im considering converting my 24 back to inboard with a well and bomb bay doors....getting older and want to make everything as simple as can be....its transom hung now and i want to start sailing by myself and im over lifting that 8hp merc... trailer sailing ...not in the water permanently....im handy with fiberglass poly and epoxy so i know i can do the job but does it make it that much easier to sail and manage? and what are the pros and cons!!!!?
I did the conversion 10 years ago taking the outboard and bracket off the stern and putting a new 5hp Mariner short shaft with high thrust propeller in the well. It was just a case of cutting the hole and a bit of adjustment to get the clearances through the hull. INMA is a very late Mk4 with the engine mount 50mm forward compared to earlier models.
If I were to do it again, I'd use a 5hp Honda shortshaft with the high thrust propeller for the easier starting (lighter pull on the rope) and better fuel consumption. Infact since I've had an injury on my right shoulder, I've been considering the Honda because starting the Mariner 5 is challenging my old shoulder.
The handling of the yacht under power is improved with the water flow from the outboard over the propeller improving steerage underway.
On a few occasions, being able to start the outboard while sailing sitting at the tiller saved the yacht from dramas after I made mistakes. As an example I was sailing into Nara Inlet on Hook Island Whitsundays when I underestimated the winds, particularly as we got near the Island and gusts were funneled over the Island. I realised my mistake, dropped the outboard and started it just in time to motorsail avoiding being knocked by the 30 + knots winds with no reef. The power allowed INMA to plane at 12 knot into Nara level under control which was a lot more desirable than being knocked flat in the exposed waters.
I would never go back to an outboard on a bracket.
I don't have bombay doors or a filler panel, if racing it might be good but cruising with the open well is fine as far as I am concerned (less to go wrong).
I forgot to mention, cutting the hole in the hull. My hull was about 15 mm thick in the engine well.
I drilled holes in the corners with a hole saw (expect the saw to be worn out cutting the glass). Then cut the straight lines with a diamond saw in an angle grinder. Wear protective clothing because the dust is nasty and be prepared to wash the area to remove the dust after the cutting and grinding is complete.
I put a wooden flap (across the stern) near the stern so the raised outboard gearbox sits on the wood avoiding loading the tilt bracket and crossmember when on the road.
I have fuel tanks stored at the sides of the outboard in the well.
I use a tillerpilot (ST2000) on the starboard side which works fine regardless of any emmisions from the outboard ignition.
The noise levels might be higher with the outboard in the well, I can use ear plugs or move forward using the tillerpilot for longer journeys.
Leave the outboard bracket on the stern, it will be handy for storing a dingy outboard if you ever need a dingy. I ended up putting a lighter outboard bracket on the stern for a dingy outboard. It would have been smart to leave the original stern bracket in place but I did not realise the need for a dingy when cruising in coral areas.