Know More About The Perfomance Of An Old Town Saranac 146

Canoes have many uses in the world, from leisure to livelihood. Some fishermen and women in the northern regions of the United States and Canada use Old Town Saranac 146 canoes much the same way as their ancestors did: gliding across clear, serene lakes to hunt for fish and crustaceans to eat.

Others simply enjoy their free time by boating through a lush lagoon or a picturesque pond and make canoeing a much-loved hobby. Whatever your reason for looking into purchasing a canoe, you will find the Old Town Saranac 146 will most certainly satisfy your interests.

Read on to learn all you need to know about this fantastic canoe and what makes it one of the best on the market.

Old Town Canoe Saranac 146
  • Comfortable contoured seats with seat backs
  • Center bench seat with storage compartments
  • 6" hatch (center)
  • Molded-in rod holders (bow seat and center)

The Saranac 146 is a two-person canoe made by Old Town, a renowned water vessel company since 1898 that is now owned by Johnson Outdoors. As a canoe, it does exactly what is expected — and then some. This type of boat has many important features, but perhaps the most vital is the hull, which is responsible for a vessel’s speed, maneuverability, and stability. The hull on the Saranac 146 is designed with a flat hull bottom allowing for greater speed and navigation control in rivers and lakes.

PROS

  • very light
  • easy to transport, load and dock
  • plenty of room for coolers,radios etc

CONS

  • easy to scratch

This boat is an ideal size for a simple one- or two-person outing. It is light and easy to transport, load, and dock. There is plenty of room for coolers, radios, fishing gear, and whatever else you may want to bring along on your trip.

The Old Town Saranac 146 boats folding backrest seats, a central bench with storage, and cup holders and food trays for a mid-lake meal. Its hull is made of ​thermoformed polyethylene material comes with straight sides and paddle rests, and is backed by a lifetime hull-and-deck warranty. All of these features make the Saranac 146 well worth looking into.

How Does the Old Town Saranac 146 Compare?

Put up against other canoes within a similar price range, you will find there are pros and cons to every canoe out there.

In the end, it is your decision as a consumer to select the appropriate product for your intended use. However, in order to first get informed about the different canoes available and the qualities they bring, this comprehensive review was compiled to help you see the bigger picture. Here are the Saranac 146’s biggest competitors on the market today.

The Mackinaw 15 is an affordable option for those wanting a roomy canoe to take family or friends out on a trip.

Its length is 15 feet and six inches, making it a whole foot longer than the Saranac 146. The width and height are also greater than the 146, with the Mackinaw measuring 42 inches in width and 18.5 inches in height. It weighs 95 pounds, so it is quite a bit heavier than the 146, but this is actually a normal weight for a canoe.

It can carry three people, one-upping the Saranac, and can hold up to 800 pounds. It too has a polyethylene hull and also has cup holders, storage compartments, and a cooler under the center seat.

PROS

  • very affordable
  • can carry 3 people
  • can carry 800 grams

CONS

  • a bit heavier

The build quality earns a 4.5/5 star rating, as the only downside is its weight relative to the 146. For ease of use, the Mackinaw 15 scores 4/5 stars because of its comfortable accommodations.

In the category of time required to set up, the Mackinaw transitions from dock to water with little effort at all. Again, the only negative is the 95-pound weight, which can make it slightly cumbersome — and gives it a 4.5/5 star rating. Covered by a two-year warranty, a 4/5 star warranty rating is in place. 

Made by the same company as the Saranac 146, the Old Town Guide 160 is a slightly larger vessel than the former. The length is 16 feet, the width 39.5 inches, and the height 19 inches, larger in every dimension than the 146. It is also seven pounds heavier, weighing in at 86 pounds — a surprisingly low weight for the size of the boat. Even more impressive is the outstanding carrying capacity of 1250 pounds. It has a slightly arched bottom as opposed to the flat bottom hull of the 146, meaning it is built more for choppier waters than the calm lakes or slow rivers the Saranac excels in. The Guide 160 provides for optimal comfort, with adjustable backrests to suit your individual needs.

PROS

  • sturdy
  • easier to maneuver
  • lifetime warranty

CONS

  • a bit heavier

As it is built to be more sturdy and easier to maneuver in rough waters, the build-quality rating for this canoe is 5/5 stars. It is comfortable to ride in and the backrests are able to adapt to specific positions, so a 4.5/5 star rating is awarded for ease of use. It is also exceptionally easy to get in the water, as it weighs only 86 pounds. The time required category is another one where the Guide 160 scores high, with 4.5/5 stars. Additionally, the hull and deck are covered by a lifetime warranty, as is the case with all Old Town models, so a 5/5 star rating is deserved for the warranty. Because of all these remarkable features, the 160 comes in at a hefty $949.99 from Dick’s. There are occasional sales, however, that can drop the price by 5 to 10 percent.

Lifetime Kodiak Canoe with 2 Paddles, Red, 13'
  • Three (3) molded-in seats provide additional floatation and seating for up to 3 Paddlers. Bow and stern seats include...
  • Comfortable luggage-style handles for easy transportation. High initial stability hull design
  • UV-Protected blow-molded high-density Polyethylene (HDPE). rated for use with an electric motor with a thrust Rating of...

This is a shorter canoe, measuring just 13 feet in length. Its width is 39 inches and its height is 18.5 inches, so it appears a bit stockier in build than the other products in this review. As it is a bit smaller, it also has a smaller carrying capacity of 600 pounds. The canoe itself weighs 96 pounds, which is, so far, the heaviest canoe mentioned. It does have amazing installments and features within, such as integrated cup holders, storage trays, and built-in handles for easy transportation. It also boasts UV protection and impact resistance, providing you with a safe and secure adventure.

PROS

  •  UV protection
  • impact resistance

CONS

  • too long to steer

The build quality is good, no doubt — but when compared with other canoes in this article, it comes up short, literally, in terms of length from bow to stern. Length is a primary factor in how fast a canoe is able to travel. Generally speaking, the longer the better, until the vessel reaches a point that it becomes too long to steer. The UV protection and impact resistance are fantastic features. Therefore, for build quality, a 3/5 star rating is appropriate. It is replete with interior features that improve the experience of the passengers, so it receives 4/5 stars for ease of use. Unfortunately, its awkward shape and weight do not hold up well in competition with the Saranac 146 and the other canoes reviewed, so a 2/5 star rating is given for required time to set up. It has a five-year limited warranty, so it scores 4.5/5 stars for warranty. You can buy this canoe from Cabela’s for $649.99.

The Square Back is another good option if you are looking for an all-around dependable canoe, and is like a relative to the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15. With a 15-foot-6-inch length, it is exactly as long as the Mackinaw 15, and, with a height of 18.5 inches, it is exactly as tall as well. The width measures 40 inches to the Mackinaws 42. All in all, the two canoes are basically the same size.

The similarities don’t end there — the Kodiak, like the Mackinaw, weighs 95 pounds and can hold 800 pounds. With a capacity for three people, it is just as spacious as the Mackinaw, and it has comfortable seats, cup holders, plenty of storage room, and, as the name implies, a square-back design perfect for an electric trolling motor.

PROS

  • spacious
  • comfortable seats

CONS

  • limited warranty

Because it is so similar to the Mackinaw 15, the Square Back will receive similar scores. The build quality earns 4/5 stars, because the square back, while ideal for some, may turn away others. It has fantastic ease of use, with multiple features inside and out designed for the consumer’s best excursion, so a 5/5 star rating is given in this category. Like the Mackinaw, the only downside with setting up the boat for launching is the weight, so a rating of 4.5/5 stars is awarded here. It is covered by a two-year limited warranty, which is good but pales in comparison to the Old Town lifetime guarantee. Therefore, 4/5 stars is an appropriate score in the warranty category. The Square Back can be purchased for $699.99 from Cabela’s — a fair price for all this canoe offers.

At 13 feet long, this option ties with the Lifetime Kodiak for the shortest canoe we considered. The width is 39 inches and the height is 18.5 inches, so the only abnormally small measurement for the Emotion Wasatch is its length. It weighs 96 pounds, tying with the Kodiak again for the heaviest canoe. So, like the Kodiak, the Wasatch is built stocky and is a bit boxy, as far as canoes go. It can hold up to 600 pounds and has room for three people. However, as the math shows, these people should probably weigh less than 200 pounds so as to have enough weight available for extra gear. This canoe has a skeg wheel and handles for easy transport, as well as cup holders, adjustable seat rests, and removable backrests with storage space behind.

PROS

  • cheapest canoe
  • removable seats

CONS

  • cheapest quality

The Wasatch is a good, sturdy canoe, and it's well built. Its length, however, is the true shortcoming when compared to the other canoes. A short heavy canoe is generally not as appealing as a long light canoe, so the score for build quality is 3.5/5 stars. The commodities displayed by the Wasatch are impressive, especially the seat rest customizability, earning it 5/5 stars for ease of use. Because it is so heavy, it scores 3/5 stars in the category of ease of use. We gave it 4.5/5 stars for warranty because of the five-year coverage offered. The Emotion Wasatch is sold at Dick’s for $399, so this is the cheapest canoe of the options reviewed, and one of the cheapest quality canoes you’ll find out there.

Comparison Table

Verdict

Now that a bigger picture is available, comparing some of the best canoes on the market, it can be seen how the Old Town Saranac 146 stacks up against the other contenders in the high-end canoe category. The Saranac 146 is in the average range when it comes to size: it is smaller than some canoes, such as the Mackinaw 15, the Guide 160, and the Square Back, but bigger than the Kodiak and the Wasatch. It has a respectable carrying capacity — certainly enough for a two-person canoe. Perhaps most importantly, it is the lightest on the list, weighing only 79 pounds.

The features offered by the Saranac 146 are definitely impressive. The built-in folding backrests, cup holders, and storage space galore are all pluses for anyone wanting a comfortable and efficient ride. While other canoes offer these features as well, there is nothing any of the five boats reviewed has that the Saranac 146 should be envious of. Sure, skeg wheels and adjustable seat rests are great to have, but the Saranac 146 gives you everything you need in a canoe — and gives it all to you with exceptional quality. This is the best overall canoe, providing great design, comfort, and a light, sleek size in a polyethylene hull. For a low price of $600 to $700, depending on where you buy it from, it is well worth the purchase.

Janice Friedman
 

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