1960 Sea Lancer

Suggestions, concerns, and what is the correct power plant for your Thompson.

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1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Lockhartia » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:00 pm

Hello all!

After 13 years of sitting in a garage, I have finally convinced my father to hand over the reins to his 1960 Thompson Sea Lancer! His father bought in new in '60 and it has always been in the family!

However, the outboard is of some real concern as it hasn't been started in over 13 years and was...finicky....at best when it went into storage. It is a 1969 Johnson 60hp "Seahorse." It was always used in saltwater.

This spring I will have a chance to get up to where the boat is and pull the motor to have it evaluated, but I was curious if having it rebuilt was really the best way to go (assuming it's even possible). Part of me would really like to try and keep the boat as orginal as possible, but my wallet and Connecticut gas prices aren't sure if that's the best way to go, especially as I have found a pretty nice deal on a 2003 Honda 4 Stroke 60hp! I am a complete noob when it comes to outboard motors, so truth be told I'm not even really sure what I should be looking for in the first place. The boat will primarily be used to putter up and down the CT River and around a local lake. It's not doing any waterskiing or anything like that.

Would it be worth it to put the money into rebuilding a 40+ year old, loud, gas guzzling motor for the sake of keeping things original, or would a newer motor be a better investment? Is a 60hp even neccesssary? My father told me the boat initially only came with a 45hp but was upgraded in '69 so that they could pull waterskiers. I have access to powdercoaters through my work and was even considering having the motor cover painted up like the old Johnson if I did get a new motor.

Any tips/tricks/personal experiences would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Lockhartia
 
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Phill Blank » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:47 pm

Lockhartia,

I would check to see what the cost to get the older motor back into working condition would be then make your decision. You might want to hang on to the old motor if you plan on taking the boat to boat shows just for originality.

Depending on how fast you want to putter around will depend on motor HP. The more HP the faster you will go and more power to tare up the water.
Depending on the model boat you have and the year that will determine the max HP motor the boat was rated for. Is there a OBC plate on the transom with a HP rating and load rating for the boat? If not get the info asked for under "What Do I Have" on the main page of this site, i.e. exact overall length, width, depth, serial number for transom plate and some pictures and we should be able to determine the model you have and that will determine motor HP rating.

Having a newer motor for daily use is a way to save gas and having the older one for show or back up sounds good too.

Good Luck,

Phill
Image
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Bill Dunn » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:43 pm

I have a '59 Sea Lancer and it is rated for up to 90 h.p. I have a '63 85 h.p. Merc on it and I can get between 35 to 40 mph according to the speedometer in the boat. Since the 60 h.p. Johnson isn't original to the boat, I would check it out and if it would take too much to get it going I would kick it to the curb. A 60 would push it pretty good as long as you don't plan on big loads. If you can get a good price on the 4 stroke, I would lean that way. If the old Johnson was used in salt water the way you said, it could be in tough shape. Back then they didn't use much stainless, so any aluminum or steel will be pretty rough. Just my thoughts
Bill
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'59 Sea Lancer
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby LancerBoy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:23 am

Very cool to have that boat in the family since new!

Since the 1969 Johnson motor is not original to the boat, what difference does it make if you get a newish 4 stroke? You will get points deducted at judged shows for the 1969 motor. You don't have to put the original 45 HP motor on her transom to be "original". Anything from 1960, the same year as the boat, would be OK. Evinrude and Johnson had 75 HP in 1960 and Mercury had 80 HP. Any of those gas guzzling, polluting monsters would work! Oh, and the Mercury does not have a neutral.

From your tone, I think it would be better for you to find a new motor. For relability, fuel efficiency and pollution issues, get new.

Andreas
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Lockhartia » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:02 am

I'm not planning on any shows, so that doesn't worry me at all!

I will still have the old engine evaluated. Who knows, maybe somehow I will get lucky and it won't be all THAT bad to bring it back to life.

The newer engine would be nice, but of course they are 2-3 times the price of something older. I still need to have the boat itself looked at this spring to make sure it's in good working order, otherwise, worrying about the engine may be a little premature!

Around my neck of the woods, finding an ouboard in the 50-60 range seems a little on the rare side, which is also why I'm curious as to what, exactly, does this boat really need to still be enjoyable but not grossly underpowered?

If I wanted something 100hp and up, I would have my pick of just about anything!
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby LancerBoy » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:24 am

The 1960 Thompson of Peshtigo Sea Lancer was rated for up to 90 HP. The 1960 Thompson of NY Sea Lancer was rated for up to 95 HP.

Andreas
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Torchie » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:29 pm

Yes it is possible to rebuild these older motors. My question is does it need to be "rebuilt" or does it just need a tuneup and an impeller replacement.
I am currently working on twin 1957 35 horse Johnson's that have not been run since 1970. Cleaned out the fuel systems. New coil and spark plugs. New impeller,seals and lube in the bottom end. Fresh gas and wow, they run like a top. Didn't even have to change the points as they were still fine.

That being said I am using the motors because they were added to my 55 Thompson Off Shore by the original owner in 1957 and I like old stuff.
Newer outboards are surely more fuel miserly as well as having a lot of other things going for them including oil injection and self winterizing. But yes they aren't cheap.

I think that your biggest hurdle is going to be finding some one that is knowledgeable and wants to work on a older outboard. I do my own work but I also get parts from a local marina that has been around since the 40's and much of the parts I need are in their inventory, but nobody buys them any more so the parts guy usually gives me a deal.
Being it is a salt water motor you might have some issue such as corrosion to deal with but if it was flushed after being used perhaps not.
As has been stated it is not like the motor you have now is strictly true to the vintage of your hull. But their is perhaps a sentimental attachment. If you replace it just stash the old motor if you have the room and run the newer motor.
Welcome aboard and keep us posted.
Torchie.
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby Lockhartia » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:06 am

I don't have the knowledge to work on the motor myself, but there's a place in CT not far from me call the Outboard Exchange that specializes in outboards, and they are more than happy to take a look at the old Johnson.

I'm only assuming rebuilt as it hasn't started in 13 years and was always run in salt water. I like to prepare myself for the worse and be happy when it hopefully isn't as bad as I imagined!!
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Re: 1960 Sea Lancer

Postby johnthompson » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:44 am

It sounds like you are beginning on a great project. We have a 1969 Merucry 125 hp on a 1963 18' Super lancer, Big Thom. It runs like a top even now with over 600 hours on it. I have a 1968 100 HP Johnson "pickeled" in the garage for when it quits, although I would be tempted to slap a new Evinrude E-tec 90 hp or 115 on it as we do river trips and distant lake trips in Big Thom. As you likely know, they measured horsepower differently on old outboards than on today's outboards. 60 HP on a new motor is more than 60hp on a 60's vintage motor. Someone on this site will now the ratio. I think it has to do with where they measure the horsepower.

We run a 1966 40 HP Evinrude on our 1953 16' Super Deluxe. A 50's motor might look better for purists, but the 40 HP Lark came with the boat and works well and does not use much gas---all things that matter for folks like us who believe in using our old boats.

We look forward to seeing you and your "new" Thompson on the water.

John Thompson
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