Industry Vets Buy Lincoln Canoe


- Advertisment -

Breathing new life into a 50-year-old flagship paddling brand, a group of outdoor and paddlesports and outdoor industry veterans have announced the acquisition of Lincoln Canoe & Kayak.

The ownership group is led by Marc Bourgoin, a 20-year paddlesports professional with experience at all levels of the industry: as a guide, as a business owner, and most recently as a sales representative for Northeast Outdoor Sports, which exclusive supports Johnson Outdoors.

The group also includes Ponch Membreno, a 15-year outdoor retail specialist whose experience includes design and management of retail operations for Patagonia (Freeport; New York City) and Horny Toad (Freeport); as well as Ron Bourgoin, who brings two decades of logistics and operations expertise to the team.

The new owners will take control of Lincoln’s manufacturing facility and retail showroom in Freeport, effective immediately.

“As a group, we want to resurrect the historically powerful Lincoln brand with new personality, new energy and new ideas,” said Bourgoin. “And personally, what’s driving me is a desire to get back to the core of paddling. I want to raise my family as part of the outdoor culture, not part of corporate America.”

Founded in 1959, Lincoln Canoe & Kayak’s current lineup includes eight different canoes, nine different kayaks, and more than a little bit of history. Lincoln’s current brand recognition is fueled in large part by their location, a spot on the high visibility Freeport corridor, a premier retail district that sees more than 6 million visitors each year.

The ownership group got its own start in the early 1990s, when Bourgoin and Membreno shared the guiding duties of a Chewonki Foundation “leader training trip” in Maine’s Bigelow range, and dreamed of one day co-owning their own paddle brand.

“What we share as a group is a foundation of paddlesport experiences with a direct link to education,” said Bourgoin. “To create a sustainable client base, there has to be something more meaningful than just healthy margins: it’s got to be about the experience.”

The new owners’ distinct vision for Lincoln begins with a return of brand focus to the core audience: regional paddlers seeking both quality and community.

While one primary tool for strengthening community will be an interactive, user-friendly showroom in Freeport; the other will be the incorporation into Lincoln of Compass Road Expeditions, a domestic and international paddling guide service founded by Bourgoin in 1997.

“My connection to the sport has always been through guiding and always been through teaching. I‘ve experienced first hand the power of sharing the natural world with people, and there’s no doubt that it can change lives,” said Bourgoin. “It’s all about getting on the water.”

With their 100% made-in-Maine manufacturing facility, Lincoln is certain to appeal to consumers seeking locally made product.

It’s also expected to appeal to national retailers at a time when large brands are increasingly reliant on consolidation and offshore manufacturing – and small, high-quality regional brands are rising in prominence.

“A lot of people are looking at the paddlesports industry and wondering ‘where do we go from here?’“ said Bourgoin. “The quality of the product, the community around the brand, the experience of paddling – all those things are being lost at the expense of higher profit margins. We’re going to change that.”

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Alpacka Unveils 3 New Models for ’24: Behold the Rendezvous, Tango and Refuge (Plus an Update to the Valkyri)

Alpacka Raft has been working overtime this past season on its various designs, with proof coming this spring with its...

A Test of Pelican’s 1120 Protector Case, A Lost Boat and a Swim to Remember

Photo by Mike Hagadorn I was about to be a new father and had been working as a rep for...

Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Mom: Mother Solo Rows 3,000 Miles Across Atlantic

Let's just say that's a heckuva lot of strokes, blisters and not having to think about packing kids' lunches...

American Rivers Reports 80 US Dams Removed in 2023

Break out the cowbells. American Rivers recently reported that a total of 80 dams were removed from US rivers...
- Advertisement -

AW Protects Lower Big Sandy with Land Purchase!

Let's give a big round of applause for American Whitewater and the Lower Big Sandy. On January 26, American...

Paddlesports Trade Coalition, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Partner Up

While it's to quite like a merging of rivers, the newly formed Paddlesports Trade Coalition (PTC) and the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance are working...

Must read

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you