Read reviews for the Saranac 146 by Old Town Canoe and Kayak 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!
I did lots of research before buying. We are a family of 3, 2 of which are in our 60's so we needed something comfortable. Bought ours from Austin Kayak and love it. Have mainly used it on local rivers and lakes but it is very stable and bought an Old Town Canoe SitBacker for the middle and our daughter is very comfortable. Bought 3 Bending Branches bent canoe paddles and what an overall perfect purchase.
Well my movie making son came in for a visit in late September from Los Angeles. We did our normal thing and hit the Flint River. Now that it is his canoe, he sits in the rear with the kayak paddle and I am up front with the single blade. He has one of the lastest GoPro's and shot some excellent video. I am amazed at how much speed this canoe makes with so little effort. We put some scrapes on her, but had a perfect day, in perfect weather for September 28, in North Alabama. We even spotted a cave and stopped and did some spelunking. Just a perfect day, out of the river with my son. Just doesn't get any better. Oh yes, still easy to clean up, cause we never put her up dirty.
We have 2 of the Old Town Saranac 146 canoes and we absolutely love them. They have been perfect for our family of 5. The seats with the folding backs are a great feature. They provide that needed support when out on the water for hours, and then fold down for easy hauling and storing. We also like the molded spots by both seats, as well as the closable storage space and water tight storage space, both in the middle. There is even plenty of room in these canoes for a cooler with food and drinks, and some light fishing tackle. The material and overall construction is sturdy and sound. We have not encountered any defects.
I rated these canoes a 10, however there is one thing I don't like about them. This is the weight, which I knew before buying. They are big and ackward canoes out of the water, which makes it difficult for one person to load/unload on a vehicle or storage.
Overall, my wife and I are 100% satisfied with our purchase and the quality of the canoes. They have provided many hours of enjoyable family time.
I strongly recommend this canoe to anyone in the market for one!
Bought this canoe from Dick's in the spring of 2013. Got a discount since some of the rivets in the front had popped out (easy fix). The canoe is easy to handle to load and unload (I can load and unload solo from the back of a pickup).
This canoe is very stable when not overloaded. On an early excursion we ended up facing 30 mph head winds and had no issues with stability.
The canoe has held up well over the last 3 years with only cosmetic scratches.
I had been researching for a month and tested an Old Town Next before picking up the Saranac 146 2 weeks ago. I wanted something that was stable enough for me and my 6 yr old boy, plus cooler. The Next was fun and fast with just me but a little tippy I felt for a novice my size 6'2" 260. Plus I had no room for him. I read some reviews on here and the Saranac caught me eye. Especially on sale! Dicks had a great advertised price but none in stock, so I emailed our local bass pro manager and he agreed to price match reluctantly! I got out the door with tax for $503. And at that price I feel like it was a steal.
Pros. Stable Nimble for a canoe Fits well on my wife's 4Runner and my truck with a hitch extender. Back rests! I have a bad lower back and these seats are 10x more comfortable than they appear. Love the storage and middle seat Price Stable, again
Cons. Too heavy for me to carry or load by myself with risk of back injury Easy to scratch. I know it's cosmetic and just accepted that is what they are meant for. Oil cans/flexes on the floor. I felt it had a tendency to flatten out while on the water and off. Some decals were sloppily applied, air bubbles. Minor issue
That's about as critical as I can be after 2 trips on the slow moving North Canadian River. We went with several friends in old Grumman aluminum and a Coleman Scanoe. They were both jealous of our backrests and easy paddling nature (double end kayak) with just me in the back working and my wife in the front seat and kid & cooler in the middle. We scratched it up pretty good on some low water sandstone drop offs. But oh well. We plan on using it for many more family trips and may get something more sporty for the kids as they get older. I fish out of a bigger boat usually so that wasn't a priority for me, but I don't think I would be comfortable standing in this one. This is as critical as I can be, so 8+. Wish it was lighter/more durable and finish quality but overall I would recommend without hesitation for slow current and flat water adventures.
People reporting about bottom sway issues, as long as it doesn't leak, we are happy. Continue to be impressed with this canoe, in comparison to the Mad River Adventure 16, I owned for 6 years prior. Ain't canoeing great?
I found the Saranac to be more responsive than the Mad River and easier to get "up to speed". My double blade kayak paddle actually works better as the Saranac is closer to the water and not as wide.
All in all for 499 dollars, I would say I choose wisely.
If we had to do it all over again, we choose the Old Town Saranac 146 again, without hesitation.
It tracks well and paddles easy with two persons (not bad with a single either). Price was great too! Only drawback is the weight when loading it on top my Jeep by myself. If it were 20 lbs lighter it would be the perfect canoe.
The amenities included; rod holders, drink holders, dry storage, carry handles, and the list goes on and on, make this canoe a value by themselves but add the comfort and it becomes a dream come true! Despite it's weight; 79lbs, this canoe is highly manageable loading and unloading with one person. Now this 48yr old is feeling like a kid again in the lakes, rivers and bayous of southeast Texas. See Y'all on the water!
The contoured seats with the adjustable back-rests make a world of difference. We have now taken the boat out on a couple of fishing trips that went beyond 6 hours and never once got uncomfortable. With the old boat, about 2 hours and you were ready to get out and swim. This boat also has nearly everything you need built in. It has storage for small items, back-rests, cup holders, and rod-holders already in the boat. You don't need to bring a bunch of accessories to add on to the boat. You can even put a little ice in the center seat/console and use it as a cooler so you don't even need that.
Functionally, this boat is phenomenal. Only a couple of minor things that I would improve upon. The small hatch in the center console does get water in it. The water appears to come in through the latch part of the lid as the paddle drips on it. It isn't a lot of water, but enough to ruin a cell phone, so a water-proof container is a must have for valuables. The other thing is the cords that adjust the seats have nowhere to store the cord when transporting. This means that we end up having to tie the extra cord around the seat when it is folded so we can load it on top of the truck for transport. An extra latch or loop somewhere near the seat would be a great addition to give a quick tie-point for the cord when transporting.
I would definitely recommend this boat to others as a good boat for nearly any activity on flat or slow water.
I've had this canoe out on my lake, in the river several times, drug it down embankments, bounced it off rocks in low water, the thing is just plain tough. It also makes a great fishing platform. It's not a lightweight with all the seats in, but paddles well. The seats are made out of some super tough nylon type plastic, very heavy, but you can drill through them to make bungee holes to strap tons of gear in this canoe. You can also take the middle out for even more room. The seats are very comfortable, and have held up to my 300lb girth very well this season. This canoe seems to end up as the pack mule on our most recent trips, and handles that feat nicely.
I would recommend this canoe to anyone getting started into paddling, as it is durable, very comfortable, and paddles reasonably well.
It's very comfortable. Easy to transport. All in all, it's a great value. I would definitely recommend it.
It is very stable and tracks fairly straight. I have paddled in Grapevine Lake by myself into a strong headwind just fine. But it does catch a lot of wind if turned sideways when alone. I probably just need to put some weight in the front when paddling solo. I have gone twice with another person and once by myself.
I like the built in storage and the seats are comfortable and I have lower back problems but it is comfortable and the bottom of the seat has a nice cushion built in.
I was going to purchase a Kevlar canoe which is lighter, but at 79 lbs, I can shove it in the back of my truck with the little red flag by myself, no problem. I am 60 years old, but in good shape, 195 lbs, 6' 1" and fit in this just fine. I was concerned that it was not a 16 footer, but there is plenty of room in front of me. I can stretch my legs out all the way and lean back in the adjustable seat. But, you can't turn around is the only thing, but overall that does not matter much.
My next thing is to go fishing but I expect no problems with stability. I have tried several times leaning to the limit to see what it would do when coming close to turning over and it feels very stable.
You can't go wrong with this canoe for $499 or even $599.
It is hard to move by yourself. Not that it's heavy. Without a thwart its awkward it pick up. The best part is the seats. They are so comfortable. We went on a two day 20 mile fishing trip down a rocky swift river and my back did not hurt at all. Also it's super tough. The river was rocky and the water was a little low and the canoe just got some minor scratches that you would expect. We tagged some rocks on the bottom of it that would have given an aluminum boat a serious dent. All I found when we pulled out were minor scratches. It's slow to move but super stable which makes it perfect for fishing. No problem landing any of the fish we caught.
Over all it's a great boat.
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.