|The company was founded by Charles Owens, Sr. who built custom boats on Spa Creek, at Annapolis, Maryland from 1925 to 1930. After his death in 1933, his three the sons, Charles, Jr., Norman and John B. decided to expand the business and purchased about eight acres on the Baltimore waterfront where they built a new plant. Here they adopted the new auto industry production techniques and applied them to boat building.|
When a new thirty foot Owens cruiser model was put on display at the New York Boat Show in 1937 their business took off. In the early 1940's, boating was at its peak until World War II. All three brothers were good sailors and had raced sail boats with major success. It was at this time that they introduced their first 40 foot sailboat, the OWENS CUTTER.
During the War years, they converted the shop to production boats and built many rescue boats and landing barges.
After the war (1950) they sold the design rights for the OWENS CUTTER to Henry Hinckley who went on to build it for the next five years. During the Korean War the brothers bid and won contracts to build 75 foot minesweepers for the Navy.
In the late 1950's Cornelius Shields of Shields & Company, a well-known sailor and stock broker suggested they offer 20% of their company stock to the public. It opened on the New York Stock Exchange in 1959 as the Owens Company and was probably the only boat company to offer stock on the open market at this time.
In 1957 the company began to convert all boat production to fiberglass and was the first in the field to do so. This step improved their bottom line almost immediately. At this same time they were also building their own line of marine engines.(Flagship Marine)
During its peak production years the Owens Company had 500 employees at their Baltimore plant.
By the 1960's the Owens brothers had retired and no longer took an active part in the business. The Owens Company became a division of the Brunswick Corp. for ten years before it was sold to Test Concorde Inc. The division was renamed Concorde Yacht Division - Brunswick Corp., but the boats were still sold under the Owens brand.
The Concorde Yacht Division went out of business in the early 1970's.
It is said that most of the historical material from the original Owens Company has been lost.
The Owens Cutter plans remain and are located at the Mystic Seaport Museum, in Mystic, CT.