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    As you may have seen from a couple of my other posts, I am in the process of getting set up for some Wayfarer cruising.

    When I bought my Wayfarer, a Mk1 GRP, I inherited a Seagull Forty Plus outboard. I have spent the last few weeks trying to get it going. Everybody I have spoken to who knows Seagulls says “they run forever”- well apparently this one doesn’t!

    I have spoken to a Seagull specialist, and established that for the likely cost of having it professionally repaired and serviced, it really isn’t worth saving. However, the same mechanic has a renovated Forty Plus that I could buy for a reasonable price.

    I am now faced with a choice – splash out on something a bit more modern, or stick with a Seagull. I kind of like the idea of running the Wayfarer with the original motor that she started with bac in the 70s, but would I be better off with something more modern? Second hand (ebay) outboards look quite reasonable, so cost wise there is not much in it.

    I will be sailing in the Bristol Channel, and with children, so definitely need to be able to rely on a good motor.

    Any recommendations either way?



    Dave Barker

    Hi Pete,

    Did you speak to John Williams at SOS? If you’re sure you want to run a Seagull then he will (has) be(een) able to advise you. John will quote a realistic, fair price for the work involved and he’ll take pride in doing a good job.


    P.S. Having looked at John’s site it seems more than likely that you’ve spoken to him – I see a nice low hours Forty Plus for sale. I’ll leave this reply for anyone else who might be interested in Seagulls or perhaps Eventides – another of John’s passions.



    If you want reliabilty then I belive you have to stick you neck out and go for a modern 3.5hp 4stroke such as the Tohatsu or Mariner, same product.
    Fairweather Marine at Fareham will do one for £410 not a lot of money when you have the safety of your family to consider 🙄 . Seagulls were good in their day but belive me they don’t go on for ever, things move on.


    The biggest problem with small outboards is that the water cooling channels in the head block up with sand and salt. At least my old suzuki 2-stroke seems to suffer from this a fair bit. Even when you run them in a bucket of fresh water they tend to block up every few years which means taking the head off – cleaning the channels and replacing the gaskets. I spoke to a mechanic in Southampton and he said it’s a very common problem and the only way to avoid it is to use the motor regularly – which I don’t do because I like sailing 😀

    I saw a 4-stroke – air cooled Honda 2hp at the boat show this year. If I was buying a new one that’s what I’d go for.




    Good choice the Honda – I am very pleased with mine (and they are 2.3 hp now)

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