The Owens Yacht Marque Club Newsletter
Fall/Winter 2004/2005

8th Annual Reunion | At Play on the Bay | Officers & Directors | From Your Editor | An Owens Story: The Application of Imagination

Our 8th Annual Owens reunion, which was held June 19th at the Miles River Yacht Club in St. Michaels, Maryland, had 36 members attend. Here is a recap of some of the highlights of that meeting.

Founder and newsletter Editor, Ginger Martus, opened the meeting with a few important items. First was that this year will probably be the last time she will set up the Owens booth. She said, "I've been doing this for the past seven years with very little help from members. The setup time starts early Friday morning; then you must be on duty all day Saturday and part of Sunday." Also, she told the audience that all the Owens archival material will have to be turned over to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum next spring, in 2005, when the major new exhibit titled "At Play on the Bay" opens, featuring an old 1950s 31ft. Owens.

Then introductions of guests and special members: Lysle and Shirley Gray; Lysle was Chief Engineer at Owens from 1964-1972. Then Edna Fish, who came from South Carolina, and her son, Roy. Edna's late husband, Darryl, was a designer for Owens boats, and Edna donated some of his original designs to the Museum. This was accepted by John Miller, Director of Development. John then gave an update about the exhibit. Also attending was Birdie Owens Crossman from Key West, Florida, who brought guest Barry Burris. Gary is planning to make a documentary about the Owens Yacht Company history.

President Ted Degarmo spoke about Owens boats he knew as a youngster and how he found the Owens boat to be used in the exhibit. The boat was then donated by Norman and Jack Owens to the Museum.

Secretary/Treasurer Mitchell Owens gave an update of the new Owens website. It is in the process of development by Stellar Presentations of Annapolis, Maryland.

Mitch then reported that we have $2473.99 as of June 19.

A Directory of members was available, which included people as far back as 1996, when the club was first established. It will now be updated to include current paid members.

The program concluded with a presentation by George Hazzard and Will Stahlgren who recently established their own business, Wooden Boat Restoration, in Chesterville, Maryland, and described how they restored the bottom of Bob Libby's 1965 37-ft. Granada.

Now it is time to remind all members that next year we must elect a new President plus others. So please consider keeping the Owens Club going by participating. Remember, a club is only as strong as its members.


The new exhibit at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum opens in the Spring of 2005. Nomad, a 1951 31-ft. Owens cruiser, will be put into a permanent position at the museum for the exhibit.

Officers and Directors 2003-2004

President Ted Degarmo LI/NY
Vice President Bob Libby NJ


Mitch Owens MD
  Birdie O. Crossman FL
  Richard Osborn DC
  Molly Fimmano PA
  Ginger M. Martus NJ

From Your Editor...

This is not your usual Tideline newsletter of the past, because of various circumstances. We did not publish in 2004, as we had very little input from members, plus very little news to report, and a lack of interest did not warrant the expense.

While we do hear from people all over the US and Canada, we realize it is difficult to gather a group of Owens owners in one place, so it seems St. MIchaels, MD, is the best place for our annual luncheon/meeting. The past two years attendance has fallen off with only 36 this year and we find interest is waning, therefore our future is undecided.

I receive many newsletters from other boat clubs, some smaller than Owens, and read how active they are. WE have much to offer Owens owners, such as archival material, merchandize, and a new website in the near future. We have also received some nice publicity A feature article will appear in the Rudder, the Antique & Classic Boat Society's magazine. I have been asked by the co-editor to put this together, so look for it in their fall issue if you are a member of ACBS.

We will try to select a new President next June, but we need someone to step forward and offer to take over as President. The welfare of the club is vital to its future.



The Application of Imagination
by Terry Brown
Ontario, Canada
in his own words

My first Owens was a 1967, 30-ft. Express cruiser, which I bought in September 1983. Although the interior was in good condition, the exterior was not. A previous owner had painted all the brightwork with white paint, and it took on a real red look. That first winter, 1983/94, was a busy one, scarfing, sanding, and in the spring varnishing, to bring the mahogany back to life. During the following years I replaced several planks on the bottom and sides, repainting it twice, then sanding and varnishing. But each season she looked great out on the water. In 2000 I had both engines rebuilt to new 327 standards.

some planks replaced on hull

From 1996 to 2002, I lived aboard at Port Credit, which is on the north side of Lake Ontario, 10 miles west of Toronto. In the winter I had her shrink-wrapped, put in a bubbler system and with four 1.5 kw. heaters inside, I was snug as a bug. To improve comfort, I modified the interior with a new galley, a countertop 5'9" long, and a new 4 fridge, and had plenty of cupboard space, too. I moved the dinette to the port side, and put in a new mattress in the space left by the dinette. I added extra space in the V-berth, and closed in the aft area to make it look more like a sedan.

In August 2000 I struck a submerged object which damaged both props and shafts, so she was hauled out for repairs. On inspection, I saw that several bottom planks had deteriorated, and a survey in Spring 2001 revealed that there was quite a lot of rot in the inner planking on both sides, and the frame which supported the rear end of the port gas tank. The boatyard which rebuilt the engines had an Owens just like mine that had been sitting there for 8 years, and the owner suggested I take both boats and make one good one. After thinking about that for a while, I decided to do just that.

I had the boat checked out and found that a previous owner had already restored the starboard side and the bottom, and there didn't seem to be any rot in the inner planking. But six new planks needed replacing on the port side, the lower 2 feet of the transom needed replacing, and the wall separating the cabin from the wheelhouse had to be rebuilt. The decks had rotted through at the corners of the cabin front windows, so I started work in September 2001 by removing the foredeck. I replanked it with 3/4" marine plywood, and covered it with "teak plank" vinyl. The boat was then shrink-wrapped for the winter, and work continued on the interior through the winter.

replaced deck wtih 3/4" marine plywood and covered it with "teak plank" vinyl

During spring 2002 I concentrated on the exterior work: replacing the planks on the port side and rebuilding the bottom of the transom. I V-grooved the seams to match the starboard side and painted it with a couple of coats of primer. The transom was completed, cleaned up and stained, then a couple of coats of varnish to seal it for the winter, and had her shrink-wrapped.

transom before and after

Work continued in earnest in 2003 to get her ready for the summer. I set a target date for launch by the end of June. The engines from my old boat were transferred, all the wiring was removed and replaced by new, pumps and blowers, etc., were connected, and she was ready for launch on July 4th. After sitting for 9 years on the hard, I expected her to leak, but it wasn't too bad. I took the precaution of having her hang in the slings overnight, but it didn't really need to. Next day I started the engines and drove to my slip, with everything running and working correctly.

helm station, before and after

There was still much work to be done... I extended the roof back to the transom, cleaned up the wheelhouse deck, sanded and varnished the brightwork and again rebuilt the galley, etc. This year, 2004, I have added new depth and speed indicators, new canvas around the back, and continued with the numerous jobs that crop up.

In June 2004, we used the chainsaw to cut up the old Owens, but it didn't give up without a fight! It made me appreciate just how strong these Owens boats are; they are built like tanks.

8th Annual Reunion | At Play on the Bay | Officers & Directors | From Your Editor | An Owens Story: The Application of Imagination



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