1950s — Tourism Takes Hold

Fiberglass. Links Landing. Century Boats. Bridal Cave. Major Hull Innovations.

The Lake of the Ozarks came into its own in the 1950s, thanks to post-war prosperity and revolutionary advances in technology. The period brought innovations that would change boating forever, and it also brought a crop of entrepreneurs and dreamers who would help make the Lake a tourism hotspot for decades to come.

With American working families earning good wages and industrial plants learning rapid and quality production techniques, Lake of the Ozarks was in an excellent position to be a national playground for water sports of all kinds and for leisure living in summer homes owned by those from the giant metro areas of both coasts. For each of these activities and lifestyles, the motorboat was integral.

1. Flat-Bottomed Hulls For Anglers

Primitive fishing boats gave way to newer designs resembling flat-bottomed canoes used throughout Louisiana swamps. The hulls evolved into specialized platforms designed to give bass fisherman every advantage in open-water speed, shallow-water maneuverability, and creature comfort for the fisherman. The newer bass boats with huge outboards also proved to be dual-purposed, as water skiing became more popular, securing the future for these design changes in the 1950s and taking firm hold of the industry.

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