Roughly a year ago we posted a piece on the bass boats of 1975. In that piece we documented 15 boat manufacturers along with the Bassmaster Classic boat. As I get more magazines and books from that time period, though, I find that I’ve missed some of the ads and even manufacturers from that year. Therefore today’s feature is on those very ads that we didn’t cover.
There are only seven new ads to show and three of those were from manufacturers we already covered – Ranger, Rebel and Terry. Still, to be complete, we’ll talk about these newly found ads. With these ads, it brings the 1975 model year of bass boat manufacturers up to 19 – and I’m sure we’re still missing some. Compare that to today’s bass boat market and it’s a vast difference. There were a ton of companies out there back in the 70s making boats solely for bass fishing.
Astroglass – This is the first Astroglass ad I’ve seen in any bass fishing magazine I have since 1971. In ’71 Astroglass had a pretty non-descript ad for one of their boats and this ad from 1975 isn’t much better – except that it’s in color. There isn’t much to go on other than the boat in the ad is their Astroglass Pro model. It looks fishable for sure and check out that windshield. Of course it’s got the old-style rod locker against the port side that appears to fold down and decent casting decks. Looks like a well-built boat, just wish there was more information to go with it.
Ranger – Here we have Forrest Wood driving one of his new Allison-edition boats for 1975 – the 175A. This hull was designed by Allison for Ranger with a step pad. At the time, with horsepower limited, boat manufacturers started going to race boat companies for help with getting more speed out of their boats.
As with the Astroglass ad above, there isn’t much detail on the boat itself except for the fact it has livewells, rod storage dry storage, rack and pinion steering (remember that?), power pedestals and level floatation. You’d assume it was 17-feet 6-inches in length by model number but what’s it weigh and what’s the motor capacity? Little details we’d all like to know.
Rebel – I love a company where you can not only buy a boat but everything that goes on it and in it too. As you know, Rebel fell into supplying the boats for the 1971 Bassmaster Classic because Ranger Boats caught fire that same year. Because of that, Rebel bass boats were pretty popular back then. At one time, they had six models that included I/O drives along with the standard outboard models. The boat in this ad was 17 feet long and was rated for a 115 h.p. motor.
Stryker – The Rocket City’s flagship bass boat was Stryker, manufactured by D and B Incorporated. I personally don’t know much about these boats as I’ve never seen one in person and the first ad I’d seen before this was one from 1976. If anyone knows anything about these boats, please leave a comment below. It’s be nice to learn something new.
Terry – When I saw this Terry ad initially it didn’t even register with me that it was a Terry Ad. The reason? Well, the dude standing in the front of the boat is Johnny Morris and emblazoned on the side of the boat is his company’s name, Bass Pro Shops. This ad came from a January/February issue of American Bass Fisherman, which means this picture was taken sometime in 1974 – the sae year that Morris came out with his first full-sized BPS catalog. I find it interesting that Morris fished out of a Terry and not a Ranger.
The Terry Model is the ABF Model, which stood for American Bass Fisherman, and was their high-performance hull. Although it’s not stated, the hull was 17-feet in length and rated for a 115 h.p. motor. These boats were fast for the day and really fun to fish out of. Another cool thing about the ad is that is says, “Your speed requirements dictate how you rig and load your particular boat.” Yep, gone are the days when you could buy your boat on a trailer with only the motor and rig the rest of it yourself. I miss those days before factory rigging.
Bassmaster Boats – Like I alluded to up top, this is not Bassmaster as in the Bassmaster Classic boat. This is another company and I’m just guessing here – I bet Ray Scott didn’t like their name choice. Again, I don’t know anything about this company or its boats but at least they provided a stats sheet for their boat.
I assume what they’re showing here is their BMS-16 Standard (black and white) and Pro (color) models that were 16 feet in length and rated for an 85 h.p. motor. It was skinny at 68 inches in beam and appears to have only been offered in two colors – I guess color doesn’t matter when you have a bikini-clad girl in the boat with you?
There’s something here that caught my eye, though, and that’s passenger seating in the boat that’s shown in color. Does the passenger have to take the seat off the back deck and place it in a mount on the floor? That doesn’t seem too smart to me.
Venture – There’s nothing like a boat ad with a picture of a boat airing it out – is there? I have no idea if this is a 15-foot boat or an 18-footer (I tend to think it’s a 15) but man does it appear to be flying down the lake. It probably has a 75 or 85 h.p. motor on it and that tri-step hull looks pretty cool let alone being functional. I guess the marketing geniuses at Venture felt that the site of their boat would make people call the factory for more information as they placed nothing for the reader to digest. Seriously, though, if I’d seen this ad in 1975, I probably would have called.