The scanoe was made popular back in the 1980s when Coleman first started making these small, versatile hybrid canoes available for sale. Unfortunately, the Coleman scanoe is a relic of the past, since this boat was officially discontinued in 2001. If you’ve never heard of a Coleman scanoe, read on to understand more about what made the Coleman scanoe popular, and what alternatives there are available today.
What is a Scanoe?
A scanoe is a cross between a traditional skiff boat and a smaller canoe. The scanoe has characteristics from both of these vessels. The scanoe uses a wider double hull, and most notably a square back stern designed to accept a trolling motor.
The advantage of the scanoe is that it’s still small and portable, but its square-back design and wider hull make it ideal for fishing and adding a trolling motor as needed.
If you opt to not install a motor on a square stern canoe or Scanoe, you’ll find that they are much harder to paddle than a traditional canoe. The square stern makes tracking in the water more difficult.
What is a Coleman Scanoe?
The original Coleman Scanoes were known for their durability and stable design. The square back design of the scanoe made adding either a trolling motor or a smaller outboard motor very straightforward. Another selling point of the Scanoe was the special proprietary RAM-X material.
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RAM-X is a three-layer high-density polyethylene, making the Scanoe incredibly impact resistant, and adding to the overall durability.
Does Coleman Still make the Scanoe?
Coleman Scanoes has been discontinued as of the writing of this post. The Coleman Scanoe was discontinued in July of 2000 when the Coleman Scanoe brand was purchased by Pelican International.
Production on the Coleman Scanoe started in the 1980s They continued to produce and sell the Scanoe up until the company was purchased. Pelican did produce their version of the Scanoe, but discontinued their production as well, closing the book on the Coleman Scanoe for good.
Coleman Scanoe Specs
The Coleman Scanoe features a double ribbed hull for incredible stability and weight distribution. It’s easy to even stand in a scanoe without fear of tipping. On the bottom of the Coleman Scanoe, there is a tri-keel hull that reduces slipping in the water.
It’s possible to add a larger outboard motor to the Coleman Scanoe too. The 14-foot scanoe can accept a 1.75 HP motor, and the 16-foot Scanoe can use a 5 HP motor.
How is a Flat Back and a Square Back Canoe Different?
Essentially, there is no difference between what is called a flat back and a square back canoe. These names are interchangeable and mean that the stern of the canoe is “squared-off” or flat to accept a motor.
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These canoes are popular for hunting, fishing, and taking day trips. Fishing-specific square stern canoes will feature rod holders, cup holders, additional seating, and dry well storage.
How Stable is a Scanoe?
A Scanoe is very stable. This is mainly due to the double hull and square stern. Both features add extra stability to the canoe. So much so, that it’s possible to easily stand up in a Scanoe.
This is what makes a Scanoe in particular popular. They are very stable, adding a motor is easy, the Scanoe is light enough to be carried, and they are still small enough to navigate into small areas that larger boats cannot.
Alternatives to the Scanoe
With the Coleman Scanoe no longer available, there are still other alternatives for square stern or square back canoes. Finding a place to buy a square stern canoe is harder to come by. The best way to purchase this type of canoe is to find a dealer or buy a used canoe.
If you want to go with a brand-new square stern canoe, the three below are still being sold today for use.
Grumman Sqaure Stern
Grumman has been around since 1944 and builds aluminum canoes. The 17′ Grumman Square Stern canoe is an aluminum canoe with 825 maximum capacity, 85-pound weight, 36″ beam width, and 5 HP max motor compatibility.
Old Town Discovery Sport 15
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Old Town is a well-known manufacturer of canoes and kayaks. The Discovery Sport 15 square stern canoe can accept a 4 HP motor or paddle by hand. The maximum capacity is 1,650 lbs, but with a motor added the capacity is 800 lbs. The beamwidth is 40″ and the canoe weighs in at 114 lbs.
Wenonah Backwater Sqaure Stern
The Wenonah Backwater is a sportsman canoe made to add a motor and carry plenty of gear. Recommended motor size for the Backwater is 2-3 HP, and the width of the Backwater is 41″.
Final Thoughts | What is a Coleman Scanoe?
The Coleman Scanoe has a nostalgic aura surrounding it because of the number of people who grew up using the scanoe to motor around lakes and rivers. After it was discontinued, this only fueled interest in the Scanoe.
While square stern canoes still exist, they don’t carry the same enthusiasm and interest as the original Coleman Scanoe.
Although, modern square stern canoes today offer the same stability and features of the Coleman Scanoe without the name. Today’s square stern canoe has additional features too that were never available with the Coleman Scanoe.
So, chances are that if you’re still interested in the concept of the square stern canoe, today’s offerings will meet anyone’s needs.