What has SOS has done for you?

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Adrian Dale
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:58 am
Location: Tasmania, Australia

What has SOS has done for you?

Post by Adrian Dale »

Reflectling on the years since joining Saving Old Seagulls…

I have been a member for five years if I remember correctly, it has lead me to some delightful new friends and enabled me to help people when they have requested my input or assistance. One such instance was a private message from Queensland requesting me to look at an engine that had been advertised on Gum Tree in Hobart. I then assisted for shipping to Queensland, sadly the details and the chap for whom I provided the help has faded from my memory, I do apologise.

The forum has made me think about continuous running of Seagull Engines without changing gear box oils which led me to make my first circumnavigation of Bruny Island with two of my trusty gulls, a distance of 70 nautical miles. This was an exhilarating blue water adventure with beautiful three metre, rolling swells that exploded on the cliffs to leeward to magical effect. Part of the way I was escorted by a pod of Bottlenose dolphins skimming underneath my rubber inflatable and rubbing skin to skin. A detailed trip log was posted immediately following this first trip. So intoxicated by the experience I opted to make a second trip in a friends dear little twelve foot Huon Pine dinghy, 'Lollipop'. This time I used a slightly larger Silver Century Plus long shaft as against the original Century Short Shaft. Both engines proved successful without changing oil in gear box and maintaining sixteen hours of continuous running.

Following on that same year, I purchased an AO off EBay for UK 700. This purchase caused some upset amongst members and the posts during that time make for interesting reading. Later that year, Bruce from Perth posted a well engineered repair for an OA gearbox, I suspect that the repair may have problems with dissimilar metals, however I realised this could be overcome by careful selection of correct materials for the repair. Well done Bruce, a fine piece of work.

In 2015 on my trip to the UK, I joined the forum on a canal trip from Cholsey, joined by Charles UK Large, Jeremy Gannett and Jon, Headdownarseup. What a fabulous day that was, a wonderful time during which I made forged some great friendships. In addition I bought Frances for the trip and an SD off John Williams. Unbeknown to John, somewhere in the past it had it's leg shortened and it's drive shaft changed. Athough the ran beautifully powering the allowable boat speed for the canal, the makeshift drive shaft failed, one end opening like a flower! Oh by the way HUGZ, the max speed on a canal in the UK is 6MPH, not knots.

April 2016,l I suffered a massive stroke. I received lots of private messages of good wishes from many of the followers of my previous posts. That year I had been planning two expeditions, the first to cross Australia's Bass Strait, the second one 'Commorative Marsdon UK Canal Classic, beginning a short distance from the Sunbeam Factory, following the canal and river system all the way to London. I had carefully mapped out every lock and canal from Wolverhampton to Wolich on the Thames, just downstream from London Bridge. The concept was to use Marsdons' for the entire run, however for the Seven River that is tidal, I purchased two modern Seagulls, an Osprey and Curlew. Two beautiful engines in near factory perfect condition. Sadly, neither of these two trips were undertaken With the Marsdon Canal Classic, I had hoped to be joined by SOS members throughout the UK.

During my time in hospital a total of three months, I learned that it was expected I had at most only 30 days to live. And then, I received a call from Charles Large, (Adrian is now smiling) and we spent an hour of my thirty days speaking about ignition coils on OA engines. Great stuff, probably why I'm still here to tell the story! Finally this year I returned to the UK with the hope of catching up with a few chaps from the Forum whilst staying at Beech Cottage a house overlooking the corn fields of Suffolk where we had a visit from Jon, Belinda, Adam and Callum from Bristol. 'Headdownarseup' and I rebuilt my OA during their very short stay ready for a test run. I met Jon of course through the forum, an active member and is always the first to assist any new comer, with endless questions about oils and gear box requirements. To newcomers these queries are very important and the forum is a great place for a straight answer and further assistance when required. Jon helped me with the engine, removed a magneto off an SD, attached it to the OA, then mixed a lean fuel to air ratio of 6 part fuel to 1 part oil, filled the carburettor bowl, then after a quick squirt of 3 in 1 into the plug, Jon wound the start cord on, gave her a pull and she started! It was the most exciting moment for me, I lept up to give hugs all round, tears in the eyes of all. Forum Friendship, thank you Jon so much for all you have done for me and others on the site, YOU ARE A STAR! thanks to a;;hope to make more friendships next year,AJ, especial thanks to Allegra for typing this SOS, has given me much pleasure this year and provided me with idears and experiences I might never otherwise have had.

Subsequently, Jon arranged another Cholsey Run with his family and friends, John and Kate. Allegra drove and we took the Curlew to power his boat. Fun day, Jon and his big mate John loaded me into the boat at the boat ramp, Jeremy joined us later at the Seagull Chandlery for the run back and to the pub. A first for me in a boat, I was settled in the cockpit of the boat and even had a go a steering. Great pics of the day that Allegra doesn't know how to load up, sigh. Another massive achievement for me, I never thought I'd ever be in a a boat again let alone have a go at steering. Thanks again to the forum's members for providing opportunity and trust in my ability to recall past skills!

And one more thank you to Jon, for selling Frances to your friend, then collecting Frances and four remaining engines in the freezing conditions a couple of weeks ago from Beech Cottage in Aldham. You are by far one of the most generous people on the planet!

Wishing you all a very joyous 2018 filled with many days of water based action and let's hear what the forum has done for YOU!

Adrian and Allegra
headdownarseup
Posts: 2484
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: bristol

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by headdownarseup »

Once again i'm humbled.
It was nothing, really.

I often think back to that afternoon in the shed with the OA. Fingers crossed, will it go :shock: Yes it will :P It was the few moments after all the noise had stopped is when it hit us both. Tears of joy i can tell you. Happy memories and something that will stick with me for a long time yet. A couple of months later on my return visit with the boys was even better as the little OA managed to stretch its legs a bit more albeit in a bin, but still ran like a clock for maybe 20 minutes, i can't remember now but it was FANTASTIC to hear it bark again.
The OA is coming along a bit now. The ignition coil is still a little bit fragile but just about makes a spark, although not quite strong enough for continued use. This i'm hoping will get renewed in the new year along with some of the other aesthetics.

As for the MEGA canal run from Wolverhampton to Woolwich, this is something i would love to have a crack at in the future, maybe not with such an historic and iconic motor as a Marston but still with a seagull in one form or another. I've chatted with "big john" and he's up for a challenge so you never know, it might actually happen one day.

Adrian from me to you, don't ever stop being you. We all love you for who you are and that's a genuine down to earth and very thoughtful man. I only wish i was there with you in person. Thanks mate, you're one in a million. (enjoy the fireworks :P )

Allegra, please give the 'ol boy a hug from all of us. He's a diamond.
and for everything else you've said, it was my pleasure. :P

I feel i should correct slightly that the engine we used at Cholsey this year was an Osprey (not a Curlew). Great engine nevertheless and pushed my heavy boat along like it was nothing. I have both engines currently stored in my attic, so anyone wishing to purchase either of them can pm me for further details. It would be good to try to get those pics of Cholsey uploaded onto here, especially of Adrian at the helm again. (was that photo stored on Allegra's phone i wonder?)

Next year i'm looking into some more waterborne activities, only this time without an outboard motor in sight. I've recently acquired a 17 foot fibreglass canoe which i'm planning on paddling down the river Wye in south Wales with my bestie John and eldest son Adam.
Provided the weather lends a helping hand there might also be a gathering with Jeremy on the canal close to us here in the southwest. Good place for elderly seagulls to stretch their legs, but i need to find a decent little boat that i can tuck away without taking up much room. My rather dilapidated Zodiac inflatable is full of holes now and is a bit of a lost cause so that went to the boat scrapyard in the sky.

SOS forum and website for me has been a place to make some cherished friendships, many of which have helped out in the past with requests for help somewhere in the world. I've never stopped learning from some of you guys and i personally thank you for that. It's what we do, we're all here to help each other and long may it continue.

Here's to a happy and prosperous 2018.


Jon
tambikeboy
Posts: 842
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:01 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by tambikeboy »

One word only (entertainment) have a nice one and I'll raise a glass to the lot of you.....xxx
Roll me up and smoke me when I die
Regret is just a memory written on my brow
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NaughtyBits
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:30 pm
Location: Bermuda

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by NaughtyBits »

Put some rum in that glass, Tam, for those of us across the pond.
tambikeboy
Posts: 842
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:01 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by tambikeboy »

Thats exactly what it shall be you have me hooked. Cheers :lol: :lo
l: goslings black...
Roll me up and smoke me when I die
Regret is just a memory written on my brow
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NaughtyBits
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:30 pm
Location: Bermuda

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by NaughtyBits »

Nice, Tam, well done..!

Re: SOS - Been lucky enough to meet some first class individuals (Adrian & Allegra, Rick) and some highly questionable ones (Charles), in person. And been in touch with a few more highly questionable characters (Tam, John, Hugo, etc.) over the interwebs from time to time - usually when I need something..!

Never mind all the good info to help me spark interest in the offspring in the hopes they'll take care of the motors when I find myself 6 ft on the wrong side of the grass.
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Hugz
Posts: 3249
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Sydney

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by Hugz »

Highly questionable indeed! I'm the epitome of sophistication. A gentleman of class and temperament. An advocate of the downtrodden.... 8)

Enjoy our fireworks... our gift to the world..... fun
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flyguy
Posts: 364
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:01 pm
Location: newcatle upon tyne
Contact:

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by flyguy »

It's given me an addiction, I only bought one cos it was Cheap :roll: I have now had 4, it has got me some new pals, as well as a new hobby, I now know what a Piston ring looks like, I almost understand what a carburettor does and I have an understanding of spanner sizes
thanks everyone
1965 40 - 1990 55 - 1954 - Little Forty -1986 EF
Dougelove
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:04 am
Location: Herefordshire

Re: What has SOS has done for you?

Post by Dougelove »

Got me out on the open water without sore arms and blisters! Bought a boat (dinghy) to take the wifeee and daughter out on.. although I will still have me time in the kayak (may even make a mounting bracket for FP!!!? :twisted:
John has offered a wealth of knowledge on my scrap of information leading me not to buy a villiers magnito century and get a forty plus wipac instead. I had no idea. So I used his advice and found one that John has indirectly serviced and runs 15/1.
Pictures to come....
Everyone is entitled to be stupid; but some abuse that privilege. Before you start to judge me, Step into my shoes and walk the life I'm living and if you get as far as I am,
just maybe you will see how strong I really am.
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