By Sunnyland Member Bob Huff
Made at the REO factory in Lansing, MI. for just one year, the idea was to allow folks with a small rowboat to inexpensively power it with a 2hp engine. It’s a lawn mower engine… REO was a large manufacturer of excellent mowers. It’s a great motor sold as an “instant start” which it pretty much is. It has a nice recoil.
Its unique feature is a clutch tucked under the gas tank that has forward, neutral and reverse. The Trollabout was sold as a complete kit coming in two boxes, one with the engine and one with prop shaft, prop, stuffing box, coupling, rudder, steering, diagrams, manual, etc. There were a couple accessories including the flexible exhaust pipe installed here. Fresh and salt water kits were available.
The Trollabout was not commercially successful, probably due to the ease of installing and using small outboards, but it has a following among collectors. If you know of someone familiar with the Trollabout, send them my way.
S&S Boat Works, a small builder in Pensacola, FL, built the 12′ skiff 12 years ago.