using an outboard

  • david1
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06 Nov 2007 19:35 #20142 by david1
using an outboard was created by david1
Has anyone out there any experience,of using an outboard on the Mirror, whilst cruising. Next year,I hope to sail my Mirror on the Norfolk Broads.
As I will only be able to spend a week, I have bought a British Seagull outboard. This will reduce any rowing when the wind drops, and allow me to make the most of my time.
Do you keep the motor on the transom to one side, when sailing, or do you stow it? If so, where do you stow it.
Any suggestions

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  • Roger Clark
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07 Nov 2007 10:11 #15789 by Roger Clark
Replied by Roger Clark on topic using an outboard
I must admit I have never used an outboard on a Mirror, but have on numerous other tenders. I feel sure you will enjoy using the Mirror with an outboard.

As you are not racing you could leave it on the transom. Just make sure it is in the raised position whilst sailing. It will alter the balance of the boat as it is a fair amount of weight on the transom, and being mounted off centre will also need the crew to counter balance this.

If you decide to take it off the transom then I would recommend placing it alongside the centre plate box with the prop facing forward. The main disadvantage of this is the reduced floor space, but the boat will sail better.

The only other bits of advice I would give are:-
To ensure you have a security rope attached to the outboard and boat to stop losing it overboard if it is not securely mounted.
Use some thin plywood pading on both sides of the transom to stop the paint and varnish getting damaged from the clamping of the bracket.
Before removing the outboard from the transom make sure the fuel is switched off and the air vent on the fuel tank is closed to reduce any fuel leakage (Seagulls are well known for this).
Clean any fuel spills up immediately and use a degreasing fluid once you have finished your holiday to remove any lasting mess as it will have to be done again the next time you plan to do any repainting.

Hope this helps and you enjoy the Norfolk Broads.

Roger Clark

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09 Nov 2007 16:38 #15794 by Burl Solomons
Replied by Burl Solomons on topic using an outboard
Hi there,

I used an outboard on my wooden Mirror during the summer.

The first time I used it for my first trip out in the boat - it proved very useful, as I hadn't done the luff rope up properly, and it got me down the river to a shingle bank where I could land and sort it out. Thereafter, mounted on the transom, all it did was get in the way, and it's only a tiny 2HP Evinrude.

I will NEVER take it out while sailing again unless it's stored in the bottom of the boat, preferably in a bag to protect the boat's finish.

I have, however, used the Mirror with 2 HP Evinrude to tow my son in an Optimist down the river, into Christchurch Harbour for half an hours sailing, then back up again. The 2 HP is more than adequate to cope with a 3 knot tide, even towing. There are a couple of things you should take with you / consider, though...

1) a rubber car floor mat - use this to protect the transom and aft deck - I don't even use outboard clamps, just the car mat - works a treat!

2) If you are on your own, get a long tiller extension so you can sit on the centre thwart, or you will have the bow pointing skywards, and use twice as much fuel travelling at the same speed. If the outboard, like mine, doesn't have a twist throttle, a bit of broomstick lashed to the outboard tiller will do!

3) As you intend to use a Seagull, carry a spare plug... seagulls are pretty heavy on the 2 stroke oil too, so make sure you buy enough.

4) A trial run is well worth it before you actually go off on your adventure.

Good luck!

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  • Richard Larson
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11 Nov 2007 15:18 #15796 by Richard Larson
Replied by Richard Larson on topic using an outboard
The old MIRROR MANIA publication contains a useful article showing how to construct a mounting bracket that would permit a British Seagull motor to hang over the center of a Mirror transom (and avoid the rudder hardware). It's posted on the US MirrorSailing website at:

We are hoping that the Mirror Class Assn will eventually permit US MirrorSailing to scan and post all the articles from MIRROR MANIA as a service to Mirror sailors worldwide. The publication is as scarce as hen's teeth on this side of the pond.
-Richard Larson (70369/26688)

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  • trw999
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19 Nov 2007 10:18 #15813 by trw999
Replied by trw999 on topic using an outboard
Years ago when I was a lad, I was given a British Seagull Forty Minus as an iron topsail for my Mirror. When the wind died in Chichester Harbour on the way back from East Head and I had to be back home, it always helped me out.

The Seagull lived alongside the centreplate housing , on the port side. The prop spring did gauge out several strakes near the locker end and I would recommend a hard pad or similar is placed there to avoid this. In addition, I made up a simple centreboard top, which was secured in the top of the centreplate housing, thus preventing water being forced up and out of the slot into the cockpit.

I always placed the Seagull on the transom as close to the centreline as it would go - and removed the rudder! - and sat as far forward as possible too. I had a Seagull extension tiller which was helpful in this respect.

I still have my wee Seagull and it still starts first or second pull. There is an excellent website for them at


M 6745 1966-1976
M 21823 2006-?

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