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Critchfield Marine Co.
Bill Critchfield was a boat racer and builder based in Florida. His company, Critchfield Marine offered Sabre Boats according to a Feb. 24, 1967 article in the St. Petersburg Times. The dealer for Sabre boats in the St. Petersburg area was Van Bros Chris Craft Inc. It is unclear when Critchfield began manufacturing boats but a Critchfield runabout appeared in a Mercury Outboard Test in 1958 (See Below). At this time Critchfield Marine was in Orlando, Florida.
The company was looking to expand into the Midwest market by advertising for salesmen in the Nov. 17, 1968 issue of the Chicago Tribune. In this ad, Critchfield Marine boasted of a new 110,000 sq ft. plant producing the "winning HOTSWIFTSLEEK CRITCHFIELD IDEA LINE Boats" and the address listed was Municipal Airport, Avon Park, Florida. Critchfield Marine was operating also in 1965 when it was mentioned that year in a MerCruiser sterndrive ad in Yachting Magazine Vol. 118.
Bill Critchfield's name appears in a 1970 Scat-Craft Marine, Inc. ad in the July 30, 1970 issue of St. Petersburg Independent. His association with Scat-Craft Marine of Orlando is not quite clear since Critchfield Marine was based in Avon Park at this time.
According to a Sept. 20, 1973 article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, North American Products Corp. of Sarasota, Florida dropped its entire line of boats to instead produce five models from Critchfield Marine molds as Lightning Boats. William P. Farmer, president of North American, had bought some of the Critchfield molds from Wellcraft Marine Corp., also of Sarasota. Wellcraft had bought Critchfield Marine's property, some tooling and plant equipment in July 1973 according to the article.
1958 Critchfield Runabout Mercury Mark 78E outboard test
1965 Sabre VR-170 Mercury 650EL outboard test
1965 Sabre VR-170 Mercury 1000EL outboard test
1965 Sabre R-160 Mercury 500EL outboard test
1965 Sabre R-160 Mercury 650EL outboard test
1969 Critchfield 17' Needle Nose Mercury 1250EL outboard test