Re: Rethinking inboard
The Coronado 25 and 27 have outboard engine wells.
My first boat was a Coronado 25, with a Honda 9.9 4-stroke longshaft installed. I sailed in very choppy weather and NEVER had a problem with cavitation. The boat also backed and handled well.
The Honda 9.9 4-stroke had a huge powerhead though, and I couldn't lock the engine in the full "up" position with the engine's plastic dome installed.
I wouldn't let this deter you though. Other manufacturers' 4-strokes seem to have smaller powerheads and 2-stroke engines are still out there.
If you insist on having an outboard-powered boat, I wouldn't go with a transom mounted outboard, I'd look for a boat with an engine well.
However, I also agree that if you had a heavy engine smell, the engine either needed maintenance or fuel was spilled somewhere. Personally, I did have some trepidation about buying an inboard-powered boat, but I'm ok with it because I have excellent access to my engine, so maintenance isn't a terrible chore. Some boats have terrible access to the inboard, which can really sour you on larger boat ownership.
Some examples of good inboard engine access are the Tartan 30, Pearson 30 and certain build numbers of the Catalina 30. In the case of the C-30, so many have been built, and the furniture re-arranged, that engine access is not equal in all C-30's.
S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255