Note: "British Seagull" is a trademark owned by British Seagull, Sheridan Boatyard, Moulsford, Oxfordshire, OX10 9HU, UK.

Thirteenth Edition

"The Best Outboard Motor for the World"


for the
MODELS 40 & 100


Fleets Bridge
Poole, Dorset

Telephone Nos. Telegrams:
Poole 1651 . . . 6 lines "Seagull, Poole"


The world of engine owners is divided into two classes . . . the vast majority are those who never get any trouble, and get heaps of pleasure, both for themselves, their families and friends, day in and day out . . . whilst the second class is a very small minority which is always in trouble, causing misery to itself and constantly drawing on the kindness and good fellowship of other people for aid and assistance.

Curiously enough, this minority is always by far the most vociferous, and has no hesitation in blaming the equipment fated for use, verbally and in print.

Frankly, blaming engines and everything to do with them may have had a certain amount of basis in fact twenty or thirty years ago, but today it just doesn't hold water . . . to be in trouble today is seldom the fault of the engine, whatever its make . . . once, or even twice, may be bad luck, but continuous trouble is nothing else but a reflection on the user.

There are hundreds of thousands of engines today operating day in and day out, without any particular attention, and in the most unskilled hands, completely faultlessly, as can be seen by anyone, and it requires no skill nor mechanical ability at all to run a "SEAGULL."


The little book is written to ensure that your outboard motoring is 100% pleasure, and if you read it and abide by its advice, you need have nothing to fear, even if you scarcely know a propeller from a connecting rod.

In many ways, a motor is like a human being . . . normally, it is fit and well, but it must have some essential things in life, and if it doesn't get them it falls sick.

It's absolutely essential that the fundamentals in life are provided for a motor, and almost all the ailments attached to outboard motoring can be accounted for by the attitude of "It doesn't matter . . . any old plug will do . . . any old fuel . . . any oil that's available . . . mixed in any proportions . . . no need to read the instructions, I know all about engines . . . never mind about fixing the engine on the boat properly, we're in a hurry . . . this'll do . . . that'll do," etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Let us say at once, this won't do . . . and is asking for trouble. Your "SEAGULL" doesn't ask for very much, and there's no difficulty in giving it what it requires . . . we don't write this book for fun, we do it because it's vital for your own pleasure, security and peace of mind.


Nothing is simpler, more reliable, and for that matter more popular, than a Model 40 or 100 "SEAGULL", but we'll start off with a few absolute "MUSTS" . . . heed these "MUSTS" and good service will come to you automatically.

1. Carry out meticulously the instructions which follow as regards fuel and oil.

2. Don't use grease in the gearbox, use oil, and oil only.

3. Use the right plug, and absorb completely the special information given hereafter about plugs in general . . . the plug is perhaps the most important item to watch and care for.

4. Don't do your first trip with a new engine under rush conditions, in front of a large audience. For instance, avoid a vital trip, catching the last of the tide, in a small dinghy, laden to the gunwales with gear and people, in half a gale in the pouring rain . . . this sounds silly, but it's exactly what people do only too frequently.

Choose fine weather conditions . . . a useful, and, if possible, seamanlike and mechanical companion . . . a quiet and secluded spot, where success or otherwise doesn't matter much . . . take your time, and see that the engine is fitted exactly as laid down in these instructions, and get set thoroughly with the new mechanism before starting serious business.

Nobody feels entirely happy with a new piece of mechanism . . . you must practise, and get your eye in.

If you are going to run into trouble, it's much more likely to happen on your first trip or two, than at any other time.

The engine is new, and a little stiff . . . you haven't got the knack of pulling the starting cord . . . you're inclined to run the thing gently, when what it actually wants is plenty of hard running . . . and in fact every factor is against you, so put in an hour or two, quietly, under ideal conditions to get the hang of things.

The motor itself, like a human, will require some time to understand its new master . . . after you've worked together for twenty hours, you will be astonished how the whole outfit, you included, really gets down to business.

If you run into trouble, and want any help, write or telephone the manufacturers immediately . . . don't listen to the advice of experts on the spot, or so-called mechanics, because WE can do more to help you by return of post, or within five minutes on the phone, than anyone . . . we should be able to, after specialising for twenty-five years in this class of engine.

If you write, don't just say, "I can't make my engine go."

Give us all the information you can: the type of fuel and oil . . . the type of boat . . . a description of what actually happens, or doesn't happen . . . and particularly let us know if there are any circumstances which are unusual . . . such as a special or unusual boat, etc., etc. . . . give us, especially, the ENGINE NUMBER.

If the engine cuts out suddenly, without warning, whilst running, it's ten chances to one that it's plug trouble.

Now, this is the vital point to remember.

This is the whole crux of the matter . . . if the engine won't start (always supposing that there is fuel in the carburettor, and that it hasn't run out of fuel) and shows no sign of life after three or four pulls of the starting cord, and ONLY three or four, WHIP OUT THE PLUG AT ONCE . . . don't go on pulling the cord.

After two or three attempts, every time you pull the starting cord you render the engine more and more unlikely to start at all.

If it doesn't start after two or three attempts there's something wrong, and pulling the cord makes matters worse and worse.

The cause of the trouble, initially, is more than likely a speck of fouling bridging the points of the plug . . . if the plug is removed at once, and the points cleared, on replacing the plug the engine will start immediately.

But will people do this? . . . No, they won't . . . instead, they go on pulling the starting cord for twenty minutes or so, pumping more and more petrol into the engine, and filling the plug with oil, and then have to row home, and sometimes (if they've got the strength) write a furious letter to the manufacturers.

We have no sympathy with these people at all.

Finally, remember that in any motor boat, however quiet, your voice can be heard much more clearly by surrounding craft than by your own companions . . . a supposedly confidential and innocent comment about people or their boats may well become unknowingly a public broadcast . . . there's probably enough trouble awaiting you when you get ashore without adding to it!!!

Well, good luck, and fair winds and tides, and don't forget the manufacturers are ready to help you with the best of willing advice should you need it . . . and lastly, the wise owner attaches a safety lanyard to any outboard engine as an added precaution to avoid losing it overboard.