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Contact: Dave Gerr

860-572-7900, ext. 50

[email protected]

Westlawn Announces Recipients of 2009 Owens Scholarship

Famous Maryland Boatbuilder, Norman G. Owens, Supports Excellence in Marine Education


July 21 2009, Mystic, CT: The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is proud to announce that Westlawn students Jonathan Ames and Alfredo Rovere have each been awarded the $500 Owens Scholarship for excellence in the study of boat design. The award is based on both academic achievement, creative ability and on design presentation. Each scholarship winner receives a tuition grant of $500 towards their current module of study and, in addition, each is now recognized as an “Owens Scholar.” The scholarship is funded by the generous donations of Norman G. Owens, former president of the once internationally recognized Owens Yacht Company of America.


Jonathan Ames

Jonathan Ames lives in Storm Lake, Indiana. At thirty-nine years old, Jon has been a Westlawn student since January 2006. He got his start in boats at a young age, paddling canoes and kayaks, sailing small boats like the Butterfly, Hobie Cat’s, Sunfish, and generally enjoying life around the water as small boy. Love of the water continued through college and after he graduated he found himself working in Green Bay, WI, a beautiful area to stay involved with power boating and sailing with friends.


Jonathan Ames


Feeling a need for a change of scenery, Jon bought an old Atkins sailboat and motorsailed her from Green Bay down to Florida via the Mississippi. Once in Florida he worked full time on commercial boats and earned his Coast Guard 50-ton master’s license, with sail endorsement. He then spent a number of years working as a captain in Florida waters. Around this time, Jon discovered he enjoyed maintaining, servicing, and modifying boats just as much as driving them.


Jon sold out of his commercial-boat business to focus on boatbuilding and design at Westlawn. He says that, “Westlawn have proven to be challenging and rewarding and have taught me how little I really knew about what I was captaining for years.” He also says, “I want to personally thank Norman Owens and the American Boat & Yacht Council, for making this grant available. It means a great deal to me.”


Jon’s future goals include graduating from Westlawn, working in the industry with manufacturers and designers to learn as much as he can, and eventually starting his own office creating beautiful and practical boats. In addition, he says, “I look forward to the challenges associated with the current economic and environmental climate. I think it will bring out the best in all of us and force us to think in new and creative ways to design the best boats.”


Alfredo Rovere

Based in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Alfredo Rovere is the son of the yacht designer and boatbuilder, Roberto Rovere. Twenty-nine years old, he enrolled in Westlawn in January 2007. He grew up between drawing boards and shipyards, accompanying his father. Alfredo started sailing when he was 3 years old, and at the age of six, he begun his own experiences in the Optimist class in which he won the Team Racing World title in 1994. At 15 years old, he became a member of the design staff at his father’s company, where he worked since he moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2000.


Alfredo Rovere


In Brazil, Alfredo was working in Quantum Sails loft for a year and a half until he started the business school. He graduated in 2004 and few months later he started sailing professionally, coaching and sailing on the Bruschetta Sailing Team, from Brazil. After a two year campaign, this team achieved two J-24 World Titles (2006 and 2007) and also qualified for the 2007 Pan-American Games. After the 2007 J-24 worlds, he was sailing in Europe with a Czech Team in an IMS boat, getting the 3rd place in the Europeans and 2nd in the Worlds. After the IMS worlds, Alfredo accepted an invitation from Bravissimo Sailing Team, from Brazil, and with them, won the 2007 J-24 European Championship and got the 4th place in the 2008 J24 Worlds.


In the beginning of 2009 he was back to Bruschetta Team and won again the J24 worlds in Annapolis, being the first non-American team to win a J-24 Worlds held in USA. Since 2007, he had to organize his time between the races and the Westlawn Institute course, and also working in yacht design with his father. As a yacht designer, Alfredo is working on cruising motor and sailing projects for the Argentinean market. His goal is to keep learning and growing professionally as a yacht designer and as a sailor as well.



Norman G. Owens was president of the Owens Yacht Company, of Baltimore, MD. The company focused primarily on producing affordable inboard motor cruisers, with a popular 30-foot sedan cruiser, exhibited at the 1937 New York Boat Show. Owens was also known for the Owens Cutter, a 40-foot 6-inch sailboat, a model which won numerous races and was eventually sold to Hinckley, where it became the Hinckley 41. When the Owens Yacht Company was sold to Brunswick in 1960, it was the second largest boat manufacturer in the world. Mr. Owens’ support of the Westlawn scholarship program has helped to ensure the legacy of quality boats, which Owens was known for, will continue.




Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited and state-certified distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the mission of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is threefold:

■ To provide our students with the skills and knowledge required to build a rewarding career in the profession of yacht and small-craft naval architecture.

■ To support continued growth of the recreational and small-craft marine community through the development of well-trained, safety-oriented, boat designers developing better products for the benefit of the boating public.

■ To provide continuing education to marine-industry professionals.

To learn more about Westlawn, please call (860) 572-7900 or visit the Westlawn website at: www.westlawn.edu.