1971 Critchfield

This is a fully restored 15’ outboard boat that is powered by a 1970 Mercury Marine 1350. She is a show quality boat that represents the “top dog” type of outboard boat in Florida at that time. She is finished in her original color and sports all the right stuff in period correct rigging, steering, gauges, and seating. The owner did a very nice job, and she draws crowds.

fiberglass outboard boat photo image mercury marine classic restored

This boat is refinished in her original color

She is also a speed demon up and down the ICW route that runs along the east coast of mid-Florida, just south of Merritt Island and Space Coast. One ”flys” a vee bottom outboard like this, with the bow trimmed high, well out of the water, with as little of the hull in the water as possible. After all, air presents less resistance than water!

Critchfield was a racer turned boat builder. He first built boats around the late 1950s out of wood in Orlando, FL. He moved his boat plant to Avon Park, FL (near Sebring, FL). He was big in Avon Park. He had several models of boats and occupied a 110,000 square foot factory.

By 1973, it was over for Critchfield. He sold the operation, building, and his boat molds to Wellcraft Marine. They built 16 and 18 foot family runabouts of their own design in that plant. As a Wellcraft dealer, I was flown to this plant to see some of my boat stores most popular models in the early 1980s in their production home.

Wellcraft sold the Critchfield boat molds to Bill Farmer. Farmer later moved onto his Excalibur Marine boats in the 30-31 and 40 foot sizes. The Farmer 31’ was a Jean-Claude Simon (Cary Marine) hull. He sold the few first production 31’ to Chris Craft, where they met with dealer acceptance and Chris Craft then bought molds to make their own. He also sold a 31 boat to Reggie Fountain who re-did the boat bottom, changed the engine’s drive heights, re-worked the props to work with the new drive heights and stretched the nose and tail to make the mightily Fountain 35. That boat bottom was the foundation of Fountain Power Boats.

cockpit outboard racer 1971 restored classic

note the seating

 

bottom detail of outboard race boat classic restored

note the good amount of vee to the bottom shape

 

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