Martin grew up in a ski lodge in Vermont in the 1940s with parents considered ski pioneers. During those early years, he was exposed to the day-to-day activities of helping his family run the lodge, sparking a passion for invention and business.
In high school, he became interested in the fiberglass skis being tested at Mad River Glen, and after apprenticeships under engineers and ski designers, he learned about structural applications with aircrafts, boats and more.
Enter the story of Maine-based Lincoln Canoe, the second oldest canoe and kayak company in the U.S. behind Old Town, where Martin applied what he learned to fiberglass canoes. The company enabled him to design a special process to produce canoes and kayaks lighter and stronger than most others on the market. This process has been in use for over 30 years and has kept Lincoln Canoe in business where many other companies have failed (he sold the company in 2009).
His new book, Paddling Against the Tide: The Story of Lincoln Canoe, an Entrepreneurial Saga, recently published by Inkwater Press, tells his tale of passion, ingenuity, personality and entrepreneurship, imparting lessons he learned in his canoe business along the way – including a design and building process in use for over 30 years.
“It reads like a useful manual for fulfilling life,” endorses Paul Farrow, founder of The Walden Paddler. “It mixes life lessons with business realities, personalities to revere and revile, and his dedication to the canoe and kayak trade with his incredible personal resilience.”
Lincoln Canoe founder Dick Perkins also sings its praises. “It’s a wonderful story of following the American Dream in spite of long odds. Everyone with an entrepreneurial bent can learn some good lessons and have a fun read with Sandy’s memoir.”