Hybrid watercraft are surely a treat for aquatic enthusiasts because they provide an innovative blend of two individual vessels. One such example is a Scanoe.

So what is a Scanoe?

Basically, scanoe is a hybrid watercraft that’s a mixture of both a skiff and a canoe. It offers a wide and stable bottom, a spacious interior, and a square-back design to accept trolling motors.

This model is often imitated, but the original was produced by Coleman Scanoe. However, the company was discontinued in 2001.

With that said, let’s explore all about Coleman Scanoe, its specs, a brief comparison of scanoe vs canoe, and other related information.

Key Takeaways About Coleman Scanoe

What is Scanoe – Scanoe, also known as scout canoe, is a hybrid watercraft that combines the features of a canoe and skiff. It typically has a flat-bottomed hull and incorporates the square-back design and paddling style of a canoe.

What are the Key Differences Between Scanoe vs Canoe?

Design: A canoe is typically characterized by its sleek, open-top design with pointed ends and often a slightly curved hull. Meanwhile, a scanoe features a wider and flatter hull, but with the squared-back design of a canoe.

Propulsion: Both vessels can be paddled through single-bladed paddles. However, the squared-back design of scanoes allows for the installation of small outboard motors, unlike canoes.

Intended Use: Canoes are primarily used for versatile recreational purposes, such as racing, leisurely paddling, canoe camping, and exploring outdoors. Scanoes, being a hybrid of skiffs and canoes, tend to lean more toward activities like fishing, hunting, or transporting heavier loads like freighter canoes.

Is the Scout Canoe For Me – Determining whether a scout canoe or scanoe is the right choice for you depends on your preferences and needs. For instance, if you want to camp, leisurely, or engage in other recreational activities, options such as canoes or pedal boats are ideal for you. 

In case you’re interested in activities like fishing, birdwatching, or even light boating, a scanoe can provide versatile capabilities.

What is a Scanoe?

Scanoe, as mentioned, is a cross between a skiff and a canoe. This hybrid vessel incorporates the characteristics of both of these models.

With regard to design, the watercraft has a wide hull and stable bottom. This well-thought-out construction makes it ideal for fishing and transportation of bulky loads.


However, Scanoe demands more physical effort while paddling manually when compared to the traditional canoe. Plus, due to its squared-back configuration, it does present a minor challenge in terms of tracking.

What materials is a scanoe made up of?

In general, Coleman Scanoe used RAM-X and aluminum to construct a scanoe. The imitators like Pelican Bayou 160 incorporate RAM-X canoe material in the form of three layers of durable polyethylene.

Can you install a trolling motor in a scanoe?

It is possible to install a canoe trolling motor in a Scanoe, thanks to the squared-back design. With such an installation, you can hop on long water outings without any physical exhaustion.

What is a Canoe?

Coleman Canoe is a traditional open-top boat that’s pointed at both ends. It features a slightly round-bottomed hull and requires a paddle for propulsion.

Being wider and narrow in shape, a canoe is ideal for recreational purposes including competition and pleasure like racing, camping, freestyle and general recreation.

Moving forward, a canoe is mainly constructed from wood, plastic, fiberglass, and kevlar. That said, such lightweight construction allows for efficient canoe paddling.

What is a Skiff?

Skiff is actually not a boat, but a category to define small, shallow-draft vessels. Such watercraft are often made from a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and even inflatable materials.

Additionally, they feature a quite simple design that includes a flat bottom and squared off stern. This makes them ideal for exploring marshes, estuaries, and other environments with limited water depth.

Beyond that, skiffs are popular for their versatile nature. For instance, you could use this vessel for fishing, crabbing, and as a tender boat for larger watercraft.

Brief History of Coleman Scanoe

The Coleman Scanoe was introduced in 1980 and quickly became popular due to its innovative hybrid design. Mainly, its aesthetics and durable construction appeal to boating enthusiasts.

However, in a turn of events, the brand’s ownership changed hands in 2001, as Coleman sold the Scanoe brand to Pelican International. 

Though Pelican did attempt to produce their own version of the scanoe, they also ceased production, bringing this hybrid version to an end.

Is Coleman Scanoe Still Available in the Market?

As of now, the Coleman Scanoe is no longer available in the market since production was halted in 2001. Considering that, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find a well-maintained scanoe.

While you won’t find a new scanoe in the market, auction sites such as Craigslist occasionally have one in decent shape. So, be sure to keep an eye on these sites to acquire this model.

Main Differences Between Scanoe vs Canoe

Now you have known all about canoe and Scanoe, it’s time to discuss a few key differences between scanoe vs canoe.

Here are the major ones:


Canoes: As mentioned, canoes are pointed at both ends and typically have a round-bottomed hull.

Scanoe: While being wide in shape just like a canoe, this watercraft features a squared-back design to accommodate outboard motors.


Construction Materials:

Canoe: It can be manufactured by a wide range of materials including aluminum, fiberglass, plastic, and kevlar. The choice of material determines the cost and durability of the vessel.

Scanoe: The original Coleman Scanoe and its imitators are built with Ram-X material and aluminum frame. RAM-X is a highly-durable material that incorporates triple-layer polythene.

Paddle Efficiency:

Canoe: Mainly, this watercraft has excellent pedal efficiency, which means the canoeist can ride it for a long time without physical exhaustion.

Scanoe: It’s quite difficult to propel a scanoe manually (through paddles). That’s why it’s wise to install a trolling motor and have a hands-free ride.

Ideal for:

Canoe: A canoe is widely recognized as a source to have recreational fun such as racing, tour, camping, and whitewater canoeing. Many people also ride it because canoeing is a great exercise for complete body workout.

Scanoe: Scanoes were popular for fishing, birdwatching, and light boating. It was also used as a tender boat for larger vessels.

Similarities Between Canoe Vs Scanoe

While canoe and scanoe fall under different categories, there are many similarities between the two that’s worth knowing.

Here are the major similarities:

  • Both canoes and scanoes can be propelled through a paddle or trolling motor.
  • In terms of general shape, both canoes and scanoes are typically long and narrow.
  • Both canoes and scanoes are favored by anglers due to their ability to reach remote fishing spots.
  • The seats in canoes and scanoes are similar and resemble a bench.
Coleman-Scanoe trolling motor

Pros & Cons of Scanoe

Just like any boat, scanoes also have their fair share of pros and cons. So without wasting further time, let’s discuss them below to help you make an informed decision about whether this watercraft will suit your needs or not. 

We will first start with the advantages and then explore a few drawbacks that might concern you! 

Scanoe Pros 

  • Scanoes offer a hybrid structure of a canoe and skiff in the form of a small boat, and this speaks volumes about their versatility. This implies that you can use them in all the water conditions where either canoe or skiff would be a suitable pick. 
  • Other than being versatile in their use, scanoes offer flexibility as well. For example, you have the option to add a trolling motor on this boat type according to your needs. Just at the back, there’s an aluminum mount to fit the motor without any professional help. 
  • Just like its parent boats, scanoe also does not compromise on the comfort of the riders. There are ergonomic seatings along with mold-in knee cavities so you can say goodbye to pains that may arise with sitting in a single position for several hours. 
  • When it comes to stability, scanoes are definitely winners! All thanks to their double ribs on the hull, this boat type does not require much effort from you to balance it on waters. In fact, riders can even stand on this boat without the fear of falling. 
  • Besides offering top-notch stability, scanoes are equally durable too. Since they are made of polyethylene, a thick material, the water obstacles can not affect their build quality at all. 
  • It is easy to maintain as well. 

Scanoe Cons 

  • The size of scanoes is a bit on the heavier side, that’s why they might be difficult to store and launch. 
  • Coleman has stopped producing scanoes now so it might be difficult to find them. 

Popular Scanoe Models

Some popular scanoe models include: 

1. Coleman Ram-X Scanoe

The Coleman Ram-X Scanoe has long been a favorite among water enthusiasts seeking a versatile and reliable watercraft. Designed as a model of square stern canoe for easy motor installation and stability, this boat offers a range of features that cater to both casual paddlers and avid anglers.

The Scanoe’s design combines the best of both worlds – the stability of a canoe and the functionality of a motorboat. Its square stern not only allows for the attachment of a motor but also enhances stability, making it suitable for fishing trips, family outings, and leisurely paddles.

Constructed with Coleman’s signature Ram-X material, the Scanoe boasts impressive durability against impacts, UV exposure, and the elements.

2. Pelican Scanoe – Scout Canoe

Embarking on a water adventure can be both thrilling and tranquil, and the Pelican Scanoe Scout Canoe promises to be a vessel that embraces these experiences with its unique design and features. The first thing that catches the eye is the Pelican Scanoe’s unconventional design.

With a purposeful blend of stability and versatility, it stands out among traditional watercraft. The wide hull and square stern present a canvas that’s both functional and innovative, providing a foundation for stability-focused endeavors.

Coleman Scanoe

The canoe’s spacious interior isn’t just about function; it’s about comfort. Passengers can enjoy their time on the water without feeling cramped or confined. The wide, flat-bottomed hull design adds an extra layer of comfort, ensuring that every trip is as enjoyable as it is stable.

3. Sun Dolphin Scout Canoe

The Sun Dolphin Scout Canoe is an affordable and accessible option for individuals seeking an entry point into the world of recreational canoeing. Crafted from durable UV-stabilized Fortiflex High-Density Polyethylene, this canoe offers a stable and reliable platform for calm water adventures.

One of the standout features of the Scout Canoe is its lightweight design, weighing in at around 44 lbs. This characteristic makes it an ideal choice for those new to canoeing, as these canoes are easy to transport and maneuver. Its flat bottom design contributes to its stability on gentle waters, which is particularly beneficial for beginners who might be apprehensive about maintaining balance.

The canoe comfortably accommodates two passengers, providing an opportunity for shared experiences on the water. While it lacks some of the more advanced features found in pricier models, it serves as a canvas for customization and personalization, allowing users to outfit it with accessories as desired.

What Are Some Alternatives to Scanoe?

Let’s explore some other types of watercraft that fit in as perfect alternatives to scanoes:

1. Grumman Sqaure Stern

It is a 17-inch boat by Grumman that offers both motorized and manual paddling. Besides offering versatile maneuverability, the construction from air-craft grade aluminum offers top-notch durability.

And guess what? The ribs on the hull facilitate stability in the water so you don’t have to worry about balancing it in rough conditions. Since it’s just 85 pounds, users find it very easy to load and unload it on their own. 

2. Old Town Discovery Sport 15

Next up, we have Old Town Discovery Sport 15, that’s exactly what a conventional canoe may look like. However, it does have a few similarities with Coleman Canoe, specifically the square stern. And you can easily install a 4HP motor in this watercraft so you don’t have to get tired of maneuvering it.

When it comes to the weight limit, Old Town Discovery Sport 15 can hold up to 1,650 pounds allowing accommodation of multiple individuals along with gear and other equipment. However, you need to be mindful of the fact that equipping it with a motor can reduce this limit to almost 800 pounds.

The durability of this Scanoe alternative is also top-notch as supported by a three-layer polyethylene material. Even other components of this boat are sturdy and made from high-quality vinyl and nylon. 

3. Pelican 15.5 Canoe

If you are looking for a scanoe alternative that’s spacious enough for a three-person ride, Pelican 15.5 can stop your hunt. This lightweight boat is just 81 pounds and can hold up to 950 pounds seamlessly.

When it comes to its construction quality, you won’t be disappointed at all. This boat is made of Ram-X offering high-impact resistance against external elements. And what is special about it? Even when a collision occurs, it can quickly turn back to its original shape with a little force. 

4. Wenonah Backwater Square Stern

This Backware Scanoe can accommodate up to two people and is a perfect pick for enjoying thrilling water sports. Since it comes with a motorized setup, you won’t have to spend much effort on paddling. It has an aluminum and wood mounting bracket, allowing easy installation of the motor.

What’s more? This boat is perfect for multiple water conditions, be it backwater marshes or rocky rivers. And you can find it in almost 12 different colors to suit your likes. 

Which Scanoe Model Should You Opt to Use?

Here are some factors you need to consider before purchasing a scanoe include: 

1. Design and Purpose: Understand the specific design features and intended use of the ‘scanoe.’ Does it have a canoe-like hull with kayak-style seating or other unique characteristics? Consider whether the design aligns with your paddling preferences and the types of water you’ll be on.

2. Stability and Maneuverability: Look for a ‘scanoe’ model that offers a balance of stability and maneuverability. Since it’s a hybrid, it should ideally provide stability akin to a canoe while also allowing for kayak-style paddling efficiency.

3. Materials and Construction: Consider the materials used in the construction of the ‘scanoe.’ Depending on the manufacturer, it might be made from materials like plastic, fiberglass, or other composites. Each material has its pros and cons in terms of weight, durability, and performance.

4. Size and Capacity: Assess the size of the ‘scanoe’ in terms of length, width, and overall dimensions. Make sure it can comfortably accommodate the number of paddlers and any gear you plan to carry. Check the weight capacity to ensure it meets your needs.

5. Paddling Experience: Think about your own paddling experience and skill level. A ‘scanoe’ could be a good option for those who enjoy both canoe-style and kayak-style paddling techniques.

6. Reviews and Recommendations: If there are specific models or brands associated with the term ‘scanoe,’ look for reviews and recommendations from other paddlers who have used them. Their insights can provide valuable information about the watercraft’s performance and suitability for different environments.

7. Try Before Buying: If possible, try out the ‘scanoe’ model before purchasing. Paddling it on the water will give you a better sense of how it handles and whether it aligns with your preferences.

8. Price and Budget: Consider your budget for the purchase. Depending on the materials and features, ‘scanoe’ models might vary widely in price.

9. Accessories and Features: Look into any additional features, such as storage compartments, seating options, and compatibility with canoeing accessories like fishing gear or paddle holders.

Remember, due to the potential variability and uniqueness of the term ‘scanoe,’ it’s essential to gather information from reputable sources, outdoor enthusiasts, and manufacturers who might produce such hybrid watercraft. Always prioritize safety and comfort when choosing any watercraft for your paddling adventures.

Scanoe Vs Canoe Vs Skiff: Which one is better in different conditions? 


For solo cruising, a canoe or a scanoe offers better maneuverability and efficiency in comparison to skiffs. Since skiffs are larger and designed to accommodate multiple passengers, it’s not a good idea to embark on a solo adventure. 


When it comes to tandem use, all three types of vessels can suit this riding style. So whether you want to head for a leisurely trip or catch those delicious sea treats with your partner, any type can work fine. 


Just like two-person canoes, you can also find ones for accommodating multiple people at a time. So canoes definitely make a good choice for a water trip. However, this does not mean that you can not enjoy a skiff with multiple people.

Being larger in size, this boat offers family-friendly seating and space for multiple individuals to stay comfortable throughout the trip. Unfortunately, scanoes can not be used for family canoes voyages as they can generally accommodate only one or two people. So this option is an odd one out! 

FAQs – Coleman Scanoe

What is the difference between a canoe and a scanoe?

A canoe has a traditional design with pointed ends. Meanwhile, a scanoe features a square stern to accommodate an outboard motor.

Can a Scanoe be operated by a novice?

Yes, a scanoe can be operated by a novice, as it combines paddling with the option of motorized travel for easier navigation.

Can a Scanoe capsize?

Scanoes are much stable and if operated with proper techniques, it makes canoe capsizing easy. However, it varies depending on multiple factors like the boat’s design, width, shape, load distribution, and water conditions. 

What is the weight limit for the Coleman Canoe?

The weight limit of a Coleman Canoe can vary according to the watercraft’s length. For example, a 15’6’ long’ boat can bear a weight of almost 800 pounds. 

Is Coleman Scanoe stable?

Yes. A Coleman Scanoe is stable on water allowing equal weight distribution, all thanks to its double-ribbed hull. Moreover, it also features a tri-keel hull at the bottom eliminating the chances of slipping in the waters. 

Are scanoes more expensive than regular canoes?

Yes. Scanoes are priced at higher rates as compared to a standard canoe. Since their production was halted in 2021, only a few brands sell them now. And this rare availability is the reason behind scanoes being expensive. 

How do you store a Coleman canoe?

The storage process of a Coleman canoe is the same as other watercraft. You need to follow the below steps for this purpose: 

  • Clean the canoe 
  • Dry it 
  • Choose a suitable storage location 
  • Elevate the vessel and give support to the hull 
  • Cover the canoe with a breathable tarp 
  • Use Strap A Canoe To A Roof Rack to secure the watercraft 
  • Keep a regular check on the stored canoe to avoid mold or pest infestations

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