[youtube][/youtube]Seagull started in 1931, originally called the Marston Seagull, after the company John Marston Ltd. The engine was always designed to be for a marine use, not as many are, from an industrial background. This fact alone gives us the reason why so many are still in use!

Unusually, British Seagull are still owned by a UK company, not some foreign corporation. The original engine was quite advanced for its time with reverse gear, water cooled exhaust and long and short shaft engines were available. They began to really grow the business from 1938, calling the seagull – “The best outboard motor in the world”. This was later changed (for obvious reasons) to – “The best outboard motor for the world”.

Seagull outboards and spares are listed here.

During the second world war, seagull outboards were made for use on light assault boats, because of their ability to run for hours on end! After the war the range of British Seagull engines was extended. The outboards are not named as other outboards are – by their horsepower, but given names such as “featherweight, lightweight, forty plus, century and silver century. British Seagull reached their peak in sales during the 1960s.

Another version of the Seagull, the QB Series was developed in conjunction with Queens University, Belfast. They are regarded as being at the forefront of research into engine technology. It was shown at the 1987 Boat Show at Earls Court, in London. However, during the 1990s with competition from so many other small outboards they could not continue in business. Production finally stopped in 1996. By 1999, Chillington Marine Ltd. decided to pull out of the marine market.

Sheridan Marine decided to try and continue with the British Seagull name and supply spares for all the engines. A further blow to the two stroke outboard motor market came in 2007. It was made law that manufacturers could no longer produce two stroke engines for sale. This caused some confusion among boaters. Two stroke outboards can still be used and sold second hand but no new ones are to be made.

British Seagull outboards are so solidly made that there engines just seem to go on and on. Spares are easily acquired and servicing is straightforward. Each year people new to boating are introduced to these motors and another generation falls in love with them.

Be Sociable, Share!