Waterwitch

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Waterwitch Outboard Motors

WaterWitch

The Waterwitch was Sears and Roebucks brand name outboard motor. The first Water Witch (two words) went on sale in their 1933 catalog. The early outboards (1933~1937) were manufactured for Sears by either Lockwood-Ash Motor Co., Caille Perfection Motor Co., or Muncie Gear Co.

In 1936 Kissel Industries of Hartford, Wisconsin began manufacturing outboard motors for Sears and Roebuck, and quickly received instructions to develop a complete new outboard motor line.

Kissel Industries

Two brothers, George and William Kissel founded the Kissel Motor Car company in 1908. The plant was located in Hartford, Wisconsin. Like so many other companies of the period, they fell on hard times in the late 20’s. In 1929 they filed for bankruptcy and lost the company in 1931. In 1934 the brothers regained control of the plant and founded Kissel Industries. They started manufacturing candy vending machines among other ventures. In late 1936, Kissel Industries won the exclusive contract with Sears and Roebucks Company to build outboard motors. George Kissel and Herman Palmer would design the new outboard. They had been the chief engine designers at the old motor car company. The new outboards would be called Waterwitch (one word). Kissel Industries never marketed outboards under any other name, including their own. For more information about these engines, go to a really beautiful website dedicated to the Waterwitch Outboards built by the Kissel Motor Company in Hartford, Wisconsin from 1936~1944.

The War Years

The only outboard production during the War Years was for government agencies. In 1944 Kissel Industries was purchased by West Bend Aluminum Company along with the Sears and Roebucks contract to make outboards. The relationship continued with Sears and Roebucks through this transition. This brought an end to the Waterwitch brand of outboard motors in 1945.

West bend

In 1946 West Bend Outboard manufactured their first motor for Sears. It was in this year that Sears and Roebucks changed their outboard motor brand name to “Elgin”. West Bend had a non-compete clause with Sears for the USA that ran through 1955. Starting in 1956 some outboards appeared wearing the West Bend name.

Chrysler Outboards

In 1965, Chrysler Corporation purchased West Bend’s outboard motor business.


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More about Kissel Industries from Discount Marine Parts


Model Year Guide

1933 – 1945

Model Serial Number Range Description HP Cyl Notes
1933
5802     2 1 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB1
5805     5 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB5
5816     16 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB15
1934
5802     2 1 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB1
5804     4 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB31
5805     5 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB5
5816     16 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB15
1935
5802     2 1 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB1
5804     4 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB32
5805     6 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB61
5816     16 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB16
1936
5802     2 1 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB1
MB-10 (5806) 1001 – Water Cooled 2.5 1 Made by Kissel
5804     4 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB32
MB-20 (5807) T501 – T2391 Opposed Twin 4 2 Made by Kissel
5816     16 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB16
1937
MB-10     – 7933 Water Cooled 2.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.10 S10001 – S28026 Opposed Twin 2.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.20 T3001 – T8270 Opposed Twin 4 2 Made by Kissel
5816     16 2 Made by Muncie Gear   Mod OB16
1938
571.30 SA1001 – SA6000 Water Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.11   Water Cooled 2.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.21 T9001 – T11005 Opposed Twin 4 2 Made by Kissel
550.75 (5810)   Opposed Twin 8.5 2 Made by Johnson   Mod
1939
571.31 AC1001 – AC7017 Air Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.32 AC1001 – AC7017 Air Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.11 S30001 – S36103 Water Cooled 2.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.22 T12001 – T17002 Opposed Twin 4.75 2 Made by Kissel
550.75 (5810)   Opposed Twin 8.5 2 Made by Johnson   Mod
1940
571.33 AC8001 – AC11565 Air Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.34 DAC25001 – DAC28905 Air Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.34A DAC25001 – DAC28905 Air Cooled .75 1 Made by Kissel
571.40 S50001 – S56103 Water Cooled 2.75 1 Made by Kissel
571.12 S37001 – S44106 Water Cooled 3.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.23 T18001 – T23003 Opposed Twin 5.75 2 Made by Kissel
550.75 (5810)   Opposed Twin 8.5 2 Made by Johnson   Mod
1941
571.35 AC13001-AC17442 Air Cool 1 1 Made by Kissel
571.41 S57001 – S65104 Water Cool 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.42 S57001 – S65104 Water Cool 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.43 S57001 – S65104 Water Cool 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.13 S45001 – S52603 Water Cool 3.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.14 S45001 – S52603 Water Cool 3.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.24 T24001 – T30103 Opposed Twin 5.75 2 Made by Kissel
571.50 T100001-T100600 Opposed Twin 10 2 Made by
1942
571.36 AC18001 – AC20724 Air Cooled 1 1 Made by Kissel
571.44 S65201 – S69979 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.15 S90001-S92355 Water Cooled 3.5 1 Made by Kissel
571.26   Opposed Twin 5.75 2 Made by Kissel
1943
571.44 S65201 – S69979 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel
1944
571.44 S65201 – S69979 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.44W S70001-S78000 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel
1945
571.44 S65201 – S69979 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel
571.44W S70001-S78000 Water Cooled 3 1 Made by Kissel

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7 thoughts on “Waterwitch

  1. Olivia Mahoney

    To Whom It May Concern: I am trying to locate and borrow a Sears Waterwitch outboard motor for an exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, scheduled for October 2018. Do you have any suggestions of where to look?

    1. Terry Bartnik

      Just aquired a 1938 model 571.30 water witch made by kissel brothers. Serial #SA 6000. .75 hp with the original stand. Motor is not restored but complete.

    2. Richard lacroix

      R u still looking for a Sears water witch outboard to display at museum? I have a 1942 model #571.15 not restored but in great original condition complete. It has been cleaned, was made for govt. During ww2, production ceased during war years except for govt. Uses.

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