Who Owns a Delta 12.1 or 12S?

Who owns a Delta 12.1 or Delta 12S, tell me about them.

All I am going to be doing is cruising Bayous, the Marsh and small Rivers, running over occasional submerged logs and mud flats.

Biggest question is fit, there is only 1/2” difference in both directions in the Cockpit Size of both boats but they say the 12.1 is good for 185 to 200 pound paddlers where the 12S is only good for 145 to 165 pound paddlers. If I am 5’ 10” about 175 pounds should I abandon any ideas of fitting into a 12S though I like a compact boat and it would fit into the van easier. But if that is not going to work or the 12.1 is just that much better of a boat, I can shoe horn it in there some kind of way.

Edit: It is replacing an older Santee 116 (theregular not the Sport) so we are used to that.


To repeat, there is no such thing as the Delta 12.1. It the Delta Twelve Ten, 12.10.

That is obviously short hand for 12.10 and is prevalent in characterizing this boat and appears in several areas.

Technically, you are correct however. I used this designation when corresponding with Delta and they had no problem with it…Good enough for me.

Edit: As a matter of fact I saw this designation so many times reading up on the 12.1 that not knowing anything about it, I thought the boat was 12.1 feet long and was surprised to find out it was actually 12’ 10” and might not fit into the van.


I think you’re probably too large for the 12S. Even if you fit comfortably in the cockpit, your weight will cause the kayak to sit lower in the water, thus increasing its draft and degrading its performance. You are more likely to get hung up in shallow water.

I’ve paddled the Delta 15S, and at 175 pounds I was near the upper limits of its design capabilities. That impacted its performance. I was too low in the water and the kayak was noticeably slow. I think that’s among the problems would have with the 12S. (Check out Frontenac Outfitters for their recommendations about paddler’s weight, if you haven’t already done this.)

I owned a 12.10 for several years, and in its own way it’s a very fine kayak. It did well on small and large lakes, creeks, and small rivers. Managing the kayak in a current was no problem. It was very easy to control and I had no problem with submerged logs or muddy shoals. Of course, it’s no speed demon. It’s light weight is a real bonus.

I even surfed the 12.10, and it was a blast. Yes, it’s more difficult to paddle back through the waves than a longer kayak, but once you are out there the 12.10 turns on a dime and you can comfortably ride the waves back into shore. No, it’s not designed for surfing, some caution is always advised, and some kayakers might complain about its surfing ability. Nonetheless, I had fun.

I would definitely buy the 12.10 again if I wanted a small kayak.

That seems to be the direction everything is pointing too. This basically has been said by several people including Delta Kayaks. You might be able to fit into it, but you would be right at the limit and perhaps uncomfortable. I didn’t understand because I am very happy with the Hurricane Santee 116’s design which I have right now and it is only 11’ 6
“. Perhaps it is much wider. Either way, I have to sit in them and paddle them and the nearest dealer is 300 miles away and only carries the 12.1. You are my size, you think the 12.1 is a much better fit for you then the 12S and there is no comparison?


My main concern is that the 12S will sit too low in the water. As you may know, a kayak must displace a volume of water that weighs as much as the kayak, including the weight of the paddler and cargo. The Santee is rather broad at the beam, and so it probably displaces a lot of water without sinking too deeply into the water. The 12S is much narrower, and its additional length probably is not enough to offset the decrease in width. Consequently, to displace enough water it will sink lower into the water, and that’s the problem.

This definitely impacts how the yak performs. Obviously it makes things difficult in shallow conditions, and it’s more likely to get hung up on submerged logs, etc. Additionally, the cockpit rim will be nearer the water line, so it’s more likely you’ll take on water if you’re not using a sprayskirt. This could happen when you lean to make a turn, and of course wave action can do it. Also, the bow starts to push water aside rather than slicing through it, and that slows things down. All these things could be a problem for you.

Just curious, have you considered the Delta 12AR? It’s a bit narrower and a bit longer than the Santee.

Ooh - the 12AR. My husband got one when I got my Eddyline Skylark. The catamaran hull seemed to make it slow. He couldn’t keep up with me. So he returned that and got a Sandpiper 130, which he likes a lot.

It was super stable, slow, huge cockpit. He hated the seat. That’s about all I know. The hatches were nice.

If you go to this thread:

P&H Max Paddler Weight = Max Load Weight? - Advice - Paddling.com

You will find a formula to estimate the draft of a kayak… if the two kayaks have grossly similar hull shapes the results will be more realistic.

Man, you would not believe how many points you hit on I have been hearing from others and from Delta. Maxed out with the weight, will cause Kayak to sink into the water, putting cockpit closer to the waterline along with a shallower cockpit to begin with, hurt performance, speed and acceleration, effect maneuverability, Santee116 being broader at the beam (I measured it today) , fitting in does not mean comfortable.


Right now, with my situation storing and transporting the Kayak in the van (I like it because you get into the van and you go) the ideal boat would be the Santee 116 built like a Delta.

It is not just looking more and more like the 12.10, it is looking like the 12.10. I just have to find a way to get it into the van, it is going to be tight. I got an extra 16” to deal with.

The 12AR does not look like my cup of tea. That looks like a strictly Rec Kayak with no performance. I mean compare the performance of a 12,10 to the 12AR.


So that is decimal feet ( or converted to inches) measured from the bottom of the boat gives you the approximate waterline?


I think I am going to set to “ignore” for two weeks.

I know you’ve been focused on plastic boats, but the Epic GPX would be worth a look. Lightweight, stable, handles well, and is faster than you would think for its size. They can often be found used for favorable prices. The earlier generation was called the Recreational GP and was about ~6 lbs. heavier at ~36 lbs.

Great looking boat, $3,000 new, what can they be had for used? Would be worth keeping an eye out for now that I know it is worth looking for. Might be nice having a composite. How durable is the bottom for occasionally going over submerged logs and mud flats? When you first brought it up I thought you were recommending a Roto-Mold when you said I know you are focused on plastics.


Yes, unless the kayak is a sharp v shape. Works fairly well for rounded or more flatish shape kayaks. I don’t take as gospel but it is useful to compare kayaks.

Yes, myself and others seem to get caught up in numbers and you can get an idea what your looking for, but when it comes right down to it, you have to sit in the boat and paddle it. I have to spot me some demo days and wear them out trying different kayaks. Would be fun.


I’ve occasionally seen them on the used market for $500-$600, though they aren’t common. I imagine they’re as robust as other lightweight composite boats, so some care should be taken.

That would be a nice price if in descent shape, I thought they would be more expensive. I am at the point right now I do not want to be constantly repairing a boat. Had fun doing that but now want something reliable, that is why I was looking at a Delta. I have never seen an Epic around here, people around here are not that sophisticated when it comes to boats. Outside of clubs you will see big box Roto-Molds, that is about it, but you never know, you might come across one not too far away. Shipping a boat seems to range from $160 - $200…Good to know.


“He couldn’t keep up with me.”…Hyperbole

No. Not hyperbole.

Hyperbole to the max…Pleeease.