
word for seat comfort. Every body is different! There is no substitute for tying the boat on and seeing for yourself how it fits!
Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about how the seat feets as long as you fit properly in the yak - you can modify the seating fairly easily to make it more comfortable. You might want to look around for a salesperson who is more concerned about how the yak’s seat feels to YOU as opposed to what other people told him (how’s he like it, or his he trying to sell something he’s not too familiar with?)
Check out the Current Design Kestrel 120
44lbs. 39lbs. or 30lbs, depending on lay-up
I have had the Santee 116 for about a year, and I really like it. It’s light, maneuverable, stable, tracks fairly well for a small boat and looks good. It’s big enough for my size and weight (6’, 180#). The seat was a little uncomfortable, and nearly impossible to adjust while sitting in it, but I made the seat pretty comfortable with a small piece of foam from an old sleeping pad for lower back support. I would recommend it as a great boat for the price, but I haven’t tried the others you mentioned.
Current Designs Kestrel
I agree with Greyak that you might take a look at the Current Designs Kestrel. It comes in a Kevlar version that is very light.
My wife has a Hurricane Aqua Sports “Tampico”,and she really likes it.
It only weighs 38 Lb
I used a santee xl for about a year and have no complaints about the seat. Check the web site as I think they have changed the seat for this year, to be removeable…
I had problems with cosmetics on the boat. the caulking came out from the seam between the hull and the top. It was a very sloppy job of caulikng.
Also had a problem with the hatch cover being so loose it blew away…
Thanks everyone for your suggestions - they’ve been very helpful!