I miss some things about my flattop Cal 28; it was fun to sail, I LIKED the view across the empty deck, and it was absolutely cavernous inside for a 28' boat.
I ran an 8HP carbureted Mercury outboard mounted in the well for a couple of years while sailing in/around the area between Seattle and the SJ's, and it was adequate 90% of the time. I could make 5.5kts at 3/4 throttle in flat water. The large spade rudder directly behind the prop made it easy to maneuver and I could back that boat into places I cannot with my Cal 29. I did not have remote controls, but the Mercury did have an integrated shift/throttle twist control which helped to an extent for maneuvering. Sometimes that was enough and sometimes it got sketchy while manuevering the Chittenden locks solo. The lid to the motor compartment had enough mass to keep the motor quiet-ish, although it wouldn't be hard to add more acoustic insulation and avoid the auditory fatigue that comes with running an outboard all day.
The engine compartment on the Cal 28 is generous which made it easy to run dual outboard tanks, allowing fast switchovers and very long day-runs before refueling. The outboard well itself is large enough for the lower unit of most 8/9/15HP motors, but just barely. There is not enough room to steer the motor with its tiller handle once in the well, so there's no 'thrust vectoring' advantage as you might get from an outboard hanging off the transom. Mounting/removing the motor from the compartment required some simultaneous twisting and tilting of the 80lb+ long-shaft motor to get the prop blades to clear the sides of the well on the way in/out. There really wan't a lot of room for a second set of hands, so bonus points if you're strong AND dexterous. I didn't like leaving the motor in place (corrosion/growth 24/7) but I sure didn't look forward to having to pull it when I was going to let it sit for a few weeks either.
If I were to do it again, I'd pony up some extra $$$ for remote throttle/shifting and a modern fuel-injected 9.9HP. That said, I really love my Cal 2-29's 33HP Sole' diesel, so I probably won't do it again...