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St. Lawrence Engine in Mullins Launch...

Old Marine Engine » Boats with Early Inboards » St. Lawrence Engine in Mullins Launch: What I have learned « Previous Next »

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Username: mullins13

Post Number: 20
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - 01:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It has been a while since I last posted on oldmarineengine.com. I spent a lot of time and money restoring an old W. H. Mullins launch. When I first got the shell of a boat, it had a small Dispro motor sitting in it and I eventually traded out for a 1930s 4HP St. Lawrence XB. I can tell you that it has not been an easy road for me in getting the boat in working order. I frequently became stranded away from the dock. Every time I would head out, something went wrong. No buzz, no water cooling, no ability to advance timing, and continued stalling would be the order of the day. My outings became less enjoyable and more of an occasion to feel stress. I worried that at any moment, the engine would quit. My exhaust billowed black clouds. I was frustrated and nearly gave up.

I decided that my lack of knowledge was the main problem and that I really did not understand why things were happening with my engine. There is an enormous amount of information within ome.com, but much of the information is not focused on a newcomer like me. There was no concise place to learn about the various aspects of engine operation as ports are covered an opened, carburetion, cooling, drive train, propeller dynamics, horse power, combustion and electronics.

Overall, I find using my old motor quite interesting. It draws a lot of attention when docking. There are no other similar engines in boats on my lake in Minnesota. Why would anyone in there right mind spend so much time with this old technology when you can simply (and more cheaply) hop into a more modern vessel and speed away leaving a boat like mine in its wake? The majority of old two cycle engines I see on ome.com are mounted on a wooden frames and are run more as a curiosity than for any function. Maybe this is the future for this type of engine. I would hope not. But how will old marine two cycle information be handed down to the next generation (especially in an actual boat)? Does anyone want to go slow on the water anymore?

During this past winter, I dedicated myself to learning as much as I could about my two cycle engine and boat in as much detail as possible. Wow, was I surprised at my lack of knowledge and that there was so much to understand and learn.

Are you in the same boat as I am? Are you a beginner two cycle marine captain? If so, I recommend that you work through the information at this site:


You can read my comments as I became more knowledgeable and perhaps learn from my foibles and lack of experience. The site is mostly dedicated to my St. Lawrence engine, but likely has application to any old two cycle marine engine.

The 2012 boating season should be an exciting one for me! Check back on the site frequently as I will continue to post comments as I get back on the water.
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Senior Member
Username: miro

Post Number: 627
Registered: 11-2001

Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Paul, you've done a wonderful job with your work on the St Lawrence engine.It is a very useful addition to the body of knowledge in OME.


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