Greene Marine History
"No signs indicate the presence of the boatyard, but observant motorists looking downriver behind the Muddy Rudder Restaurant catch a glimpse of the bright colors and tall masts that indicate the presence of some of the fastest ocean racing sailboats in the world."
- Maine Times, Edgar Allen Beem
Greene Marine began in 1978 with the building of Walter Greene's trimaran design Acapella. Walter and his wife Joan raced this boat in the 1978 Round Britain race, coming in 1st in class and 4th overall. Later that year, Canadian Mike Birch sailed Acapella (renamed Olympus Photo) to a first-place win in the first Route du Rhum trans-Atlantic race (France to Guadalupe), and Walter's reputation as a multihull designer was firmly established.
In 1980 the Greenes (Walter, wife Joan, and sister Esther) opened a shop on the Cousins River in Yarmouth, Maine. That was also the year that Philip Weld sailed the Moxie, built by Walter Greene at Handy Boat, to become the first American to win the Observer Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (OSTAR). Greene-designed and built boats also took 3rd, 4th, and 5th place overall in the 1980 OSTAR. The fifth-place boat was skippered by Walter.
In 1981, the first Two-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race (TwoSTAR) saw 6 Greene entries, with Greene boats winning two first-in-class and coming in 3rd, 7th, 13th, and 15th overall.
Walter's early boats continued to be raced in transatlantic races, although they are no longer contending for line honors. Four Greene-designed boats competed in the 2010 Route de Rhum.
One of Walter's most famous boats was Sebago, which was sponsored by Sebago shoe company. Multihulls magazine stated in 1984,
"Besides manufacturing an excellent product, Sebago will go into the record books as the first large U.S. company to sponsor a competitor in a major ocean-racing event..."
Sebago placed 4th in class in the 1984 OSTAR and 1st in class/7th overall in the 1985 Round Britain race, among other races.
Races in which Greene boats have won or placed include the OSTAR, TWOSTAR, Route du Rhum, Round Britain, Yarmouth Cup, and Monhegan Cup. Walter has also had a hand in boats that have set records for solo and non-stop circumnavigation, such as American Promise.
Greene Marine built 36 test tank models approximately 22' to 24' in length. Seven were for Bill Koch's Matador 2 (maxi boat), and the rest for three America's Cup campaigns from 1992 to 2000.
Greene's cruising multi-hulls have also been very popular. His design for a coastal cruiser catamaran, the Even Keel 35, has been built by Greene Marine and several owner/builders. The most adventurous sailed to Australia where it is continuing its life as a coastal cruiser.
Walter has designed boats for racers and cruisers, but far more people have gone on the water on his boats for Coast Guard certified day charters, in both sail and power.
Other fascinating projects have included a Sebago Dockside shoe boat (in red, white, and blue), and a space shuttle, mega-globes, and other structures for the Children's Museum of Maine.
Greene is a long-time member of the Maine Boatbuilder's Hall of Fame and a recipient of the first NEMA Outstanding Achievement Awards. Presenting the NEMA award, ocean racer Philip Steggal remarked:
"What can you say about Walter? Guru comes to mind… Walter larger than life Greene…Walter don’t let him buy the food for the race Greene…Walter not a slave to fashion Green...Walter the costeffective solution Greene… I’ve never met anybody who could get more out of a dollar to make a boat go faster than Walter Greene. He has an innate art for dragging the last few percent out of a bucket of resin, or a pound of fiberglass, or a kilo of carbon. Today I’m dealing with PhDs in the composite business ona daily basis, but when I want to know the real deal, I call Walter. If I give him a laminate sample, out comes the knife and the hammer, and right away he knows all about what’s in it, how it went together, and if it will work.
"Walter build me a boat that can sail the ocean Greene… Over the years that I’ve know him, all of his boats have had a superb functionality… and these aren’t just bay boats, but ones many of us have crossed the ocean in.
"He's truly one of the original thinkers. He believes there is a better shape for the wheel than round - if only he can think of it. He has not only the power to think in dimensions that are different from those the rest of us experience, but also the ability to come up with the end solution.
"He brings life and enjoyment to everyone he knows. He is the richest man I know; he’s a true follower of his own dreams and has no hidden agendas."
Over the course of nearly 40 years, Walter Greene has built or worked on more than 150 boats, in wood, epoxy, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Racing and cruising boats, single or multihulls, USCG-certified boats, shoe boats or space shuttles - Greene Marine provides brilliant solutions of excellence for any project.