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This text is part of the history from the British Seagull Web Site.
The original design was one of many initiated by the original manufacturers, John Marston Ltd and the Sunbeam Motor Company, the makers of the famous Sunbeam motorcycles. We do, however, understand that the design was developed as a marine engine rather than an adapted industrial engine. This is probably one of the major reasons for their endurance and success.
By 1931 the first Seagulls, sold as the Marston Seagull, were in full production, these were much the same in design as the more modern engines and incorporated innovative ideas such as reverse gears and water-cooled exhausts. The engines were available in both short and long shaft and the models ranged from the Standard and the High Power through to the Super High Power. This engine was a twin cylinder 10hp version capable of powering boats up to 30 feet (9.1m).
The two men credited with the continued development of the Seagull engine are John Way-Hope, who had worked for Evinrude, and Bill Pinniger, a design engineer. They met while working in the marine division of the Sunbeam Motor Company. After acquiring the manufacturing rights and patents for the Marston Seagull engines they set up the Bristol Motor Company in Bristol and financed the purchase of those patents with dealings in light aircraft and expensive sports cars. By 1938 they had consolidated the design of the engine and had moved into new premises on the Quay at Poole, Dorset. To celebrate this milestone the name Marston Seagull was changed to British Seagull and the engine was proclaimed as 'The Best Outboard Motor in the World' - later changed to 'The Best Outboard Motor for the World'.
April 10th, 2013
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