Agnes Charlesworth - "a serene exercise that  can be very Zen-like at the same time.  That's what i love about it."  

Agnes Charlesworth and  "Ola Blanca", her Echo shell, row the waters of southern Maine.  

Agnes is a petite music teacher/sound artist who grew up in a sailing family.

First boat purchase:  a kayak at age 45.

"The kayak was great, it got me on the water - but since I've been rowing sliding seat 3 to 4 times a week for two years now, I rarely get into my kayak.  Staying healthy is important to me, I see rowing as my lifetime sport.  It makes you physically strong, is empowering and very social - not to mention great exercise, working my body from tip too toe with a fully body workout."

"When people ask me about rowing, I tell them it's a serene exercise that  can be very Zen-like at the same time - that's what I love about it.  While rowing you get into this steady, rhythmic stroke... which propels you in a wonderful gliding motion on the water.  That combination seems particularly appealing to people right now who want to exercise in a peaceful way."

"Rowing allow me to get into nature and not be on the edge of it peering in.  I gravitate toward sports that require little to no extra gear - rowing an Echo gives me that."

Agnes Charlesworth

Linda Smiley - "I was so intrigued and inspired"

Linda rows her Echo 'Lil Red' on the Merrimack River and coastal Maine

"For me, it all started when I read Rowing to Latitude by Jill Fredston.  Yep, that's when I officially got the bug.  Then I met Jill at a book signing and discovered she's no bigger than me at 5'2" and she braved the waters off the coast of Alaska in a rowing shell.  I was so intrigued and inspired."

"I've never seen myself as a strong upper body strength paddler and, as an avid cyclist, always wished I could make more use of my strong legs when out on the water.   After hearing from friends about the 'Zen' experience of rowing, I decided to give it a try and began to look for a boat that I could easilly car-top and launch without a lot of extra gear or hassle.  I found the Echo to be light weight, very stable and quite seaworthy.  Also given the ease of the folding rigger system - this was the boat for me to venture out into he ocean."

"My best trip was with a group of kayaking friends on a week-long trip to mid-coast Maine.  I was the only rower - and it worked out great.  We discovered how compatible we were, and it was so easy navigating and having conversations with them because we were looking in opposite directions.  All agreed that paddlers and rower were a great match!"

Linda Smiley


“ I have now had my Islander for 2 months, and I love it. I have been out rowing in all types of seas and wind conditions, and the Islander has handled them all without a hint of instability. When my companions in their kayaks have been struggling to maintain a 2 knot/hr pace into a 20 knot wind and a running tide, I, in my Islander, have been able to comfortably cruise a 4 knots/hr. When out alone I can easily maintain a pace of 6 knots/hr. Moreover, I also use it as a family boat; my 12 y.o. daughter will ride on the bow as we row along the beach, and then she will use it as a diving platform. This boat is everything I wanted and more. Thanks again for your excellent support and help. Lorna was wonderful to keep going out with me to help me learn the basics.”
— Bob C.
“ I’ve rowed many of the rec and racing shells on the market. I’ve been rowing and racing for over 20 years. I live on an estuary that often has a lot of boat traffic. Last year I bought an ECHO and I absolutely love the boat. I don’t miss a stroke, even in boat wake and I rowed it on Christmas Day, New Years Day and Feb through the winter. The folding riggers make it a cinch to transport. I keep my oars permanently in the oarlocks. Last weekend I brought it to Barnegat Bay and a friend rowed it in 20 to 25 mph winds. There were white caps. He came in and said he loved it and wanted to unload some of his fleet and get an ECHO.”
— JoAnne S.
“Thanks to the folding rigger system, I have been able to haul my ECHO to the beach here in Key West behind my bike on a “Paddleboy” kayak trailer? The width of fixed riggers would have made it impossible.”
— ~ Frank K.
“W hat a nice boat. All I had to do was just float it go out sit on it set myself up and go for a row. It is a wonderful very well thought out design light years better than the [other open water} singles because it is designed to be launched in waves from a beach as well as from a dock. It has volume where you want it in the bow and midships. This is the most portable sliding seat boat I have ever seen. I know Doug Martin the designer. He put into this boat all those things one needs for being truly at home on open water. “

— Gail F.
Had a great row this morning in my ECHO. Clear as a bell and 34 deg. in Seattle and NO power boats out. My wife and I had Lake Union, Portage Bay, and Union Bay all to ourselves, just us and the birds.

Got home and checked e-mails and then the Echo website. You have always kept the website current and made frequent updates but I think the new format is the best yet. I hope the blog gets lots of interest.

Not many Echo’s here so it would be nice to hear what others are doing! “

— Bob M ~ Seattle

Bay of Fundy Crossing

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.