1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Cover

It’s been a while since we posted a bass boat piece so it’s time we get back to that.  Today in Terry Bass Boats 1967, we take a look back at one of the first bass boat companies, to my knowledge, second only to Skeeter.

Skeeter Boats, actually Stemco Marine of Longview, Texas, arguably started making boats dedicated to bass fishing in 1949 with their 13 1/2-foot Skeeter.  What defined a bass boat at the time was the two seats, fore and aft, that allowed anglers a good position to cast and not interfere with each other.

It is not clear how long Skeeter had the market solely to themselves but sometime in the mid-1960s, another Texas company, dubbed Bass Boats Incorporated out of Hurst, Texas, hit the market.  Their boat, called the Terry, would make some waves in the coming years.

This is contrary to who I always thought owned Terry – which was Delhi MFG., a subsidiary of Woolworths Department stores.  Evidently, Bass Boats INC. sold to Woolworths sometime after this brochure was printed.

To try and get some more information on Terry Bass Boat’s history, I started digging.  I finally came across Grits Gresham’s book, Complete Book of Bass Fishing, published in 1966.

Reading through Gresham’s book, I ran across a passage in chapter 28 – The Bass Fishing Boat.  In this chapter, Gresham referred to his boat, the Terry as being manufactured by Bass Boats Incorporated.  He also stated there were two more companies manufacturing boats designed for bass fishing, the Skeeter and Hustler.  I also know Kingfisher was manufacturing bass boats at this time.

But let’s get back to the Terry brochure.

This brochure is in remarkable shape for being 56 years old.  The color isn’t faded, and the pages are pristine.  The cover itself features one of their models scooting down the lake, via a Johnson outboard.  You can even see the bow-mounted trolling motor in the image.

Turning the page, the inside cover gives a solid statement of how and who builds the boats and why you as a potential buyer should consider a Terry Bass Boat.  For the time, it was a good pitch.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 2

The following page features their first model, the Model 12.  This boat was 12-feet long, had a beam of 49 inches, and weighed approximately 175 pounds.  It came standard with two bench seats, the forward seat being adjustable.

The Model 14, on page 4, measured 13-feet, 6-inches bow to stern, also had a 49-inch beam, and was rated for a 28-horsepower motor.  This boat came standard with two bench seats, again the forward seat adjustable, and trolling motor mount.  They don’t say whether the trolling motor mount was on the bow or the stern.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 3
1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 4

Next was the Model 14S, on page 5, also known as the Terry Super, had a centerline measurement of 14-feet even, a beam of 57 inches, and was rated for a 40-horsepower motor.  It had the same standard features as the Terry Model 14.

So far none of these boats appear to have console steering or livewells as an option.  Of course livewells would not come into play until Ray Scott made them mandatory in 1972.  Still, a lot of boat makers in the day did offer bait wells.

Page 6 featured Terry’s Model 14DW, also known as the Terry Deep Water.  This boat had significantly more freeboard than the prior model, measured 14-feet exactly, had a 58-inch beam and was rated for a 40-horse motor.  Again, it came with the same standard features as the Model 14.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 5
1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 6

On the next page is the boat featured on the cover of the brochure, the Model 15WS.  The 15WS was the first stock boat Terry featured with a steering console and came in at 14-feet, 9-inches long.  It had a 54-inch beam and was rated for a 40-horse motor.  Also mentioned was they offered the Model 15, which didn’t come with the console steering.

The final model Terry offered was the Model 16, which was 16-feet long and was more of a runabout than a fishing boat.  It did offer a front pedestal seat for an angler but there is no mention of a trolling motor mount.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 7
1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 8

Page 9 provided line drawings of Terry hull configurations as well as their warranty.  These hull styles were very typical of boats of the day and for their size, provided a good ride as long as you weren’t out in 4-foot swells.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 9
1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 10

The final two pages discuss the options available for all the models as well as a description of their floatation.  The number one option was a steering consol.  Also offered were stick steering, a trolling motor bracket on the bow, an extra center bench seat, and bow deck.

1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 11
1967 Terry Bass Boat Catalog Page 12

Imagine going back in time and taking the Model 15WS, outfitting it with a 40-horsepower outboard, a bow mount Motor-Guide foot-controlled trolling motor, and a Lowrance Green Box Fish Lo-K-Tor.  Then loading it with four Fenwick rods, complete with ABU Garcia 5000s, and a My Buddy hip-roof tackle box filled with plugs made by Heddon, South Bend, and Bombers.  You would have been the talk of the lake.  Man, what a time to be a bass angler.

That ends the 1967 sales brochure of Terry Bass Boats.  It’s a really cool step back in time to see the state of the art in bass boats at the dawn of the bass fishing revolution that came about that same year.