I’ve made no secret in this space of my respect and affection for Bass Cat Boats. I’ve owned four of them, used and new, and have a fifth one being transported to Virginia later this week. I liked the boats first, before I ever knew anyone at the company, but once I learned more about how they’re made and why some features are the way they are I became a fanatic.
In 18 years of ownership, I’ve gotten used to the idea of the BCB “family,” which one of my friends calls a cult. I notice them on the water and tend to shake my introverted ways to introduce myself to fellow owners. I’ve always assumed that there were little pockets of high percentage ownership: in the Ozarks, where they’re made; in Texas, where rough water ride is critical, and even in the mid-Atlantic, where Richard Addy has sold well into the four figures over the years, first at Pop’s Marine and now at MARE Marine.
South Carolina was not really on my radar for Bass Cat ownership. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it’s because I never saw a huge congregation of them on any of my previous visits. During this last Classic I realized that our numbers are great there, too. In fact, one day while watching the competition, six or seven of the 20 or so boats within sight were Bass Cats. More amazingly, all of them were mid-90s Panteras.
If you want to know how your boat is going to handle exposure to the elements and taking a beating, look to models in the 15 to 30 year vintage and see how they’ve held up. In fact, unless your brand as a whole is newer than that, see if you encounter any of them out on the water. Driving the back roads of the mid-south near major fisheries, you’ll see a virtual graveyard of models and manufacturers that didn’t make the grade.
I’ve never kept a boat longer than seven years, and I typically sell them after three or four, but seeing all of those Panteras and Pantera Twos was reassuring. You may prefer another brand for any one of a number of reasons, but if you do, look at how the trailers, the seats, the carpet and the trim have lasted. Meanwhile, I’m thrilled to be driving something that could easily outlast me.