Length: 14' 6" - Width: 36.0" - Starting at: $579.99See More Details about this Canoe
The new canoe has been great. It tracks well with either one or two on board. It is very stable and responds well to the canoe stroke. The materials are high quality and construction is superb. The thermoformed polyethylene hull should afford many of years of use. I did a great deal of research and read a lot of reviews and the Saranac kept "floating" to the top of the list. The weight at 80 lbs., though not "light" is manageable.
If you plan on more "intense" canoeing including portaging over distances, you may want to consider the lighter, though more expensive, alternatives. I have devised a simple system to load the canoe by myself so the weight has not been a problem. My son and I took it camping this summer and it performed very well. The seat backs (something the old wood/canvas model never had!) are great and add to the comfort and enjoyment.
Overall, for a reasonably priced, well built, comfortable, recreational use canoe, this is the best!
For the money, it's a great canoe. If you buy from a big box store, make sure you carefully inspect it. The first one I got had a lot of damage. They also do not properly store canoes so check for warping.
We are big fans of the adjustable backrests and padded seats. They are easy to adjust by simply adjusting the tension on the cord that wraps around the back of the backrest. This is great when you need to adjust to another position to avoid back fatigue during longer trips. The backrests fold down for storage and transport. There are three molded cup holders, molded bow and stern paddle holders, and a middle seat/storage/cooler console. There are 2 storage compartments in the middle console (which can also serve as a foot rest/stabilizer for the paddler in the stern seat). The larger rectangular compartment, which is a little larger than a drink six-pack, has a flip lid and the second smaller cylindrical compartment has a more secure twist lid (may be watertight, but not certain). The entire console may be removed if desired. At the front of the base of each seat there are additional open storage compartments. The canoe also has molded carrying handles and pre-cut holes to install lighting.
The Saranac 146 is sturdy and feels light on the water. We highly recommend this canoe. We found it on sale two hundred dollars below retail, so for us, big bang for the buck and will pay for itself many times over!! We are looking forward to enjoying it for many years.
Ultimately my final decision came down to price and features. I was able to get the Saranac 146 for about $100 dollars less than the comparable Guide series. The Saranac has a middle seat that is perfect for my young child and there is still plenty of room in the canoe for our 60 pound dog and gear. As an added bonus the middle seat doubles as a storage compartment. In addition to plenty of storage room, the Saranac 146 has built in rod and cup holders. I've been very pleased with the durability of the canoe. The thermoformed polyethylene construction of my canoe has already survived being dropped in our paved driveway. If my father-in-laws canoe had been dropped I would be patching the fiberglass again.
As happy as I am with the canoe, this review would not be complete without listing the cons. For me the cons weren't a deal breaker, but they are note worthy. The most noticeable con is the form of the canoe. Unlike rigid fiberglass canoes, the Saranac does not have a clean line. When the canoe is out of the water you can notice the bottom of the canoe flexing in around the seats. My other con would be seat design. The front and back seats have small built in storage places which prevent your from paddling in a kneeling position. In my opinion, the storage spaces on the front and back seat aren't very useful and tend to just collect water should you get splashed. I do still find the middle storage compartments extremely useful but they are actual compartments that close. One of them is even a sealed compartment. The lack of a yoke makes carrying the Saranac alone close to impossible and at 80 pounds its not the lightest canoe in the world.
In general, the Saranac 146 is a great weekend warrior canoe, but probably not for your serious paddler. It's a rugged cost effective canoe that has enough room for your family and gear for a day at the lake.
Again, if you just want an inexpensive canoe to tool around with at the cabin, this boat will be fine. Otherwise, look for something with better stability and lines.
Made out of polyethelene, I load it onto my minivan myself and it's easy to maintain. I've built a mount and use a trolling motor for saltwater fishing and it's holding up very well. The only drawback so far is the difficulty tracking in windy conditions.
For my purposes, fishing, this is a perfect tandem canoe which has already paid for itself in spades with the memories it has created for me and my children. I am very happy with the versatility of this canoe.
The seats are very comfortable while paddling, at rest and stationary for at least the first three hours while fishing. I've been out on the water for six hour stretches without any significant comfort problems with the molded seats. Just have to adjust yourself every so often.
Modifications: I removed the center seat and installed a carry yoke from Old Town. This gives me greater floor space for fishing and/ or camping gear, and slightly reduces the weight.. Added pull ropes to the bow and stern. Added para cord guy lines which run under the gunwales the length of the boat (for hooking things to). -I'm thinking about configuring a spray skirt to aid for future storms I get caught out in should we end up driving the nose into the bowel of a wave. 20 years of canoeing, and some blue water sailing and so far have kept afloat, but one never knows.
This canoe has so far proven to be a great workhorse. Easy to handle, great for carrying loads, reasonably quick to start on the water, and tracks pretty good under paddle, and is a stable platform to stand in.
I gave a 9 out of 10 because of my dislike for the center seat. Otherwise, the Saranac 146 is a great canoe, and regardless of on-sale price, there's no doubt in my mind that my money has been very well spent. I would strongly recommend this canoe to anyone.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!
|Austin Canoe & Kayak|
Over 80 models to choose from! 15% off ALL accessories with any boat purchase.