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Reviews for Santee XL 116 Kayak by Hurricane Kayaks


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 2 Reviews

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08-02-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is my first kayak, but I put a significant amount of hours on her - approximately 120 or so - before writing this review. The Santee 116 was previously called the Santee XL, and has been a prominent part of Hurricane's fleet for the last few years.

The Santee 116 has a lot going for it - it looks beautiful, it's fairly fast for an 11'6" kayak, is easy to place on a car, and is remarkably stable. The Trylon material the kayak is constructed of is tough, smooth, and rather nice looking. I was especially attracted to the kayak's dual bulkheads, which not only provide some degree of safety but also provide a great deal of storage space. The bulkheads are actually glued in place pieces of the Trylon material the boat is made of - no ridiculously cheap and leaky pieces of foam. The front storage compartment is small, but can handle some light camping equipment. The rear compartment is huge - I was able to easily store a one man tent, 32 degree bag, sleeping pad, and stove with no trouble. So in effect, you've got a nice, capable, and very small touring boat.

The Santee is a pleasure to paddle, easy to turn, and quite maneuverable. There's decent foot space, and it's easy to get in and out of. It is possible to edge the kayak, and to maneuver into the tightest of spaces. The Santee is surprisingly fast for such a small boat - or at least it feels fast. It also handles mild waves quite gracefully.

Fit and finish of the kayak, however, are issues. There was a small plastic barb on the coaming that would have easily cut a spray skirt, and in a few spots the caulking looked hastily applied. More serious was the new seat - very comfortable, very plush, and pressing in a U shaped pattern on the bottom of the hull. Be sure to check your hull if you have the 2006 Santee by removing the seat to ensure that the seat has not penetrated the hull. Mine had reached that point, but Hurricane has excellent customer service, and corrected the issue to my satisfaction.

Despite those few issues, I'd say that this is a great boat - and certainly remarkably more sophisticated than nearly and rec boats in its price range. Its true competitors are the Eddylines, and the various Airalite kayaks that cost far, far more. Hurricane has raised the bar in this category, and deserves credit for making a wonderful kayak.

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06-29-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased a Hurricane Santee XL 116 kayak and couldn't be happier. I have been kayaking every weekend for the past several months trying out various kayaks from different manufactures to test out the various features. I tried long and short kayaks, touring and recreational kayaks, sit-on-top and canopy kayaks, narrow and wide kayaks... I tried them all. I live in Florida and primarily paddle in slow moving rivers, large lakes, or along the coast in a bay setting, so my results here are geared toward those who paddle in similar settings. I narrowed down my list of finalists to the Necky Manitou Sport, Old Town Dirigo 120, and Hurricane Santee XL 116. I ruled out the Necky because it dind't have enough leg room (I'm 6'3", 190lbs) and I felt the fiberglass material of the Hurricane was superior to the plastic Necky. I ruled out the Old Town because it was too sluggish and a little on the heavy side, although it was great for storage, stability, and recreational paddling. The Hurricane Santee was by far the best kayak. I knew this the instant I paddled it. It glides through the water with ease and is extremely stable. It tracks like a dream. There is a lot of storage in both the front and rear bulkhead, and plenty of leg room for the tall kayaker. I couldn't be happier with my choice and recommend this kayak to anyone who likes to paddle in slow moving rivers, large lakes, or along the coast in a bay setting. It is truly a pleasure to paddle the Hurrican Santee XL 116.
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