British Seagull? Dinghy engine advice needed - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2007
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British Seagull? Dinghy engine advice needed

Dinghy's are a pain in the tail to me... I am looking for some advice.

We bought our boat last year and it has a 15 HP Johnson that is huge and heavy . We have an Avon 3.41 that we have so far kept deflated and in the Lazarette. I never feel like dealing with that dang engine - It takes a hoist and PitA rig.

Growing up we had a small wooden dinghy with A British Seagull outboard. Most of the time we towed the dinghy, but the British Seagull could be handed to someone on the dinghy and had a built in gas tank. It seems so logical to me. Not to mention that the engine was purely simple and reliable.

I don't think they make them any more (am I right?), but why would that not still make sense? I can buy a used British Seagull. I realize it is only 3hp, and it may not even move the Avon that I have, but I really don't care about planing or speeding around on a dinghy...I just want to be able to get from an anchorage to a shore. I also would like to be able to remove it from the dinghy with ease.

So my question is....Does anyone know anything about a British Seagull and why that wouldn't work for me now? Also, is there an equivalent small outboard. Weight and convenience are everything to me on a sailboat. If I avoid using the dinghy because its such an aggravation I might as well not have one.

Any thoughts, ideas appreciated....Here is a picture of the engine for those that haven't seen one...

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Old 05-02-2007
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There are a few on ebay, and an official site with parts & tech tips.

I bought a Mercury 2.5 four-stroke from BassPro a couple weeks ago ($700, 3-year warranty). It weighs 35-lbs, runs smooth & reasonably quiet with enough power to push the SJ21 around.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I have the 3.5 HP Tohatsu four-stroke outboard, and it weighs about 40 lbs with gas. It's probably a far better choice than a Seagull, which is a noisome, smelly, two-stroke.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I don't know aything about the Seagull, but I have used a 4stroke 6 (mercury) and 8hp (Yamaha). The 8 is heavy and a pain, but you will enjoy your dink again. My advice is to just learn to deal with the weight and go buy a real motor.

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A seagull is simple and reliable. However you may find that a small modern motor is lighter for the same power. It depends on the use you have for a dinghy. It sounds like you dont need to travel far or fast. A smaller dinghy may well suffice as well. A 3.5 will push a 3.4m fine. I certainly wouldn't want to struggle lifting 15 hp.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I use an early 90's 3hp Johnson to push my 10' johnboat. As long as the carb is clean and it doesnt get trash, it runs forever. Its a 2cyl 2stroke motor, weighs about 60lbs. Really smooth, but a little noisy.
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Old 05-02-2007
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Oars . More to your question, many modern 2-4 hp outboard four strokes have built in gas tanks, and weight little. Probably a better choice than the old two stroke, IMHO.
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Seagull

I use a 3 1/2 Tohatsu 2 stroke that weighs about 36lbs. Pushes my Brig 9 1/2 foot RIB just fine and gets me to and from the mooring and out exploring new anchorages great.
Last summer while anchoring at Cuttyhunk in the Elizabeths I saw a fellow try to get his 8 HP outboard from his dingy to his Trawler. He and the motor ended up in the drink. Lost his engine in 10' of salt water and mud. Cured me from wanting something more powerful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump
I use a 3 1/2 Tohatsu 2 stroke that weighs about 36lbs. Pushes my Brig 9 1/2 foot RIB just fine and gets me to and from the mooring and out exploring new anchorages great.
Last summer while anchoring at Cuttyhunk in the Elizabeths I saw a fellow try to get his 8 HP outboard from his dingy to his Trawler. He and the motor ended up in the drink. Lost his engine in 10' of salt water and mud. Cured me from wanting something more powerful.

I think another argument can be made that davits aren't just for solar panels.....
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Old 05-02-2007
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Practical Sailor rated outboards a few months ago. The Honda outboards rated well. You might want to look at this review.
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