square stern or double ended?

For fishing what do you think is be better? Side mounted motor or stern mounted motor?

I have read that some people say a side mounted motor can get a little tricky/harry if your fishing in fast current and debris and need to make a quick maneuver to get out of your current situation.

I have also read that most people do like the motor mounted behind them because its complicated to control.

I have only dealt with two square stern canoes one was a cranberry creek model that was still double ended and had a raised square stern. The other was the a old town discovery sport.

I liked the cranberry creek canoe. Wish it was longer than 12’9" but I agree that it was a some what of a PITA to operate the motor behind me like that specially if i was trying to troll with it. It just wasn’t set up right for that. Two long of a reach back to the motor.

The old town was my uncles. I like fishing out this canoe way more then mine. the motor controls were way easier operate than my cranberry creek. seat was just better placement for it. it seemed more stable which I doubt that it actually was. It was just that first initial stability that made it seem like that. Im sure once you were starting to go over there was no saving it.

The whole reason I started this thread is I have never operated a side mounted trolling motor and I think I have only ever seen one. It got me thinking if a square stern canoe is really worth it or not?

I will mainly be using this canoe in rivers close to home. No rapids, some downed trees to get around, and dams to fish. This canoe will also be used on smaller to medium sized lakes. I will almost always be using a motor. I have decided on gas or electric yet. I want to be able to troll which I had a hard time to do so with my last gas motor.

The thing that really has me questioning getting another square stern canoe is I would really like to do a yearly trip into the BWCA and Im starting to wondering if buying a good paddling/fishing canoe would be the ticket and then just buy a side mount for a trolling motor?

So whats your opinion on the subject? Should I get a good paddling canoe and then go for the side motor mount? Should I just go with a square stern again?

At first I am going to look for a good used canoe. A place in Minnesota has all kinds used and I am going to see what he has in stock and then post back here and see what people think of the options he has.

My requirements this time is I want a canoe at least 15 feet or longer. I also don’t want to pay over 1200-1500 new.

My suggestion
If you intend to use a motor most of the time, get a square stern. This has nothing to do with how simple it is to operate, because either way you’ll get used to it quickly enough. It has to do with a side mount being another thing to deal with and get line tangled on.

As far as BWCA, if you get a heavy square stern canoe, rent your canoe when you do a trip up there.

hard choice
Thanks for the information big D. I kind of thought this is what the answer was going to be. Do any square stern canoes still paddle decent? Like I said I am going to look used first, but if I end up buying new my options will really open up.

Depends on "decent"
Decent for one fellow is trash for another. I don’t think there’s any high performance square end canoes, but I’m real pleased with my Esquif Cargo. Smaller versions exist. I think it paddles and rows just fine. Now mine is very large, so it isn’t going to respond to gentle strokes, but it is readily controlled and stays people side up with a minimum of effort. But if you’re used to a Dagger whitewater solo canoe, you’re going to hate it.

Anyway, look at the Esquif sport canoes. They perform better than the Coleman and Old Town squarebacks in my opinion. I’ve never used a Sportspal, so have no opinion on those.

Maybe instead of paddle, think “row”.
Probably a more efficient way to propel the wider square-back canoes. Or maybe stand and pole it.

I suspect the reason you felt the square-back canoe wasn’t as stable is because you had most of the weight near the (narrower than middle) stern of the canoe, and a badly trimmed canoe loses stability. Ever notice that motor-boats are comparatively wide in the stern? It’s not by accident - it keeps them from losing much stability with most of the load aft of midships. Even a square-back canoe is considerably narrower at the stern, and that allows it to sink under concentrated weight (with motor and operator both there)- and raises the wider middle out of the water enough to lose stability. If you go square-back, try trimming it out flatter with some ballast in front.

Agree on both counts
Rowing a square stern is easier than paddling. Ballast makes all the difference with a motor or engine on it. Steve nailed it.

  • Big D

rear mount for a double end canoe
I’ve got a side mount on my Old town saranac 146 that I built from a video on youtube. I have an idea for making that mount into a rear mount. What I’m planning on using is all 2x6 materials screwed to the sidemount. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. it’s partially the same one I use on my kayak when I go inshore fishing.

Square stern
I never got the point of a square stern canoe. If I want to paddle a square stern canoe sucks. If I want to use a motor I’m better off with a small jon boat. Nearly as light and much better for fishing than a canoe.

square or pointed
down here in the south we use whats called a flat back pirouge and keeping the bottom beam in the water is everything.Seating is also a big factor so the older i get the lower the seats seem to get.I have been riding and fishing out of small boats of all types since around 1964 and now it’s getting hard to do but I will not give it up.If you agree with this I have been working on a new idea,please go to my website {daltonboats.com} and look at my idea for this problem I call it a swamp rat 1036 and I would love some feed back,THANKS.

How I solved this problem.

double end or square stern
I was having the same problem. Double end or square back. I opted for the sportpal 14 foot double end for several reasons. If you get turned around in a river no big deal both ends are the same just turn around.And my canoe weights only 58 pounds very easy to handle alone. Mine came with factory motor mount that works great. It’s within easy reach and this canoe is very stable.And they do not cost an arm and a leg. This canoe will be my primary duck boat.

Big_D has good advice
If you plan to be using a motor a lot, get a square stern.

If you plan to be using a motor only occasionally, and especially if you plan to do any portaging, or even a lot of cartopping, get a traditional canoe.