A portuguese Seagull history

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Portuguese gull
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:20 pm
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A portuguese Seagull history

Post by Portuguese gull » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:56 pm

Good evening:

In one of those moments you wander around the Internet, I thought about searching the history of an outboard engine I have for more than 25 years. My father brought it home after the shipyard he worked for , for nearly 20 years went bust, and the permises were sold to propriety developers. He found a "strange old outboard engine" lying about under a working bench, and as the scrapmen were about scavenging everything, he decided to keep it, as it seemed rather peculiar and old. I was a little kid at the time, in the early 80,s, and lived in a flat. The only place found to store this Seagull outboard was...on top of my wardrobe!

...And there it stood for nearly 10 years!

When I was in the Airforce, I came across an inflatable dinghy, one of those used by the military to bring troops ashore during an invasion. I bought it as a military surplus. I thought to give it a go using the Seagull. It was completely dry, and I needed some petrol to put in it. "What petrol?"....The only information was a sticker saying in the tank "Oil Ratio 25:1"...What does this mean? Not a clue.... I used then the same mix I was using to my Vespa Scooter. I put it in a oil drum full of water, and gave it some push with a rope. Nothing.... The spark was very old, and I needed a new one. The trouble was, the spark looked very odd, too large compared with others. I finnaly found one from , i guess, a Ford Cortina or Taunus, and it sparked to life again ! The beautiful sound of a two stroke engine, and all that oil mix smoke...

I installed the Seagull in the dinghy, and obviously was to "tall"... I remedied it by fabricating a "plug" which I inserted in the Shaft column, bringing the propeller a bit "up" near the waterline. I runned this boat sucessfully ( Altough as not as fast as the military version that had a 100 HP "Johnson"...With the Seagull, the enemy would have time to put so much holes in the soldiers and the boat, that would look like a cheese grater...) for years and years until as recently as 2006. I was using it in the dam of Castelo de Bode ( Go have a look in the Google maps to admire such beautiful scenery), but increasing legislation against two strokes, and me not having the slightest form of "official" qualification to operate a boat, made me store it indefenately in a secure barn in Central Portugal.

Local portuguese fishermen often came to me saying " it is a remarkably reliable engine...but has a problem ! It scares the Tagus river fish!...".

I dont know when I will have the opportunity of ever go to the water with it. But as an engineer by trade, I appreciate so much this piece of british industry, that I decided to keep it the best I can, even as a decoration . For me, since my early years, this was indeed, "the best outboard of the World".

I just liked to shere this history with you. If you ever go to Portugal, please send me some email.

Transmig@gmail.com

All the best.

Miguel.

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