Lincoln Canoe & Kayak - Currently Not in Production

Sad news, but Lincoln Canoe and Kayak has stopped production. I heard this at a Lincoln dealer today. I guess this happened about a week and a half ago. They are not out of business but currently not making any. I have no idea what the future holds, I’m just, ok my wife, not me, is just a happy customer.

So if you want a Lincoln, run to your dealer and buy one. She wanted a carbon one but took a kevlar one that was in stock, not the first color choice either, but hey, it paddled really well and she’s happy.

When Momma is happy…

Lightweight Kayaks…

They’re expensive, but very ‘back’ friendly.
Hopefully, this is just a temporary ‘slowdown’ for Linclon.

Several years ago, when my back went out, I bought a 28lb Warren Lightcraft ‘Little Wing’ 15.5. Used it for a few years, but it wasn’t really an ocean boat.
(I think they’re out of business)

A few years ago (just before Linclon moved from Maine to Mass.) picked up a carbon ‘Isle Au Haut’. Nice, comfortable, relatively fast boat. Paddled for a few years, but I prefer (though they are slower), the ‘playful’ boats (Sterling). (besides, the local sharks liked the taste of the ‘Isle Au Haut’.

If you’re getting to the age where you don’t want to carry heavy boats anymore, you might want to pick up a Lincoln before (if) they are gone.

It would be a shame if they shut down, as they’re a good company that make high-quality products. Perhaps it’s just another sign of the drop-off in the higher-end kayak market.

Anyone want an Isle au Haut Paddle Lite construction Red Deck/White Hull? Needless to say, quantities are limited.

See you on the water,
Marshall Seddon
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY
845-229-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile
Main: www.the-river-connection.com
Store: www.the-river-connection.us
Facebook: fb.me/theriverconnection

That’s a shame. I certainly don’t want a local builder to bite the dust. I test paddled a Isle au Haut this summer thinking it might be my next boat. Not bad, definitely light, but I had some concerns about robustness of construction, rough finishes, no seat pillars, routing of the Skeg cable, etc. While everyone seems to praise them here’s the thing: where are all the Lincolns? I’ve paddled over large swaths of the New England coast during the last ten years and have only seen two Lincoln sea kayaks (just talking touring kayaks here; can’t speak to their canoe and rec boat business). The coastline is cluttered with Valleys, NDK’s, CD’s, etc. Clearly they are not an enthusiast’s boat. If anyone can explain this I’m all ears. Perhaps it has something to do with their present woes.

That’s the question, isn’t it? It is the boat or the business model? You can have a great product and not have the ability to manufacture, advertise, sell, promote, etc… If you miss one single step, you’re sunk.

@Wayne S
Correction on the below - Marshall rightly points out that I was missing some earlier models.

Lincoln kayaks were much identified with a guy in Maine named Sandy Martin who was fairly early in developing sea kayaks against the surge that I saw a bit after we started regularly vacationing in Maine. From his obit - "He worked for Lincoln Canoe in the early and mid 60s, from 1977 until the mid-80s, then bought the company out of bankruptcy in 1989. With his second wife, Nancy Martin at his side, Sandy grew Lincoln to become the second oldest canoe and kayak company in the US. "

He made darned fine boats compared to the barges that predominated when he first picked up the company. Relatively lightweight construction, responsive hulls. Sandy was also highly regarded for his clinics on boat repair. He understood fiberglass layup quite well.

Within a decade of his taking over the company the British invasion hit, at that point a lot of NDK with in some Valley in play as well. Lower decks, cockpits with molded thigh braces and boats like the Romany intended to make rolling easier. Very functional day hatches.

Sandy was highly regarded by everyone I and my husband met who had a lot to do with bringing the Brit boats in, like Tom Bergh, and his boats showed up at symposiums etc. He was a very nice guy, He ultimately got ill and sold his company to a young man who was also a really good guy, kept it going with a lot of high quality repair work and strong support of the southern Maine kayaking community.

His designs ended up being somewhat stranded due to the Brit invasion. And redoing molds is not a minor task for anyone let alone a small company. They were all too high decked to work well for a smaller paddler, but then so was everything else out there until somewhere after 2000 when kayak manufacturers noticed that a portion of their potential market was women. They were good boats and in many ways innovative for their time.

But Lincoln remained a small company, without the larger network that some of the Brit manufacturers were able to develop. And Sandy did not court a network of coaches, which was what NDK did with the Explorer and the BCU system. That alone had a huge impact on sales.

Fact is that sea kayak designs have become altogether less quirky and more mellowed out in most performance aspects than some years ago. And the buying public, what remains of that market, seems to like that. But the days of more experimentation in design made for some nice paddling.

Featuring Lincoln kayaks at The River Connection I got to learn a bit about them from the inside out.

Wayne commented on not seeing Lincoln Sea Kayaks along the coastlines of NE. Lincoln only added that length boat models with the new ownership. These being the Seguin, Schoodic and Isle au Haut. There’s more Chebeagues and Diamond models out there from the past 40 years than sea kayak lengths of the past five.

The seat pan is different than what most are used to seeing. Opinion will differ but an upside I’ve discovered is that the pillar-less design fits curvaceous paddlers better than traditional seats. A bit of foam fills out any contact void thereafter.

Construction = they’re light even in the most basic layup and imho stronger than some other ultralight brands but ymmv based upon use, expectations and past experience.

I won’t conjecture on the business but it was something fun to boast of a locally made product rather like my usual Made in NY regarding Lendal Paddles.

See you on the water,
Marshall
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY
845-229-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile
Main: www.the-river-connection.com
Store: www.the-river-connection.us
Facebook: fb.me/theriverconnection

Lightweight is one of the reasons I went with the Lincoln (I was prepared to do carbon fiber). I’ve got a twice operated on shoulder & the other isn’t too great from taking up the slack. I’ve got weight lift limits and even a 42 pound boat is really pushing it so every pound counts. The Seguin in the fiberglass layup checks in at 42# for 15.5 feet–not bad. My “old beater boat”, a Hurricane Santee, weighs 40# & checks in at 12.5 feet. The overall feel of the Seguin is that it’s a much sturdier boat. How they did do that? I don’t know nor do I care. I care that it’s a boat I can get to water’s edge by myself.

I really like the seat in the Lincoln. I HATE the seat that came with my Hurricane. I hate the Sojourner seat less though I don’t actually like it.

Maybe some day I’ll buy a Romany on Craigslist if it’s Carbon and it’s going for short money. Otherwise? I’ll be on the water happily paddling my Lincoln.

Isn’t that a bit like saying a Porsche Carrera GT or McLaren aren’t an enthusiast’s/good car because you don’t see many of them?

@Wayne S said:
The coastline is cluttered with Valleys, NDK’s, CD’s, etc. Clearly they are not an enthusiast’s boat. If anyone can explain this I’m all ears. Perhaps it has something to do with their present woes.

@Lillyflowers said:
I really like the seat in the Lincoln. I HATE the seat that came with my Hurricane. I hate the Sojourner seat less
I’ll add in, it was the most comfortable ‘fiberglass’ seat I ever had in a kayak (I think it was a little ‘longer’ (more ‘upper’ leg support) )
(most of the yaks I have now either came with a foam seat (Sterling) or I replaced the fiberglass with foam (Epic 18x) )

@Wayne S said:
: where are all the Lincolns?
Don’t see many ‘Sterlings’ out this way either (East Coast), though it is a West Coast built boat.
(more common on the Pacific?)

@Lillyflowers said:
Isn’t that a bit like saying a Porsche Carrera GT or McLaren aren’t an enthusiast’s/good car because you don’t see many of them?

No. Take a survey of people who are capable/willing to spend that kind of money on a sports car and I’m willing to bet those cars are high on their list. Take a survey of people capable/willing to spend $4k on a kayak. Where does Lincoln rank?

Glad someone brought up Sterling. I was thinking about them too as another “local boat” example.

Wayne S
Your original post suggested something was amiss with Lincoln kayaks for a serious paddler. This is not the same as a boat having a more localized following due to other factors, for ex the network of coaches that NDK courted by basically giving them a boat. And Maine was essentially ground zero for the British invasion due to Tom Bergh and Maine Island Kayak. It appears you were not aware of this.

People buy what they see their coaches paddling, which is why you see more P&H kayaks now especially the Cetus line. A few of the most regarded BCU coaches in the northeast are paddling P&H boats, at least one is a dealer.

There is (or was) a line out of Great Britain, Tiderace, that is a perfect example of the effect, or lack of, on putting a lot of coaches into your boats. Their major dealer in the NE was a shop in NYC. If anyone looked at these boats and concluded other than that they were some of the best made and most reliable designs among sea kayaks, I never met them. I knew someone who had one and his boat was beautifully made. It was typical of Tiderace.

But Tiderace never developed a broad network of coaches in their boats, at least in the NE, even though their boats had much of the performance that had made the NDK Explorer and Romany so popular for newer paddlers. The designer for their sea kayaks (they had 2) was the same guy who had helped make those NDK boats what they were. The major difference was that they were made consistently well. Unlike the NDK boats, you did not need to worry about whether your cockpit opening and coaming had been finished after the NDK crew had had a long lunch at the pub across from the shop. And no, I am not kidding about that. It was just something those of us who favored the NDK boats knew we had to be aware of. But they performed so well on the water you dealt with it.

Sterling also makes fine boats, but they have not put coaches in them on the east coast. Can’t speak for the west.

I am somewhat confused as to why anyone would feel they have to go a few grand for a sea kayak in the NE these days, given the waning of popularity of serious sea kayaking as many of us are falling away from more aggressive tripping and younger people are not filling in the way they used to. There are really good boats out there, older designs, that can be gotten used for a lot less than that. But it doesn’t mean they are bad boats.

I think your last paragraph is really the key. Many people who were part of the “kayak boom” have either aged out of the sport, lost interest or moved on to the latest water toy (SUPs). When there are lots of really good composite boats available on the used market, there’s not a lot of reason to buy a new one. Many of the dealers who used to carry higher-end composite boats now stock almost nothing other than molded rec boats, as the “good stuff” doesn’t sell well. Unfortunately, this creates a “Catch-22”, in that if you don’t have it in stock, you’re not likely to sell it. You can’t convince people of the merits of high-end boats if they can see, feel and try them.

I just edited my post - we have a tremendously valuable resource in the Hudson Valley in Marshall. If anyone is hunting a new kayak, I would send them there. And lessons and advice.
Wayne S was talking about an older boat that is likely only available used, hence my direction.

@Celia said:
Sterling also makes fine boats, but they have not put coaches in them on the east coast. Can’t speak for the west.

I think Sterling has been out west long enough, you can only look at the beautiful mountains and enjoy the best paddling area for so long.
I think he should move his operations to the east coast,
maybe somewhere near northern Florida.
That way, I wouldn’t have to pay for (or worry about) shipping.

We have 3 paddlers with Sterling boats. There was a 4th but he decided he liked another boat more. He has a boat garage to keep his fleet in

Wayne, my point wasn’t car specific. Rather it was to illustrate that while you don’t see those cars often it doesn’t make them any less of an enthusiasts car. The model/make is irrelevant–I pulled those two out of the air, they were the first two to jump to mind. I could well have used any expensive enthusiasts flash car. :wink:

@Wayne S said:

@Lillyflowers said:
Isn’t that a bit like saying a Porsche Carrera GT or McLaren aren’t an enthusiast’s/good car because you don’t see many of them?

No. Take a survey of people who are capable/willing to spend that kind of money on a sports car and I’m willing to bet those cars are high on their list. Take a survey of people capable/willing to spend $4k on a kayak. Where does Lincoln rank?

Glad someone brought up Sterling. I was thinking about them too as another “local boat” example.

@raisins said:

@Celia said:
Sterling also makes fine boats, but they have not put coaches in them on the east coast. Can’t speak for the west.

I think Sterling has been out west long enough, you can only look at the beautiful mountains and enjoy the best paddling area for so long.
I think he should move his operations to the east coast,
maybe somewhere near northern Florida.
That way, I wouldn’t have to pay for (or worry about) shipping.

I’ll be out there next summer. Want me to pick one up?