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Submitted: 07-05-2014 by jcalhoun
I couldn’t be more pleased with my Old Town Saranac 146 canoe. While shopping for canoes, I was originally looking at the Old Town Guide series canoe simply because I had paddled my father-in-laws older Guide series canoe and been impressed with its stability and ease of handling.
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.
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