Forrest Wood; boats, mules, & Dancin’ with the law

In between the numerous autographs and photo opportunities at this year’s Bass-A-Thon, Mr. Forrest Wood, founder of Ranger Boats, took a few moments to speak with NBW News.

“Quality is always something I have believed in,” said Wood. “I used to be a contractor and I learned early on that people are willing to pay a little more for good quality. That’s what we kept in mind as we built Ranger Boats.”

While there have been many reasons for the success of Ranger Boats, Wood is quick to point out what he believes has been the key.

“I have a lot of people working for me who are smarter than I am,” said Wood. “If there is one area where I have been blessed, it’s my ability to find good people. What makes a company successful are the people working there.”

The demand for Wood’s time is great. He is sought by some of the biggest shows in the country to speak but he tries keep things in perspective.

“I try to limit the number of events I attend to no more than two a month,” said Wood. “If the event is on the weekend, I try to limit my time to half a weekend. I like to go home and be with my family. I think I’ve earned that.”

Going home to his family is very important to Wood who says his wife, Nina, is his main sponsor. And, any professional knows you have to spend a lot of time with your sponsor.

At the show Forrest Wood took as much time as needed with whoever wanted to speak with him. He answered questions and made everyone feel as if they were talking to a lifelong friend.

Don’t think that Forrest Wood has spent his whole life building boats and attending sportsmen shows, he has other interests, including raising cattle, horses and mules.

“I have spent a lot of time studying mules,” said Wood. “They are the most misunderstood animal there is. They have fought wars and helped build this country. I think they are amazing.”

When Forrest Wood steps on the stage, he acts exactly the same as when he is having a casual conversation. He is funny and interesting, even when he tells of the time that he and Bill Dance almost went to jail. It seems Dance had been driving too fast when he passed a patrolman named “Bubba” in Alabama. “When you get pulled over by a patrolman named Bubba, you know you’re in trouble,” said Wood. “Luckily, we were able to talk with the judge and buy our way out of that one.”