My wife and I are both 6’ tall with long legs we need to stretch out. This will be our first canoe purchase and narrowed down our choice to the Old town sarnac 14’6 or 16’ model Any suggestions on length we should consider will be great. Pleasure and comfort is our concerns. No tripping.
Call Old Town
and ask them for the distance between the front edge of the front seat to the bow… the more distance the more likely the spread from bilge to bilge will be.
Its all up to the bow paddler. How much legroom/she he wants
Both are wide.
Paddle before you buy!
First, what will you use the canoe for? If it’s dibby dabbling around in a farm pond you might get away with a 14 footer for a tandem…
If you plan to paddle and if you want to bring a bit of gear along a 16 is the shortest boat I would suggest…regardless of your stature.
If you plan to take a few longer trips, if you will be out on lakes and if you do want a bit of room to stretch your legs if you have gear in the boat I would not settle for less that 17 or 18 feet.
I have a 17 1/2 Penobscot that I just used on the Allagash. It worked quite well for us. We had lot’s of freeboard and room for our gear. We were never in trouble on the lakes and it was acceptable on the rivers.
I also have several 18’s and 20 that I use for similar trips. The 16’s I own are used for two or three day trips…the 14, that’s one I paddle solo.
Before you buy, find a place where you can try out the boats…
Also, look at other builders. Our Swift has adjustable seats…that may be something that you might want.
for a tandem I’d go with the 16
Unless the price or the weight are an issue (one is heavy and the other is heavier).
I’m sure there are exceptions, but personally I’ve always felt a tandem shorter than 16 feet is a little small. Even for a wide boat like the Saranac, I feel you’d appreciate the slightly extra glide and buoyancy that additional 18 inches will provide.
The Saranac isn’t a model I’d typically recommend. Just out of curiosity, what factors put it to the top of your list and what other models had you considered and decided against? I’m always curious what criteria folks use to decide what canoe is right for them.
Good luck with your new boat and your new adventures.
You will enjoy the 16
More for the room and comparative ease of glide provided you can lift, carry and load it easily. Weight matters because the lighter the boat the more often you will use it.