The Santa Cruze is one of those do-anything compromise boats that's either a long, narrow rec kayak or a short plastic sea kayak for someone on a budget. It's the kind of boat that you can get into trouble with, because you CAN take it into conditions that you probably shouldn't, at least without adding floatation and rescue gear. It's quick and responsive, and with its hard chines and shallow V-hull, it's much closer to being a real touring kayak than most 12' boats out there.
The actual dimensions of my Santa Cruze are 12 feet long and 25 inches wide. If you look at descriptions on the web, you'll get various strange dimensions, so I measured it myself.
My only complaint is that the cockpit is a lot longer than it needs to be... not huge like Perception's cockpits, but still pretty big. A spray skirt is pretty much required if you're on anything but totally flat water. Spray skirts that fit the Dagger Bayou will also fit the Santa Cruze. It's also possible to modify the cockpit by cutting a piece of heavy plastic to the right shape and sliding it into the "lip" of the cockpit to give your knees something rigid to push against. It won't change the size of spray skirt you need.. the whole thing is still covered by it. It's possible to get your knees under the deck as is, but uncomfortable and awkward. I plan on making some plastic knee braces for mine.
The Santa Cruze feels tippier than most rec boats, due to the hull shape and the fact that it's narrow for a rec boat. If you're used to pumpkinseed-style boats it may take some getting used to. But what it lacks in initial stability it makes up for in secondary stability. I've put mine up on edge so far water came up to the coaming, without bracing, and didn't flip.
The Santa Cruze is an awesome boat for a heavy paddler. I weigh about 220. A large part of my weight is in my legs, which makes a lot of kayaks plow water; the Santa Cruze doesn't even notice. The high-volume bow rides over waves and submerged logs easily.
I would recommend spending the extra money for one with a dry hatch or else adding float bags, and definitely use a spray skirt. The Santa Cruze has enough volume that it would be really hard to get it bailed out if it were swamped... and with the size of the cockpit that could happen pretty easily.
So far I've found the skeg to be pretty useless except in very high winds. Mine pulls to the left slightly with the skeg down, probably because I've hit so many things with it while carrying the boat to the put-in. Being able to put it up or down from the cockpit is nice, though, and it's easy to remove it and put it back on.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with my Santa Cruze. It's slightly more expensive than some other 12-foot boats, but is well worth it. If you want to do a little bit of everything... mild whitewater, lakes, swamps, ocean shorelines, and maybe even surfing for more advanced paddlers, this is your boat.