Dreams are what give us our futures, and memories open our hearts.
A Bass Cat Story
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Ron’s first dream of a hand built boat was stored on the front porch of his parents’ home. He ran it with his grandfather’s outboard, usually without granddad Bill knowing it. Well, he pretended as if he never knew? That old wooden boat was simply the start of many memories which would unfold over time, and fostered by those who care.
That dream opened the door to a new world. A world of skiing and eventually bass fishing, as life evolved and changed with family. From that old wooden boat others would follow, as the Pierce family stayed active in the outdoors. Eventually, Ron achieved a successful career in the plastics industry. Things were changing as he and Jan looked for something different. In Mountain Home they purchased a small drive-in restaurant, following in the footsteps of Jan’s parents. There, cookin’ chickens on a Sunday afternoon ran into the case lots. This was too monotonous for a dreamer who loved to fish.
They moved forward and in 1971, Ron and Jan started Bass Cat in their two car garage. From there, it moved to a small military style quansit hut…which was quickly outgrown. Their final move was in 1972 to the present location, where the factory stands today. Several additions and alterations have been made since 1999, with more to come.
Over the years things in the business also changed. Those first Bass Cat boats could be purchased for less than $1,000.00. The entire package wouldn’t run more than $2,500.00. While boats certainly have changed, the drive for memories has not.
Eventually our innovations like recessed trolling pedals and elevated electronics found their way into other boats. Just like the battery chargers and interior box lighting, they are not gimmicks. And neither are the production techniques, as we were never able to grasp the mid ‘70s concept of simply screwing a boat together. There was just something wrong in having to tighten screws that held the boat together after a long day on the water. So, we always build bass boats as one unit. These construction methods are amazingly claimed by many nowadays. Though claims are not proof, and we have the proof.
And how about design, not only in 1971. In 1977 we took our Vee hulls in a new direction. That too was copied by the largest in our industry today. In 1984, we introduced the design which patterned the first of today’s 19 foot, 200 hp rated, wide beam (92”) bass boats. The Pantera Pro model was revolutionary! Then, in 1988, it was the Pantera II and Sabre…the first of any of today’s true tournament machines. The equipment on those Pantera II’s and Sabres is still unmatched by most…and the Pantera IV (P4) led the way as the tradition continues.
The Puma is probably the most innovative tournament boat since the Pantera II and Sabre of 1988. Then, there is the new wide body hull for larger engines, which many only try to achieve, and again claim to have. Though again, we were the first.
We continue hard at work and you can expect more. This sets us apart from those corporate affiliates. Innovation is a mission for us and a must to keep your needs in the forefront. The 6X custom Italian steering wheel or the recessed trolling pedals are only pages in our innovation book.
In the 2005 brochure, we spoke of ourselves as the “Farm Club” – references we made to building careers that moved on. With nine (9) anglers in the Bassmaster’s Classic in 2010, we continue to distance ourselves from a “Farm Club” today. Many of these men started their careers with a BCB, just like you. All a part of the same “Family” you share as a Bass Cat owner.
That “Family” is never more present than our Owner’s Board, where they exhibit a character we are extremely proud of! They want to help as much as we do! They are our most important staff, our most valuable asset, and the real “Family.” Their families are also a part of this and we have truly been blessed with that dedication and support.
We said before, in any industry you either lead, evolve, or die. Leading is all we know to do and we continue to do so, in that perhaps someday all of our grandchildren can all be a part of this.
What better life would one possibly want.
We thank you for this opportunity.