Looking for some advise - 1st timer

Few weeks ago we were on a road trip and met up with a buddy in the Nashville TN area; we rented 2 canoes for our families and went down a lazy river. We all had a blast.

Now we are home in AZ, and the wife and I really want to pick up a canoe for our family (myself, the wife and our 10 year old).

I’m leaning towards the Old Town Canoe Saranac 146 as it can seat all 3 of us. The plan would be to use some local lakes to relax and explore. It would go with us when we travel, on a rack in the truck bed as we currently tow a travel trailer when we take our trips. We’re not looking for something to take on multi day trips, loaded with gear.

My only experience on water in the past 20+ years has been that canoe and a paddle boat here-and-there. Frankly, I have no idea what I’m in for. I do have a few injuries over my lifetime that I’m trying to work around; one of my rotators isn’t in the greatest shape.

To avoid the inevitable arguments when paddling, I was considering getting a double paddle for myself and possibly my wife, otherwise a traditional single for son and possibly my wife (I quickly realized trying to coordinate what side and steering was an issue on that first adventure).

Being that we’re going to be in lakes, I plan on doing about 80-90% of the paddling while they relax and enjoy themselves. I really enjoyed the upper-body workout from our first trip and want to keep doing it. My son has expressed interest in getting into fishing, so it would also be a way for both of us to get into that.

So with that, I have a few questions…
-Am I off base with my canoe selection?
-is a double paddle a bad idea?
-aside from life jackets, are there any other “Must Haves” that I need to put on the list?

edit: I guess I should add that I was looking at the 146 and not the 160 with the thought that it would be easier to move around and turn. I’m 6’2 @ 220lbs… not sure if the 160 would be a better option for our use-type.

#1. Patience " Your other left!"…A quote from real life canoeing.

100% accurate.

Happened on the first trip out in Nashville.

There is a reason I can backup the travel trailer alone, and invested in a good rear camera for it.

It was that or risk divorce :joy:

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Don’t over think it, Just use the canoe paddles and for your first few trips until you get comfy, Get one of those thick exercise pads and cut it in half cross ways one for you and one for the other paddler and paddle on your knees so the weight distribution is low in the canoe.
When getting up or down maintain 3 points of contact with the canoe, 2 feet one hand or 2 hands 1 foot. of course you wont always have that option but when you can, 3 points of contact to keep balanced.
Just paddle leisurely, you don’t have to sprint!

For three people, you are better off with a canoe that is at least 16 feet.

Yeah… after spending a day reading… I’m leaning towards the 160 instead of the 146. While it isn’t the best canoe out there, for getting used a few times a year on a lake, it’s probably my best bet.

I know there are higher end canoes out there, however I’ve also quickly realized everything is a compromise. My goal is to get my family out of the house more and doing things, and this seems like a great option.

The Saranac is a single-layer, thermoformed polyethylene hull so it relies on the rather large and clunky seats and the center seat/console to give it a tolerable degree of rigidity. Yes, it is not the greatest boat in the world but it is workable. I rented one on a vacation trip up to the Bruce peninsula in Ontario because that is what was available. I am pretty sure it was the 16 footer.

My daughters and I paddled it around on Colpoy’s Bay off of Georgian Bay of Lake Huron and it functioned quite adequately. I would definitely go with the larger version.

Concur with the 16 foot recommendations you are receiving