Switzer Wing


The 4 point hydro Switzer we named the  "Hydro Cat"!  Shortly after June of 61 the year U-4 was
built in 8 days flat,
and went on to win the Winabago marathon.  We kept on developing that concept
of boat. I think 6 wood models in
all were developed including the # 7000, and one just like it.
A year of so after we sold the U-4 to a guy out in Ca. it was returned for some repair work.
We made a deal with the owner
of the U-4 to cast a mold off of his boat in exchange for replacing
his wooden hull with a glass hull.
  He agreed, that was the beginning of the first 18ft. Switzer Hydro Cat,
soon to be renamed the Switzer Wing.

As I said, we built a few of them and they were doing so good that Mr. Kiekahafer, wanted to control
who they were
being sold to.  He offered to purchase the molds in exchange for an initial order for
30 boats.  So, I figured, we must
have made about 10 before we sold the molds to Mercury,
 hence 40 18's in all.

Now, we were being asked to supply the OMC camp with Wings, and we couldn't, because of our deal.
So we developed the 20 footer, and I will be the first to admit it was probably years ahead of it's time.
We used a wing foil that was good for higher speeds than the engines of that day were capable of. 
Hence, we only made 20, 20 footers.  One of which was fitted with 3 Merc engines that won the
unlimited class in the
Miami Marine Stadium.  My guess would be in the early 70's.  Funny thing,
that boat with 3 motors clocked out at 102 mph
and with the center engine removed, she hit 112 mph. 
Show's to go ya! how much a clean hull shape may mean more than just brute H.P.

Bob Switzer 14Oct2003

Wing Restoration Projects...

    Rick Connolly, ArizonaLink to Rick Connolly's Photos
      Tim's Marine, Minnesota
    Rich Luhrs, New JerseyLink to Rich Lurhs photos
BobValachovic, New YorkLink to Bob Valachovic's photos
      John Sherlock, FloridaLink to Rich Lurhs photos
Ted Miller, Florida

Ted Boyd, Canada
The blue buttons above and below are links to photo pages of each boat project....

link to Ernest Threlkeld's 3 wings from the past ........


Mercury (Kiekhaefer) owned the rights to all 40 18 foot Switzer Wings produced.
He did, in fact, have them in a warehouse....... but that cache is long gone.
Back then after 2-3 years Mercury basically wrote off and destroyed all
hulls in their possession...from hydros to Offshore hulls. The exceptions were
those that Merc employees and friends were able to get out the back
door...or buy outright. These 18 footers that are appearing here
and there....including Gene Lanham's, John Sherlock's, and a few
others are probably from that stash.

#) Boat Name / Race #
Owner / Driver
1) El Diablo III T119
Bob Valachovic/Kenny Kitson New York
18' Black
2) "Dust'n the Wind" Darren & Rich Luhrs New Jersey 20' Black
3) Boynton Beach Wing Boynton Beach Wing, previously owned by Ted Miller, now in a midwest collection
20' Cream yellow
4) UU16 Thunderball
Ted Boyd
originally run by Ed Doyyat

5)  #T135 Tim's Marine
Jerry Jackson / Valley Supply
Minnesota 20' Black & gray primer
6) U-4, T-140
Rick Connolly Arizona 18' Red
7)  T-140
John Sherlock's "Wing on a Stick"....
Now owned by Rick Connolly
18' White / Red
8)  #T20, T140,

Rick Connolly (located by Ron Hill in SoCal )
Bob Massey Bellflower Marine
Arizona 20' Yellow
In a collection in Dayton, Ohio Ohio

In a collection in Dayton, Ohio Ohio

In a collection in Dayton, Ohio Ohio

Gene Lanham's in storage (reported sold to Keith Eickert 10 years ago) ............

13)  #326
Mertens family Wing....................

Barry Cohen's Wing .. now gone..

Wing in New Mexico rigged with 2 x 65's..... New Mexico 18'
17)  108 T
GEORGE GUSTAFSON owner who had it stolen from Austin,Tx .. search continues (bought from Pete DeLackner in Ft. Worth) unknown
18)  JJ 88
Steve Cox's Wing The boat came from Ohio.
Purchased from Jerry Book, before him the owner was Richard Clark.
Known as the Valley Supply "Double Eagle"
20' Red
Fort Lauderdale area Wing........ Florida 20'



Back to index