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This will be the first summer I have had my new/used 28 Columbia in the water. I was looking at the motor well opening in the bottom and starting thinking, has anybody had any problems with snakes or other unwanted things coming into the cockpit from this access. I would like to prevent my wife and kids from seeing a snake on board, plus I dont think a shotgun will be good for the boats hull. Can I put a cover to close the opng around the motor and still use the motor, or I am looking to much into this.
 

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My boat has an outboard in a well and nothing has ever come in. Even the lowest part of the well is still a couple of inches above the water, so hopefully that is providing some protection.
 

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I have heard of people using inflated wheelbarrow inner tubes to keep water out of a motor well. I am planning on trying it soon.
 

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Doesn't take a very large opening for a snake, why do you think they will be a problem trying to sneak onboard ? I've spent many nights sleeping in the open in rattlesnake country and only been jumped by snakes a few times.;)
 

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4play,
I have a Columbia 28 with an outboard well. IIRC, there is a lip at the bottom and something on the sides that could hold a filler or fillers in place. I don't worry too much about snakes as we are in the SF Bay area and, frankly, I like snakes. Even if one got in the well, where would it go? I'd be about as worried over that as if a snake came up the docklines to the cockpit.

Way more info that you requested to follow:

I am running a 9.8 HP Tohatsu longshaft. In measuring other motors, it was the best fit in that class. In the back wall of the motorwell, there was a square hole about 10 or 12 inches on a side that had a teak plug over it. I had to remove this to put that 4-stroke in there. The tattle tale did do an excellent job of watering the bilge through that hole with the engine running. I made a concave fiberglass plug for the hole that allows me to put the motor in, access the cowl latch, remove the cowl and turn the motor to the limits of the well sides. I think it is 1 1/2" deep.

If you do seal the bottom of the well, you do need to allow for the tattle tale water to escape. You will also lose the ability to turn the motor the 20-30 degrees you are able to turn it.

If you look in the starboard side of the well, you should see a fiberglass pocket. On mine, that leads to the starboard clamshell. If you also plan to seal the front of the motor well and find your motor chocking, it'd be pretty easy to put a fan in that clamshell to pull air into the motorwell and out through the clamshell. I don't think I would blow air the other direction as it would only add fumes to the cockpit. I plan on doing this and wiring the blower to the stator.

The 3 or 3 1/2 gallon tank that came with the Tohatsu is a perfect fit on either side of the motor. My hatch cover has been blocked up 1 1/2" by the PO. I don't know if this is necessary to clear the cowl but it just presses on the motor tiller when it is swung back into the motorwell.

Hope that helps

Finally, I'm glad I bought the 9.8 as we sail in some pretty good wind/current/confused seas; but I'm not happy when I am putting it in the well/taking it out. I'm still pondering stepping down to 6 HP for the 25+ pounds in weight savings.
 
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