Our Story


Arthur Martin paddling his first sea kayak with son Douglas and daughter Lorna.

Arthur Martin paddling his first sea kayak with son Douglas and daughter Lorna.

Arthur Martin, friends and family at the Chauncey Creek Boathouse, Kittery Point Maine

Arthur Martin, friends and family at the Chauncey Creek Boathouse, Kittery Point Maine

Arthur Martin experimenting in an early sea kayak

Arthur Martin experimenting in an early sea kayak

Over 50 years of rowing knowledge has been infused into the Echo rowing shell's timeless design and innovative features.  Arthur Martin, the father of recreational rowing and the Alden Ocean Shell, designed his first rowing shell in his living room with the help of two of his children, Douglas and Lorna.  In 1975, Douglas designed and built his first boat while apprenticing at the Strawbery Banke Dory shop in Portsmouth, NH.  Over the years, the Alden Ocean Shell became the hallmark of recreational rowing shells around the world.  Son Douglas and daughter Lorna preserved their father's passion for rowing by continuing to build Alden Ocean Shells years after his death.  Douglas applied his life learned knowledge of boat building, sculpture, and violin design to improve on the design of open water rowing shells.  More than ten years after his father's passing, Douglas designed the Echo rowing shell.

Steve Wood and Douglas Martin share a moment at the Chauncey Creek Boathouse in Kittery Point, Maine

Steve Wood and Douglas Martin share a moment at the Chauncey Creek Boathouse in Kittery Point, Maine

In 2002, Douglas co-founded Echo Rowing with his sister Lorna and her husband Ted.  They strived to improve traditional recreational and open water rowing shells.  Doug’s design process combines practical experience, sound principals of physics, beauty, strength and practicality. These principals are manifested in the simplicity of the unique and proprietary "Echo Folding Rigger System" and the strength and stability of all of the Echo Rowing shell designs. Today these rowing shells are classified as “all water rowing shells”, meaning they can be rowed in most reasonable conditions from calm waters to hard core open water racing.  

The Echo design earned it's highest mark in racing when two National Champion rowers, Peter Schwab of the USA and Peter Oxley of Canada successfully raced each other in Echo Classics across the Bay of Fundy over a twelve hour endurance race.  The race started in Digby, Nova Scotia,  with a final race destination of St. John, New Brunswick, a 50 mile crossing as the crow flies.  Spanning two complete tidal changes and nearly 100 feet of rise and fall with the tide, the tide's current took them twelve miles sideways with the incoming tide, and then 12 miles return with the outgoing tide.  Keeping a steady eye on their compass heading for St. Johns, Nova Scotia, the two arrived at their destination after traveling nearly 75 miles, 50 miles by their own efforts and 25 miles by the tide's efforts.  Their accomplishment in our Echo is a tremendous testament to the capability of our fine all water rowing designs.

The Echo Rowing Company became known for building a high quality product, with a loyal owner base and a strong history of success in the recreational and open water categories.  Made in Maine meant quality.

In 2016, Doug, Lorna and Ted sold the Echo Rowing Company to three water sport, outdoor and rowing enthusiasts, Steve Wood, Greg Boudreau and Alex Thomson. Steve has a long history sailing and windsurfing along the Rhode Island and Maine Coasts and in the Columbia River Gorge. Greg, likewise grew up on the Connecticut Coast and also boats in the Columbia River. Alex has a long history of high school and collegiate rowing experience and lives on the Massachusetts Coast.

The new owners of Echo Rowing will continue to bring the same quality construction and client service that has been a tradition at Echo Rowing.