I’ve discovered that an old Seagull 40+ in decent condition will start first time whenever I need it, move Macavity around at two knots in an emergency as well as being very cheap to buy, run and maintain. Really I only use my little seagull if I have to get the dinghy across to my swing mooring against a strong tide, so the fact that it’s a bit of an oily old hippy enraging relic doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I much prefer to row or sail if at all possible. The fact that most of these, would be, environmental saviours who tut or whine at me about my illogical love of classic British machinery are happy to drive little Jeremy a million miles a year to school in their Audi Hypocritees, relieves me nicely of any pangs of conscience I might have had. There we go, nice to get that off my chest.

Fact is, a good seagull will run beautifully on a 25/1 mix, plus it’ll run on eco friendly bio oil (I’ve heard, but I’ve not tried it yet as I just don’t use it enough to be bothered). So it really doesn’t seem any worse than any other of the two strokes that we all see on our waterways at all times. It’s probably better really, as the really polluting bit of our stupidly consumeristic western lives is actually mining all the minerals, smelting them, carting them about the globe, beating them into metals, casting, machining, painting, carting again and selling them in big stupid power hungry showrooms to people who’ve driven there in massive Range Rovers…. probably.

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My new standby seagull even has the far more desirable Wipac ignition system for extra good reliable starting.

 

So I thought I should do my bit for the environment and ensure I would always have a good supply of old seagulls to use on my boats. Yes, I’ve bought another one….. well, two actually. One perfectly new looking 1970 40+ museum grade relic from a bloke in Poole, which has now been oiled up and hung from a beam in my workshop, and a pile of bits that used to be a beautiful little clutched 40+ of about the same age. Now, I didn’t mean to buy them both but I was a bit busy last month and wasn’t watching my ebay bids properly. Was quite surprised to have to eventually spend a day driving about collecting my winnings from irate sellers who clearly believed I’d got a bargain. I had.

Very clever system this seagull clutch. Incredibly tough.

Very clever system this seagull clutch. Incredibly tough.

My plan is to salvage the clutched leg from the pile of bits and fit it to my original 40+ that I use on the dinghy (only when absolutely necessary you understand). This will mean that I can start my little outboard out of gear before I get out of the sheltered calm of Cockwood harbour and be sure of not getting swept a mile downriver by the tide before I can sort myself out. An unmanly luxury I agree, but I’m often short of time and needing to get a wriggle on. Having stripped the leg down to it’s component parts, it too seems nearly new with no wear or damage of any sort. A quick call to John at www. saving -old-seagulls.co.uk should see the required gaskets and other hardware turning up in the post very soon. Just a shame that somebody has ruined what was probably a great little classic outboard motor through neglect and abuse.

This was a fairly unworn clutched seagull 40+ before some muppet destroyed it.

This was a fairly unworn clutched seagull 40+ before some muppet destroyed it.