Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter Storage

One of the cool things about old boats is they are works of art. If you approach the subject correctly you might even be able to convince your better-half to allow you to display the boat when friends come over. That way you can spend your time discussing the finer aspects of "yachting". Here's the Dorsett in winter storage.

I'm told winter storage has a different meaning in places that are not Southern California

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Advanced Marine Debacle

When we bought the Dorsett the former owner said it was having "starter problems" but was running otherwise. The starter turned over the motor (without plugs) so I was sold. Since a starter is a simple fix, I took it up to a local outboard service shop who said they were willing to work on old outboards. So I dropped my boat off at Advanced Marine in Costa Mesa, CA.

June 2012
In the beginning of June I asked Advanced to sort out the starter issue and give the motor a complete tune-up (plugs, points, clean the carbs, etc.) I knew I needed a couple new batteries and the motor needed some serious TLC.

A couple weeks later I called them to check in on the progress and they confirmed the starter was no good and said that they couldn't get a replacement. But they did offer to sell me a replacement motor. I declined replacing the motor, as I wanted to keep the Dorsett as original as possible. So I picked up the starter from Advanced and sent it to a friend (who manufactures motorcycle starters) to have the starter rebuilt. My friend refurbished the starter and dynoed it and two weeks later I returned with the refurbished starter.

July 2012
A couple of weeks went by and I hadn't heard from Advanced so I called them to check in on the progress. They told me the starter was still no good and questioned if anything had even been done to the starter. I sent the starter back to my friend and asked them to go over it one more time and to do what ever it took to get this turning. So they went over it again and another two weeks went by. I dropped off the re-refurbished starter at Advanced and a couple weeks later I hadn't heard from them so I called to check in on the progress, and they said the starter was still no good.

August 2012
Frustration began setting in and not wanting to suggest to my friend that they didn't know what they were doing... so I found a starter company back east ( who sells rebuilt vintage starters. They shipped me a freshly rebuilt starter and I dropped it off at Advanced Marine. A couple weeks later I hadn't heard from them so I called Advanced to check in on the progress and they claimed that the SECOND starter was no good. (Note: I would recommend Zorkos to anyone. They offered to refurbish the starter again at no charge. Whatever Advanced was doing wasn't Zorkos fault.)

September 2012
Since Summer had passed and the boat wasn't going into the water anytime soon, I decided to pickup the boat and regroup. When I picked up the Dorsett, Advanced Marine charged me $100 to R&R the starter four times. The battery cables had been thrown away, everything was disconnected (starter solenoid etc) and and there were no starters installed on the boat. I had to go back to Advanced Marine and request that they give me back my starters. I did get back two starters one was definitely fried. So I assume it was put on my motor and turned until it smoked.

Bottom Line: I would not Recommend Advanced Marine in Costa Mesa, CA for your old boat.
The boat went into storage for the Winter while I contemplated my decision to buy an old boat and keep the original motor. Come to find out, the only mistake I made was to take it to Advanced Marine. They never called me, I always had to call them to find out what was happening. They offered to sell me another motor, several times... they even had a "period correct" motor sitting in their showroom that they offered to sell me the day I picked up my boat.

Need a starter for your Flying Scott?
Here is what you are looking for: Delco Starter - Part Number #1113559
  • Lester 3923 / pic # 140-0110
  • Type: starter
  • Mfr: delco
  • Voltage: 12
  • Rotation: ccw
  • Teeth: 10
  • Str type: dd
  • Short note: mcculloch marine, 60hp, 1959-62
  • Ace tri-star cm3923n
  • Alltech 104-3923
  • Bepco 80-3923
  • Boston auto 3140-0110
  • Cosmos 90-3923
  • Delco 1113515, 1113559, 1113573
  • Lester (old) 3909
  • Nastra 3923
  • Quality 3923
  • Romaine electric 41-3923
  • Stratoline 80-3923
  • Tsa 3923n
  • Wilson hd 91-01-3625
  • Zorkos 3923
  • McCulloch marine outboard 60 hp 1959-1962
  • Scott Atwater marine outboard 60 hp 1959-1962 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interior Redux

After we got her home, we pulled the front and back seats and took them to Marce at Surf City Upholstery in Huntington Beach. Marce is a great guy who you might know from watching Chip Foose's Overhaulin. Marce redid the seats with color matching vinyl and sewed us a nice two piece grey marine-grade carpet.

The rear seat folds down and flips forward to access the fuel cell and batteries.

The front seat features a  center glovebox / arm rest.
The back of the front seats include storage cubbys.

The dash includes the original vintage Airguide speedometer flanked by the matching Scott tachometer and integrated start switch and electronic choke panel.
The "Styled by Raymond Lowey" dash plaque below the bow/stern lamp switch.

If you look closely at the photos you will see the inside of the boat is painted grey. The previous owner new floors installed by the previous owner.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dorsett and Flying Scott History

1960 Dorsett Belmont

Manufactured in Santa Clara California, Dorsett Plastics Company began producing Endura Craft boats in 1955. In 1958, the line became Dorsett Boats. The founder Richard W. Dorst, (Dick) was a US Navy veteran, University of California graduate engineer, and alumni of the Harvard Business School.

In 1960, Dorsett was acquired by Royal Little's Textron, Inc. The company was retained as the Dorsett Marine division. In 1964, Dorsett became independent once again when Textron sold the Santa Clara Division of Dorsett Marine back to Dorsett Plastics Co. Finally, American Marine Industries (AMI) acquired Dorsett in 1968, keeping Richard Dorst as manager. AMI liquidated the Santa Clara plant in 1970. Upon liquidation several of the Dorsett molds were sold to other boat manufacturers who continued building boats similar to the Dorsett line for several more years.

Of particular note, in 1959 Dorsett announced  a styling partnership with famed industrial designed Raymond Loewy. Among other things Lowey designed  the Studebaker Avante, various Coca-Cola machines including the famous "boat motor" counter-mounted fountains. He also designed the Lucky Strike logo, the US Mail logo and the paint scheme for Air Force 1.

The 1959 Dorsett brochure promoting Raymond Loewy's styling partnership featured illustrations of a dash glovebox, fold-down seat backs and compartments in the rear deck.

Although Dorsett boats continued to have the "Styled By Raymond Loewy" badges on the dash for several years, none of the three items from the 1959 brochure are included in my 1960 Belmont model.

If anyone has any more information on Loewy involvement with Dorsett, I would love to learn more!


McCulloch Flying Scott 60

In the 1960's boat motors were usually installed by the dealer so a new boat could have any one of a variety of "correct" motors. Our Belmont was equipped with a McCulloch-Scott Flying Scott 60 hp motor. This motor was highly respected because of its high hp to weight ratio and it is considered to be "sexy" motor because of is visually striking cowl design.

This outboard engine weighs approximately 168 pounds. It has 3 cylinders. The pistons have a 63.3 displacement. The bore width is 3.13" and the stroke length is 2.75". This model has a electric starter.

Scott-Atwater Mfg. Co. was started in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was purchased by McCulloch Corp. in 1956. McCulloch changed the brand to Scott, followed by Scott-McCulloch.

Robert McCulloch, founder of McCulloch Corporation along with his two siblings, inherited his Grandfather's fortune on 1925 and  pursued engineering at 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. It was said he was prouder of his championships than his college education.

McCulloch was already building small gasoline engines at the time he purchased Atwater Scott in 1956. His main competitor in the boat engine business was Evinrude (OMC). Robert McCulloch was married to the daughter of Steve Briggs, co-founder of both Briggs and Stratton and, with Ralph Evinrude, of Outboard Marine.

In spite of Evinrude’s market lead, McCulloch pursued the outboard market for a decade. Eventually becoming the world's third largest manufacturer of outboard motors.

During this time McCulloch's passion for boat racing led him to Lake Havasu in search of a test site for his boat motors. McCulloch purchased 3,500 acres of lakeside property where he built his boat motor testing facility known as Site 6. He eventually purchased an additional 26 square miles parcel of barren desert, that would become the site for Lake Havasu City.

While Scott-Atwater manufactured primarily small motors McCulloch pushed the envelope chasing boat racing speed records and in 1958 the new 3 cylinder 60 hp Flying Scott was introduced. The Scott 60 was popular in NOA OPC racing 1958 and 1959 where it enjoyed some success, especially setting speed records. The displacement of the 60 was later increased to a 75 hp design. It is rumored that there are some late 1961 "sleeper" 75's that are badged as 60's.

At retail, Scott outboard motors were sold with several then-unique features for an outboard motor, including a dash mounted tach and a full Neutral position controls.

McCulloch closed the doors on the outboard boats & motors division in 1967. In 1968 McCulloch became internationally famous for moving the London Bridge piece by piece to Lake Havasu City in an effort to promote the sale of land in his developing community of Lake Havasu City.

If you stumbled upon this blog via searching for Dorsett Belmont information your best resource will be at The community there is great, especially if you are trying to bring and old boat or motor back to life.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trailer it home

Since the boat has what appears to be the original Superior Mfg Co.trailer and it had been stored for 4+ years, the first thing we did was to take it to the local Les Schwab tire store for a new set of shoes (tires) and wheel bearings. The trip from Sacramento to Newport Beach in Southern California is about an 8 hour drive and the last thing we wanted to do is to spill this boat all over the freeway.

A nice slow drive down the 5 Freeway on a Sunday morning through LA and we arrive home with the little Dorsett.

Friday, June 1, 2012

One of the two happiest days

They say the two happiest days of a boat owners life is the day you get your boat and the day you sell your boat... This is our Dorsett Belmont. We purchased it in Sacramento California in the spring of 2012 for $1200.

The boat is 15' with the original 1960 Flying Scott 60 HP motor and is the "luxury" model with a rear forward facing seat. The boat is in original condition and we are the third owners of this garage-kept survivor. The seller said it was running when he last used it 4 years ago... but it was having starter issues.