Borum Boat Building

March 3rd, 2015, 8:00H · Topics: Business, Getting Around, Guys, Interior · Print

On the factory floor of Borum Boats. The Jacksonville boat builder made wonderful wooden recreational boats starting in 1954 and Loyd Sandgren did much of their photography work, on land and in the water.  According to the information that I have found they started manufacturing their boats in the old Ford Model A factory building on Jacksonville’s Talleyrand waterfront. The building can still be seen below the Mathews Bridge, on a pier sticking out into the St. Johns River.  This appears to be a smaller space than I would expect to see inside that structure but if anyone knows more details, please share them.  There is additional information about the company in this previous post.  (Update: I was contacted by Marty Otis Borum, the son of Otis C. Borum who tells me that this was the plant located at 129 E. 21st. Street. A location that I was previously unaware of.  Thank You Marty.)


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  1. 1 Barry Covington March 13th, 2015 11:19H

    One of the Borum children, Johnny, and I were buds at Arlington Elementary. I was visiting at the Borum home on Big Pottsburg Creek and Johnny’s dad gave us a ride in one of the boats he’d brought home from the plant. As I recall, the seats were not yet installed so we sat on cushions. Breathtaking sport as we raced down the river at big time speeds (for that era) in a 12 or 14 foot boat with a “monster” 25 HP Johnson hanging on the stern. Great stuff for show ‘n tell the next day.
    It seems like this should have been slightly earlier than 1954…..but, then again, as I’m now firmly entrenched in Old Goatdom, my memories are highly suspect.

  2. 2 bob March 21st, 2015 20:48H

    Thank you Barry. I always appreciate it when the photographs connect with people who were there and can fill in the gaps. Sometimes Loyd Sandgren left notes with this photographs and sometimes, as with this image, he did not so I have to go with my research and and knowledge of similar images from the collection. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

  3. 3 Lt. Colonel John Borum, Retired April 2nd, 2015 7:15H

    My dad, John E. Borum, Otis’ brother and his associate during some of the boat building years, related many great memories. He once told me that Uncle Otis built his first boat for a client at age fifteen. Pop said when the boat was finished, they couldn’t get it outside through the room opening. So, the story goes, Granddaddy Otis P. Borum had to tear the entire wall down to free the new boat for delivery to the client. Thought you might enjoy that little tale. Thanks for your participation and interest in Borum Boats. I regarded my Uncle Otis as rather a genius of marine design and construction. Cheers! JB

    • 4 J.Rotunda October 2nd, 2021 16:38H

      Maybe someone could help me out trying to figure out the year of a borum voyager custom 17ft . Just pulled it out of a garage were it sat for 43 years in excellent condition. But plan on a full resto. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of info on these boats.thanks

  4. 5 bob April 2nd, 2015 9:22H

    John, Great addition to the post. It appears that Borum Boats had quite an interesting history in Jacksonville and I’m glad Loyd Sandgren documented so many aspects of the company’s work. Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

  5. 6 Jim April 8th, 2015 16:51H

    I bought a 1959 17′ Borum from a farmer in Waterloo, Nebraska back in the 90’s, enjoyed it for a few years up there, then towed it to Tampa and used it a few years there also. Had to sell it per my “better half” before moving up here to Jacksonville. Still disappointed I couldn’t have brought it back home here to Jax. 50 hp 1959 Evinrude with a brass prop provided the power. A great, solid, fast eye turner.

    • 7 Billy Harwell September 29th, 2020 23:04H

      I have a 1950s Borun boat that is Badged as a Jet Turbocraft. My dad bought it 35 years ago and now I’m planning on restoring it. It’s a 15′ jet boat with a gray marine flathead 4 cylinder motor. Can anyone give me any info on it? I am only seeing Bueler and Dowdy Turbocraft. It would be incredibly helpful to know what I have.

  6. 8 marty otis borum June 12th, 2015 17:01H

    Otis C, Borum is my father. The photo was not the wambolt street plant which is the old Ford plant off Talleyrand. This photo was taken in the 129 E. 21st street plant.

    • 9 Ken Mickler August 3rd, 2016 22:44H

      Marty, I remember working with you, Don and your dad in the Wambolt plant. Great times working with such a brilliant man as Otis.

    • 10 Mr. & Mrs. Barnes December 14th, 2017 12:20H

      My Husband (Father) past away in 2014. His mother Mae turn his Borum 1959 Voyager boat over to her son, which is my husband for 20 plus years’. IT was stored in a pole barn/garage since the early 1969s’. It looks to be all intact original factory. Only thing it needs’ is repaint top deck part only, replace seat cushions’, and possibly the fold down top cover. Bottom paint on boat is in grate to excellent shape with all original factory lights’, instruments and hardware. Original Boat trailer included and a Flying Scott 60 HP Outboard Motor. Owners manual with this boat. We are passing this boat down to the next generation with-in the family. Best Built Boat By Your Father, This boat is still fully functional, and gives’ life to our family and friends. traveling on the road, people ask what year is the boat are is it for sale. This Borum Boat is a eye catcher, even when Thanks to Otis C. Borum and his family. Again thanks to you and your families. Indianapolis, IN
      Mrs. Sherlina Barnes

  7. 11 John Smith July 31st, 2015 18:08H

    I just bought a 1958 Borum Ranger boat that has
    been sitting in a barn for over 35 years. After getting
    it all cleaned up, it appears to be as sound today as
    it was in 1958. Awesome woodwork !!!
    The seats fold down for a bed with full canvas bimini
    top and side curtains. This is a fantastic weekend
    cruiser. It has a 1958 Johnson 40hp motor.

  8. 12 Scott Kent April 30th, 2016 22:43H

    I’m trying to a copy of the line drawings for the Sea Camper. if anyone has information please contact me.

  9. 13 DANIEL Bohannon July 25th, 2018 9:53H

    I remember Boram Boats as a young boy of around 9 years old. My parents and siblings lived across the street at 126 E 21st. I remember going out with the Boram family on boating excursions many times. We would go out past the jetties around Talbot Island. We would have wonderful times which have been a part of my childhood memories . Great seeing this sight.

  10. 14 Jerry L Leynes September 6th, 2018 17:10H

    I have a Borum Jaguar fiberglass boat which I am planning on restoring. I grew up on the Ortega River and spent many hours riding and skiing with Borum wooden boats of the late 50’s early 60’s. They were great boats and I always wanted one. Then wood went away and fiberglass came in and Borum pretty much died with that revolution. BUT, they did get into fiberglass and built a few nice boats. This Jaguar is about 18 feet and I bought it out of a garage where it had been sitting for years. It had an old 235 Johnson motor on it. Well, I got the motor running and put her in the creek and it ran 50 MPH the first time out with nothing done to anything. I am planning on a pretty complete re-do of the boat and a new motor…if I live long enough to complete it! I tried to post a picture but was unable to get it to work. Email me if you want a photo.

    • 15 Larry Thigpen October 24th, 2020 8:46H

      Please send me a picture. I did not know Borum made fiberglass boats also. We had a Borum in Augusta, Ga. when I was 9 yrs old. I’m 72 now & retired JSO Police Officer & would love to purchase a wood Borum. Thanks Larry T

  11. 16 James Fournet April 13th, 2019 15:11H

    My father is selling excellent condition 1954 built by Borum speedicraft with orginal Mark 1950
    Beaumont Tx

  12. 17 Jule comfort June 2nd, 2019 19:37H

    My dad still has his boat. We shined it up and took it out for the first trip of the saeson here in MN

  13. 18 Dave August 19th, 2019 13:27H

    I have a 1980 Borum 4000. Looks like a Bobcat but unsure. Has data plate and looks all there. I am reporting. The horsepower says “14” on the plate. Maybe 140 but unsure. Wondering if I can fit 200HP on it. Also looking for model and brochure info. Anyone still have data on this? Live in JaxBeach.

  14. 19 MIchael July 8th, 2020 18:38H

    I grew up on the St. Johns River, fishing and skiing in a Borum 16′ all Mahogany boat that we restored in the early 1980s. 35HP Evinrude lark motor. Many fond memories of that boat and would love to own another one someday.

  15. 20 scott allison July 24th, 2020 13:17H

    I restored a,1956, 16′ El Dorado in the early 80’ was “safety yellow” side’s,white bottom and varnished topside’s,I traded it in on a new car in 89′,,wish I still had it,now…

  16. 21 David M. Jones February 2nd, 2021 16:47H

    My Dad and I restored a 1957 Borum runabout that is 15ft 7″ long . I found a metal plate during the restoration with the numbers ;
    151 100 1 etched into the metal , with whats left of a Borum sticker above it ! I would love to know which model this boat is if anyone knows ! Thanks Dave Jones

    • 22 David M. Jones February 18th, 2021 12:16H

      Hi Borum people ! After looking at several classic pictures I am 90 percent sure that what I have restored is a 1957 Speedicraft Sportster . Most pictures I have seen show that the Sportster had no windshield . I believe the windshield that was on this boat was an add on and I could never bring myself to put it back on after the restoration because it just didn’t look right ! Now I know why !
      Also , upon closer look , the numbers on the plate are 15.1 100 1 . Maybe the one is a seven and thats the boat length ?? Not sure ! I would be happy to post pictures of the boat , but haven’t figured that out yet !! Happy boating Dave

  17. 23 Pete Ballos July 23rd, 2021 23:06H

    Growing up in Ohio my parents owned a bar with the only day off being Sunday. My farther thought getting into boating would be a great way to spend our family time together on the their day off. In 1955 we started with a wood 13′ Inland and a 30 Hp Evinrude. in 1957 we traded up to a 16′ “Borum Eldorado” with a 60 HP Mercury motor. It had a beautiful mahogany deck and painted lavender sides with lavender and white interior a real eye catcher. A couple of years later we moved up to a Mercury “78A”. My dad worked hard adjusting engine height and props to reach top speed of 45 MPH. We never missed a summer Sunday on the lake, boating, waterskiing and swimming.

  18. 24 Rick hessler May 17th, 2022 20:56H

    I’ve been rescuing old wood boats since I retired. Just bought a very solid 15’6” Borum from a great guy in Belle Isle. Wish I could post a pic but not sure how. The Borum plate on the dash is almost unreadable but the numbers are 191 100 1 I’m guessing it’s hull #1 in the model? Anyone help with info on this boat. I love the history. Has a really nice 1957 Evinrude Big Twin 35hp electric. Ran good in a bucket when I bought it. Working on a pressurized tank right now so I can give her a sea trial before the real restoration. Even has an Evinrude trailer! (Yes they made them for a while and the numbers match) thanks for any info. ps… I live in Jax so this one is special to me!

  19. 25 Mary Becraft October 9th, 2022 2:52H

    We lived in Jacksonville in the 50’s and my dad Bill worked for Borum Boats,, We moved to Arizona in 1959 but I remember my dad working on boats,

  20. 26 Joe Bell October 9th, 2022 21:33H

    My family had a Borum inboard “ski” boat when I was growing up in the late 60’s early 70’s. I do not know many details on the boat (Year Model, Model No., etc.), but it was probably between 16 – 18 feet in length, had a six cylinder ford engine and had great hole shot. Unfortunately, a tree fell on the boat during a storm and basically destroyed it. I have been trying to find one like it online and have not been successful as all I can find in old Borums are outboards or jet drives. Does anyone knowm what model this boat was and if it was a “special” limited model? It was painted white on the sides and had a varnished deck. Thanks .

  21. 27 Tim December 3rd, 2023 23:00H

    I,m 85 yrs old now and just talking to my son about my 1961 Borum boat with a 40 hp Johnson engine that I bought new,no trailer for $1600 from Great Oak Marina in Smithtown NY. Loved that boat. Water ski and scuba diving for a number of years. Good memories.

    • 28 bob December 4th, 2023 11:25H

      Borum made beautiful boats. I’m sure you got your money’s worth out of it! Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

  22. 29 Steve Oliver February 4th, 2024 21:30H

    My friend Mike Denny and I found a sunk 17 ft. Borum fiberglass boat
    on Little Pottsburg Creek in the late sixties behind the Heston’s house
    we chipped, sanded barnacles from all over the boat to completely rehab to a working ski boat that we skied on Big Pottsburg Creek.
    Fun times.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More