Read reviews for the Santee 116 Sport by Hurricane Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
My review is based on extensive testing of this kayak and other like it... and not as an owner. First of all, you must know what I look for in a kayak, which may not be your thing. Though I am in pretty good shape for 65, my shoulders are not getting any stronger, yet I plan to do many more years of kayaking on mainly flat water. So, lightweight (less than 40 pounds), comfortable seating, easily gliding, good tracking and turning is important to me. I have to say that the Hurricane Santee kayak look good, track and glide very well, turn rather easily, and seems to need very little water to float. I like the flat bottom hull with the keel that runs the full length. Much like the old Grumman Canoes. Some deep V kayaks that I've tested, also track and glide well, but sit lower in the water, where underwater logs or rocks could be an issue. However, there are several things about the Santee Sport that keeps me from making the purchase. The cockpit is way too large. Thus, no bungee tie down on the bow where it is most needed. I also use the front lip of the cockpit to lift myself up out of the boat, but it is too far away to reach on this model. I also lift myself up off the seat using the sides. However, this kayak flexes so much that you think it will break. And, from reading some reviews, including ones for the Santee 116, 126, and 126 Sport, apparently that does happen. Hurricane could take notes from Eddyline, which is a very sturdy composite. Then, I had wondered if the Santee 116 or 126 would have been any sturdier on the sides, since the cockpit is not as long. However, I never got to see or test one. The closest dealer over 50 miles away only carried the one model(116 Sport), and I would have had to purchase another just to see it. I do not plan to spend that kind of money on a kayak if I don't get to see or try it first. Next, the back of the airestream seat seams ok, but the bottom padding feels a little thin and hard. I can't imagine sitting comfortably for hours like I do. My wife was very uncomfortable in this seat. Because of the thin padding mounted down in a recess, there was pressure on her hipbones. Possibly a much thicker pad would lift one's bum out of that recess. I had no problem, but then I have no hips. Wilderness or Jackson, though very different designs, are much more comfortable. Lastly, the hatch on the Sport is very small. And, the hatch on the 116 and 126 is not only small but still a rubber cap. Not like Wilderness Pungo or Jackson Tupelo hatch covers which are large, oval with double lockdowns. I wanted so bad to like the Hurricane Santee 116 or 126, but at this time I cannot. I wish that I could take features from different manufactures to create my perfect kayak that would give me years of paddling enjoyment. One last thing, and this may only pertain to my area. I live in Erie, PA where we not only have Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay, but many inland watershed, lagoons and small lakes. A composite kayak would do very well here. Yet, besides the dealer 50 miles away in Franklin, PA where the composite won't do well due to fast rivers, rapids and rocks... the next closest dealer is 142 miles away, in Canada. Hurricane is missing out in this area of Erie, Cleveland and Buffalo.
After owning a 16 ft wilderness systems tarpon sit on top that was great, I decided to purchase a lite weight sit in. The old boat weighed about 60-65 lbs. After a lot of research I decided on the hurricane santee sport 116.
It is lite,..35 lbs, it tracks well, the seat has numerous adjustments, the sport has an extended cockpit opening, it is well constructed, there is a surface mounted cubby as well as a cockpit cubby. and the mango color is very attractive. The lite weight also makes it easy to get on top of my jeep.
As 69 year old in great physical condition, my lower back , a life long issue, gives me a problem getting out. Simple solution...I purchased a strap that I attach to the front carry handle, usually back the kayak onto the shore or ramp and pull myself up. The large cockpit allows for easy exit. I can also sit one of my grandchildren between my legs for short and safe excursions.
The company staff has been VERY responsive with answers to any questions I h ave had regarding accessories. Suggesting other vendors if they didn't offer the item I was looking for.
I just don't get to use it as much as I'd like....but I'm trying to change that.
This morning I launch from our home in east NC to go out and collect trash on our annual river cleanup. At one point I had over 50 lbs in bags on back deck and cockpit. A real work horse. Best times are when my dog Nelson is sitting on a pad ahead of my feet sniffing out adventure.
My boat, being one of the first editions, lacked somewhat in fit and finish plus a few necessities such as a security loop to attach lock. I made small changes and had to reinforce area under seat but she's done me good. I pull a 4 boat trailer with and Eddyline Samba, CD Willow in fiberglass and a Hurricane 128 Expedition for my wife. The boat that sees most water time is still the Santee. Nelson says if I sell he's leaving home.
New or used this is a great rec boat for all paddlers
I rigged up a fishing console for her that hooks over the front of the coaming, so that I didn't have to put any holes in her hull to install rod holders and a dry box.
She's very light and comfortable, and she tracks and maneuvers well. She's also durable. I'm ashamed to admit that she's been dropped onto my garage floor, rammed into my garage door while on the roof of my car and dropped onto the ground from the roof of my car, but with no ill effects whatsoever. And did I mention that she's pretty?
The only disappointments I have are that her hull material is fairly soft (e.g., I gouged it the first time that I grounded her on some gravel) and she's not as fast as I had hoped, although my expectations were probably unrealistic for such a light and small kayak. Regarding her weight, since she weighs only 36 pounds, she's the easiest kayak I own to get onto the water and back, so I take her out a lot.
The seat is very comfortable and easily adjustable. It has a cup holder and protective pads on the sides of the cockpit. The carrying handles are comfortable. The boat seems to be as light as advertised.
The boat performs well for my purposes (which are mostly photographic). My wife doesn't like the way it tracks though.
The only negative I have is the material. We also own an Eddyline Skylark, a more expensive boat, but with some comparable specs on paper. The Eddyline composite is much more solid and stiffer than the Hurricane's. They're not even close. Before you purchase the Hurricane you may want to check out the Eddylines. That being said, I think the Santee will hold up and there is a significant price difference. My point here is that not all composites are created equal.
I feel the Santee is super manuverable, edges well for a rec. boat and has great primary and secondary stability (almost to the point of being a bit boring.) Compared with other recreational kayaks of the same size the Santee seems to track a bit better than most and has very good glide. Speed is also decent although I guess I was hoping for more. I would give the Santee a rating of 9 but Hurricane has provided my with such outstanding customer service I feel compelled to give it a 10. My boat started to develop slight bulges in the hull under the bulkheads and with a simple call to Hurricane they are rectifying the situation to my complete satisfaction. I even spoke with Hurricane's VP Brad Taylor and he was both very kind and helpful. Once again Hurricane appears to have wonderful customer service which is worth a great deal these days.
In summation, I would say the Santee Sport 116 is a fun, super stable good looking boat that is quite durable and is probably one of the top performing recreational kayaks available in the 12' range. My next kayak will be a Hurricane Category 5 as I am looking for a little more speed and excitement. Plus edging the swede form hull in turning is just plain fun!
My wife wants to get involved in kayaking so we went to a local lake and rented two Necky's. I thought paddling my Santee was much easier. Looks like I may be buying another one for my wife. I have a closed cockpit. Being 60 years old I am not as limber as I used to be, so getting in and out is a bit more difficult. The Necky's we rented were open cockpit. I think I might have been more comfortable with that. My wife's will be open cockpit so hopefully she will let me try it out.
After having it in the water 3 times I am getting a small amount of water in both the fore and aft lockers. I will keep an eye on that.
The pro's are transportability, ease of paddling (see no need for the optional rudder), pretty comfortable seat, Trilone appears to be rugged enough, and the looks.
The con's would be that the accessibility of the foot pedals is cumbersome, and possibly the hull to deck joining (were the water is likely to be getting in the lockers)although a bit of marine grade caulk will fix the problem once found.
All in all I am very satisfied with the Santee 116.
The Santee Sport has met and exceeded all my expectations. It is light, easy to carry and quick in the water. It tracks well, turns easily and is a joy to use. Highly recommended.
We may eventually move on to more serious boats, however we are having a blast with these. They are a great value for the money
When the wind is at your back, it doesn't track very well. It has excellent glide, but only fair speed. Being very expensive, compared to the roto-cast kayaks, it delivers on looks & comfort but is so-so on performance.