DDW

How do you stop a British Seagull?

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No, that isn't the opening to a joke. As an interim measure and for my own peculiar purposes I bought a fairly pristine Silver Century Plus off of Craigslist which had not been (by the P.O.s reckoning) started in 20 years. I bought a 2.5 gallon can for gas, poured a full quart of oil in it (that's right, 10:1!), put some in the tank, wrapped the cord and pulled it. Not much. Second pull, started right up and ran.....well, like a British Seagull. They can tell you are coming by the noise and the smoke plume. But it pushed the dinghy like a scalded cat. 

Anyway, the time came to shut it off and I realized there were no means to accomplish this. I vaguely recall a shorting spring or some such device on one I owned many decades ago, but this one had no such device. With the motor I got the Clymer repair manual covering all British Seagull models, there is not a mention anywhere of a way to stop it. 

I put the choke in and covered the intake with my hand (being careful to keep my sleeve out of the open flywheel). That did make it quit. On subsequent runs I've shut the fuel off and then choked it after a bit. It will run quite a while on the float bowl.

What is the official means of shutting off a British Seagull? OK, the jokes are on, but I would really like to know.

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scalded cat reference.  Excellent.

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Quote

 a true sailor having the skill to stop an engine by running the carburettor dry while stemming the tide and picking up a
mooring in one go.

https://classicsailor.com/2018/04/7397/

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The owners with which I'm familiar are so surprised they start that I've never heard anyone ask how to stop them.

I believe the throttle linkage is supposed to be adjusted do that throttled back fully starves them to death.

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Oh dear. He's gone eccentric.

Quote

I got the Clymer repair manual covering all British Seagull models...

Somewhere , a First at Merton mailed off the last corrected proofs and hanged himself in the rafters. The British are great writers of comedy. Just the right leaven of self-loathing. Did you obtain the complete set of Seagull repair manuals? Perhaps "Stopping the blasted thing" is in a missing volume. That manual (664 pages, handwritten) also contains home remedies for tinnitus and a poem in the end notes, beginning: 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

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Pull the plug wire.

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8 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Pull the plug wire.

Make sure it's properly uninsulated for maximum effect.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Pull the plug wire.

Was watching the motorcycle races in Laconia, NH, back in the early 1990s. Rider wipes-out and injures himself pretty good. Looked like he broke a rib or two. His bike had a magneto and was lying on its side revving out of control. Our injured hero rises and attempts to kill the engine by pulling the plug wire. Shorts himself out and gyrates in DC electrical agony for a bit. My friends and I thought it was a little funny. A few years later I shorted myself to a plug on my cranky KZ650 as I tinkered in the driveway. It felt as if someone was tapping my heart with a pencil. Spooky. 

The Seagull? Probably better to kill it by cutting the airflow, instead of letting it run lean for a little while until the fuel runs out. Lean is mean. Probably doesn't matter much, but having a full carb bowl is useful.

Snubs

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Pull the plug wire.

Can I watch? need a good laugh

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Normally they only run when they are well clear of water. It does seem remarkable that yours runs with the bottom section submerged. 

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I’m amazed you got the bastard thing to start in the first place! 

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2 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

 

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After many years of engineering development, the team was able to develop a prototype that would start 38% of the time. Unfortunately, the engineers had reached retirement age and left the firm. In an effort to generate profits, British Seagull went into production with no means to stop. This was considered adequate due to the nature of the engine quitting so often on it’s own accord. 

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Your chances of it restarting go down about 10 to 15% every time you use it,

just leave it running.

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Well it sounds like I've used the official method. 

To the jokes about starting, it did honestly start on the second pull after a 20 years layup, and since has started at least by the 3rd pull or so. This model is the extra sophisticated one, with the neutral clutch. I remember from the one we used to keep in the cockpit locker of our 22' sloop (about 1975 this was) would go a year to two without starting as we would sail in and out of the berth. When needed you'd get the Seagull out, twist the flywheel back and forth until all the rust was scraped from the bore and you could get it to turn through, then it would usually start. That one deep sixed it's own lower end off of Half Moon Bay one day. 

When I went to look at this one the guy said he didn't know if it ran and couldn't guarantee it. I checked for compression and spark and said it'll run and took it to the boat. Started second pull. 

The Clymer manual is informative: the rod caps are held on with slotted head cap screws ("tighten firmly"). There are plain bearings on the crank - which explains why they don't freeze up. The lower end isn't really sealed, and runs on a mixture of 140W and seawater. To remove the flywheel you hold it up by the flywheel and whack the crank end with a hammer ("be sure to hit is squarely so you don't deform the threads...").

The technology and engineering at least rivals Harley Davidson motorcycles, which are quite popular today. 

Best of all, it weighs 38 lbs. 

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2 hours ago, Overbored said:

Can I watch? need a good laugh

Jeezuss - you guys never heard of insulated handles on pliers?

If you're "running" a Seagull you better have a comprehensive tool kit on board

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2 hours ago, weightless said:

 

Max Ehrmann was to poetry what the Seagull is to motive power. Poorly formed, deeply unreliable, and hard to stop once he got going. But always a rich target for parody. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

Well it sounds like I've used the official method. 

To the jokes about starting, it did honestly start on the second pull after a 20 years layup, and since has started at least by the 3rd pull or so. This model is the extra sophisticated one, with the neutral clutch. I remember from the one we used to keep in the cockpit locker of our 22' sloop (about 1975 this was) would go a year to two without starting as we would sail in and out of the berth. When needed you'd get the Seagull out, twist the flywheel back and forth until all the rust was scraped from the bore and you could get it to turn through, then it would usually start. That one deep sixed it's own lower end off of Half Moon Bay one day. 

When I went to look at this one the guy said he didn't know if it ran and couldn't guarantee it. I checked for compression and spark and said it'll run and took it to the boat. Started second pull. 

The Clymer manual is informative: the rod caps are held on with slotted head cap screws ("tighten firmly"). There are plain bearings on the crank - which explains why they don't freeze up. The lower end isn't really sealed, and runs on a mixture of 140W and seawater. To remove the flywheel you hold it up by the flywheel and whack the crank end with a hammer ("be sure to hit is squarely so you don't deform the threads...").

The technology and engineering at least rivals Harley Davidson motorcycles, which are quite popular today. 

Best of all, it weighs 38 lbs. 

It’ll make a good sea anchor then. :P

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I think a Honda would be better as a sea anchor. Seagull better as an artificial reef. More nooks and crannies. 

I don't think you need a comprehensive set of tools to work on a Seagull. Vise grips and pump pliers is all, perhaps a few yards of bailing wire. If you want to use proper tools, you will need a set of British Standard Whitworth tools. Good luck finding those.....

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Every Seagull motor starts on the second pull once every twenty years.

However, past performance should not be misconstrued as a prediction of future results.

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I don’t think it ever occurred to the designers that you would want to stop the engine deliberately, they designed in an automatic stop function that activated if the engine started.

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1 hour ago, Moonduster said:

Every Seagull motor starts on the second pull once every twenty years.

However, past performance should not be misconstrued as a prediction of future results.

:lol::lol:

I've discovered that the Yamaha on the sailboat doesn't always start on the second pull either - though it has been pretty reliable. The newer Tohatsu and Suzukis are fuel injected once above about 15 HP, intuition suggests that's a bad idea in a salt water bath, yet users say they are more reliable than their carbureted brethren. What if I were to adapt a Suzuki F.I. system to the British Seagull? Too much lipstick?

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The single biggest reliability and maintenance issue with small engines is the carburetor. I'll take FI in a heartbeat, saltwater or not, and would love to see FI trickle down to even the smallest engines..

Polish up the Seagull and mount it on the wall. 

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59 minutes ago, IStream said:

Polish up the Seagull and mount it on the wall. 

 

IMG_1643.thumb.jpg.6fe17347400239f96203e18d1e257d3f.jpg

Curiously, I have plans for the Seagull. I plan to convert it to electric. This isn't as whiggy as it sounds, in proper context.....

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What's the fun in that? 

Also, it's not like the Torqueedo has a sterling reputation for design and reliability. 

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57 minutes ago, IStream said:

I like the idea. Something like this but with about 2X the power would be good.

https://www.electricpaddle.com/

They have these at Fisheries Supply now if you want to see one in person.  It is really cute, and I like them, except for the gears because a consumable item.  They aren't trivial enough to machine to make my own if the company goes out of business.

I also wish that they ran on 36V vs 24V, because that has become the standard for e-bike batteries and as a result there are a lot of good quality 36V battery packs available at good prices.

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The problem with the existing electrics in this application (beyond the absurd prices) is it needs to run on 120V AC. Not just for safety reasons, that is what I have on board in unlimited amounts. 

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45 minutes ago, Alex W said:

They have these at Fisheries Supply now if you want to see one in person.  It is really cute, and I like them, except for the gears because a consumable item.  They aren't trivial enough to machine to make my own if the company goes out of business.

I also wish that they ran on 36V vs 24V, because that has become the standard for e-bike batteries and as a result there are a lot of good quality 36V battery packs available at good prices.

My buddy bought one and took me for a quick tour of Shilshole in his dinghy. It's adequate for taking the dog ashore in a calm anchorage but too anemic for much else. Agreed on the gears. If I bought one, I'd stock up on props...

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Geez. A might 240 watts. That is about 1/3 HP. Enough to make a decent blender but to propel a dinghy in a stiff breeze? Probably not.

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8 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

If it's British, it'll leak oil on the driveway.

How else would you know if your car had oil?

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My Silver Century Plus Seagull (fan blade prop), I just put it in Neutral and turn the fuel off. However a pair of pliers and pull the plug cap off is quicker if you need to.

I fitted the later 25 to 1 jets to the carb so there is less smoke..sort of..

It spent a couple of months under water,  I just turned it upside down drained everything, Filled with fuel and it started second time. It always started second time as the first pull draws fuel.

Yes Seagulls leak oil, as said before they are designed to mix fuel and water in the gear box.

 

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

Geez. A might 240 watts. That is about 1/3 HP. Enough to make a decent blender but to propel a dinghy in a stiff breeze? Probably not.

What is human power output with a pair of 7' oars?  240 watts is better than what an average cyclist can do for 1 hour output, so I'm guessing a rower is lower than 240 watts. 

It is still very low power, even compared to the smallest Torqeedo.  

I had a Honda 2hp (sold it a couple of years ago) and it was a good motor but also didn't seem to be well tuned to dinghy use.  It reached hull speed on my 8' rigid rowing dinghy at under half throttle where it was probably putting out half a hp (and it's even less at the prop).  This one seems like it has a prop design that is less likely to cavitate and speeds better tuned to match a small light rowing dinghy.

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10 hours ago, Alex W said:

They have these at Fisheries Supply now if you want to see one in person.  It is really cute, and I like them, except for the gears because a consumable item.  They aren't trivial enough to machine to make my own if the company goes out of business.

I also wish that they ran on 36V vs 24V, because that has become the standard for e-bike batteries and as a result there are a lot of good quality 36V battery packs available at good prices.

You know, if you took it one step further you could use the whole e-bike setup. Put one of these in the head and run it with a 36V e-bike battery pack:

http://www.syimotor.com/productDe_4.html

 

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Someone like the FTC needs to put the smack on these electric motor claims. "Performs like a 1 hp", or "4 hp propulsive power". These are bullshit. Power is power. It reminds me of the old days when compressors and vacuums were sold this way: "develops 5 hp". When it can only draw 1800 watts from the 110V outlet. Bullshit. The Torqueedo 2.0 pod for example, "Propulsive power 5 hp", yet spec'd to draw 2000 watts. That's 2.7 hp at 100% efficiency. 5 hp is a wet dream. 

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Ideally we'd talk about thrust at the prop, not power at the motor head.  In a really ideal world I could also get a graph of speed vs thrust for common load points on dinghy designs.

I do think that electric drive can be more power efficient by taking advantage of the high available torque at low RPM, but we need good units to use when discussing this.  We've seen this before, the common 30hp Atomic-4 engines used on 30' sailboats using tiny high rpm props are replaced with ~15hp diesel engines which have plenty of power with a larger prop and lower prop speed.

 

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16 minutes ago, DDW said:

Someone like the FTC needs to put the smack on these electric motor claims. "Performs like a 1 hp", or "4 hp propulsive power". These are bullshit. Power is power. It reminds me of the old days when compressors and vacuums were sold this way: "develops 5 hp". When it can only draw 1800 watts from the 110V outlet. Bullshit. The Torqueedo 2.0 pod for example, "Propulsive power 5 hp", yet spec'd to draw 2000 watts. That's 2.7 hp at 100% efficiency. 5 hp is a wet dream. 

Hey, "torqe" is like torque less one small sheep and "edo" is and ancient city with katanas! That's power!  Come on sheeple, it's all so simple when you think about it.

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Our family owned a Seagull 40 Plus bought in the early 60s.Over about 30 years it pushed everything from 8 ft pram dinghies to a Jaguar 22 [ Catalina 22 clone ].

It was totally immersed in seawater at least twice in it's life but after a freshwater wash it started after a few pulls. I can only remember fitting points twice We always carried a spare spark plug but again I don't ever remember changing it. It was never changed to 25 to 1 so did leave an oil slick but it started and ran reliably.

I remember being caught out one night in a gale and needed it to push us round a headland. It ran flat out for a couple of hours [ with hot refueling] and got us home in pouring rain. 

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A friend of mine bought a brand new Seagull back in the 70's.

Offhand I can't recall ever seeing it running.

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British Seagull rated their engines in thrust, converted to horsepower. Minn Kota also rates their motors in thrust. I can understand the marketing need to exaggerate the power of the rather anemic electric offerings, but they do themselves long term damage by it. 

A new British Seagull that's never been started is worth some money in the right crowd. 

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    There was a boat mechanic out on the docks at Yacht Haven in St Thomas who must have originally sailed there from Britain. Hanging up in the rafters was the oddest looking watercraft and a sign proclaiming it as the 'World Fastest British Seagull Outboard Record Holder'. I asked about it and the guy pointed over in the corner at the motor that had powered it to that distinction. It had a megaphone exhaust pipe and other than that and a propellor that looked to have been hand filed down to just slivers for blades it still looked like the old plow horse Seagulls we all love to hate. If I remember correctly the had gotten over 60 mph out of the contraption in a competition back in the 60's held in Bermuda.

    Funny thing about the competitiveness between VI and Bermuda sailors is that they used to have sports car races out at the big Navy airfield in Bermuda.  There was a twin engine plane that would make direct flights from St Thomas to Bermuda a couple of days a week and word got back to the car enthusiasts on St T so they built a car of sorts with the smallest engine size class that was raced in Bermuda. Probably a Morris Minor 1100 or something like that. The St Thomians built a chassis that would just fit in the cargo door of the airplane and started flying up and entering the competitions. It probably only weighed half of the proper MG's or Triumphs that were raced by the Bermudians and had blinding acceleration but poor steering and brakes so they were good sports and let them race. Eventually the St Thomians flew their bastard car over to Daytona and started entering some of the USSC association events. That led to big improvements in their car and eventually the Bermudians had cut down a Mini Moke so they could fly it over to Daytona to join in the fun. The United Sports Car Association would have none of that so the St Thomians granted membership to the Bermudians so they could race under the auspices of the USVI Sports Car Association until the Bermudians managed to appeal and gain proper membership under their own flag. It was a result of that gesture of good sportsmanship that a few years later when the vote was taken at the Olympic Committee for new member nation status that Bermuda sponsored the USVI in applying for recognition. That was not too long after the Cuban missile crisis and Cuba, Angola, Russia were all voting on the USVI's behalf for political reasons and I think it was Bermuda that cast the deciding vote giving the USVI full team status. 

    I heard this whole story from Rudy Thompson late in the night at the Rolex Regatta and I think I got most of the facts straight. 

    RIP Rudy

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8 hours ago, TQA said:

Our family owned a Seagull 40 Plus bought in the early 60s.Over about 30 years it pushed everything from 8 ft pram dinghies to a Jaguar 22 [ Catalina 22 clone ].

It was totally immersed in seawater at least twice in it's life but after a freshwater wash it started after a few pulls. I can only remember fitting points twice We always carried a spare spark plug but again I don't ever remember changing it. It was never changed to 25 to 1 so did leave an oil slick but it started and ran reliably.

I remember being caught out one night in a gale and needed it to push us round a headland. It ran flat out for a couple of hours [ with hot refueling] and got us home in pouring rain. 

Yeah yeah,  how'd ya stop the damn thing?

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If you can't pull the plug, a brief immersion will usually do the trick.

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4 hours ago, DDW said:

A new British Seagull that's never been started is worth some money in the right crowd. 

There's a crowd of them? :blink:

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

Yeah yeah,  how'd ya stop the damn thing?

If the throttle cable was correctly adjusted completely closing  the throttle [ small thumb lever on handle ] stops them without any spark plug heroics. Shutting the fuel supply tap and running in on the fuel in the carb looked cool if you got it right. 

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13 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

There's a crowd of them? :blink:

They even race them.

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13 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

There's a crowd of them? :blink:

Wouldn't that be a flock? Or was that just a 1980's new wave band from Liverpool with um, obnoxious hair?

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1 hour ago, casc27 said:

Wouldn't that be a flock? Or was that just a 1980's new wave band from Liverpool with um, obnoxious hair?

Saw them live in ... 1983? ... sandwiched between The Fixx (who had a terrific set, thanked the crowd, and GTFO) and The Police (in their Bored Mutual Loathing period).  It was an outdoor venue serving beer in plastic cups.

Things did not go well for the Flock of Seagulls. About the third time thru "I Ran (so far away)", the strafing began. So one answer to "How do you stop a British Seagull?" is, "Throw a cup of Genesee  beer at it."

 

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1 hour ago, casc27 said:

Wouldn't that be a flock? Or was that just a 1980's new wave band from Liverpool with um, obnoxious Trumpian hair?

FIFY

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

FIFY

Holy coiffure, Batman, was the seagull hair really that bad?

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I always figured that was where Trump got the idea.

image.png.5836b9cbde72d8f0f44d07079fb790cb.pngimage.png.ee71bdeb58ae61ea10b7572e99e493b7.png

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Whatever happened to spring metal tabs where one end was held down by a headbolt and the other end (when pushed down) would contact the sparkplug and short out the spark?

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this epic thread epitomizes all that is good about SA , well done all .

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17 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I always figured that was where Trump got the idea.

image.png.ee71bdeb58ae61ea10b7572e99e493b7.png

Holy flying nun, Batman! That right there is pure art (and a testament to the holding power of hair gel).

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13 hours ago, hobot said:

Whatever happened to spring metal tabs where one end was held down by a headbolt and the other end (when pushed down) would contact the sparkplug and short out the spark?

OMG,  I read that and it brought back memories of this Toro powered reel mower we had back in Canada, circa 1970, it stopped by quickly whacking that metal tap to short out the plug, I would have never remembered that....  had to whack that thing fast to avoid a shock

 

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On 10/16/2018 at 8:44 PM, hobot said:

Whatever happened to spring metal tabs where one end was held down by a headbolt and the other end (when pushed down) would contact the sparkplug and short out the spark?

I kinda remembered that as the way we used to stop the old one. If you have the simple version (no neutral) then getting it stopped reliably has some convenience value, and saves the bow gelcoat. 

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11 hours ago, DDW said:

I kinda remembered that as the way we used to stop the old one. If you have the simple version (no neutral) then getting it stopped reliably has some convenience value, and saves the bow gelcoat. 

We stop a gas generator that way, have had lawnmowers with the spark tab stop feature as well. Never shocked by one, but then I used the sole of a shoe to push it down.  maybe rig a (momentary?)  switch connecting spark wire to engine block & mount it somewhere easy to reach? Could even set it up as a safety lanyard kill switch, adding a safety feature & engine shutoff in one go.

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1 hour ago, Diarmuid said:

We stop a gas generator that way, have had lawnmowers with the spark tab stop feature as well. Never shocked by one, but then I used the sole of a shoe to push it down.  maybe rig a (momentary?)  switch connecting spark wire to engine block & mount it somewhere easy to reach? Could even set it up as a safety lanyard kill switch, adding a safety feature & engine shutoff in one go.

Rigging a safety lanyard goes against everything the Seagull stands for.

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I always wanted to rig the magneto spark or whatever it is called on more modern engines to the shift lever on my dinghy outboard when living aboard in the Islands. I had a fairly new really nice Tohatsu get stolen but even before that there were always people that felt it was OK to just borrow your dinghy when it was on the beach and they knew you were probably at work. You know, just a quick run out to the buddy at the far end of the anchorage you had given cash to to procure you a bag of ganja sort of thing. Didn't matter that maybe you had decided to come home to the boat for lunch and you get to the dinghy beach and freak out to find your essential dinghy not there. After having personally experienced the jolt that the ignition system can give you while troubleshooting for a bad or fouled spark plug I knew that there must be a way to harness that jolt to deter outright theft or casual 'borrower'. 

    My idea was to have an additional 'kill switch' in a hard to see location somewhere in the lifting handle or pivot mechanism of the motor that if was not set in the proper (and secret) position would divert and route a portion of the high amperage of the ignition circuit to the shift lever. My thinking was that instead of just having an additional level of protection from a complete kill switch that it would permit an unauthorized user to start the motor and then cast off and when they put the motor into gear they would get the full juice from the ignition coil or capacitor. Enough to kill the motor and make the asshole think he had just gotten killed himself. I proposed this to an electrician fellow liveaboarder and he said it should be no big challenge but he said if you did fry some old farts pacemaker or your neighbors kid got hurt it would be viewed like incidences where people rig shotguns with trip wires to protect their property. 

    Never got off the drawing board or I would probably still be locked up.

It works pretty good on Rednecks...

https://youtu.be/dKiSuVp1OKg

 

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I liked the theft protection on 007's Lotus. 

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44 minutes ago, DDW said:

I liked the theft protection on 007's Lotus. 

All the oil ran out in the driveway? "Don't worry, Q -- he shan't get far."

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Nothin wrong with the old pommie seagulls...........when they are goin........

This website is worth a look if you have the inclination to get and restore one of these marvels of prewar marine engineering.....

I do have a 5HP job, can't remember the model name but it was given to me for a restore project which I will get to ..........sometime........

http://www.saving-old-seagulls.co.uk/phpbb3/

Cheers,

Jim B)

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WRT 10% oil mix issue, I have a couple of old brush cutters that need 20:1 oil mix, the local Stihl repair guy says you can run most things on 50:1 now with the latest air cooled oils.

has anyone tried a lower oil mix on a seagull and survived?

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The Kiwis hold races each year, @Alcatraz5768 might know more.

There was a thread on the crew.co.nz forum, one of the members had built a seagull mounting craft from carbon fibre (my search didn't find the it)

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8 hours ago, olaf hart said:

WRT 10% oil mix issue, I have a couple of old brush cutters that need 20:1 oil mix, the local Stihl repair guy says you can run most things on 50:1 now with the latest air cooled oils.

has anyone tried a lower oil mix on a seagull and survived?

There are some well proven mods that allows the use of 25 to 1 on SOME Seagulls  see 25 to 1 mods

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8 hours ago, olaf hart said:

WRT 10% oil mix issue, I have a couple of old brush cutters that need 20:1 oil mix, the local Stihl repair guy says you can run most things on 50:1 now with the latest air cooled oils.

has anyone tried a lower oil mix on a seagull and survived?

If you have had a few rums you can piss in the tank and it will probably run fine on that

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    On my first real seagoing adventure bringing an old trimaran from New Orleans to the Virgins with a couple of good buddies, we found ourselves on Rum Cay in the Out Islands. I could write a book on our short visit there, but for now let me just say that we had been commissioned to repair the island villages only generator as the Mail Boat was to arrive that evening which meant there would be a big party at the bar/restaurant and practice session for the upcoming Junkanoo celebration. 

     Us three gringos had barely managed to paddle/row the little Avon rubber dink ashore a couple of hours earlier in the howling pre-Christmas tradewinds and to expedite me getting back out to the boat to get my tools, the little Bahamian madame/bar owner offered me the use of her Sears Gamefisher aluminum john boat and its equally antique and corroded British Seagull outboard. Both were barely above the high tide line with an rotted canvas loosely protecting them from constant wind, spray and sand exposure. When the owner first mentioned her 'speedboat' I pictured a Donzi or Cigarette go fast that we could joy ride around a bit in so the reality of the situation was a but disappointing. I asked about fuel for out outing and she shook the motor and let me hear the sloshing around in the integral tank and said that would be plenty for our purposes. The ride out to the boat was downwind and the motor died about the time we jumped in so two of us just paddled while my other friend worked on getting the motor started once more.

    Now he had back home a Oday Mariner 19 that had come with a Seagull and he could grab that thing from under the aft deck overhang and clip it on its stern bracket and have it running in an unbelievably short time. He had the starting procedure down to an art. Something about open the petcock, pull the cord once, close the petcock and pull a second time and then open the petcock when the motor fired up. He explained the the first pull was to prime the motor and the second would flood the motor hence the closing of the petcock.

     It always worked on his motor and I witnessed situations that I would have bet hard cash that the boat would end up on the rocks or swept under a closed bridge but he always got it fired on the second pull and motored away from peril with a smug smile on his face. We managed to snag the tri as the winds swept us past and I went on board to gather tools and My Seagull was starting to get longer run times from the old one lunger motor. Still it didn't seem like the runtime would get us back to the beach and I feared we would be blow to Haiti if we didn't make the beach. He finally gave the thumbs up and I cast off and the damned motor started coughing and wheezing and we blew back about 50 feet. The other guy and I were rowing/paddling/cussing as hard as we could and I finally found an old rotted piece of line that MAYBE would reach my stern so I swam for it and hauled my castaways and boat back. That was enough to have an 'elevenses' beer and calm down and the Seagull was brought on board for a closer examination. First thing was to empty what was left in the fuel tank which was really fuel any longer. It was basically emulsified muck and what little fluid on top with enough octane rating to fire the motor was long gone. You can rebuild those things with a screwdriver and a crescent wrench so the mechanic cleaned out the carb and cleaned up the tank and cleaned and set the spark plug gap while I searched for something we could fuel the trip back to the beach on. He also found that there seemed to be some blockage in the exhaust and it turned out that the top of the exhaust pipe where it fits to the exhaust port on the cylinder was corroded to nothing. The top couple of inches of the aluminum tube were crumbled away to that got peeled off leaving an open pipe exhaust system. No back pressure, problem solved.

      My boat ran on diesel and the stove ran on alcohol and I considered making a blend of those two. Then I found an old rusted can of White Gas which was for the old campstove on the boat which was long gone. I had put my last quart of motor oil in the Yanmar a couple of days earlier and I considered how much I dared drain out to mix with the White Gasoline but then we discovered that a gallon plastic jug still in the boat had well used MelFry cooking oil which is the favorite of Island greasy spoon chicken cooks everywhere. We strained some of that and did about a 10:1 ratio with some White gas that we filtered through the coffee filters and make our own rocket fuel. I got the longest line I had on board and tied from the stern and the jonboat and we remounted the Seagull and went through the pre-start routine and then -drum roll- the motor fired up with a vengeance and we fairly flew to windward past the stern so fast I barely was able to toss the safety line back aboard. There were blue flames spouting out of the open exhaust port of the Seagull and we were pounding through the chop so fast that what few aluminum rivets there still were left were starting to pop loose and it took both of us bailing to stem the flow. Somehow we made it back to the 'speedboat' ramp before the Seagull melted down and the new vigor that the motor display as evidenced by the new improved exhaust note brought our host running down to the beach with the last cold 6 pack of Maliks on the Island. She was thrilled at the pace the boat had shown on our triumphant returns. I asked her why there was a gallon jug of rancid MelFry in the boat and she acted like any fool would know that it was good to chum up fish out on the reef!!

     She smiled approvingly at our makeshift mods and then sent me to the generator shed (and combination outhouse!) to work my magic on the old Petter diesel. I'm surprised that she would let us near any further machinery but our reputation was on the line. Fortunately the fuel starvation on the genset was due to it being lagged directly to the concrete slab with no soft motor mounts and the vibrations had created a pinhole air leak in the fuel supply soft copper line. With my wrenches and files I was able to salvage the little compression ring and make a fresh fit for the fuel line and even add a short length of Seagull fuel line to keep the vibrations from doing the same thing in a few months. When I fired up the genset, she came running and seemed disappointed that the genset was not roaring away at twice the previous RPM's like the Seagull had done. I tried to explain but she would hear nothing of it and told me that she would go get the 'other white boy' who had transformed her outboard motor to do his magic on it. He was already at the bar and on his third Bahama Mama Milk coconut rum drink and smiled and told her that diesels work a lot differently much like Islanders and white boys off of cruising sailboats. She bought that off the cuff explanation and brought us all another round of the local rum product along with a wonderful fried fish and fungi lunch. She basically gave us the keys to the town while we were there and I'll try and dredge up some of our further misadventures while on that lovely isle. 

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Not much better than a Ras story to brighten the day.

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+1

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Seagulls have plain bronze bearing cranks. The only way you are going to get to 50:1 is with a roller bearing crank. Besides, 10:1 is much easier to calculate. 

Rasp's story just goes to show: try to do that - any of that - with a Yamaha or Honda. Under the conditions described, it would be a frozen solid door stop, and no way it is going to run on white gas and cooking oil even when new. 

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you can't use a B&S style spark shorter tab on a stock seagull plug wire because of the plastic cover  cap on the plug

and you need the cap or the plug gets wet and will not run

wish I had a dime for every time I had to remove the cap to dry the plug to get the seagull to start in the morning drew

starting fluid helps quick dry the plug and a very very small puff in carb gets them to start eazyer

donot over use the starting fluid as it washes off the oil and accelerates the wear only a very mini puff will start with mini damage

NEVER SOAK A 2 STROKE WITH STARTING FLUID more is not better

20 years of living aboard at anchor at dinner key used about a 1/2 dozen seagulls even had more then one at a time

when we did a ditch cruse miami to NC and back we had two seagulls inc a one with a 360 spin mount to reverse off a bank edge on a 24 columbia

so when one quit or broke the damm spring on the prop we switch motors to keep going

that pin on the mount makes swapping motors a 1 min deal

 

seagull foul plugs very eazy a gas torch or stove  will burn off the fouling

and the still hot plug inserted quickly will usually start the motor when all else fails

but spare new or cleaned plugs are a must have to use a seagull daily

the starting fluid can be used to clean a plug by washing and then burning off  but be very carefull as the starting fluid is very flammable

 

and yes the motor should stop when the throttle is full closed

the nut on top of the carb wire can be adjusted to allow full closed carb slide to stop the seagull

 

an other tip get a bunch not a few replacement prop springs

the broken prop springs can be re-bent after a break but they are weaker after torch hot bending so break at about 1/2 the seaweed load

a vice grip pliers is a handy tool to do that but you need the propane torch to get dull cherry heat to bend a spring but as noted you need the torch for plug cleaning too

 

summery you need spare S plugs spare  springs a propane torch and tools to keep a seagull running

 

btw I droped a running seagull in the water [forgot to replace the mount pin] late one nite

dove it back up washed in fresh hose water dryed it dumped the gas in a glass jar to remove a bit of water and ran it home in 15 min

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the other seagull killer is salt build up in the tube for the water cooling so it pugs up and over heats

as that tube is inside the exhaust tube  it gets very hot and salt builds up in it and blocks it

a 1/8 to 1/4 '' hose spray end is need to build pressure and a small tube to fit in the water out port on the block helps limit spray everwhere

a few min running fresh water will dissolve the salt and allow water to flow up the tube from the pump to the block

you know you are good when water flows out the bottom

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the other handy boat size tool for seagulls

is an old style hammer and impact tool and sockets like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/TEKTON-3-8-in-Drive-Impact-Screwdriver-Set-7-Piece-2905/205674679?cm_mmc=Shopping|G|Base|D25T|25-1_HAND+TOOLS|NA|PLA|71700000034127224|58700003933021546|92700031755124838&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIiNXI48XC3gIVC5-fCh2-oQ49EAQYAyABEgIpCfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

hitting the tool gives a high force small rotation to the bolt head you are trying to budge with out breaking it off

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Re: the thread title - buy one.

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Have one in the garage. Been stored for about 45 years. Might be a good project for a miserable winter day to try to get it running or not!

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Even if you do it on a nice day it will quickly turn miserable. :D

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