Step 1: The British Seagull

The "motor won't start" archetype is encoded deep in the engrams of my race memory.
The Finnish one-cylinder "Olympia" diesel in Frei Boot is a champ, but what if?
A backup motor seemed like a good idea.

Then I saw the following ad on craigslist.com:
SEAGULL OUTBOARD BOAT MOTOR--LONG SHAFT W/CLUTCH & BIG TANK & BIG PROP - $150 (hercules, pinole, san pablo, el sob)
Reply to: sale-179583927@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-07-07, 7:44PM PDT

"The best outboard in the world" is known as the British Seagull. This is the BIGGEST one that they made....LOTS OF TORQUE....If you like the Seagull, this is the "GRAND-DADDY"!!! They RUN FOREVER. Great for sailboat or moving something heavy--NOT FAST--BUT STEADY & SURE!! Not pretty, by today's standards, but plenty of reliable power and simple. Not set up for pics....look up on net. In Crockett.

As the ad implies, the British Seagull is famous for being smoky, loud, rough, having few moving parts, looking prehistoric and running forever. Just right for the outboard equivalent of a police revolver. Not to be used unless life is threatened, and then it better work.

That's too macho. Maybe it's more like a flattened roll of toilet paper in your sock. It looks crazy but it's there when you need it.
Here's what it looks like perched on our transom. How did it get there? Read on.
I believe that 10 parts gas is the most you can add. These engines are notorious for being considered 'gas lubricated oil burning engines' with their crazy mix ratios.<br />
&quot;What happens next? Continued at: <a href="../../../id/E5VMS6IC49ET2JXLGZ/?ALLSTEPS" rel="nofollow">It's sinking and it's on Fire.</a>&quot;<br /> <br /> hmmm.. i dunno... what do you think'll happen?<br /> <br /> meh, maybe its gonna sink while on fire....<br /> <br /> <br /> xD<br /> <br /> <br />
exactly why they invented steel toes. but i don't blame him for wearing flip-flops. <br />
Maybe need to continue on reading, but why an old outboard, when you have a wonderful inboard diesel?
Like a boy scout you should always be prepared. Have a back up to the back up you'll never know when you'll need it.
don't toenails grow back?
Not if the root is destroyed. Nails are kind of like hair, in that they both grow from root cells under the skin. No root, no new growth. My girlfriend lost a toe nail to something I speculate was a fungus, but no podiatrist would prescribe her an antibiotic. The nail would try to regrow, but the new growth would eventually peel off. One doctor wanted to remove the nail root surgically. She's glad she didn't go that route, because she eventually got the nail to grow back normally. As a side note, that doctor's wife was a runner who frequently had toenail fungus. He removed all her toenail roots.
With Seagulls if you want to cut down the somking dramatically use 10:1 fuel mix with Synthetic Oil such as : Valvoline 2 stroke Synthetic oil NMMA TC-W3 we use this on our old seagull motors works fine
Sissys!!!!! The foot is fine. ive seen much worse
by "minimum," do they mean that 1 part oil is the most you can add, or 10 parts gasoline is the most you can add?
i bent a toenail at right-angles halfway up in a non-boat-related accident once, but seeing as it has nothing to do with boats, free or otherwise i've just wasted some interweb space! teehee!
How dare you! I have half a mind to report you to Al Gore. lol It's related by proxy, so you're forgiven this time. But don't make this mistake again. I'll be watching you. haha.
I thought toenails were for picking your teeth, in the chance case that you've lost both hands (or all five fingernails?) in a freak boating accident.
"mutilate" is a rather strong term for that booboo :)
&quot;When life hands you lemons, make whisky sours&quot;----W.C. Fields<br/>Excellent &quot;Instructable&quot;. I been wanting a Sailboat to live on and trying to get the most for my money. This a good approach to Free for now and pay later. Ha! Many people pay to get and then pay some more. ;-)<br/>
I almost wet myself laughing at the "toe" part, not looking on someone elses misfortune but active bartering while the guy sitting in obvious agony, ROFLMAO.
OWWWW!!! Do you keep running records of how much everything costs (moror, wood, glue, marina space, insurance, etc)? I wonder how much a trip to the doctor's office added...
it was the sellers foot, not tims. Boat running costs are notoriously expensive. Slightly more so for a second hand 'freebie'
We've been going out for sunset cruises on the bay now that we've got extra motors and batteries. I started worrying that the beer keg would run out of diesel. So I refilled it. It took THREE GALLONS to replace what we've burned so far. No idea what gallons per hour or per mile would be, but it looks like fuel costs are basically free for this boat. The magic of a little diesel, a big slow-turning prop, and a hull that doesn't try to plane.
We spent an entire week (June, 2002) in the San Juan's "sailing" a 36.5', but mostly no wind except for the last 1/2 day when a storm came up. Several hundred NM and we topped off the Yanmar diesel for less than five bucks upon return to Bellingham, WA. We had five people aboard which was about 2.3 too many. The only couple got the double berth below the cockpit and adjacent to the engine and stink tanks. Never do that to anybody you like.
didnt mean diesel. Just trips of West Marine for emergency stainless hardware and such that you cant find for free. That crap adds up. However, I would give it all up to be back tinkering on the old lister & perkin 30hp, or the even older BMC hand cranked water cooled jobbie. Fun times. Make sure your fuel filter stays clean and drain the water out regularily. Dirty injectors reduce efficiency and a broken pump will set you back the price of a new boat (o; I'm very envious
i lost all my fingernails once when i was kayaking. but only one toenail in my life but it doesnt really matter they grow back eventually.
"i lost all my fingernails once"??? say more! can you post the story as an instructable? How to Lose all your Fingernails
remember (this advice may be a little late) if u want to save the toenail you should poke a hole in it so the blood pressure can drop. i recently lost a toenail and learned this too late also :(
i think you mean "make your buddy poke a hole in it while someone else holds you down"
very cool, this has brought back some memories, my dad used a seagull on his little open hull, that thing ran and ran. And I lost both big toe nails after a season of hard riding in old snowboard boots. My toes were pushed forward to the front of the boots and eventually the cuticles gave out. Very cool. Tip: carry a tin of 'easy start' for the diesel but never use it unless you absolutely must.
Looks like you guys are getting really equipped! Now I just need to find me a boat....I can't afford the houses out here, so maybe I can just live on my boat :) Thanks again for the inspiration!

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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