Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old Town Saranac 146 Canoe

Here's a look at an Old Town Saranac 146 canoe.  I've had this canoe for over a year now and wanted to share my thoughts on it.  I'm not considering this a review just sharing my experience with it.  Pictures I will use for the "look" at this canoe are "in-use" shots by myself to show you what you really get with this canoe.  Here are some specs according to Old Town's website:

Length:  14'6                                                 Flat bottom
Width:   36"                                                   Straight sides
Bow height:   18"                                          Moderate rocker
Weight:    79lbs.                                            Material:  Thermoformed polyethylene
Load range:   700-750lbs

This is a recreational canoe and I find it is very stable whether you're paddling solo or with multiple people in the canoe.  The molded seats are fairly comfortable.  There is another model that has padded seats and a backrest.  The center bench has great storage features.  It has a dry hatch, that does work, and a middle compartment as well.  There is a drink holder and two rod places for your fishing poles.  The front and back handles do have a hole to accommodate a rod holder if you wanted to add one.

I really like the size of this canoe.  The length is just fine for one person but you can hold 3-4 people depending on their size.  The canoe is on the heavy side and as you can see there are no carrying yokes for portages.  My main use is on lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and I don't plan to do much or any portaging with this.  So if you are needing a canoe for portages this would not be the canoe for you.  You could remove the seats and center bench and modify it as you see fit but there are much better options out there for portaging if that's what you are wanting.  With that said I do like the layout and it paddles smooth and has great stability which was key for me.  You can hold plenty of gear in this canoe for an outing with the family or by yourself if you're just wanting to get away for a bit.

All in all I really enjoy this canoe.  It serves my needs well and allows access to pretty much any water source you can get to.  If you have any questions about this canoe feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.  Here's a few more shots of the canoe in use. 

Hope to see you on the water


  1. Great little article on the Saranac 146! We just recently purchased one for small trips down the creeks and rivers and for me to fish out of. I was wondering if you could provide any advice or tips on paddling the canoe solo? Do you sit in the stern seat? Have you made any modifications? Those sort of things. Any help would be geatly appreciated! Thanks.


    1. Thanks David. When solo I sit in the stern seat. The only thing I do to accommodate for this is by putting weight in the bow. Like my water jug or extra pack, cooler, etc. Basically just something to balance the weight out. If you don't then the front sits out of the water just a little bit and it doesn't track as well and if it's windy and there's waves it gets to bouncing. Just having a little extra weight in the front solves that problem. I haven't done any modifications to it. The only thing I've been seriously contemplating is changing the seats out for traditional webbed seats, but haven't done it yet and still can't make up my mind on it. For fishing I did buy one of those little claw anchors to use when I want to hold my position in the water and it has worked out very well. I'm planning to make a fishing rod holder that I can hold 4 poles that I can use almost like trolling or drifting. That's been about it. It's really just about getting on the water with it. If it's your first canoe you'll have a lot of learning to do but you'll get it down pretty quick. This is a very user friendly canoe.

  2. Thank you so much for this article and pics. I went to look at this canoe today, and am ready to put my money down. I looked under it, over it, picked it up, opened the hatches etc. The flat bottom instantly made me think - this will be very stable. Thanks for verifying this and other points. I've been shopping around for months and this seems to be very good value for money. Like you, I may change the seats and will also be taking up the option to attach a small electric motor, for those tired trips back home. Best of luck to you both and happy canoeing. Maggie

    1. Thanks Maggie. Glad it helped you out in your search. Canoeing is just a great pastime. I hope you enjoy yours.

      Feel free to come back and share your thoughts on yours and I'd be interested to hear how the seat modification turns out if you decide to do it.

      Thanks again

  3. Hi David,

    I just bought this beautifull canoë. I fish with It on lake. Have you used It on fresh water ?
    I am just wondering how it handles in current. If you have some experience like this with your canoë, I would be very interested.

  4. Thanks, I am looking at these now because the cost is so much lower, and I have two little girls that go with me, so it looks like it would accommodate that nicely.

  5. Thanks, I am looking at these now because the cost is so much lower, and I have two little girls that go with me, so it looks like it would accommodate that nicely.