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Pioneer Powerboat Designer Bob Switzer Dies

The high-performance powerboat world lost one of its most influential and innovative individuals when Bob Switzer, who co-founded the groundbreaking Illinois-based Switzer Craft boat company with his brother, Dave, died on December 29. According to his obituary, he was 85 years old.


Shown his here with his wife, Carol, Bob Switzer and his brother, Dave, developed some of the most innovative models in go-fast boating history. Photo courtesy/copyright Switzer Craft.

“Starting in the late ’40s and meandering through decades of ingenious designs, the Switzer brothers, Bob and Dave, created many cornerstones of today’s high performance boat designs,” Rich Luhrs, one of the go-fast boating world’s most noted historians, wrote in a July 11, 2011 speedonthewater.com article. “Dave, the quiet genius, and Bob, the enthusiastic racer/promoter did more with less than you can imagine, standing the boating world on its collective ear repeatedly.”

According to his obituary, Switzer is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol, and children, Nancy (Steven) Kasprzyk, Tracy (Cari) Switzer, Steven (Jami) Switzer and Peter (Cushie) Switzer.

“Bob’s racing successes included three national outboard racing championships, winner of the Albany to New York marathon in 1952, and many more victories throughout his long racing career,” a post on the Switzer Craft Facebook page read . “During his life, he loved to share stories with friends and family about his boating and racing experiences. Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who brought wisdom and fun into everyday experiences. He parlayed his love of boating and racing into his family experiences with frequent trips to Lake Cumberland, Ky., and regular boating excursions on the Chain of Lakes waterway.

“A memorial service (open to the public) will be held on Thursday, January 4 at the McHenry Country Club in McHenry, Ill.,” the post continued. “More information about this can be found on the Justen Funeral Home website.

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