Old Town Saranac vs Discovery or Penobsc

I have had an older discovery 169 and a penobscot 16rx for a few years now that i have been using for fishing and camping and have been generally happy with them except for the seats on the discovery. they are the plastic molded ones and seem to sag in the front after a while.

So lately while looking at other models i noticed the Saranacs have that big molded piece that would hold the seat more rigid and with the padded xt option it looks like it would be more comfy for extended sitting times.

I am wondering though how it paddles compared to the other models. I generally use the pen16 for lakes where i am paddling a fair distance and the discovery for our river run what we mostly float (while having a few pops) along moving water with a few short class 1 and the odd class 2 rapids, so i don’t mind it ramming across the rocks.

I haven’t had a chance to try out the saranac yet, but does anyone know how it paddles compared to the discovery, and where it is flat bottomed is it out of the question for the river runs? Would it be worth switching it out for the discovery, or am i trading alot of performance for a comfy seat?

Any advice would be appreciated.

just change the seats
The Disco is a better canoe than the Sarnac because the Disco has 3-ply construction whereas the Sarnac doesn’t. If the only thing you don’t like about your Disco is the garbagy plastic seats, than rip those suckers outa there and get some good seats. The best deal going for canoe seats is Ed’s Canoe. http://www.edscanoe.com/index.html Ed’s has “Mad River”-style seats on the factory special page for less than $20 a pop. I ordered some replacement seats a kneeling thwart from Ed’s a few months ago and highly recommend them.

They look pretty decent
But how are the seatbacks that you get for them? The comfy seat/backs are mostly why i have even been looking at the saranac as a fishing/floating downriver canoe

Throw Them Out
First thing I did with my 158 was to take those damn seats out. I couldn’t give them away and the went to the dump! They are nothing but dead weight, water collectors for your butt, yeah, those holes don’t do squat, and are ugly. Just my opinion. I put in web seats and have been happy ever since. I did try cane seats but on a 400 mile trip it ripped out, brand new seat mind you, about half way. Thankfully Ducttape was handy. To save some weight on an already heavy hull switch over to either cane or webbed. Ed’s, as already posted, has some good prices. My local guy has them for cheaper and I just got two webbed seats off of ebay for under 20$ a piece.


Seats aside
Has anyone had one out and paddled it? how did it paddle vs the discovery?

Saranac compared to Gheenoe
I don’t have the other two but I can compare a Saranac to my Gheenoe.

It paddles nicely and tracks fairly well. Much nicer than my Gheenoe when I’m just wanting to paddle.

I agree the seats are lacking… but they do beat seating on the fiberglass bench seats of my Gheenoe. I like it’s lighter weight than the other.

We recently took it to the beach to paddle the intercoastals. The Saranac performed fine, but I’d be hesitant to take it out into the surf.

My Gheenoe does well in surf but can’t do rocky river runs or mountains streams because it’s fiberglass.