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How to Identify a Johnson Super Sea Horse

by Floyd Drake III

The name "Seahorse" has been used by Johnson since 1929, and does not identify specific model. During the mid-1950s, through the 1960s, the name "Super Seahorse" was used to denote a deluxe Seahorse, which normally had fancier trim and paint. Other upgrades included: remote control, electric start, and a fat mid-section which reduced noise due to its double-wall construction. All Johnson outboard engines from 1955 to 1979 are essentially identified in the same manner, with later models containing extra information within the code.

Examine the outboard exterior. Since the Johnson Super Seahorse was a deluxe model, it is normally identified as such. The exterior of the outboard hood cover should be identified with "Super Seahorse," unless decals have been removed, or the engine has been re-painted.

Locate the Johnson model number. Johnson outboards are identified by the model number, which is found near the transom clamp, where the outboard attaches to the boat; inside the hood, which covers the top of the outboard; or on the engine block itself. When looking on the engine block, the model number is on a nickel-sized silver seal. The exact location of the model number varies, but it is found in one of these locations.

Write down the Johnson model number.

Identify the Johnson Super Seahorse. Johnson outboards from the 1950s and 1960s have an alpha-numeric code that needs to be matched to a listing similar to the one found on the Marine Engine website. When referenced to this listing, a 1961, 40-horsepower Johnson outboard has the model number "RDSL-23."

Identify the 1969 and later Johnson outboards. The model number system changed in 1969-1970 models, and included the horsepower designation and other information. For example, model number "J33EL69" identifies a 1969 Johnson 33-horsepower outboard with electric start when referenced to the listing found on the Marine Engine website.

Tip

  • Since Johnson Super Seahorse models are not identified as such when the model number is referenced, identify Super Seahorse models by the fat mid-section, which is double walled. Paint and decals can be added or altered, and the extra features found standard on Super Seahorse models were also available as options on other Johnson models.

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About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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