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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Best method to plug outboard well

hi -

finally decided to just close the outboard well on my international folkboat and put the engine on a garelick transom mount. apparently this solution is the one most international folkboats with a well end up with, because of the unhappiness of dragging an engine in the well while sailing, the wash coming up into the cockpit when heeled over, etc.

i suppose i could just epoxy a piece of plywood of the right shape - but i'm guessing there'd be a better way to go about this? what material should i use? worth it to make it more easily reversible? elegant ideas for attaching the plug into the hole?

the hole is about the size of a rounded off legal sized piece of paper.

thanks for any ideas.
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Re: Best method to plug outboard well

close it in but leave a 1" hole and use a plug ... good place for cold beverages
or bait if you fish
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Re: Best method to plug outboard well

My old Columbia 26 had the same arrangement, and came with a fiberglass cap to cover the bottom of the hole. There was a matching cover for the top, and a bungee cord held them together. I guess the idea was you could pull the motor put and temporarily mount the cap. Actually saw that done in a movie about a voyage in the same model boat.
We put the OB on a transom mount too, and glued the cap on with 5200. (Could be removed of you really wanted to, but wasn't going to fall off by itself.)
Lacking a pre-made cover, I'd tape a piece of heavy cardboard in place to form a mold, and lay in a few layers of glass from the inside. You could make it removable by covering the hull with clear packing tape first, or just bond it in to be permanent. I like the idea of making it a cooler or bait box.

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Re: Best method to plug outboard well

Does the cockpit drain through the outboard well, if so add a way to drain the cockpit as part of the infill.

Look around the yard and dumpsters for a piece of scrap marine plywood, old bulkhead, bits of cabinets,... to fill hole from inside with plywood patch and fiberglass. Then fill and fair exterior.

Make sure to reinforce the transom area for the outboard bracket. Adding a cable remote for outboard control would also be a good idea.

Filling the hole and lifting the outboard prop out of the water may give you with less drag an extra knot under sail.
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