Congrats to Rob Melendez for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.
Seems like all the talk in the bass fishing world for the past several days has been about the new owner of Ranger Boats. Keeping this week’s trivia question timely, and perhaps a bit easier than the past couple, you’ll need to answer these 4 questions related to Ranger Boats in order to claim this week’s trivia prize, sponsored by Gary Yamamto Custom Baits. Good luck.
- The new owners now become the 5th entity to have owned Ranger boats since their start. Name all 5 company owners to date.
- May 1971 was a significant date in Ranger history. Why?
- Shortly after orders in the new Ranger Boat Co. took off, expanded operations were moved into a former dance hall in town. What was the name of that old hall?
- Now a long time member of Triton Boats Pro Staff, what Elite Series pro traveled with Basil Bacon while he was on Ranger’s pro-staff back in the 80s?
The answers follow:
1. Forrest & Nina Wood started Rangers Boats back in 1968, and held the company for nearly 20 years. But in 1987, according to reports, he “sold Wood Manufacturing to the Thompson Co. of Dallas for an undisclosed sum but one described as being a multimillion-dollar amount. Of that sale, Forrest Wood said that while it was hard, ‘It seemed like it was the best thing to do for the most people at the time.'” Thompson also owned luxury boat line Carver at the time, but in the late 1980s, between soaring fuel costs, a U.S. economy going into recession, and a 1991 Congressionally-mandated 10 percent “luxury tax” on the price of boats above $100,000, Thompson was struggling. In stepped Irwin Jacobs (Genmar Industries), forcing a bankruptcy, and ultimately taking control of the company (and Ranger Boats). Ironically again in part due to a major recession (2008), Genmar filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and Platinum Equity, run by billionaire Tom Gores, acquired Ranger Boats and Stratos Boats in February 2010 from Genmar Holdings Inc. Triton was also later acquired from Brunswick in July 2010. Finally, as was announced last week, Platinum Equity unloaded all three boat brands, and the new owner (pending deal closure) will be Bass Pro Group headed by Johnny Morris.
2. May 4, 1971 was the date of a fire that destroyed much of the Ranger Boats manufacturing facility. It is said that Forrest was able to salvage about 60 boat orders from the burning building, and they immediately set about to fill those orders and ultimately recover from the setback.
3. According to the Ranger Boats website, that old dance hall was called the Silver Star.
4. Gary Klein joined the Triton Team in 2000, but back in the mid 1980s, he was part of the Ranger Pro Staff. Old Bassmaster Classic press guides show him in a Ranger hat that he sported at the time. While he initially hung with Rick Clunn and Randy Fite in Texas, often helping Rick with his guide business, once he joined Ranger, he traveled with partner Basil Bacon, which should probably come as no surprise, since both of them were considered flipping experts at the time the technique had gained national attention.