Now we’re rolling. In the 1971 version of Old Boat Ads we featured eight boat companies and their bass boat ads. This was up from four companies displaying their wares from 1970 magazines. The manufacturers present in ’71 were Astroglass, Glastron, King Fisher (Master Molders), MonArk, Ouachita, Ranger, Rebel and Thunderbird.
In 1972, though, five more companies decided to participate in the Bass Boat Ad campaign, while a couple may have decided their money would be better spent in areas other than advertising. In any event, the ads from 1972 showed that the bass boat market was getting competitive and boat companies were beginning to jockey for market share just by the number of ads placed and the fact they were showing multiple boat models in their ads.
Here are the ads I was able to come up with form the year 1972. I hope you enjoy this look back in time.
Arrow Glass (Memphis, TN) had been in the boat manufacturing business since the mid-50s and more than likely had been manufacturing bass boats prior to ’72 from the looks of their two entries. In ’72 they introduced two different models (that I was able to find), the 14’-8” Tarpon and the bigger 16’-2” Trophy model.
The Tarpon had no casting decks, anglers sat below the gunwales, but did have what appears to be ample room to move around – at least as much moving as you could comfortably do in a boat of its size. Steering was provided by the ever-popular forward stick-steering and a horsepower rating of 65-HP would probably move this 500-pound hull pretty well.
The Trophy, on the other hand, was nearly 2-feet longer, offered a forward casting deck and even a rod locker capable of storing rods up to 6 1/2-feet in length. The added length also allowed for an increase in horsepower up to 75-HP and also allowed for a steering console.
Whaler has been around forever, making some of the most seaworthy craft ever to grace an ocean. But with the bass revolution becoming more popular, it was just a matter of time before the company got into the bass boat market.
The tack that Boston Whaler took in their ad campaign, though, was more from a safety perspective than anything. Remember, this was a year after BassMaster wrote about the Horsepower Race and the ever increasing number of boating accidents related to over-powered boats. Whaler in their ad states, “Tournament fishermen and fans know that overpowered, undersized, and unstable boats have caused accidents.” They also stated that their bass boat is, “[Unsinkable], can be filled with water and still run, and bail itself out. It is safely rated for a 100 hp.”
Whaler made bass boats for a few years but anglers didn’t seem too interested in bringing them into the fold of successful bass boat companies. Still, they made one heck of a boat – still do – and it would have been interesting to see what would have transpired had they not left the market a few years later.
Cordell – Cotton Cordell That Is
On January 12, 2021 I posted an article on the two lure companies that got in the bass boat fray in the 70s. The Cotton Cordell Coin’Jessie was one of them.
There’s not much to go off of but it’s pretty safe to say that Cordell’s boat was pretty much designed off the standard hull many manufacturers were using during the day. The Tri-Hull hull was probably in the 15-foot class and came with what appears to be casting decks fore and aft. By the looks of the motor it was an OMC four-cylinder 85-HP decked out with console steering. Neat looking boat and I wonder how long Cotton kept them on his product bill? Not only that, I wonder if they came with an assortment of Spots and/or Red-Fins?
In 1972 Ouachita Marine somewhat fell back on their 1970 campaign of the scantily-clad woman. The ad states, “Many Bass Fishermen Prefer Ouachita’s Convincer.” Is the Convincer the boat or is that the nickname of the lady leaning over the gunwale?
Yes the Fo-Mac rod holders are filled with rods and there are two more pictures in the ad showing their Convincer line of boats, one with two men and the other with what appears to be a young girl. Fact remains, though, that your (well let me say MY) eyes don’t see a boat or boats anywhere in the ad.
The ad also doesn’t give much in the way of boat dimensions, horsepower ratings or other amenities they possess. If you want that info, you have to cut out the bottom portion of the ad, check the boxes you’re interested in and send it to Little Rock, AR for further details.
From the looks of the first ad, Fisher Marine got on the “Sex Sells” bandwagon in ’72. Throughout the 13 magazines I went through for this piece, the ad with the bikini-clad girl was in all of them but three.
In all seriousness, though, Fisher Marine was one of the best-selling aluminum lines of boats ever made – still are today under the Fisher brand. Inexpensive and durable, many anglers in my home state of California purchased them for the small reservoirs of San Diego County that had horsepower or speed-limit restrictions. They were light, economical and could be towed with just about any motor vehicle – a big thing a couple years later when OPEC decided to play oil games with the world.
After “interviewing hundreds of fishermen and incorporating their thoughts into a boat,” Glastron introduced the Beau Jack V-148 in 1971. Well, in order to top that for ’72, Glastron decided to, “offer more kinds of fishing boats to choose from.”
To compliment the V-148 (from ’71) Glastron came up with its 16-foot sister ship the V-168. Stick steering and all the amenities of the 14-foot version, the boat appears to have a lot more room and could handle an 85-horsepower motor.
For those who didn’t like stick steering, they also came out with two new models, the V-149 and V-169, that had console steering.
It’s pretty amazing the hull designs of these boats and the fact they still have you deep within the boat (no casting decks) considering in two or so years Glastron will have one of the fastest “pad” bass boats on the market, resembling bass boats of today. Still they were workhorses that got the job done.
King Fisher (Master Molders) ran two ads in the magazines I checked out for ’72. One was the same ad they ran in ’71 for their 152 Pro, the other shown here for their 156 Pro. The boat in the ad has stick steering and features “Adjustable Pro Thrones.” Evidently they were trying to get the position of the angler higher up in the boat for fishing but have them be able to lower their seats for running.
Again, as with most of the boats of the day, the hull was of the tri-hull configurations and from the model number, I’d guess it was another 15-footer. Still it was nice to see a color ad for King Fisher as all their ads in the past had been black and white and didn’t necessarily show off the boat too well.
From one ad in 1971 showing that they now made fiberglass boats, MonArk really stepped their ad campaign showing four models in ’72. This blitz of new ads comes shortly after the factory burned down in May of ’71, which makes it all the more amazing.
In one ad they show their ’71 hulls the 14-foot Mark I and the 14’-8” Riviera II. What I like about MonArk’s ads is they give you all the hull specifics, length overall, beam, depth, maximum horsepower, weight, etc. They also describe each model and what they include as standard features – a good thing for an ad to have. Plus I like how the ad says Bass’n Glass. Makes me wonder if Don Iovino stole that thought when he came up with his Brass and Glass weight system for doodling a worm?
The second ad shows their 15’-2” Delta II. A stick-steer boat with a maximum horsepower rating of 65-HP. More of a glass Jon Boat style, the boat didn’t feature casting decks but it weighed a mere 450 pounds and its beam of only 61 inches definitely meant this boat could go a lot of places. Called the Tournament Tiger, it really makes you wonder what anglers back then would have thought if we were to bring back one of today’s 20-foot rockets for them to see.
The last ad shows their flagship, the 16’-4” Super Sport. Rated for a 90-HP motor, the boat had a 68-inch beam and weighed 800 pounds. The Super Sport was touted as the boat to fish the big waters.
Casting decks for and aft the boat also featured a livewell, rod box and super deluxe seats – all standard. There were also add-ons you could get like MonArk’s “fish-finder, 10-speed trolling motor, adjustable windshield, anchor rig and indoor-outdoor carpet.” Yes, MonArk was in the business of selling depth finders and trolling motors at the time – though probably being made by Lowrance (does anyone know this?).
It may have been one of the biggest rigs of the day and had a bunch of accoutrements, but one thing’s for certain, it was ugggg-lee.
Ranger ran three ads in magazines during 1972, one being a retread from ’71. The two ads shown here were new and featured the TR-3 hull, both offered in the I/O and outboard configurations. In the I/O ad you have Forrest Wood himself driving “the Ranger man” boat. You can also see in the ad that Bill Dance and Roland Martin were sponsored by Forrest.
The second ad makes my back hurt. I’m reminded daily what it’s like to be in a boat of this hull configuration when they got air like this. The problem was, it didn’t take much of a wake or chop to get air in the old tri-hull or cathedral hulls. Thankfully some smart boat designer decided to try a modified v-hull not much longer after this.
Rebel boats was just coming off a high after being asked to provide the boats for the 1971 Bass Master Classic. In the ad you see multi-Classic qualifier Glin Wells, probably fishing the Classic on Lake Mead. The boat sports a 90-horse MerCruiser I/O, two storage compartments, battery storage, livewell, ice box, console and a 12-gallon fuel tank. Man, even the smallest glass boats today carry more fuel than that.
Just looking at the boat it appears not to be the most comfortable craft ever designed. Notice the placement of the steering wheel. Not only that, notice the room the backseat angler had. Backseaters, feel lucky your fishing partner doesn’t make you fish like this.
From what I can tell, 1972 was Tide Craft’s first year of advertising their product. For those of you that remember, Tide Craft was a pretty big player by the end of the 70s and into the mid 80s. They made a darn good boat that could run with the best of them. But this ad really shows how far they came.
The Mr. Pro was a 16-foot tri-hull design with all the features most other lines offered. What really pops out to me, though, is the back deck – if you can call it that. Backseat anglers, don’t stand up unless you know where your feet are.
Unfortunately Tide Craft didn’t put any of the specs in the ad so we don’t know what its horsepower rating is nor how much weight it can handle. Suffice it to say, though, it was probably rated for an 80-or 90-HP powerplant.