‘Customer Comments’ Category

Good afternoon – You may – or may not – recall that I ordered your Texas Duck kit last year. It arrived on time and as promised, and I promptly stored it in a cool, dry place in my basement.   Since my wife and I purchased a condo in Florida and we were busy attending to that, I decided not to start the build until our return from God’s Waiting Room in the Spring of ’13…projects begun and left half-done for 6 months have a habit of never being completed. In fact, I did not even open the two boxes to inspect the contents.   But we have returned, and I have opened the boxes, and I’m clearing off my work tables. The lumber appears to be in excellent condition and all of the cuts are superb. In fact, notwithstanding that I am a life-long Sooner fan, I shall be pleased to affix your Texas Duck transfer to my boat as a tribute to your good efforts. Of course, Bud Wilkinson will probably roll over in his grave.   In any event, I’d like to keep you posted on my progress, and perhaps ask the an occasional question. Meanwhile, many thanks and keep up the good work.

Norwalk, Ohio

Hi John,
I just wanted to let you know that I received the tiller this week. It looks great. I’ve already received a lot of compliments on the rudder. Now I’m ready for a season of sailing. Thanks for the good work and getting it out to us.
Brooklyn, New York


I received the center board last week. I have not installed it yet but wanted to tell you that your workmanship is fantastic.

I appreciate the effort you have put into this, really a high quality job. Hopefully i will not need to make another one any time soon but if I do see anyone looking for your services you can rest assured I will point them in
your direction.
Thanks very much,
Truckee, Ca.

I can recommend John Owens to anyone wanting pretty much anything made for their boats, from frame and stem kits which are a really good way to start a project to things like tillers, rudder and centerboards.
John Welsford

John Welsford Small Boat Design

Hamilton, New Zealand

 Well John Owens has done it again. I just received my new tiller from him and like the hatch cover its a work of art. I am posting pictures under “My Boat” if anyone wants to see it. He now has the pattern for Sunbird tillers if anyone needs one. He is very reasonable as well.


Newport, Tennessee



Helsen 20 Sliding Hatch


The hatch is beautiful.  The boat is NOT an O’Day. It is almost exactly like the O’Day 20. It is a 21footer designed by Jope Helsen in ’77 for a company then called Helsen International. Since then , several name changes and gone out of production. After I get the boat in the water this year I will send pictures of how the whole job looks afloat. I am sure you will be even more proud to show it off.
Boy, I am excited. When I get that boat out there in the bay with my grand daughter’s new paint job and with the new hatch added to the other mahogany  it is going to look terrific!  We are going to have to send a photo to Small Craft Advisor.
Smithtown, N.Y.

On my maiden run of the season, 18 miles from the launch down to the marina, I mistakenly entered a shallow area. the rudder kicked up just as it’s supposed to. I hate to think what would have happened if I’d had my old rudder in place . . . . so thanks again


Langley, Washington

I got my daggerboard, rudder and tiller today. I love them!! They are beautiful and a lot bigger than my old ones. Thank you for everything,

San Antonio, Tx.

Thank you, John!  The rudder/tiller assembly went together flawlessly with your fine instruction and I took the Holder out for a sporty sail. That rudder is awesome. It works way better than the original(may it rest in peace out on the lake bottom), and the kick-up feature is great and very easy to use. I’m sure we’ll enjoy many years of fine sailing enjoying your beautiful and expertly crafted rudder.
Many thanks,

I finally got out on the boat on Friday afternoon.  Thanks to your new hatch cover the boat pointed higher, tacked faster and sailed flatter than before!!    Who would have thought a new hatch cover would do all those things?
Actually, the boat was so beautiful because of the hatch cover it certainly seemed to do all of those things.
Thanks again John