Santee 116 Sport vs. Pungo 120

I have been paddling a Pungo 120 for the last 7 years and this spring was thinking about getting a new kayak. I take my Carin terrier dog with me all the time so a large cockpit is a must. I am leaning to the Santee 116 Sport as it weighs around 36 pounds which for my age(close to 60) will help loading and portages.

I stick to flat water and slow moving rivers and camp regularly. I do seem to scrape the bottom of my boat a lot. My Pungo looks well worn on the bottom.

Any comments on this? I guess you could say I like the boat for its looks, material difference, and weight compared to the Pungo. There are two sealed bulkheads also on the Santee. But will I like how it paddles compared to the Pungo?

You might say wait for a demo day and try it but REI has 20% off one item until 3/10 and in my area no demo day available.

Thanks, Tom

P.S. My other reason for a new boat is that now I will have two and I can take someone kayaking with me if they do not have a kayak. :slight_smile:

Buy it from REI. Have friend with you to load it on the car and be careful not to scratch it. Take it to a lake and set it into the water about knee deep before you get in and try not to scratch it. Take a paddle in it.

I don’t think it will be as fast as your Pungo 120 but few 12 foot boats are and this one is a little shorter than that. But it will be lighter and on a lot of days you’ll choose to take your light boat because it is easier to load. I know I do this even if the light boat is not the best.

If you hate it, then carefully take it back to REI. They have a very generous return policy and they’ll order you a nice pungo if you want two.

Also consider getting a cart at REI. I like the C tug cart but there are many good carts. If you get a cart that will balance the boat from the middle then the only strain from loading and launching will be sliding the boat up onto the car from the back.

I went years before getting a cart but you shouldn’t. Maybe the cart is what you need to buy with your REI coupon.

Hope this helps.

Sounds like you may need a 14’ boat.

Pungo UL
The Santee is a seriously smaller boat. It’s going to feel tiny compared to your Pungo. If you enjoy the feel of your Pungo, why not try the Ultralight Pungo, made from the same material as the Santee. It’s not quite as light, but much lighter than the poly version and it’s paddling characteristics are similar to the boat you have now.

Great suggestion, the previous Pungo ultra light was not the same material as they are using now and had a plastic support all the way down the keel which did not let the dog sit. So, I did not like that version. It also felt flimsy.

But this one looks really good…


Your thinking of Duralite
Which was a slight variant of polyethylene. It wasn’t very stiff so needed the additional interior support. It also could be brittle.

Wilderness Systems Ultralite boats are made of ABS plastic. A much better compromise in weight, strength, and stiffness.

new Hurricane Santee 126
Agree that the Santee 116 will probably be too small for you and the dog but it is very light and handles exceedingly well for a shorter boat. Heard last week the new Santee 126’s will be shipping late this month and it was designed to take on the Pungo 120 albeit at a lower weight and probably higher price. We own and paddle 3 Hurricanes and love the boats and company.

Santee 126
I met Steve and Jon from Hurricane at Paddlesport last week. I think they said that the 126 is due out on April 15th. I was checking the 116 and asked about its edging ability, and Steve told me that the 116 wasn’t too edgeable but that the 126 was designed for edging. I have Hurricanes also and love them. Great to paddle, great to look at.