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Waterman-the first outboard motor
It was commonly believed for many years that Ole Evinrude invented the outboard motor. We have all heard the
story of how Ole wanted a quicker way to cross the lake for ice cream for Bess, but three years prior to that,
Cameron B Waterman applied for a patent for the same contraption-the outboard motor. Waterman was the first to
produce and distribute an outboard motor, and he ended up selling 30,000 of them. He continued until about 1916,
when he sold his operation and patent to the Arrow company, and he moved on to other endeavors.
Meanwhile, Evinrude was still building and selling his outboard motors, even after Arrow went out of business in
1924. Evinrude eventually laid claim to the invention, an assertion that went undisputed by Waterman.
Evinrude continued to claim title of inventor until 1950, when Mercury did some digging in the name of public
relations. In 1949 Mercury hired an investigator to research at the US Patent Office, and found Waterman's patents.
The company invited Waterman to the New York Boat Show, where he was celebrated as the outboard's real
In 1950 Mercury featured Waterman in an ad sitting on a dock with a Mercury, poking holes in the prevailing belief
that Evinrude invented the motor. Waterman, who always said he had invented the outboard because he was tired
of rowing, was pictured with the statement: "Thanks to Cameron B Waterman, fishing is all fun because he didn't
like to row." Waterman received a new 1950 Mercury 25 for his efforts.
Waterman, who died in 1955, says that he ordered a motorcycle in 1902, according the the Grosse Ile Historical
Society in Michigan. When he removed the engine to clean it, hanging it on the back of his office chair, it occurred to
him that he could hang it on the transom of a rowboat, attach a propeller to it and drive it.
"If I hinge the engine to the back of the boat, it could be used to steer as well as propel it," Waterman's account
states. "Then in my mind, I provided it with a tiller and mounted a gasoline tank near the tiller to make the whole a
self-sufficient unit. One final idea was to allow the engine to tilt up to a horizontal position to protect it in the
absence of a keel or skeg."
"I took my drawings to a machine shop in Detroit to a friend who agreed to build it if I would get the motorcycle
engine. I wrote to Glenn Curtiss and got a 3HP 4-cycle engine." Waterman wrote.
In February 1905 they took their working model to Grosse Ile in the Detroit River and attached to a 15 ft steel
rowboat. "Although the river was full of icecakes, the tryout was a complete success except for the fact that once a
piece of ice got caught between the chain and sprocket causing the chain to run off the sprocket," Waterman said.
"We rowed ashore to replace the chain."
It was then that someone suggested Waterman dub the invention "outboard motor", instead of "boat propelling
device" or "porta-motor" as he'd been calling it. The name stuck, and at that point they knew it worked.
In 1907 they sold 3,000 motors and about the same in 1908. Then in 1909, when the Evinrude hit the market, their
sales doubled, "Because that convinced people that we had a practical machine and not a silly gadget, " Waterman
They sold the business in 1917 due to other interests. Waterman entered the army during World War I, and later
became a patent attorney.
Robert McCulloch; an outboard innovator
Robert P McCulloch was born May 11, 1911, into a family that already included several visionaries. His maternal
grandfather, John Beggs, made his fortune by investing in Thomas Edison's inventions, and founded Milwaukee's
public utility system. His own father was the president of United Railway Company, a trolley car and inter-urban
Robert McCulloch, along with his two siblings, inherited his Grandfather Beggs's fortune on 1925. Pursuing
engineering, he attended Princeton University in 1928, but transferred to Stanford a year later. He took with him his
love for boat racing, and by the time he graduated in 1932, he had won 2 national championship trophies for
outboard hydroplane racing.
Two years after he graduated, he married Barbra Ann Briggs, whose parents were the Briggs of Briggs and
Stratton. His first manufacturing endeavor was McCulloch Engineering Company, located in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. There he built racing engines and superchargers. In his early 30's he sold the company to Borg-Warner
Corp for 1 million dollars.
McCulloch then started McCulloch Aviation, which he moved to California within three years. In 1946 he changed
his company's name to McCulloch Motors. Building small gasoline engines, his competitors included his in-laws
and Ralph Evinrude. Evinrude led the market for boat motors, while Briggs and Stratton pulled ahead in the lawn
mower and garden tractor market.
It was the chainsaw niche that McCulloch dominated, beginning with the first chainsaw with his name on it,
manufactured in 1948. By the next year, McCulloch's 3-25 further revolutionized the market, with the one man, light
Robert McCulloch's empire continued to expand, with the creation of McCulloch Oil Corporation in the 1950's. C.V,
Wood, who had been involved with the planning of the original Disneyland and the first Six Flags park in Arlington
Texas, became the president of McCulloch Oil. McCulloch Oil pursued oil and gas exploration, land development
and geothermal energy.
In spite of Evinrude's market lead, McCulloch continued to pursue McCulloch Motor's quest for the outboard
market during the next decade. This quest led him to Lake Havasu, in that search for a test site. The search turned
into something far beyond the imagination and expectations of most people, and changed the course of Arizona
McCulloch was famous for innovation and new ideas, which he brought with him to the outboard business. One of
these ideas was marketing a complete line of factory matched boat, motor, and trailer combinations. The customer
could purchase the complete package, already put together and rigged at the factory. This idea became very
popular 25 years later with such companies as Bayliner. The McCulloch boats were very innovative as well, with
features not seen on any other boat. But that is another story. McCulloch also produced a very successful racing
version of the 75 HP motor, with a custom lower unit. McCulloch also had the first surface gap spark plug, 100 to 1
oil mixture, the first modern low profile fishing motor, the first diesel powered outboard, and much more. Some
projects which were in the experimental phase were a 125 HP four cylinder, radial 2 stroke outboard. It measured
18" wide, 26" long and 52" high and weighed 260 lbs. It was called the R-120, and incorporated a
turbo-supercharger plus re-entry turbine. It had fuel injection plus force feed lubrication to eliminate the need for
mixing gas and oil. It had power steering, power tilt and trim and a variable pitch prop.
To properly utilize his newly developed Lake Havasu test site, McCulloch built a dynamometer boat, a virtual
floating laboratory for testing his outboards.
Lake Havasu, named for the Mohave word "Havasu", which means "blue water", sparked the imagination of
McCulloch, who purchased 3500 acres of lakeside property along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that would
eventually be transformed into "the island". The property had originally been purchased from the Santa Fe
Railroad, by World War II veterans.
In 1963, on the courthouse steps of Kingman, Arizona, McCulloch purchase a 26 square mile parcel of barren
desert, that would become the site for Lake Havasu City. At the time, it was the largest single tract of state land ever
sold in Arizona, and the cost per acre was under $75.
McCulloch Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of McCulloch Oil, was the division that that developed Lake Havasu City.
One of the first steps was to purchase Holly Development, in 1964, to utilize their licensed real estate force.
McCulloch had purchased 11 Lockheed Electras, and formed McCulloch International Airlines, to fly in prospective
buyers from all over the country. Splashy magazine ads enticed snow-weary would be customers to take a free
flight to Paradise. When they arrived, they were greeted by one of the Holly salesmen, who taxied them around in
the trademark white Jeep. In all, there were 40 identical vehicles in the fleet, said to be the largest contingent of
white Jeeps in the world.
To spur the growth of the infant city, in 1964 McCulloch opened a chainsaw factory in the new community. Within
two years there were three manufacturing plants, with 400 employees. Yet it was the purchase of the London
Bridge, in 1968, that gave the worldwide exposure to the development.. McCulloch was searching for a unique
attraction for his city, which eventually took him to London.
By the early 60's, it was apparent that the London Bridge was gradually sinking into the River Thames. It was
decided that a new bridge would need to be built. But rather than razing the bridge, it was decided to put the
historic landmark on the auction block.
When casting his bid for the London Bridge, McCulloch doubled the estimated cost of dismantling the structure,
which was 1.2 million dollars, bringing the price to $2,400,000. He then added on $60,000, a thousand dollars for
each year of his age. This earned him the winning bid, and in 1968 he became the new owner of the London
It took three years to complete the project. The structure was dismantled brick by brick, with each piece marked
and numbered. The granite pieces were stacked at the Surrey Commercial Docks, and then were shipped through
the Panama Canal, to Long Beach California. From Long Beach the granite blocks were trucked 300 miles inland.
The peninsula was then transformed into an island, as a mile long bridge channel was dredged, giving purpose to
the transplanted landmark. Included with the bridge purchase, were the unique lampposts, molded from French
cannons captured during the 1815 battle of Waterloo.
Unfortunately, this created a drain on McCulloch's resources, as the cost to dismantle, transport, and reassemble
the bridge turned out to much higher than anticipated. Consequently, the line of McCulloch outboard motors
dropped by the wayside, along with some of McCulloch's other endeavors.
Lake Havasu City became a huge success, and Robert McCulloch realized his dream of transforming the Arizona
desert. He died in 1977.
For those who are interested, here is a brief history of Laing's Outboards.
It began in the mid 1970's, when a 1955 25 HP Johnson was purchased at a yard sale for $35. It was frozen up quite
solidly, having spent a considerable amount of time at the bottom of Lake Erie. It was intended to be used as a
project in a high school small engine repair class. (Whatever happened to those classes?)
The motor was carefully disassembled, every part cleaned and polished, then reassembled with new rings and
gaskets. It was put in the school test tank, and on the second pull sputtered to life, filling the school's basement
with that smell that can only come from an old outboard. The cloud of blue smoke, combined with smell of stale gas
and gear lube, proved irresistable. It ran well, and was promptly sold through an ad in the local pennysaver. This
brought in enough money to buy gas for the boat all summer, and a career was born. For the next several years, old
outboards were bought, repaired and sold, and the family's garage filled with outboards and parts.
The local outboard motor repair shop (every town had one) became like a second home. Countless hours were
spent digging through boxes of dirty parts, or scrounging among the racks of broken motors out back in the
weeds, looking for that one part needed to complete a project. One sunny spring day in 1979 the owner of the shop
said: "You know, I'm going to be retiring soon, and I'd like to lighten my work load. How would you like to buy my
inventory of Scott Atwater and McCulloch parts, tools and motors, open your own shop, and I will send you all my
Needless to say, a price was agreed on, money was scrounged up, and Laing's Outboards officially was born. In
1979, Scott motors, and all the variations of it, such as Firestone and Elgin, were still quite common, and parts were
still readily available. It became a niche business, as no one else would touch them. For four years, things went
well, and all it took was a call to McCulloch of California to get any part needed heading this way. Then one day, the
call to McCulloch was not answered. They were gone, and the flow of parts stopped for good. It turned out
McCulloch was sold to overseas interests, and everything was scrapped except for the chainsaws.
It was time to enter the mainstream outboard business, fixing Johnsons, Evinrudes and Mercurys. Things grew
from there, and gradually became today's Laing's Outboards.
Here are some interesting snipets of outboard history, taken at random from our library
Fact: In February 1941, the government issued an order called M-1-a, which required special permission for the
use and casting of aluminum. Since the outboard was strictly for portable application, heavy metals could not be
substituted for aluminum. This meant possible bankruptcy for Mercury. It was at this time that the government
expressed a need for a light-weight gasoline motor of approximately 4 HP, suitable for powering a portable chain
saw. In May 1942, Kiekhaefer received a contract for 3,300 saw engines, which turned out to be the rescue from
ruin that the company needed.
Following is an excerpt from a Mercury service bulletin dated August 12, 1950.
SUBJECT: Throttle Position KG-7
High speed operating position of the spark lever is extremely important on the KG-7 Hurricane. This adjustment
will vary considerably, depending on the type and weight of the boat being used. Those owners using Quicksilver
lower units on comparatively light hulls will affectively operate the engine with the spark throttle at the extreme
When heavier type boats with engines employing standard lower units are used, the extreme advance position of
the spark will cause preignition. This will noticeably affect the performance of the engine causing it to slow down.
Advise all owners to follow these instructions for correct operating position of spark lever.
1. Start motor and allow to warm up for several minutes at slow speed.
2. Slowly advance spark lever to extreme fast position.
3. From this position slowly return the lever toward "slow" until the engine begins to lose speed.
4. Next advance the lever toward the fast position approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This will be the correct full speed
operating position. Mark this position on the protector rim for future operating reference.
Never use more spark advance than just what is needed to maintain maximum R.P.M.
25 years ago- April 1977: A mighty Mercury Black Max 1750 pulls a record 20 water skiers around the lagoon at
Sea World, Orlando. This feat broke the previous record of 17 Australian skiers, pulled by a 200 HP OMC
Chrysler is just one part of a long lineage of outboards. It starts with the Kissel Motor Car Co. back in the 1930's,
which made small outboards, some of which were sold by Sears under the name Waterwitch. After WWII, Kissel
was taken over by West Bend Aluminum Co., which continued to manufacture motors for Sears, calling them
Elgin. In the 1950's, West Bend started to sell motors under their own name, and enjoyed much success, gaining
a reputation as a manufacturer of high quality products. In 1965, West Bend was purchased by the Chrysler
Corp. which continued to manufacture the engines. The Chrysler engines were always good sellers, known as
good running, basic, uncomplicated engines. In the early 1980's, the Chrysler Corp was undergoing many
financial problems. Part of the financial bail-out plan of Chrysler was that they sell their non-automotive assets. In
1984, the marine division was sold to US Marine of the Brunswick Corp. The engines continued as Force until the
line was discontinued in 2000 due to their inability to meet upcoming anti-pollution regulations.
The following is from a Mercury service bulletin dated May 25, 1950.
Subject: 1. Adjustment of KF-7 and KG-7 Multiple Disc
2. Adjustment of KF-3 and KF-5 Multiple Disc
Subject 1. The proper torque pressure on the clutch plates of the KF-7 and KG-7 models is set at the factory at
22-28 foot pounds. If the pressure required to slip clutch is greater than 28 ft pounds, it will be necessary to
remove the prop nut and add additional steel shims located on prop shaft spline shoulder. The reverse
procedure is necessary if the torque pressures are less than 22 ft pounds, that is, removing several steel shims.
Lock prop nut in position with locking tab washer when adjustment is correct. Replace all graphite grease lost
due to disassembly of clutch.
Note: The clutch on KF-7 engines with serial numbers beginning with 368274 have 14 thin fiber discs and 13
thin steel plates. Engines below this serial number had 8 fiber and 7 steel plates which were of greater
Subject 2: The proper torque pressure on the clutch plates of the KF-3 and KF-5 models is set at the factory at
100-125 inch pounds when disks are wet. This simulates actual operating conditions. If torque pressure is
below 100 inch pounds add one or more .010 shims(part #M-50-230) directly above the locking tab washer. If
necessary to reduce the pressure, remove steel shim or slightly loosen prop nut if all shims have been removed.
Caution: Lock prop nut in position with locking tab washer when adjustment is correct. Do not use graphite
lubricant on clutch plates. (KF-5 orKF-3).
MERCURY BOAT HOUSE BULLETIN: A factual report from the Mercury proving grounds.
Test no. 55-63
Make of boat: Penn Yan
Built by: Penn Yan Boat Co.
Boat type: Runabout (Swift)
Net hull weight 235lbs
Length 12' 3"
All tests are conducted over an accurately measured
course, and certified by a graduate engineer.
Gross weight 550lbs
Engine Mark 55 prop 48-23587
Transom height Tilt Pin Hole Speed
16.5 " 2 37.65 mph
16.5 " 3 38.95 mph
17.5 " 3 41.10 mph
This bulletin is strictly for the people who are interested
in speed only, and to show how a boat is set up for
speed. An addition was built on the transom and two
metal braces were installed to reinforce same.
In setting up a boat for maximum speed, run the first test
with the engine way in close to the transom; then move it
out one tilt pin hole at a time until maximim performance
Next start adding 1/4 " sticks (rev sticks) on top of the
transom until speed starts dropping off or the prop starts
cavitating; when this happens, lower the transom 1/4"
and the boat should be set proper for top speed.
As we mentioned earlier, Briggs and Stratton played an important role in the early days of the outboard
industry. In the 1920's, Evinrude Motor Co was struggling. Its founder, Ole Evinrude had left the company
earlier and had now returned to form the ELTO Motor Co. Ole Evinrude introduced many innovations to
outboards, such as extensive use of cast aluminum, and the ELTO Quad, which dominated the racing circuit.
Evinrude Motors could not keep up with ELTO and another newcomer, Johnson Motors.
In 1928, Stephen F Briggs of Briggs and Stratton surveyed the market and began to assemble a corporate
complex. He purchased Evinrude Motors, and then purchased Lockwood motors. He finally convinced Ole
and Bess Evinrude to sell, and thus formed Outboard Motors Corp. with Ole Evinrude as President. With the
stock market crash of 1929, demand for outboards fell dramatically. The Lockwood line was discontinued in
1930, and Evinrude/ELTO struggled through the depression. The company returned to profitability in 1934,
and in 1935 Steve Briggs and Ralph Evinrude purchased Johnson Motors to form the Outboard Motors Corp.
that continued for many years.
It is difficult to guess what the outboard business would have been like had not Steve Briggs entered the
picture, but it is safe to assume OMC would never have existed.
Below are excerpts from Mercury Sales Bulletins:
August 22, 1950
To All Dealers
Subject: Grantland Rice Paramount Sports Film
A motion picture short subject titled "OUTBOARD SHENANIGANS", is scheduled for September-October release. It
is one of the finest sports films ever made, and it features MERCURY OUTBOARD MOTORS exclusively. The subject
matter is highly spectacular and will create a great deal of interest in Mercury when the picture is shown.
July 2, 1957
To All Dealers
Subject: Rumor Campaign by Mercury Competitors
During recent months there seems to have been a concerted effort on the part of some of our competitors,
including OMC and Scott-Atwater to circulate damaging rumors regarding Kiekhaefer Corporation, its products and,
in some cases its executives. One very prevelant rumor is the statement that "Mercury is a racing engine and no
good for anything else."
We therefore must ask your cooperation in reporting promtly to us any such incidents. Please include in your report
the details of the incident, stating the name of the person making any derogatory statements about our Company or
products, his Company and position, the time and place of the remarks and names of any other persons present.
To All Dealers
Subject: Model KF5 "Super 5" Price Change
The Kiekhaefer Corporation has shown there to be a direct loss on each KF5 model shipped. Obviously this cannot
continue. We cannot make cost reductions or compromises that would be reflected in Mercury quality or
performance. There is but one alternative, we must raise the list price. On or after the 25th of April, 1949 the FOB
Cedarburg list price on the KF5 model will be $179.50.
The theme of the 1950 dealer meetings was dispelling myths. The Ole Evinrude story was myth no.1, effectively
dispelled by Mr. Waterman. Carl Kiekhaefer also got the press involved, as evidenced by a story in the New York
Herald Tribune by Red Smith entitled "The Outboard Heresy".
Myth no. 2 was that sales for 1949 were down 40%.
Kiekhaefer reported that sales in fact were up by 21%. The message to dealers was: "Don't let all the talk about
gear shifts scare you!"
Myth no. 3 was that a large motor was required to water ski. Kiekhaefer showed that a Mercury Super 5 will pull a
skier along at a good clip.
Have you ever wondered what it was like for an outboard motor technician 50 years ago? Below are some
questions that a graduate of the Oliver Outboard Motor Service School were expected to know the answers to.
These are taken from an Oliver Outboard service school manual from the 50's.
1. Why is a 2 cycle most common in outboard motors manufactured in the USA?
2.What is the most common oil mix in modern outboards?
3.Why is the correct gas-oil mix important?
4.What part requires the most lubrication in an outboard motor?
5.How is the fuel pump operated on the normal two-cycle outboard?
6.Stuck piston rings may be caused from what reason?
True or False:
7. There is only one way to install a piston in the cylinder.
8.A carburetor mixes the proper oil-fuel ratio.
9.On the two cycle engine, the piston fires every other time
it comes to top dead center.
10.An engine that will not start may be caused by flooding.
Not very high tech, was it?
The following is from an Evinrude dealer mailing from 1956. Author unknown.
ODE TO AN OUTBOARD PARTS CLERK
I work behind the counter
In an outboard parts store;
Sometimes I'm called a genius,
Sometimes I'm called more.
I claim I'm no technician,
Yet when a job goes sick,
Some guys mail and ask me
What makes the darn thing tick.
I'm supposed to know the numbers
Of bolts and nuts and screws,
For every single motor made
In the last forty years.
But life would be a pleasure
and I'd grin from ear to ear,
If customers would only tell me
The Model, Make and Year
The first Mercury outboard debuted in 1939, claiming many industry firsts. According to a 1939 dealer
newsletter, among these firsts were:
*Full-feathered automatically-stable steering.
*One-piece driveshaft housing enclosing exhaust passage,
water line and driveshaft.
*Streamlined engine cowlings.
*Vacuum exhaust system.
*External reed valves with T-shaped manifolds
Continuing with 1947 firsts:
*Splash deflector on driveshaft housing.
*"Uni-Cast" one-piece gearcase.
*One-piece die-cast twin cylinder block with integral water
jacket, cylinder head, intake manifold and exhaust manifold.
*Forged aluminum pistons.
*Multiple disc slip clutch propeller.
*Single-line suction type remote fuel supply system.
*Four-cylinder, alternate firing, two-cycle engine
*Built-in synchronized remote throttle control.
I'm sure many people could dispute these industry "firsts". One that comes to mind is the 1950 16 HP Scott,
which had a single-line suction remote fuel system.
Here are a few more items from the Mercury archives.
In 1940, the first Mercury branded outboards were introduced. The lineup included five models- three
singles and two twins- with retail prices that ranged from $42.95 to $98.50. The new line of outboards were
named after the Roman god of speed, Mercury.
E.C. Kiekhaefer began his business in a plant in Cedarburg, Wis. in 1939. It wasn't until 1946 that
operations moved to the current location in Fond Du Lac, when Kiekhaefer purchased Corium Farms.
Even after the expansion, grain elevators were used for engine test cells.
During the summer of 1961, Ann Strang- the mother of Mercury executive Charlie Strang- visited her son
and a team of engineers at a research lab in Oshkosh, Wis. Her son explained their efforts to make the new
100 HP outboard appear smaller and more compact in size. Ann's observation and suggestion forever
changed the face of Mercury outboards. She stated "Well, a large woman always wears a black dress. Why
don't you paint it black?" The group concurred. In Charlie's own words "We painted one black and it
shrunk about 20 percent!" It was in the fall of that same year, as a 1962 model, the first black Mercury and
the industry's first 100 HP outboard motor came off the line. Who would have thought it started with a
In 1958, Mercury produced the world's first 6-in-line outboard. Mercury was very proud of this powerplant, and
rightly so. The following paragraph is from a 1958 sales brochure:
"Behind the Mercury 6-in-line design are tens of thousands of Kiekhaefer engines- V-fours, opposed fours,
radial engines, big bore twins, V-twins...designed, built and tested by Kiekhaefer since 1939 to prove the best
design for Mercury multi-cylinder high horsepower outboards. Kiekhaefer found that only the in-line engine was
compact enough, smooth enough, quiet enough and efficient enough to deliver all the benefits the public
wanted in big outboards."
This was all well and good, but as many know, the biggest reason many of these engines made a quick trip to
the boneyard was the fact that they had no gearshift, and gained the nickname "dockbusters". The following
paragraph describes the high opinion Mercury had of this design:
"SO FAR AHEAD NO CHALLENGERS ARE IN SIGHT! With all its mighty power and astonishing performance the
Mark 75 is so simple to control that a child can safely handle it. A single control lever does the work...just push
the button to start, push forward to go ahead, pull back to reverse--action so fast, so easy, so foolproof you can
actually rock the boat back and forth! The Mark 75 is direct-reversing, simply by changing the direction of
crankshaft rotation-- no gear-shifting, no bulky lower unit gears, no excess weight...another terrific Mercury
Easier said than done. This motor represented a striking contrast between great engineering on the top end,
and terrible decision making on the bottom end.
Modern outboard motors, both 2 cycle and 4 cycle, are vastly superior to their predecessors from back in the
1960's in terms of pollution, fuel economy, noise and overall sophistication. Back in the 60's, large outboards
consumed an enormous amount of fuel, mainly due to the fact that all the unburned gas that condensed in the
crankcase was dumped overboard, instead of being recycled. In the old days, your boating activities were often
determined by how much gas you could carry aboard.
Apparently, some ingenious person decided to do something about it. I will quote from a letter sent to the
president of the Goggi Corporation in praise of their remarkable new invention.
"In the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin dated July 2, 1967, I read an article in the Better Boating section on your
device that drains unburned fuel and recycles same, The Goggi Kleen-Zaust. After preliminary arrangements, it
was determined to have the Goggi Kleen-Zaust installed on my outboard. Before the Goggi Kleen-Zaust was
installed, we took a 15 minute run south on the lake with a full tank of gas at cruising speed. We then reversed
direction and made a 15 minute run north on the lake. For this 30 minute run, which was timed to the second, we
used exactly 2.9 gallons of gas. After installation of the Goggi Kleen-Zaust we made the identical run under
identical conditions and used exactly 1.4 gallons of gas. This produced a fuel savings of better than 50%. In
addition to this savings in gas, the smoke in the air as well as the oil slick in the water was eliminated. I have
nothing but praise for the Goggi Kleen-Zaust and it is certainly a must for all owners of outboard motors,
both from the standpoint of tremendous fuel savings, and the total elimination of all air and water pollution."
What was this device called the Goggi Kleen-Zaust? I have never seen one or heard of it before. You would think a
revolutionary invention such as this would have been very successful.
Here are a couple of trivia items for fans of the old Scott-McCulloch outboards. First, did Scott ever make and
sell a 50 HP outboard? I have heard of one, and seen references to it, but I have never seen one, nor seen a
mention of it in any official Scott publication. Did it exist? I became even more curious after finding a
hand-written note from the factory to selected dealers. The note instructed dealers to immediately destroy all
literature that mentioned a 50 HP motor. It had no explanation. Later, I found a service bulletin that solved the
mystery. At the 1963 Chicago Marine Trade Show, Scott announced they would market the 45 HP motor as a
50 HP, since the engineering department had obtained considerably better than 50 HP in dynamometer
testing. Due to objections from dealers, and the fact that numerous lakes had restrictions on motors 50 HP
and larger, Scott decided to continue rating the motor at 45 HP for 1964, and instructed dealers to destroy all
mention of a 50 HP.
Second, has anyone ever heard of the McCulloch R-120? It was a revolutionary experimental outboard
designed by McCulloch's Advanced Development Division. It had many features that were to become
standard equipment on outboards 40 years later. This proves there is no such thing as a new idea. I will quote
from the McCulloch literature:
"With 125 HP, the R-120 is more compact than today's outboards of half the power. A 4-cylinder, radial
2-stroke engine, it weighs only 260 lbs., hardly more than 2 lbs. per HP. It is 18" wide, 26" long and 52" high.
The R-120 incorporates turbo- supercharger plus re-entry turbine. At top speed, gets an estimated 17 free HP
from supercharger-driven air impinging on blades of crankshaft-mounted re-entry turbine. Has direct cylinder
fuel injection to eliminate carburetors. Has forced-feed lubrication to eliminate need for mixing gas and oil.
Fuel injection delivers greater economy than is available in most 4-stoke inboards. It has power steering,
variable pitch propeller, power tilt and trim. Only the lower unit turns for steering."
Keep in mind this was 1961.
One type of promotion for outboard motors years ago was radio spots. These are seldom heard today, but were
quite popular at one time. Of course, Mercury had their own way of doing things, boasting "Your customer will
hear the difference-- tie in to Mercury Radio today!" Here is a recommended 50 second radio commercial from
Thunderbolt turns you on and keeps you going! Thunderbolt...designed and built by Mercury engineers...the first
major breakthrough in outboard motor ignition in 50 years. Thunderbolt can deliver almost twice the electrical
energy, twice as fast, as any other electronic ignition system. Just turn the key and Thunderbolt ignition fires up
your Mercury. From idle all the way to full bore, power is smooth and steady. Thunderbolt ignition dramatically
increases your engine's reliability, efficiency and safety because there are no breaker points to wear out or
replace. No more ignition tune-ups--and timing never needs resetting. Mercury's Polar Gap spark plugs last for
years...not for a few weeks. Even badly fouled, shorted or oiled plugs run fine when you can zap 40,000
Thunderbolt volts through them. You get Thunderbolt ignition on every Mercury from the 50 HP Merc 500 to the
brand new 125 HP Merc 1250-- one reason they out perform anything in their class. See your Mercury outboard
dealer and let Thunderbolt ignition turn you on!
Mercury even sponsored the evening news; "Listen to Bill Stern, Chet Huntley and Harry Reasoner: all brought to
you by your Mercury Outboard Dealer."
In the 1950's the race was on for larger and faster outboard motors. The major manufacturers such as OMC,
Mercury and Scott kept adding cylinders and cubic inches in the HP race, but some, such as Oliver, took a different
approach. In a press release dated April 28, 1958, Oliver boasts:
"This is another step forward and is an Oliver FIRST in large horsepower in the industry. It is accomplished
through the use of two of our present field proven Olympus motors with matched counter rotating propellers. The
practical elimination of torque and cavitation through the counter rotating props, greatly improves the ease of
steering of a boat. Additional top speed of 3 to 4 MPH with counter rotating props can be expected. The factory list
price for this is $1280.00 for two motors."
This is the first instance of a large HP twin engine counter rotating design. It did not prove too popular, mainly due
to the high initial cost. A Mercury Mark 78 could be purchased in 1958 for $950. The counter rotation idea faded
from view with the demise of Oliver in 1960, only to become popular again many years later with the advent of high
horsepower outboards. To make a motor counter rotating, Oliver made a simple modification to the shift linkage
bell crank in the exhaust housing, and changed the prop. The forward gear would become the reverse gear, and
the reverse would become the forward. Oliver sold a kit for the do-it-yourselfer to change his motor to counter
rotating. Oliver was traveling in uncharted water though. In June of 1958, Oliver issued a service bulletin to correct
previous instructions. It instructed you to install the right hand rotation engine on the starboard side of the boat,
and the left hand engine on the port side. Trial and error....
MORE TO COME!
Volvo has always been a major player in the world wide marine engine industry, and had a very early start. In 1907,
Fritz Egnell and Edvard Hubendick were on a boat trip near Stokholm, Sweden when the engine conked out. They
were able to restart it just before crashing on the rocks, and decided then that they could build a better engine. Their
first engine was called the B1, a single cylinder, carbureted 3 HP model. There were five men at the first company
meeting, so the engine was called Penta, the Greek word for five. In 1922 the U2 outboard was introduced- a two
stroke 2 cylinder motor, and 343 units were sold the first year. Later versions, the U21 and U22 were offered, and the
outboards were produced until 1935, with nearly 35,000 units sold.
From an Oliver service bulletin dated June 1, 1960:
Each week inquiries come to us regarding the availability of parts for the former Chris Craft outboard motors,
Challenger and Commander. We take this opportunity to remind you that in the purchase of Chris Craft Motor
Division by the Oliver Corporation we obtained parts, tools, dies, jigs, fixtures, etc. Through the ensuing years we
have maintained our Chris Craft repair parts inventory in a balanced inventory of high mortality parts. Our repair
parts stock, again this season, is in a good balanced position.