Tiny Wonder from the Past

Article By Rob Cook.

Paynesville Maritime Museum, in Victoria, has unearthed yet another piece of history from the local area, with the generous donation of a ‘home-made’ electric outboard motor.

An enterprising, maybe slightly eccentric, innovator has taken War surplus parts and combined them into a small motor capable of propelling his fishing dinghy, possibly for flounder fishing or getting into the shoreline for bream. This simple but effective motor pre-dates the modern fishing motor by about 50 years.

  •   Hand bent propeller and 90 degree drive unit
  • Electric outboard motor
  • The motor clamps directly to the boat and frame directs propeller thrust

After some refurbishing, the electric outboard, which still runs, now sits atop the museum’s display of outboards as the crowning glory and pays homage to local ingenuity. Unfortunately, the museum has not yet been able to identify the maker.

Other motors in the display include a small and large Seagull, just like ‘every family had’, and the innovative Victa Jet which combined a Victa lawn mower engine with a jet drive, like the present jet-ski. The museum is open on the second Sunday of each month from 8.30am to 12.30pm at Gilsenan Reserve, Paynesville. *Rob Cook

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