An Interview With The Future Of Classic Boating. Owen Turner.


Owen love, LOVEs wood boats

A huge thanks to fellow Woody Boater Of the Month, Owen Turner for doing this special interview with us. If you want to get a snap shot of our future leaders in our community, here ya go. Hurry though, they grow up way to fast. 

Owen in the Aristo-Craft Museum

Hey there Owen, tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Owen Turner, I am 10 years old and I am in 4th grade.  I like working on models: cars, boats, all different types. I like engineering, and science experiments, such as shooting model rockets. 

So if I’m interviewing you, you must like Classic boats? If so whats so cool about them?

Yes I do, I like them because I think its cool seeing the gleam of an old boat, and hearing the loud Plump Plump of an old motor instead of the hummm of a new motor. Old stuff has a different design that just looks cooler then the new stuff.  The new stuff just kinda all looks the same.  I like the older vehicles like a Packard, or Thunderbird, instead of the new SUV’s.   Older boats seem to have much more of an unusual design, different shapes and wonders.  New boats just seem to be concerned about having more room, and less style.  Classic boats were competing to see who could have the most unique, and fast boats, and they had such neat seating areas from bow to stern. 

A day at the office

What first got you into old boats?

Going to my dads work shop every day and seeing all the different types of boats coming in, and even seeing how fiberglass is made.  I like going to the boat shows just to see the differences in the boats, and talking to the different owners who are different just like their boats.   Once there was a crowd behind a boat watching the owner try to crank his boat, and finally it started and it splashed all the people on the dock! I loved that. 

Are you currently working on any boats?

Focused on perfection is baked in early

I am working on making a wooden RC boat right now.  I am building it to go with my RC truck and trailer, so I can back it in at boat shows, just like the bigger boats at the show.  Hopefully I can show it at some shows.  Im also working on a classic fiberglass Hydromite that was given to me by Mr. Kent.  So far ive sanded it down, and filled in some cracks.  Im hoping we can finish it this summer, and paint it white with a red stripe, and be able to race it around. 

Owen at Lake Dora last year.

Whats your favorite things about boat life?

I like to drive my little red boat, that was an old Disney park boat.   I like driving down the beautiful canals, and driving at night to see all the lights lit up.   The joy that it brings is just unstoppable.  I like cruising and exploring the lake and being able to go to restaurants and just hang out with my family on the boats.

Go Owen Go!

Thanks for answering all my questions, what do you want to do now?

Go work on my boat model.

Thanks to the wonderful Turner family of Aristo-Craft boats and Scott for allowing us this time to visit.

Nice hat!

And finally a wonderful school project that Owen wrote. Owen, you are the man! I agree 100%

“It smells like Gasoline fumes!” Pure gold Owen, pure gold!

32 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Love, Love, LOVE it!

    Thanks Matt, Scott, and Owen for sharing this wonderful positive story with us during trying times.

    A-9 What a BEAUTIFUL boat!

    (A little Aristocraft, Turner Family, Dora Love from 2014)

  2. Scott M
    Scott M says:

    Great interview, I just wish his passion had come to me at his age. After reading the story I’m wishing there could be a follow up video of all the “stuff” on the walls in the shop. Rowing shells, water skis and I’m sure much more.

  3. Sharon Bleifeld
    Sharon Bleifeld says:

    Love my grandson Owen! It’s comforting to know that he will carry on his family’s tradition and business. How many ten year olds can say that!?

  4. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Great project, Owen. Love seeing young people being creative and developing life long skills. Keep it up. Here is a picture of my 1/6th scale Torpedo.

  5. Brian
    Brian says:

    Neat story! Although, I don’t have the best to say about Scott Turner in how he exactly runs the business. Seems like he values money over the acutal sport. His dad was a better better business man and curator of yhe wood boat industry.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Brian, I am leaving this comment up. But do not agree at all. This is not a fare comment. Scott and the Turners run a business. IT’S A BUSINESS! This story is about the passion of the next generation. A young kid, and you decide to YELP comment crap here with this.. AHHHHHHH! There is a reason Aristo Craft is in business after all these generations. Because they run it as a passion with family values. To make a crappy comment like that shows a complete lack of understanding of how to run a business. I hate even responding to this to even have to defend this. But I DISAGREE so strongly and this sort of negative comments online. Ya, that finally pissed me off. And it takes a lot to piss me off.

      • Brian
        Brian says:

        Matt, my experience is according to me and it’s entirely fair for me and almost in obligation to write a review based on that experience. For the editor at large at WoodyBoater you may get a special treatment, but for us common people we sometimes unfortunately get the raw end of the stick in business dealings. My experience wasn’t an ideal one and left me thinking that Scott left me hanging as a potential customer in the wrong way. If you think that’s unfair and see fit to delete these comments based on not liking someones personal experience than so be it, but for God’s sake let people share a review without a warrant for arrest. The internet is the friend of information and the enemy of thought so it seems, even here.

  6. Bob Hamilton
    Bob Hamilton says:

    Awesome boats. I had a 16 footer build last year. Hopeing to hit the water soon. It’s been cold and rainy here in Pennsylvania most of April.

  7. Gail Turner
    Gail Turner says:

    So special! This is right on….his insight and respect for classic boating is inspiring. When we all encourage this generation to grow and enjoy the hobby, we are continuing it into the future. And Owen plans on doing just that! Thanks to all for the time you spend in teaching and sharing this hobby with others!

  8. Bob Murdock
    Bob Murdock says:

    THIS is a reason why there is hope, not only for our hobby, but for the dream of all we believe in. Owen, you’ve got a future!
    THIS is also why we need to teach ALL children, not just those who can pass tests and regurgitate a video, that working with your HANDS is a noble profession. In my line of business, I need plumbers, electricians, welders, tool, die and pattern makers. I need people who are VISCERAL learners. I DON’T need another PhD that’s been working at STARBUCKS!!!! I want a foundry and machine shop, NOT another Apple store!!
    Please Owen, talk to your friends, bring them to the shop, teach them HOW and WHAT you’re doing, SHOW them what they can CREATE with more than just their thumbs on a flat screen. Then, set the hook when you take them for a boat ride and let them take a turn at the wheel.
    Before you know it when you take over the shop, they’ll be filling out a job app and they’ll have already apprenticed at Aristocraft!!!!!!
    GREAT story and THANK YOU Owen and Matt!!!!!

    • Art
      Art says:

      Good idea Bob. Chris Craft did something similar in Algonac. They supplied the High School with lots of material for their boat building shop classes, hoping for future employees. And it worked as lots “kids” became CC employees.

  9. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    THAT is the kind of young people we need in this hobby/passion. What a neat kid. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    Wow. That was like deja vu all over again. Reminds me of growing up on the Great South Bay of Long Island. Boyhood life was all about the water and boats of every kind. Thank God I never really grew up. I would love to take a boatride with Owen someday.

  11. Jerri
    Jerri says:

    What a fantastic story. I feel honored to know the Turners and foresee great things for both Owen and Ella. I had the pleasure of seeing the end results of Scott and his family restore an Aristocraft Nineteen that I truly thought was long gone. Their care and commitment in helping a younger Chapter member restore his first classic family boat was inspiring.

  12. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    The Turner family, grandparents Bill and Gail, and parents, Scott and Jenna, and the kids Owen and Ella are and have been great for this hobby. Hanging out at Blue Ridge Chapter shows with my kids, I looked to Gail who gave me much guidance raising my daughters since I had only grown up with brothers. And listening to how Scott has given his children a similar family experience to his upbringing is so comforting that there are still people on God’s earth that are making the right choices. Yes, we need more people like this and I think the boating community is microcosm of these values for the most part. Well, there is the one exception.

  13. Randy
    Randy says:

    One of the nicest family’s in this business that I have ever met!!! Bill and Scott restored my 1955 Torpedo and were both very professional in their business dealings — did what they said they were going to do and at the price quoted, plus provided me with some valuable information on the boats history.

    I am happy to count the Turner family as friends.

  14. Jim Murdock
    Jim Murdock says:

    If your father will let you (and he probably wont because he needs the help as well) I will send you a job application to fill out so the min you turn 16 you can come up and work for me, follow your dreams young man, let your head and your hands connect its a wonderful thing!
    Jim Murdock Jr

  15. Al Olsen
    Al Olsen says:

    Its been fun seeing Owen grow up and develop his skills and knowledge that he has acquired from his parents and grandparents. Great job to the Turner family!

  16. Briant - that’s Brian with a T at the end
    Briant - that’s Brian with a T at the end says:

    Hold on Kemosabe.

    I just want to make sure that everyone knows that the Brian above who had a problem with the Owens and got both barrels from Matt, is not me.

    I’ve never met the Owens. I’ve never had business dealings with them. I haven’t even seen an Aristo Craft in person. And I don’t know the above Brian.

    I am the one that dislikes the bs shenanigans of the leaders of the local club out West here. I am the one that hates boat judging. I dislike pontoon boats and trailer queens. I generally piss off old dudes over the age of 60.

    That ain’t me above.

  17. Briant
    Briant says:

    Crap, see it’s the Turners. Owen is the kiddo. I didn’t even get that correct. Did I mention I have not even been East of Utah?

    Not me man, not me.

  18. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    All I can say is that Turner family has been more than friendly to us, even though we are the Canuckians who only occasionally show up at Blue Ridge Chapter events. If you have not been to their museum/workshop in Georgia, please go visit them. No charge to look all day, and you will learn a lot as you watch actual boatbuilding happening in the shop. If you have not placed an order for an AristoCraft by the time you leave, or at least WISH you had, I will be surprised.

  19. Patrick L.W.
    Patrick L.W. says:

    We all go to work to make money. No one forces you into commerce with someone (except the damn gov’t). Can’t believe someone would take a story about this very young exceptional woody boater and criticize the family that is doing an exceptional job raising him. WOW.

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