SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am working up a plan to cut an engine well in a 26 foot twin keeler.

I understand that such wells in biggish boats are far from uncommon in NZ and Aus. Noelex for instance

At the moment the well is planned for the back end of the cockpit under the rudder and the water line will be just over eight inches below the false transom(top of the plate where the outboard clamps go)

I would love some first hand experience of cruisers who have who have experience of wells in largish boats.

Is eight inches enough (fnaa fnaa)

I am planning on using a 10hp - because that is the biggest engine one man can lift and they are cheap on ebay.

the design will put the outboard prop exactly where the old inboard prop was.

The reason I am doing this is that my family have decided that they want to join me for the bit of my slow UK circumnavigation that takes me over the the top to Orkney (maybe Shetland) and round Cape wrath. The current 22 footer is a bit of a squeeze for four adults.

Scotland is absolutely rank with badly marked lobster pots so a prop you can lift out of the water to clear the fisherman;s floating gubbins would be most useful

I will be buying an old Centaur with a seized engine - they go for around £2,000 with a seized inboard and £8,000 for one with a working inboard.

They built 2,500 of them so there are quite a few moldering at the back of boatyards with broken engines. A good one with a seized MD11 in it changed hands last week for £800. The boats were built in the 70,s so the engines are dropping like flies


All the details and images of wells, old boats, outboards and Centaurs are on my website but....

to save you looking

this is a Centaur



this is the underside



this is the back of the cockpit



this is the sort of installation I am planning




this is a Centaur at full chat
]

and this is what my fellow brits think of the idea of cutting a hole in a British Icon - however, I think that for some of the objectors their grasp of basic physics is based primarily on Popeye cartoons



and one bloke who does a lot of cartoons came up with this



Dylan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,764 Posts
An outboard well like that was common on boats of that size in the 1960s. The Pearson Ariel comes to mind. Available with either outboard or inboard Atomic 4. A Google search will turn of lots of info on it. One disadvantage is that you can't kick up the outboard like you can with on mounted on the stern and growth is an issue. I would be concerned about cockpit flooding on a DIY installation like you are proposing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,063 Posts
Dylan -
I am not one who is experienced with such arrangements.

However I will add my "tuppence"…

Will you pull the motor out of the well and close the well with a watertight door when you are in a bit of a sea? Or will you simply close a watertight door over the motor when not in use?

If not:

When the cockpit well fills with water from a wave hitting you from abaft the beam (as it surely will in the waters you want to use it) the motor will be submerged as the well will drain slower than the sea can fill it.

When the boat is surging in a sea the surging action will cause water to pump up thru the motor well into the cockpit well. Will it cover the motor or flood it?

Your idea may work but it seems to me better suited for more sheltered waters than rounding the top of Britain and visiting the Shetlands.

You know that a good inboard installation will cost you six thousand pounds. What will the modifications you envision and the outboard and its fuel system cost? Will your arrangement include the need for exhaust blower and vent system for the boat because of fuel storage below decks or will you need to build a suitable storage area topsides for a portable fuel tank? Once you cost out the outboard motor and support systems/boat mods and compare the cost to renovation or replacement of the inboard is the cost difference worth the hassle/reduced reliability/peace of mind?

Good luck.
 

·
Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
Joined
·
3,217 Posts
agreed.. a well does make it hard to "pop up" an outboard.. why not just hang it off the stern on an adjustable mount?

Also, while there is a huge price difference in working engined centaurs and non.. can you repower it yourself? when you go to sell, you can make most if not all of it back
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
An outboard well like that was common on boats of that size in the 1960s. The Pearson Ariel comes to mind. Available with either outboard or inboard Atomic 4. A Google search will turn of lots of info on it. One disadvantage is that you can't kick up the outboard like you can with on mounted on the stern and growth is an issue. I would be concerned about cockpit flooding on a DIY installation like you are proposing.
thanks for that

lots to add to my collection of engine wellshots

I have lived for the past 18 months with an outboard in a well

the advantages outweigh the turbulance

I have done trials and the outboard costs me between half and a quarter of a knot

on a 22 footer - so I can live with that

I am worried that 8 inches is not enough

hence the post

although I am told that the water never comes back up centaur cockpit drains - so I am taking that as good news

I have two fallback positions

the first is to fit doors that are snug around the outboard - seen some very neat ones on yourtube

the next option is to go for an ultra long shaft outboard

and have a higher well transom

that will mean re-laminating the tiller

not the end of the world of course

D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Dylan -
I am not one who is experienced with such arrangements.

However I will add my "tuppence"…

Will you pull the motor out of the well and close the well with a watertight door when you are in a bit of a sea? Or will you simply close a watertight door over the motor when not in use?

If not:

When the cockpit well fills with water from a wave hitting you from abaft the beam (as it surely will in the waters you want to use it) the motor will be submerged as the well will drain slower than the sea can fill it.

When the boat is surging in a sea the surging action will cause water to pump up thru the motor well into the cockpit well. Will it cover the motor or flood it?

Your idea may work but it seems to me better suited for more sheltered waters than rounding the top of Britain and visiting the Shetlands.

You know that a good inboard installation will cost you six thousand pounds. What will the modifications you envision and the outboard and its fuel system cost? Will your arrangement include the need for exhaust blower and vent system for the boat because of fuel storage below decks or will you need to build a suitable storage area topsides for a portable fuel tank? Once you cost out the outboard motor and support systems/boat mods and compare the cost to renovation or replacement of the inboard is the cost difference worth the hassle/reduced reliability/peace of mind?

Good luck.
thanks for your thoughts -

I have a well at the back of my Hunter - it is a canoe stern so is very close to the back of the boat

the water has never threatened to engulf the boat nor rise in the well

I am assuming that a well closer to the centre of the boat will get even less movement in water line

I am not entirely sure that the physics of waves means that it will pump up through a hole in the way you describe

after all the only time water comes up a centre plate case is when the boat starts to plane

As for the economics

I have looked long and hard

the job will cost me two days plus a sheet of ply plus the free epoxy from West Systems

I have built several boats so I am very happy with that side of the job

I spent the previous five years (pior to Katie L) propping up an old diesel engine - no spares, no mechanics, diesel bug, no replacement engine mounts, no friggin cutlass gland

I have also twice got caught up in fishermans debris and lobster pots so for Scotland I am now going back to an inboard - far too dangerous with the sort of sailing I do

I have never seen such apalling pot markers

they all have GPS - they never stray into each other territory so they never use flags - just blooming 1 litre milk bottles and some strong floating string.

you would be amazed at how little there is to look at on a boat if you take the engine, electrics, fuel system and most of the plumbing out of the equation . As long as the hull does not leak, the rudder steers and the mast stays up everything else is non mission critical
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
agreed.. a well does make it hard to "pop up" an outboard.. why not just hang it off the stern on an adjustable mount?

Also, while there is a huge price difference in working engined centaurs and non.. can you repower it yourself? when you go to sell, you can make most if not all of it back
I have played the outboard on the stern game on three boats now

we get these nasty short chops around our coasts and outboards on sterns spend some time stirring air just when you need it

if you look at the cockpit on the images it is a long walk from the tiller to the stern of the boat

so that means possibly remote controls and maybe electric start.

you also need one heck of a good sized mount to take a big outboard

one chap I spoke to said that the outb oard was fine for pushing his 27 foot sabre along - but he had to make a bracket tough enough to take it. he also had to cut a notch out of the stern to get to the controls.

as for resale value - if I buy a decent boat for 8 to 10,000 I would have to borrow the money as I am keeping Katie L for the Irish Sea and the Scottish West Coast' She is ideal for single handing

I could sell a good Centaur at the end butt it is going to get two winters and a summer of hard sailing - so it will depreciate - I could lose £2,000 on the value of the boat fairly easily

- this summer is a one off - after this my wife and kids will not want to sail with me

- my dad always told me not to borrow money for sailing

finally - to be able to film and appreciate scotland will mean staying in scottish harbours

they have unbelievably rough walls

again not somewhere I want to park my nice boat

I will not be that bothered about a few extra scratches on a £1500 centaur - it would break my heart to do the same to Katie L

so it is a well or nowt

with the well option I have much less skin in the game - £2,500 - as opposed to £8,000

the great unknown is whether eight inches is enough

any snaps or URLs of wells will be gratefully received and minutely scrutinised
 

·
Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
Joined
·
3,217 Posts
I have a sea Sprite 23. This boat came in 4 engine configurations. The very rare inboard (never seen one) no engine, and two engine wells. One was Port side and one was centred.

Mine is the no engine configuration, so I cannot show you any pics that will help..

Here is a centred:



This site, the blog for "froonie" might also help:

FROONIE: Engine Well Access Hatch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have a sea Sprite 23. This boat came in 4 engine configurations. The very rare inboard (never seen one) no engine, and two engine wells. One was Port side and one was centred.

Mine is the no engine configuration, so I cannot show you any pics that will help..

Here is a centred:



This site, the blog for "froonie" might also help:

FROONIE: Engine Well Access Hatch
very good indeed - perfecto

more snaps for my burgeoning collection of outboard wells

first of all that well is so close to the waterline

feeling better about my eight to nine inches already

I assume that the water does not come surging in from a following sea

or does it?

does anyone use blanking plates?

behind the rudder is good in that you can tip the thing out of the way.


and finally - a sprite 23 - what a little cracker of a yacht

I bet they sail like a dream

well done dude


-man I love the web

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,867 Posts
Dylan, We had a Coronado 25 on San Francisco Bay and outside ocean waters for 10 years, lots of rough conditions. The link shows the well configuration, but with some modifications, which ours did not have. The well worked fine, with a 20" shaft there was no problem with the prop coming out of the water. We had a 15 HP Evinrude 2 stroke which we could tip up out of the water. Not quite sure what your 8" figure relates to?
Not being able to tip the motor up would be not much better than an inboard prop/shaft setup?

Sounds like you have pretty much made up your mind on the outboard, so I will spare you the lecture on why I think an inboard is better, having owned both. Best of luck on a complex conversion.

http://knbpromotions.com/sailing/coronado16.php

CORONADO 25 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Paul T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts


What about a side mount like this. I realize it works better on a narrow boat but it wouldn't take much to cobble together a temporary mount and try it. Much less work and you could even mount one each side and have twin props for maneuvering :D

In case you don't recognize the location, that's the lock at Heybridge Basin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Dylan, We had a Coronado 25 on San Francisco Bay and outside ocean waters for 10 years, lots of rough conditions. The link shows the well configuration, but with some modifications, which ours did not have. The well worked fine, with a 20" shaft there was no problem with the prop coming out of the water. We had a 15 HP Evinrude 2 stroke which we could tip up out of the water. Not quite sure what your 8" figure relates to?
Not being able to tip the motor up would be not much better than an inboard prop/shaft setup?

Sounds like you have pretty much made up your mind on the outboard, so I will spare you the lecture on why I think an inboard is better, having owned both. Best of luck on a complex conversion.

http://knbpromotions.com/sailing/coronado16.php

CORONADO 25 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Paul T
Paul,

bless you for those .... and for avoiding the inboards are better... they are for sure ...but an inboard will cost me an extra 5k and is great for snagging lobster pots

from your snaps

that is such a sparse lip on the well



I intend over engineering mine

the eight inches is the gap from the water to the top of the false transom

the Centaur cockpit floor is 4 inches above the waterline and then I will have a 4 inch lip across the front of the well running the width of the cockpit floor

so did that stern locker ever fill with water in a following sea?

was the 15 hp enough?

have you had any experience with modern four strokes?

mine has been great

one chap has been using one on his 27 foot 3.25 tonne sabre - he says he uses under two and a half pints an hour at four knots in flat water with his 9.8hp on the back.

Iam going for the ten hp because...

1/I think it will be powerful enough

2/I can remove it from the wellbetween sails - it weighs 40 kg

3/ there are loads of them on ebay



I have an outboard in a well at the moment - it puts the drive in the right place, throws prop wash onto the rudder, I can vector it

but....

fek it is noisy

so when motoring any distance I put the tiller pilot off and sit on the foredeck

D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
My Olympic Dolphin 23 has such a motor well, I like it, it does shrink the cockpit a little, but it does make it harder for thieves to see the engine and the engine controls are right there with me in the cockpit :D
there is definitely water coming in when the water is rough but it drains out pretty fast, the cockpit motor well does have a nice advantage to an external outboard engine, the prop wash hits the front of the rudder so you can make sharp turns :)

8" would be a sufficient "transom" to attach the engine, on mine there are 2 holes on the face of the motor mount "transom" to allow water to drain, they are about 5cm in diameter.
at the moment my boat is tarped up, but if I go in, I'll get a few pics for you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
My Olympic Dolphin 23 has such a motor well, I like it, it does shrink the cockpit a little, but it does make it harder for thieves to see the engine and the engine controls are right there with me in the cockpit :D
there is definitely water coming in when the water is rough but it drains out pretty fast, the cockpit motor well does have a nice advantage to an external outboard engine, the prop wash hits the front of the rudder so you can make sharp turns :)

8" would be a sufficient "transom" to attach the engine, on mine there are 2 holes on the face of the motor mount "transom" to allow water to drain, they are about 5cm in diameter.
at the moment my boat is tarped up, but if I go in, I'll get a few pics for you
pix will be great.....

at the moment I am mithering about the waterline to lip of the well distance

when do you reckon water is most likely to come up it?

would blanking plates help .... it does sound as though you are not that bothered by a damp cockpit floor

on the current boat I do get a bit of water back up the drains when there are three in the cockpit and we have a bit of a chat on under sail or power

but all I do is shove a sponge in the giant bung hole and that cuts it out completely

D
 

·
islander bahama 24
Joined
·
1,842 Posts
I would recommend staying with inboard and installing a net cage. On the keel around the propeller shaft. That could even increase the value of the boat at selling time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I would recommend staying with inboard and installing a net cage. On the keel around the propeller shaft. That could even increase the value of the boat at selling time.
thanks for your thoughts Newhaul

I have never seen such a thing on a sailing boat

any snaps or urls you know of?

I am going down the outboard route because it is cheaper than an inboard

D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,867 Posts
Paul,

b
less you for those .... and for avoiding the inboards are better... they are for sure ...but an inboard will cost me an extra 5k and is great for snagging lobster pots
It appears you have done the incremental cost difference analysis, A man has to do what he has to do.

from your snaps

that is such a sparse lip on the well
The one in the picture looks pretty rough. IIRC, ours was from at least 1" ply,
with no deterioration, and in the 10 years we had it there was no sign of flex or de-lamination



I intend over engineering mine

the eight inches is the gap from the water to the top of the false transom

the Centaur cockpit floor is 4 inches above the waterline and then I will have a 4 inch lip across the front of the well running the width of the cockpit floor

so did that stern locker ever fill with water in a following sea?
No, not that I can remember and we had lots of steep, high following seas. It had drain holes that pretty much drained the well when the boat was level.

I think the mount height to the water line was about 10"?

was the 15 hp enough?
More than enough, we could punch through basically anything as fast as allowed. We started with a 6HP, which was adequate for calm, windless conditions. The 15HP was the same size and weight as the 9.9Hp, which probably been enough. I think a 4 stroke 10 Hp burns about 1 gallon per hour.
We ran our 15HP 2 stroke at about 3/4 throttle and I think it burned about the same amount:

Tohatsu Outboards: Estimated Fuel Consumption for Tohatsu Outboard Motors


have you had any experience with modern four strokes?

mine has been great

one chap has been using one on his 27 foot 3.25 tonne sabre - he says he uses under two and a half pints an hour at four knots in flat water with his 9.8hp on the back.
I had a Honda 2HP for over 20 years, it was bullet proof. We bought a new Tohatsu 6HP 4 stroke last year, 2 seasons on it now. Asides from it being a bit cranky to start when cold, I tend to flood it by squeezing the ball too much, it runs perfectly, right out of the box. I drain the float bowl if it is not going to be used for a week or so. No ethanol related problems.

Iam going for the ten hp because...

1/I think it will be powerful enough
Unless your boat is way over 4,500 lbs, as ours was, I think you are right

2/I can remove it from the wellbetween sails - it weighs 40 kg

3/ there are loads of them on ebay
You must be a big strong person, with a good back



I have an outboard in a well at the moment - it puts the drive in the right place, throws prop wash onto the rudder, I can vector it

but....

fek it is noisy

so when motoring any distance I put the tiller pilot off and sit on the foredeck

D
On ours the prop was behind the rudder so we needed a little speed for the rudder to answer, overall, it was not a problem. Please send some pictures of your project.

Paul T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
thanks for all this Paul,

I have a Honda 2.3 - little cracker of an engine

I often use it on Katie L as it fits inside the outboard tunnel

I always have it on board it is my back up

it sips petrol

I will be writing up the project for PBO and also making films for youtube and the blog

of course, first I have to track down the right boat in the right place

D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,867 Posts
thanks for all this Paul,

I have a Honda 2.3 - little cracker of an engine

I often use it on Katie L as it fits inside the outboard tunnel

I always have it on board it is my back up

it sips petrol

I will be writing up the project for PBO and also making films for youtube and the blog

of course, first I have to track down the right boat in the right place

D
OK, looking forward to seeing it here.

Paul T
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top