Sea Bee History

 

 

Sea Bee outboards were produced by Austin Burrell Ltd of Abbey Park Road, Leicester.
Production started in 1957 with 3 basic models,
The Minor, a ¾ - 1 ½ hp outboard, powered by a 34cc J.A.P ( J.A.Prestwich ) air cooled engine with a side exit Burgess exhaust.
The model 3, a 2.6 – 3 hp outboard, powered by an 80cc J.A.P air cooled engine with a water cooled exhaust which was cast into the leg.
The model 5, was a 5 hp outboard fitted with a J.A.P water-cooled engine that was jointly developed between Austin Burrell and J.A.P.
This was very similar to modern outboards been fully water cooled, it’s engine was also fully enclosed in a fibre glass casing/ shroud.
The range of outboards was updated in 1961, this meant that the original 3 outboards were re-vamped.
For the Minor and model 5 this was simply a cosmetic re-vamp, the model 3 on the other had had its drive leg altered from a cast alloy lump to twin tubes and a different gearbox on the bottom.
2 further models were added to the range in 1961, the 3hp Tempest and the 6hp Hurricane, Both came with a remote 2 ½ gallon fuel tank, a comprehensive tool kit, and a new engine made by Aspera of Turin. Both of these outboards had air-cooled engines and water-cooled exhausts/ legs.
The model 3 mk2 was never a success in its new form so in 1964 it was changed back to its original design.
In 1969 the range of Sea Bee outboards was drastically altered, all of the outboards offered at that time were dropped and replaced with 2 new models,
The model 2, which was a 1 ½ - 2hp outboard,
The model 4, which was a 3 ¼ - 4hp outboard,
Both of these models were completely different to anything offered before by Sea Bee, they both used J.L.O engines, the model 4 had a half shroud around the recoil and fuel tank, and both had a new paint scheme.
In 1974 Austin Burrell ceased production of all Sea Bee outboard products, however due to the large amount of outboards that was still in stock sales continued for another couple of years.

The J.L.O powered motors sold well at the beginning of they’re innings, however due to the poor quality of the engine unit problems arised, this is why it is difficult to find a good one of this type of Sea Bee, while the original range with the J.A.P engines can still be found in good running condition and capable of been put straight back into use.

The original range or Sea Bees were all painted with Gold / Bronze Hammered finish Hamerite on the leg and engine, and Old English White on the engine cowling, fuel tank, recoil starter and prop.
The model five also followed this scheme with the exception of the engine was painted gloss black inside its shroud of white fibre glass.
The J.L.O powered units were painted in a Hammered finish dark blue on the model 2, and a light blue hammered finish with a white shroud on the model 4.

Engine parts are still available for most of the range of Sea Bee outboards, please contact:-
Mark Newby at outboard-collector@tesco.net
For new and some second hand parts.
Repair and Restoration services are also available from M.Newby.