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1472Re:: Request of dimensions of motor well

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  • olivershaw4229
    Nov 15, 2017

      Don't worry about your English language skills;    they are vastly better than my non-existent German language skills!   You are very welcome.

      I will try to get photos and measurements of my outboard well within the next few days.

      However there are both advantages and disadvantages to having the outboard in a well.    Before you go to a lot of trouble,  decide which route is the better for you.


      • Motor is always in place,  and does not need to be lowered before use.   Similarly,  when you have finished with the engine you just stop it,  but do not need to lift it clear of the water,  which can be difficult in big seas;   against that,  you may actually want to lift it clear,  because it will cause drag when you are sailing. 
      • Propeller cannot foul the rudder blade under any circumstances;   so no risk of damage.
      • In steep seas,  particularly steep following seas,  it is easier to start and control a motor which is inboard and which does not require you to operate hanging over the stern.
      • In steep seas,  whether following or head seas,  the slightly more inboard position reduces the amount of time the propeller is out of the water
      • In close quarters manoeuvring situations,  e.g. coming into or leaving a crowded pontoon,  or in marina or lock manoeuvres,  the throttle and gear lever are more immediately to hand,  and so that much easier to control.
      • It avoids cluttering up the transom  -  and you may want to use that space for other purposes (e.g. tender,  outboard for tender,  self-steering gear,  etc.)
      • You can easily see the cooling tell-tale,  to check it,  without having to lean out over the transom.
      • Motor is very conveniently sited for connecting fuel line and charging cable (via the stern locker,  correctly called the lazarette).
      • You don't need any special safety precautions to secure the motor and cover the propeller before towing by road

      • The space around the securing clamps is very restricted,  making it difficult to fit a high quality seriously secure lock.   I have found only one quality lock currently in production which will fit (Atlantic 195 Slot Lock,  from Outboard Motor Loc Ltd.),  and even that requires the key to be heavily bent before it can be used.   (The Yamaha slot lock which I used to use is no longer in production.)
      • Water can splash up through the well and then find its way to flooding both the starboard cockpit seat and the cockpit sole.   This is exacerbated if for your particular engine the tell-tale for cooling water also discharges in a direction to have the same effect;   my previous Honda B5 did so regularly,  but my current Mercury seems a little less prone to it.   This becomes a minor nuisance on long passages.
      • The outboard fouls the tiller when the tiller is hard over to starboard.   This slightly limits full helm in that direction;   but rather more important it makes the cowling of the motor very vulnerable to cosmetic damage caused by the tiller hitting it.
      • When under sail the outboard permanently drags in the water;   it cannot be tilted clear
      • Even if the outboard is removed from the well (and then where do you stow it?),  the large hole at the bottom of the open well creates turbulence,  and thus drag,  unless you devise an insert which will both fill the hole and fair it off to give smooth water flow past it.
      • If the boat is left on a mooring,  or in a marina,  the engine will become covered in weed and barnacles unless you lift it right out of the well;  and that is not practicable during the course of a cruise,  when you are living aboard.
      • Just possibly more perceived noise,  because the motor is closer to you,  and you don't have the transom between you and the motor.
      • The well takes up a lot of space which could otherwise be very usefully incorporated into the lazarette.    Or alternatively it could make a self-draining gas locker.

      Personally,  on balance I am quite happy with my outboard in the well,  because that is the arrangement which I already have;   but the arguments are most certainly not all on the one side.   On the most crude assessment,  for what it is worth the above has almost equal numbers of points,  and equal space,  on both sides of the argument.   If a previous owner had removed my well,  and taken the space into the lazarette,  I don't think I would then reinstall a well;   the arguments are too finely balanced to justify the amount of work..

      Hope this is helpful,


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