Re: Rethinking inboard
There are several issues with well mounted outboards.. most are surmountable if you really want it...
The prop is still further aft and higher than an inboard install so while better than a transom outboard it's not 'the answer' to cavitation in waves.
Many well installs preclude steering the outboard, and if the well is aft of the rudder you lose a lot of maneuverability because you can't 'redirect' the propwash with the rudder.
Side mounted wells can sometimes interfere with full rudder travel, with obvious consequences (T Birds had to put limiting strops on tillers while motoring to prevent rudder from hitting the spinning prop)
To make it quiet, you need to close the hatch.. as you power ahead the stern wave can 'seal' the well, and some engines will actually run out of air.. so now you need to crack the hatch (so much for quiet) or you need to arrange alternate venting/air supply.
Many well designs preclude easily lifting the engine up while sailing, with it's attendant drag. The T-Bird 26 did allow this and even had a drop-in cover plate, but I wouldn't say it was easy to use. But in many cases lifting the engine clear doesn't happen (The Flying Tiger has a clever solution to this problem, and it's under the bridge deck so more or less equivalent to inboard)
I've seen some wells (Columbia 26 IIRC) that were right in the cockpit... noisy, splashy, smelly....
The biggest plus is that it gets rid of the unsightly outboard and bracket on the transom We owned a Viking 28, a very pretty C&C design, originally fitted with a lazarette well that had been removed and a bracket added.. I always hated the way the motor 'ruined' the lines.. great boat otherwise though.
So just some food for thought... btw with a good engine installation coupled with good maintenance there should be no significant fuel/engine odours below...
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)