How To Make A Motor Well In A Sailboat

Learning how to make a motor well in a sailboat can significantly expand your boating options. Having the ability to have a motor on your sailboat will be helpful on those days where sailing isn’t an option! Having a motor on your sailboat is also a very smart idea due to safety risks. If you happen to run into a raging storm while you’re on the water, you’ll want to get away from it as quickly as possible! Installing a motor well in a sailboat is easy to do with a little time and patience. If you’re ready to build your own motor well for your sailboat, than take a look at this list of tools you’ll need to accomplish the task.

To make a motor well in your sailboat, you’ll need the following items:

  • Sailboat
  • Boat motor
  • Gas tank
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Treated lumber
  • Hinges
  • Electric drill
  • Screws & washers
  1. Measure your motor well. To begin building your own motor well for your sailboat, you’ll need to grab your tape measure. Measure the area around your gas tank and motor. Take these measurements and expand them slightly, so you’ll have enough room to comfortably fit your gas tank and motor into your motor well. Don’t expand your measurements significantly though; you don’t want to waste any space! After expanding your measurements, graph them out in the area where you wish to build your motor well. You should build your motor well in the back of the boat. Try to aim for building it in the middle too, which will help when trying to steer your boat.
  2. Cut out the motor well. After you’ve successfully graphed out the dimensions of your motor well, cut out the top of your motor well from your sailboat. Make sure that you cut it out in one piece, since you’ll be reinstalling it later. Measure the area from the top of your motor well to the bottom of your hull. With these dimensions, cut out pieces of treated lumber that will act as the sides of your motor well. Make sure that you use treated lumber to prevent the possibility of water soaking into your motor well or getting into your hull. After you cut these pieces out, use an electric drill with screws and washers to install these planks.
  3. Reattach the top. After you’ve completed placing your planks around the sides of your motor well, you’re ready to reattach the pieces that you cut off of your sailboat. Before attempting to reattach this piece, place a set of hinges on one side of your motor well. Use your drill with screws and washers to install these hinges to both your sailboat and the top of your motor well. After you successfully reattach your top to the motor well, you can place your gas tank and motor into your motor well. At this point, you may need to do some minor drilling to run your wires through your motor well to your motor.

Before doing any cutting in your sailboat, make sure that you’ve adequately measured your dimensions. You don’t want to find yourself in the pickle of having a hole in the back of your sailboat with a motor that’s too big to fit it! Always choose a motor and gas tank that will adequately power your boat but won’t be too much or too little for it. If you’re not sure what size motor to purchase for your sailboat, consult the maker of the boat. Once you’ve constructed your motor well for your sailboat, you’ll be ready to get back out on the water!



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