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Saranac Description

The Saranac is a canoe brought to you by Wenonah Canoe, Inc.. Read Saranac reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other canoe recommendations below or explore all canoes to find the perfect one for you!

Saranac Reviews


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Wenonah Canoe, Inc.
Saranac Reviews

Read reviews for the Saranac by Wenonah Canoe, Inc. 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!

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I picked up a Saranac for…

Submitted by: g.a.anaya64 on 6/18/2018

I picked up a Saranac for $300. It needed work, but after sanding, patching and painting it looked better than new. Well, maybe not better but pretty good! I put it through its paces on a week-long Scout paddling adventure that began on a very swollen Little Miami River in Southwest Ohio. I had reservations at first due to the minimal rocker (3/4 inch) and somewhat short and wide build (15.5 feet and 35.75 inches wide), and the fact that we were loaded with gear; I'm 250, my Scout paddling partner was around 110 and we had 150 lbs of gear or more. Now, I've run rivers in Old Town Royalex Campers and Discoverys, old aluminum barges and plastic rentals. The Old Town boats are solid performers and carry lots of gear, with significantly more rocker. But I found the Saranac a superior performer all-around. It was very nimble in the moving water, especially considering my bowman was a complete amateur (but a very fast learner!) She can turn on a dime and cut the water beautifully. She also runs more shallow than the other bigger, heavier boats; ours was the only boat to thread the very thin shallow needle of a tight s-curve section without having to walk the boat through. The very good secondary stability gave my young Scout partner confidence. When the water got too heavy for the young Scouts (an upstream dam was opened and there was lots of rain), we moved to a large local lake. Again, the Saranac outperformed the Old Town's by a significant margin. It tracked beautifully, glided further and was faster than the other boats. Plus, at only 55 lbs, it was soooo much easier to manage out of the water. Now, it's no Minnesota II (perhaps the greatest lake canoe ever made), but it was a joy to paddle on non-moving water. I love this boat and think Wenonah totally undersold it when they were making it.


My first trip to the river…

Submitted by: canoeontheriver on 7/3/2015
My first trip to the river was in a rented canoe on the Mulberry river in NW Arkansas. The river was at flood stage! During the trip I saw many canoes wrapped around trees, floating down river without any occupants, and others wedged under low water bridges. We were able to navigate from put in to take out only once did we roll. That was 38 years ago and I have never lost my love for canoeing. However, ten years ago I purchased an Old Town Loon and switched to Kayaking. I've had several in the last ten years and enjoyed it, but something was missing. I didn't realize how much I had missed the feel of a canoe and the paddle in the water.

I decided to trade in my Synergy Kayak for a Saranac. I use it on the Buffalo River for 3-5 day trips on the river. I am very happy with how it handles, the load capacity, and stability this great canoe offers. I will never get rid of it and the way it is designed and built, it may outlive me!


bought new and, following the…

Submitted by: paddler234630 on 6/29/2012
bought new and, following the second short lake paddle, experienced severe oil canning @ the center of the hull, left to right, 12" wide and 3"+ deep

I purchased one of these used…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/2/2009
I purchased one of these used so I would have something lighter than my OT Discovery 174... aka the tank.
This canoe is lightweight at 55 lbs, and seems to be stable on the water. Initial stability could be higher, but the secondary seems fine. The seats are very low to the bottom of the canoe, so it uncomfortable for your legs if you are 6'2" tall. May be more comfy for smaller guys, but it is something to consider if you have bad knees like I do. I like the canoe, but I my legs start to hurt quickly due to this low position.

Half the summer gone and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/17/2002
Half the summer gone and having a great time with the Saranac. Growing up in north central Ontario with canvas covered canoes (still a first love) it has taken me some time to find a boat that is as delightful to paddle. My partner and I are gone every weekend exploring the mountain lakes and rivers of south west Alberta and this little boat is just a pure pleasure. It does everything well, tracks fairly straight even in brisk winds, easily glides through tight shallow streams and is very maneuverable. My partner seldom paddles, prefering to enjoy the ride and scenery and I do not have any difficulty moving the boat smartly with little effort. Initial stability isn't what you get with a flat bottom but this is a good thing. It has strong secondary stability, I had to aggressively rock the boat to the gunwales and only on the third rotation was I finally tossed out. Although it is not the fastest canoe on the pond it stays with the pack. I didn't buy it for speed anyway ! It is too bad this craft is designated utility, it is way more than that.... at only 55 lbs in rugged Royalex I doubt I will buy another canoe. I am glad I got the last of the Saranacs, it appears it's re[placement, the Heron, is quite a bit more pumpkin seed in design. Darn good boat, I'm happy !

We purchased our Saranac…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/10/2002
We purchased our Saranac through contacts made in the Classifieds of and we got nothing less than a terrific deal. The Saranac has proved to be perfect for taking my wife, 3-year old son and beagle on flatwater excursions. It tracks well, but it's the stability of the Saranac that really makes this a terrific canoe for young families. the royalex material makes it a light canoe for its capacity, so i've had no problem lofting it up onto a 7 foot canoe rack for storage (I'm 5'9"). If you have a young family and you find a saranac for sale, buy it. This rating would be a 10 if it tracked just a little bit better.

This boat is the ideal boat…

Submitted by: paddler230761 on 3/30/2001
This boat is the ideal boat for most daytripping where low to medium cruising speeds and handy maneuverability are paramount. It's ability as a solo rowboat is excellent both on still and moving waters. The Old Town oar-pin socket set I mail-ordered fits the vinyl gunwales perfectly and the bow seat is back far enough so that only minimal ballast (50 lbs) is necessary on the floor at the very stearn. The seats are super strong and the porky mid-section has two extra sheets of ABS to prevent oil canning. By the way, don't be fooled by that elongated fullness of the Saranac's belly. It's a positive, not a negative ... because it make this a "comfortable" canoe. At 55 lbs. and just 15 feet, it's also easy to put on a small car for efficient, longer-distance traveling. I only hold back from giving it a 10 because of the blunt bow gurgle that's still restricts Royalex canoes from reaching higher speeds and silent running. But hey ... this is a "short" 15 footer (due to very raked stems) that does almost everything well. It's durable for the long haul if not dragged and does it all with decent aesthetics. And last, but not least ... it doesn't cost that much ... at about 7-800 bucks, it's a steal!

I also echo the sentiments of…

Submitted by: paddler229031 on 12/17/2000
I also echo the sentiments of the previous reviews. I had owned a wide, flat bottom Merrimack canoe years ago, and wanted to get another canoe to use for fishing and general paddling as my kids grow. I almost bought the fisherman model, but the Wenonah rep at a canoe show talked me into the Saranac and I've been very happy with it. It paddles extremely well. It is not as stable as the fisherman type models, but I haven't had any problems getting used to that - the secondary stability is still very good. It has excellent glide - that was the first thing I noticed when I took it out. I couldn't beleive how well it paddles. I agree with the previous reviewer that Wenonah sells this canoe short calling it a "utility" canoe. Anyone looking for a nice, easy paddling recreational canoe that paddles well should consider the Saranac. It cartops easily, even by myself. The lightness was another factor that had made me lean towards this model, since I have to get it up on the car myself most of the time. A very good choice for fishing and recreational paddling!

Ditto the previous review. I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/30/2000
Ditto the previous review. I use the Saranac for fishing/paddling the Potomac River, and it is a great river boat (will try it soon on the Shenandoah). I solo paddle 90% of the time, but bought a tandem so I could take my wife and daughter on a lazy fishing trip also. I previously owned an Old Town Hunter (basically the same as the Pathfinder they are currently selling), and while it was a very well- made canoe, it could be a real tub with a sail in wind and was quite slow. Canoe makers market flat-bottom canoes to fisherman, thinking that stability is paramount. But paddling efficiency counts also, and Saranac is a much better paddling canoe than the Hunter. The initial stability on the Saranac is not as good as the Hunter, but that's the mark of an efficient hull. I have no problem taking my daughter on the Saranac (3-year old), and the slight rolling is easy to get used to when you feel like you are making real progress paddling. The Saranac is a symetrical hull, so it easily converts to a solo canoe, but I recommended putting some weight in the front for better trim.

I noticed also that Wenonah marketed this canoe as a "utility" canoe, and kind focused their catalogue write-up on kids. I think that sells this boat way short. This a great compromise hull for fisherman like me who like to fish and paddle also. Since I paddle mostly solo and need something that can manuever into eddies, cross-current, and even paddle upstream without excruciating effort, the Saranac is perfect for me. If someone at Wenonah is reading this, I suggest you expand your marketing to include East Coast river fisherman, because you will sell a lot of these canoes.


Terrific canoe. Tracks well…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/13/2000
Terrific canoe. Tracks well enough for flat water yet turns easily when you want it to. I have not tried it in a river yet but magazine reviews of the boat say it shines in a river. Handles two adults surprisingly well for a 15 foot canoe. Excellent glide, initial and secondary stability. Easy to cartop and portage weighing only 55 pounds. Pretty light for a Royalex canoe. Web seats are very comfortable. I paddle mine solo a lot also. Wenonah calls this is a utility canoe. I call it terrific. I would buy another in a second.