Historic Markers Across Florida

Pioneer Boat Builders' Site -- 1947

Marker ID: FLHM F-561
Location: 975 North West 95th Street
County: Miami-Dade
Coordinates: N 25° 51.710    W 080° 12.784
  25.86183333    -80.21306666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM408P


For thousands of years most water crafts were built of wood. The first reinforced plastic fiberglass boats in the southeastern United States were conceived and built here in 1947. Two hundred feet north of this marker is the former home and workshop of Troy Wollard, where his shop building still stands. He was an outstanding shipwright who was instrumental in building the durable high-performing crafts with visionary pioneers Arthur H. Siegel (1924-2003) and Dudley Whitman. Challenger Marine Corporation produced its first boats at this location which was the beginning of the boating revolution. This small manufacturing venture changed the yachting world forever. The 18-foot runabout speedboats had inboard engines that could reach up to 50 miles per hour. They had monocoque (egg shape) construction with full-length stringers that supported the hull and engine. An outline of excess resin used to make these boats is still visible on the floor of the shop. This enterprise was one of the first in the nation to use fiberglass successfully and was the forerunner of an important industry eventually leading to the development of large luxury yachts and commercial vessels.


City: Miami, FL