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The Seagull manual recommended wiping the engine over with an oily rag after use to preserve the finish but it also stated that an alternative was to paint the complete engine (excluding the silencer) with spar varnish before first use. That may be what is on the handsome engine in the photo. I never tried that but providing the engine was grease free I suppose it might work ok. Once the varnish coating broke down however, water would soon get under it and I imagine it would get 'orrid and require regular re-coating. I have seen some engines where this had been done and the finish was a mucky yellow, peeling in places.
"Pleiades of Birdham"