We had a great day out on the Illinois River in Channahon at the Big Basin Marina. Mother Nature cooperated and we had perfect weather for a boat show and cook out.
Our host Tom Arambasich with his sister Pam aboard “Aprils Ring” after a high speed spin out on the Illinois.
Tom, thanks for your efforts to make this fine event happen and I hope to participate again next year.
Toms 1987 Switzer GL21 with OMC V8 with a yet to be verified HP rating of somewhere in the 250 range.
Also owned by Tom is this 2008 replica of an 1965 Switzer Playboy “Glory Daze”
Here “Glory Daze” tells her story
We were very fortunate to have the company of Bob Switzer and his wife Carol.
I was able to spend some time talking with Bob and to say the conversation was interesting would be a gross understatement. Bob was there and a key player in the era when, as someone else has said, “Outboards ruled the rivers”. Also in attendance was Michael Gwaltney who is a retired OMC technician and technical writer.
Michael showing the monster 1984 Johnson 400 HP V8. Sitting and talking with these guys this afternoon was fascinating to say the least.
A very cool early Switzer Craft is this 1956 Lighting owned and restored by Jon Hecox from Madison WI. The boat was salvaged after sinking following an operator error.
The 56 Johnson 30 HP Seahorse is correct although Jon suspects the boat had originally a 55 Johnson based on 55 style instrument panel.
Still on the original Mastercraft trailer and in my eyes this boat is a true time capsule.
Another Switzer beauty. A 1959 Day Cruiser “Raven II” owned by Dave Jane from Burbank IL.
Sporting a sweet 1961 Merc 700 this little Cuddy Cruiser is a slice of times past.
Still on original Moody trailer
Have more pics and will post again later.
I've known Bobby since the 70's when lived Ill Chain of Lakes. He is a wizard! I went back to Ill for a HS all year reunion. Managed ahead of time to link up him again. 2006 He's STILL a intense boater, and damn, as he got stories, and a great memory! Know Tom too, never meet, but in touch. Glad ya got a chance to be there! Wish I wasn't 2000 miles away now. Still miss my old Switzer SS17/XS Merc!
And as always it’s my pleasure to share and I am honored to make the front page here.
Robby, Yeah Bob is a great story teller. He told us of the trial and tribulations of building boats and racing them back in the day. He dealt directly with guys like Carl Kiekhaefer and Charlie Strang to get the Mercury engines they needed to win.
Get this, Bob is in the middle of one of his stories when he pauses and asks, “Am I boring you?” I could only respond with “Oh no Bob, please go on”.
Michael Gwaltney was also very interesting to speak with regarding his experiences working at OMC under Charlie Strang's leadership.
And we saw more boats.
1967 Mark Twain V-Sonic owned by Ryan Jeffries from Wilmington.
I met Ryan at the Chicago In-Water Boat show last month and he told me about his boat and he later sent pictures. I mentioned this show and was hoping he could make it so I could see this beauty.
Story is the boat was not properly winterized in 1969 and the block cracked. The wife did a I told you so and the guy kept peace and simply wrapped it up and put it in his warehouse. It sat untouched for 42 years before a friend of the owner’s son acquired it and replaced the busted MerCruiser 120 HP 2.5l with a 140 HP 3.0.
If I got this right that would have been 2011 and Ryan bought it 2012 and this boat looks like new today.
Another ultra clean survivor is this 1964 Fabulglass Fury with 1962 Merc 45 owned by Tim and Helen Van Cura.
The old Merc is said to be original to the boat.
The boat came with original brochures too.
This boat was an Ebay find originally from Beaver Falls WI.
I should have taken more pictures but I got too busy stuffing myself with chicken.
I believe that was the tastiest bird I ever ate. And yes I ate a whole chicken.
Wish I got a shot of them two guys and their grill too.
But I must apologize in that I did not get pictures of all the boats and you can download what I have posted here.
Thanks again for hosting the event.
I am having lots of problems on this site and I am posting now through my phone. Any one else experiencing problems?