purchasing canoe.. in a few hours

hello, i’m getting ready to buy a canoe today. we’re leaving for a lake vacation tomorrow ! i was supposed to buy a slightly used OT Disco from an individual but that deal sort of fell apart.

Now i’m down to 2 options

spend 700 bones on a new OT Expedition @ Basspro

spend 369 bones on an OT Saranac @ Academy.

i really like the disco/expedition boats because of the hull makeup… i want something that won’t sink if capsized.

i really like the saranac for the price. will this boat sink on me if we tump it over ?

our primary use will be flat water paddling with some fishing and bowfishing.

Check the floatation
chances are there is nothing in either. They will not sink to the bottom but perhaps just a little under water and be hard to grab.

The Disco is by far the better boat (What BassPro calls the Expedition). It really needs end bags before you want to river run with it at least.

Rescues are so much easier in a canoe with proper thwarts than the seat setup in the Saranac…plus you will be confined to two person carries with the Saranac. The Disco can actually be portaged.

Dont get lured by cup holders and rod holders. You can buy cup holders for four bucks.

If you were on my lake you could simply borrow a canoe. Chances are there are better boats out there. I read an old thread about Bass Pro having warped boats, and the buyer had to return a few times before finding a “straight” boat. Check yours out carefully with a tape measure,

When you buy from big box…chances of warped are good be it boats or lumber.

Float bags
Big 'uns for canoes - really the only way to make sure it’d stay afloat and above the water.

perhaps i’m ill informed but i was under the impression that the foam core in the discovery kept it afloat…without float bags.

reverse logic brought me to the assumption that the saranac would sink without float bags

btw…sorry for emailing you… my intent was to reply the this thread and i clicked on the wrong icon.

The saranac probably has flotation

… built into the seats. I don’t think OT would make and sell a canoe today that sinks to the bottom.

Floating and floating

– Last Updated: Jul-01-11 3:36 PM EST –

The OT Expedition weighs about 85 pounds if I have the right boat, add your weight... I may be mistaken myself but I suspect that kayakmedic has it. That is, the boat won't sink but it won't float usefully either - the gunwales would still be under the water and you'd have to figure out how to haul the non-cooperative thing to shore to actually handle a capsize. Don't know if the Saranac would fully sink or not - my limited experience with canoes is that they tend to just go down under the water about as far as my height when I try to re-enter one without float bags on the water.

Or, if there are two of you, the floatation is less of an issue as long as it doesn't fully sink. With two, you flip it out in a way that dumps the water. 85 pounds isn't a light lift - who will the other paddler be?.

decisions decisions
if i got the saranac, i’d probably end up tearing out the plastic seats and putting some of those wooden weave type seats in it. i could also put a portage yoke in it. i have a buddy who has a sawmill and i have access to nice hardwoods.

i’m liking the saranac because of the price… basically half the price of the expedition. if it won’t sink to the bottom of the lake i think i’ll go with it.

Rent for your vacation

– Last Updated: Jul-01-11 3:56 PM EST –

Then spend the proper amount of time shopping for a canoe. Consider: you will also need the right kind and sizes of paddles and PFD's and some sort of car topping system.

Buy the wrong stuff and you'll have wasted a lot of money on stuff you won't want use.

Rent from an outfitter or store near your vacation lake.

Of the two, get the one you can more easily return for a refund after the trip. Failing that, of the two, I'd get the much more traditional Expedition.

don’t forget the bailer
I would agree with the above opinion that the Disco (Expedition, whatever) is the better boat. But…if you’re mainly fishing, performance probably doesn’t matter that much. I can’t speak to the floataion issue. But whichever boat you choose, just be sure to bring along a bailer. Simple as pulling a milk bottle or good sized juice bottle out of your recycling bin, cutting the bottom out, taping the cap in place, and tying it to a seat in the canoe with some string or something. Then, if you do capsize, you’ll have something to bail the water out of the canoe while you recover. Good luck with the purchase and the trip.

well, i have been shopping for a canoe for 2 months… its not like i woke up today and decided to buy one on a whim. i have a kayak and a tracrac on my truck for hauling so thats no problem.

the only outfitters in the area of my vacation lake rent canoes for 6 or 12 mile runs down the illinois river… not weekly lake paddling stuff.

what i really want in a canoe is something that handles great, is a tandem, and is under 60 lbs. no store in my town sells such an animal.

i had been banking on buying this particular OT disco for a good price… but the owner can’t seem to come up with the title. i’ve been waiting on him all week long and have decided i waited too long… now i really need to make a decision immediately.

since neither the expedition or the saranac is what i really want in a canoe, if the saranac won’t sink to the bottom of the lake, i think i’ll buy it for my immediate needs.

my main concern is, i don’t want to buy a canoe that has the potential for ending up at the bottom of the lake. if it capsizes, i would hope that it will float well enough that we can get it to the shore and empty it out…

Your Choice
Neither one will sink. I’ve seen plenty of canoes used on the local river with no additional flotation. If they capsize they weigh a ton but they still float and can be recovered fairly easily by two paddlers. Float bags are great for whitewater but are very expensive and fill the hull making little room for cargo. On flat water they are over kill. Good comfortable PFDs are more important than float bags.

What about your stuff?

– Last Updated: Jul-01-11 4:36 PM EST –

That is - are you using real dry bags, or sacs or whatever? If so, you figure there should be some amount of air in them. Whether enough to float happily I don't know - but if you make sure the dry bags are lashed under the thwarts and wouldn't go anywhere in a capsize, that amount of air would help with the floatation a bit.

Dumb question - if you already have a kayak, assumed since you have kayak rack, why switch to a canoe for just one trip? Is there portaging involved? If so weight may be a big issue.

why canoe

– Last Updated: Jul-01-11 5:12 PM EST –

i'm not 'switching' to a canoe.. i'm adding another boat.. i have a kayak.. i want a canoe. i have a son and we want to fish out of the canoe.

no portage involved.. we have a cabin at the lake... we can drive right up to the water and launch.

that makes me feel better about buying the cheaper canoe… i hate to spend 700 for the expedition knowing that really i want a nicer canoe. i’d much rather spend 370 on a cheaper canoe that will get the job done for today… we may end up just leaving it at the lake house all the time.

i would love to have a nice light weight canoe but i cannot find anyone locally who sells them.

Title in OK
is solveable

Its possible the seller never HAD a title.

Or if lost its $7-10 bucks to file for a missing one. If the seller really wants to sell he will do this


i’ve been waiting a week for the yahoo to come up with the title. he claims to have filed for a lost title but it has not arrived. i’ve written him off as a run of the mill craigslist flake.

Registration for title
If you want the private party Disco, just get a bill of sale from the seller that includes his name, your name, the purchase price, the date, and the boat’s serial number, and his/her signature.

Then file the Oklahoma registration form on behalf of yourself.


Not giving Oklahoma legal advice, but that’s how I’ve bought all my canoes and kayaks from private parties or dealers in various states. The state just wants its registration fee.

Sounds like…
a lightweight boat is the winner for now anyway. You can always add another canoe for tripping depending on where your son’s interest goes.

you’d think
i’ve talked to the dmv about it. they won’t register that way… they told me the only person the bill of sale helps is the legal, registered owner, which i am not. i don’t have time to fool with that fool anyway… i’m going to go buy a new canoe right after dinner.

Report back this week
on what your experience was… Hopefully its all good.