James Claude Smith was born in 1906 in Cherry Log, Georgia. Smith liked everything he saw in these boats and decided to build one for himself - only faster. It demonstrated Smith's knowledge of airplane construction, hydroplanes, and a passion for innovation and going fast. A former hydroplane boat racer, Smith began building performance sportfishing boats in the late 1940s; his first sportfisher ran 43.45 knots. Today, John and his crew continue to build sport fishing boats to the highest standards of craftsmanship and innovation, following a tradition that began with the Boca Jima, in 1959. We continue the legacy and craft of custom built sport fishing boats in … Smith spent 20 years building and racing his own hydroplanes, and was able to turn his racing success into a string of businesses including the largest Johnson Outboard and Chris Craft dealership in the South. Today, John and his crew continue to build sport fishing boats to the highest standards of craftsmanship and innovation, following a tradition that began with the Boca Jima, in 1959. "Palm Beach" FIT & FINISH - We took the classic sportfish look and made it our own, but our build uses modern technology & materials. Over the years, the luxury sportfishing yacht builder’s boats have grown to include superyachts over 30 metres. Smith had guts - he read about the new epoxy resins in 'Popular Mechanics,' figured they were perfect for boatbuilding and gave them a try. U.S. luxury yacht builder Jim Smith Boats manufactures custom tournament sportfishing yachts and superyachts in Stuart, Florida. Chasing fish, Smith became aware of the sportfishing boats built by the Rybovich and Merritt brothers. Ovation will be our largest convertible and second largest build ever, followed only by the 105' Marlena. The world of sportfishing boats was about to change forever. Smith liked everything he saw in these boats and decided to build one for himself - only faster. The result is a one-of-a-kind Sport Fishing Yacht built to the highest standards and to meet the owners desires.​. John Vance has built Jim Smith Tournament Boats for over 30 years. Smith's first boat, the 35-foot Boca Jima was built in 1959. Jim Smith Boats President John Vance assumed operation of the shipyard in 1989. The year was 1976, and the boats shown here were the 38 foot Bertram driven by Sammy James, the head of the Bertram racing program, and a 35 foot Cigarette driven by Tom Gentry who would go on to win the World Championship that year and return the honor to the United States. These are just some of the HINs we've seen when analyzing accident, registration and coast guard databases to try to determine if there is anything to worry about in the boat's history. Luxury yacht builder Jim Smith Boats was founded by American sportfishing guru Jim Smith. Jim Smith Boats are constructed utilising cold-molded wood. Each Jim Smith tournament sportfisher is entirely custom-built for its owner. The Boca Jima was strong, lightweight, and capable of 44 knots at a time when others managed to reach 25 knots. Smith's varied interest led him to barnstorming biplanes, moonshining, motorcycle racing, and to outboard race boats when "fast on the water" was 20 mph. Hull number 29 for the shipyard, Marlena is the second cold-molded wood sportfisher Jim Smith Boats has built for Sam Gershowitz, owner of Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk, N.Y.  Super sportfisher Marlena is powered by twin MTU Series 2000 diesel engines to speeds in excess of 38 knots.