THE ORIGINATORS OF THE PERFORMANCE PONTOON
KNOW NO LIMITS
40+ years of building some of the most durable, fishable boats on the water.
For over 40 years, PlayCraft has built some of the most durable, fishable boats on the water. But we’re always looking ahead for new ways to build the best boats for you.
That’s why we’ve added scores of design, performance, and comfort features to our new lineup of PlayCraft boats, including all-composite construction, modern instrumentation, updated graphics, redesigned seating, and more. Best of all, we put that three decades of experience, refinement, and innovation into every PlayCraft boat.
Whether you’re a seasoned tournament professional or a “rookie” weekend angler, we build boats that give you a distinct advantage when you’re driving down the lake, taming a big river, or trolling the back of a reclusive cove. You’ll feel confident in your PlayCraft every time you hit rough water, make a fast run back to the weigh-in, or land the first keeper of the day.
If you’re looking for your next boat, it’s time you put in with the best: PlayCraft Boats. Because the best just keeps getting better.
2015 PDB Hall Of Fame Inductee
Jim Dorris – Founder and Owner of Playcraft Boats
At a young age, Jim Dorris fell in love with boating and it has been his passion ever since. After high school, Jim joined the National Guard, followed by a brief stint as a student at a local junior college before deciding school wasn’t for him. In 1968 he began building MonArk boats in Arkansas and in 1972 relocated to Missouri to work for Appleby Aluminum Boats, which at the time was the largest aluminum boat builder in the country. Jim sharpened his skills at Appleby for a little over a year before officially starting his own boat-building company, Charger Boats, in 1974.
After his first 20 years of successfully building boats, Jim began brainstorming on combining the comfort of a pontoon boat with performance. “I was getting a little older, but I still wanted to go fast and run with the big boys,” recalls Jim. “So we developed the Hydrotoon that would later be known as our Powertoon.”
Jim did more than just dream; he triggered the concept of performance pontoons when he first entered the Ozark Shootout in 1995 with a newly engineered Hydrotoon. Carrying a small-block 350, extra cross members and at the time those mysterious Rac-R-Fins welded to the tubes to help lift the boat, the pontoon went 46.8 mph and stole a lot of attention away from other performance boats that year.
It didn’t take PlayCraft long to begin establishing pontoon speed records, but it was surprising how quickly Jim continued to break those records year after year with even faster production models. It was in 2001 at Mercury’s Lake X in Flordia that he set the record at the time wight an unheard of speed of 81 mph and in 2010 it was PlayCraft who was the first to top the 100 mph mark.
His claim to fame will always be speed and his legacy in the pontoon industry really began in 1995 with that Powertoon design that truly changed the pontoon industry.
“We’re responsible for the performance pontoon,” says Jim. “We’ve taken the pontoon to a different level. With the Powertoon we gave consumers a pontoon that would perform more like a runabout. We live in the Show-Me State and we showed others what pontoon boats were truly caple of when no one else was doing it.”
While speed and performance are what Jim is best known for in the boating industry, it’s his connection with his family and those who have helped him get where he is today that is the most important to him.
“My wife Carolyn who puts up with me, my family, my employees, and all of my associates are what matter the most, ” says Jim. “We have guys who have been with me 40 plus years and it’s amazing how hard they are to replace. You can’t find quality workers like you could 25 years ago. We wouldn’t be who we are today without the Ozark craftsmen who build our boat.”
While Jim loves to be innovative and he may be the best know for his role in introducing performance pontoons, it really just comes down to the fact that hs simply loves boating.