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Have Torqueedo Outboards Come of Age Yet

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1 hour ago, weightless said:

A anxious man may twist his stick quick but a wise man uses a gentle touch.

More weightless wisdom.

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I dunno, while you might be able to work around it 99% of the time, this seems to dilute one of the major advantages of electric motors, which is instant torque.  When things are going pear shaped, I don't really want to have to pause a second or two to be able to not hit the big solid object in front of me...

When you order up "All back emergency full" its because there is an emergency.  You don't really Scotty in Engineering to call the bridge and explain why you need to pause a couple of seconds, and then slowly apply reverse...

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35 minutes ago, Crash said:

I dunno, while you might be able to work around it 99% of the time, this seems to dilute one of the major advantages of electric motors, which is instant torque.  When things are going pear shaped, I don't really want to have to pause a second or two to be able to not hit the big solid object in front of me...

When you order up "All back emergency full" its because there is an emergency.  You don't really Scotty in Engineering to call the bridge and explain why you need to pause a couple of seconds, and then slowly apply reverse...

Yep. It's a bug.  There's nothing inherently wrong with turning the throttle as quick as you can.  The system should expect that and know how to deal with it. It's not like the throttle is mechanically connected to the motor.  Their controller carries out the throttle request however they program it. It should protect the hardware. That's not the problem. If it needs to add some delays to protect the system then so be it. The problem is that there's an that input causes it to operate out of its safe range and then it throws an exception that shuts the whole system down in an uncontrolled manner.

When the ghosts of Kirk and Scotty are discussing why they're in a kugelblitz you don't expect Scotty to say, "Oh, aye, I ken that would craigh us but ya said you were in a great hurry din't ya, Capn?" You expect the engineer to exercise good judgement. If he needs to pause for a couple of seconds then he should ignore Kirk's screams for that time.

So, yes, they should fix that. They aren't duffers. It must be a harder problem than it looks to be for the outside. For me, at least, it's never caused more than annoyance. And, I think I know how to work around it. In the 21st century, working around software bugs is an important survival skill.

By the way, now that we've got our righteousness on, do we know for sure that Bull City's motor threw the exception because of "excessive" throttle input across zero?

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5 hours ago, Crash said:

I dunno, while you might be able to work around it 99% of the time, this seems to dilute one of the major advantages of electric motors, which is instant torque.  When things are going pear shaped, I don't really want to have to pause a second or two to be able to not hit the big solid object in front of me...

When you order up "All back emergency full" its because there is an emergency.  You don't really Scotty in Engineering to call the bridge and explain why you need to pause a couple of seconds, and then slowly apply reverse...

I think the proper phrase is, "Full reverse thrust! Emergency warp!!"

And it's a good way to spin the hub on a regular outboard. Or break the shear pin, whatever is down there. And if those parts don't break as intended, it's a good way to wreck a gearcase.

11 hours ago, Bull City said:
14 hours ago, weightless said:

Maybe you could fit a cable steering system with its control near the throttle?

I really need to improve my docking skills. I use the remote throttle because my boat (H-Boat) has a long afterdeck. It works fine 99% of the time.


This technology already exists. The trolling motor on my fishing boat is controlled (direction and speed) via a remote I wear around my neck. It also has its own GPS and can maintain a position, follow a path, do all kinds of other tricks that I don't know how to make it do. The only problems are that the steering response is kinda slow, which is better than none, and...

18 hours ago, Mark Set said:

just get a big trolling motor for a couple hundred bucks


It's a couple thousand and requires two big batteries.

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On 11/18/2017 at 6:35 PM, dylan winter said:

100 lb thrust trolling motors are now available

what about two of those on the stern of a 25 footer - and maybe ten lead acid batteries, solar panels, an aerogen  and a genset

I would  also have the long shaft 6hp Tohatsu on a bracket.

The boat in question is  one of these

I have come across one with a fekked and seized engine

894533_0-1.jpg

 

 

 

- I would like to be able to motor for 20 miles in calm weather but am hoping that the 6hp and the trolling motors would give me some punch if I needed some short term oomph! - as is likely in scotland.

 

 

 

 

If you are serious about it, you need to be ready to get your hands dirty and do it "properly" like these guys : http://www.sailinguma.com/the-motor/

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8 hours ago, weightless said:

Yep. It's a bug.  There's nothing inherently wrong with turning the throttle as quick as you can.  The system should expect that and know how to deal with it. It's not like the throttle is mechanically connected to the motor.  Their controller carries out the throttle request however they program it. It should protect the hardware. That's not the problem. If it needs to add some delays to protect the system then so be it. The problem is that there's an that input causes it to operate out of its safe range and then it throws an exception that shuts the whole system down in an uncontrolled manner.

When the ghosts of Kirk and Scotty are discussing why they're in a kugelblitz you don't expect Scotty to say, "Oh, aye, I ken that would craigh us but ya said you were in a great hurry din't ya, Capn?" You expect the engineer to exercise good judgement. If he needs to pause for a couple of seconds then he should ignore Kirk's screams for that time.

So, yes, they should fix that. They aren't duffers. It must be a harder problem than it looks to be for the outside. For me, at least, it's never caused more than annoyance. And, I think I know how to work around it. In the 21st century, working around software bugs is an important survival skill.

By the way, now that we've got our righteousness on, do we know for sure that Bull City's motor threw the exception because of "excessive" throttle input across zero?

weightless, I mostly agree with you, particularly the part about I'd rather it delay the input of power then throw me a code.  But I'm old fashioned enough to be willing to accept the consequences myself.  Back in the day of my Naval Service, "all back emergency full" meant that.  Give me full reverse as fast as you can.  That could cause the main engine to loss vacuum, which could cause damage or destroy the blades in the steam turbines.  If that started to happen, the Engineering Watch Officer would call the bridge and report "loss of vacuum, number x main engine" and the OOD had the option of reducing the call for power, or ordering Engineering to "continue to answer the ordered bell."  You were trading risk of damage to an engine against, say, hitting another ship and causing a lot more damage then the cost of an engine and/or sinking a ship & killing people.  I want to be the final decision maker on risk, not some software engineer back in an office somewhere where he is safe and sound.

That's why I'd rather risk shearing the pin on an outboard, or wreaking the gearcase etc.  That's a pure mechanical limit issue that I may or may not exceed, and that I'll get some backing power/reduction in speed before I hit anything...which is alot better than none.

All this said, its much better to demonstrate superior judgement, so you don't need to demonstrate superior emergency ship-handling skills.  It seems Bull did just that, and so kudo's to him...

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15 hours ago, weightless said:

It's "conflicted?" It has a brain box in the tiller (IIRC, an 8-bit PIC micro) and, IIRC^2, at least two brain boxes in the battery compartment (an Atmel 8-bit micro and a TI battery controller).* I suspect that the battery/motor protection is all in the battery box brains. So, I'd assUme that e45 is generated from logic in the battery area.  A simple pause probably isn't a general fix to the problem since it's a PID kind of thing. Sometimes it'll need longer pauses than other times. A well adjusted tiller nut will minimize these kinds of problems. A anxious man may twist his stick quick but a wise man uses a gentle touch.

 

By pause I meant something that appears to be a ramp function. It takes about 2 seconds for the motor to catch up with the tiller when transitioning through neutral rapidly. The two seconds may feel like an eternity for the anxious man to abort and pull out of the slip. My 1003C was manufactured in early 2017 if I recall correctly.

Anyways, my thought in regards to the remote throttle is that it's an add-on and has a shelf life of its own and was maybe manufactured way before they started to mitigate E45. But this is speculative on my end.

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2 hours ago, Crash said:

weightless, I mostly agree with you, particularly the part about I'd rather it delay the input of power then throw me a code.  But I'm old fashioned enough to be willing to accept the consequences myself.  Back in the day of my Naval Service, "all back emergency full" meant that.  Give me full reverse as fast as you can.  That could cause the main engine to loss vacuum, which could cause damage or destroy the blades in the steam turbines.  If that started to happen, the Engineering Watch Officer would call the bridge and report "loss of vacuum, number x main engine" and the OOD had the option of reducing the call for power, or ordering Engineering to "continue to answer the ordered bell."  You were trading risk of damage to an engine against, say, hitting another ship and causing a lot more damage then the cost of an engine and/or sinking a ship & killing people.  I want to be the final decision maker on risk, not some software engineer back in an office somewhere where he is safe and sound.

That's why I'd rather risk shearing the pin on an outboard, or wreaking the gearcase etc.  That's a pure mechanical limit issue that I may or may not exceed, and that I'll get some backing power/reduction in speed before I hit anything...which is alot better than none.

All this said, its much better to demonstrate superior judgement, so you don't need to demonstrate superior emergency ship-handling skills.  It seems Bull did just that, and so kudo's to him...

Crash, that all makes good sense to me. When I have the training and skill to make informed decisions I want the freedom to make those choices. There are folks who are expert at everything they put their minds to. That's not me. I, for one, welcome our engineering overlords I appreciate that on many systems, acting through ignorance, I could do a lot of harm. An ideal design allows experts freedom to control everything and protects idiots from themselves. There are no ideal designs.

Bringing this to the case at hand, throwing an error is NFG for the ace or the tyro. The pro wants the option to chance a battery conflagration when that's the best bet in her judgment. The duffer doesn't want to know about that lever. He just want's the system to keep operating. My WAG is that the typical Torqeedo tiller nut is in the latter camp. A somewhat unpredictable system crash doesn't server either of them well..

 

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2 hours ago, bilgejuice said:

By pause I meant something that appears to be a ramp function. It takes about 2 seconds for the motor to catch up with the tiller when transitioning through neutral rapidly. The two seconds may feel like an eternity for the anxious man to abort and pull out of the slip. My 1003C was manufactured in early 2017 if I recall correctly.

Anyways, my thought in regards to the remote throttle is that it's an add-on and has a shelf life of its own and was maybe manufactured way before they started to mitigate E45. But this is speculative on my end.

My experience is with an older model, but kinda like the ship of Theseus, it has gone through generations of parts. It has, and I think always had a bit of delay built in. My WAG is that the tiller input goes into a PID system. That would be consistent with varying amounts of delay/ramping depending on the error and context. I suspect there has always been some delay programmed in around neutral. Maybe they've increased that? I dunno, it could be that they've done that in the newer tiller firmware. My guess is that the error is caused by the battery controller shutting the battery down and then informing the system about it.

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On 4/10/2018 at 10:46 PM, Veeger said:

In the comment section of this link to a Torqeedo review, "Frank" from Germany talks favorably about his using a Torqeedo 3-blade propeller. I talked with the Torqeedo USA folks, and they said it would be good for a heavier boat. It won't make it go faster, it will provide more thrust. Since my boat, at 3200 lbs. is a little past the T-1003 range, I'm going to try one.

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On 4/12/2018 at 10:11 AM, Bull City said:

... "Frank" from Germany talks favorably about his using a Torqeedo 3-blade propeller. I talked with the Torqeedo USA folks, and they said it would be good for a heavier boat. ... I'm going to try one.

Good luck! Please report back on your findings.

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I wouldn't waste time or money on one of these POS.

One of my (not so intelligent) dock neighbors decided to push his Torquedo to its outermost limits, tracking its "maximum range" not too long ago.

Unfortunately he neglected to bring a spare battery, and thus was bobbing around in the local river, drifting out to sea in a 7' inflatable dinghy when his one and only battery took a shit on him.

It's like flying a drone, or filming with a Go Pro.  If you don't have a spare battery, Charles Darwin will kick you in your balls.  And guess what?  You deserve every bit of it....

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1 hour ago, thereefgeek said:

I wouldn't waste time or money on one of these POS.

One of my (not so intelligent) dock neighbors decided to push his Torquedo to its outermost limits, tracking its "maximum range" not too long ago.

Unfortunately he neglected to bring a spare battery, and thus was bobbing around in the local river, drifting out to sea in a 7' inflatable dinghy when his one and only battery took a shit on him.

It's like flying a drone, or filming with a Go Pro.  If you don't have a spare battery, Charles Darwin will kick you in your balls.  And guess what?  You deserve every bit of it....

Sounds like it's not the fault of the motor, but rather the "not so intelligent neighbor." The motor has its limitations, but also some advantages. I don't think calling it a "POS" is justified.

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1 hour ago, thereefgeek said:

I wouldn't waste time or money on one of these POS.

One of my (not so intelligent) dock neighbors decided to push his Torquedo to its outermost limits, tracking its "maximum range" not too long ago.

Unfortunately he neglected to bring a spare battery, and thus was bobbing around in the local river, drifting out to sea in a 7' inflatable dinghy when his one and only battery took a shit on him.

It's like flying a drone, or filming with a Go Pro.  If you don't have a spare battery, Charles Darwin will kick you in your balls.  And guess what?  You deserve every bit of it....

While I’m not convinced about the Troqeedo yet, how is your example any different if your dock neighbor did that with a small gas powered outboard and ran around at WOT till he ran out of gas???

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The problem with electric motors isn't that they run out of fuel, it's that they don't go all that far before doing it.

However, the Bolger SneakEasy put on a pretty good show in this year's Everglades Challenge. If you cover a long, efficient hull with a solar roof and fill it with batteries, it's viable.

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1 hour ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The problem with electric motors isn't that they run out of fuel, it's that they don't go all that far before doing it.

As many of you know, I sail a 27 ft., 3200 lb. H-Boat on an inland lake, mostly daysailing. When I used the Honda 2HP, I would usually top-off the internal tank (1 quart), and leave the 1 gallon jerry can on the dock. Never had a problem.

So far, the Torqeedo, with two batteries (500Wh and 900Wh) is working fine, except for the E45 hiccup. If I were sailing in a larger body of water, I would use a gas outboard, probably a 4 or 5 HP, with a remote tank.

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The problem with electric motors  batteries isn't that they run out of fuel power, it's that they don't go all that far before doing it.

FIFY.

 

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Hello Dylan
 

I offer you some advice from Minnesota where most of the powered boats have a trolling motor, and where we have a number of lakes where there are prohibitions on gasoline engines so people use them as the sole source of propulsion.

In rough terms the amp draw at 12v is equal to the thrust rating.  55 pound thrust = about 55 amp draw.

https://www.minnkotamotors.com/support/compatibility/battery-selection-and-rigging

If you are using larger trolling motors, especially more than one trolling motor, you will want to wire your batteries for 24v to keep the wire sizes down and reduce the wasted power since the amp draw at 24v is half what it is at 12v.

Trolling motors are propped for high thrust and will not achieve high speeds.

A 55 pound thrust motor is roughly equivalent to 1 HP when comparing to gasoline motors.  Realizing, of course, that there aren't any 1 HP gasoline motors in widespread use, the point being that a 160 pound thrust motor is more or less equivalent to the 2.3 - 3 HP motors that do exist in profusion.

The weight of the battery system becomes a factor when setting up a boat to use trolling motors as its primary means of propulsion for an extended period of time.  To run for 16 hours will require 10 pounds of battery per pound of thrust produced; so for example, 100 pounds of thrust = 1000 pounds of batteries.

Typically when I see boats that use trolling motors as their primary means of propulsion they are not mounted like outboards.  Instead they use what are sold as "engine mount" trolling motors that are instead mounted to a little custom bracket that is through-bolted to the transom, then the rudder is used for steering rather than turning the motor.  Here is a 160 pound thrust motor pair that is typical of what I see mounted this way:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Minn-Kota-RT160EM-Engine-Mount-Saltwater-Motor-160lb-Thrust

The motors themselves are very reliable but the control systems and electric cabling are not.  Careful installation by people who really understand marine electric wiring helps a great deal but will not last forever without some gremlins.

People here who are serious about using them for fishing typically have a mains charger permanently installed in the boat and plug in every night.

That should give you some ideas and rules of thumb.

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On 14/04/2018 at 9:56 AM, thereefgeek said:

I wouldn't waste time or money on one of these POS.

One of my (not so intelligent) dock neighbors decided to push his Torquedo to its outermost limits, tracking its "maximum range" not too long ago.

Unfortunately he neglected to bring a spare battery, and thus was bobbing around in the local river, drifting out to sea in a 7' inflatable dinghy when his one and only battery took a shit on him.

It's like flying a drone, or filming with a Go Pro.  If you don't have a spare battery, Charles Darwin will kick you in your balls.  And guess what?  You deserve every bit of it....

What went so wrong in your life that you get so angry about people using battery's?

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1 hour ago, LB 15 said:

What went so wrong in your life that you get so angry about people using battery's?

The vibrator stopped at a critical moment......?

FKT

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On 4/11/2018 at 10:21 AM, weightless said:

IIRC, if it's an overload it should clear itself. Trying to switch quickly switch between full throttle forward and reverse seems to reliably trip the overload. Maybe the peak when gear box reverses against a lot of momentum is the problem. A pause in neutral seems to go a long way to preventing the issue.  Seems like the kind of thing that could be programmed into the controller. I have a hazy memory that the error will clear even if you leave the throttle "in gear" but I set it to neutral while I wait. Most likely this error happens when things aren't going well. Urgent introspection may be indicated. To be fair, similar antics might sheer the pin in a prop on a small outboard. That error doesn't ever clear itself.

A couple of seconds is quicker than the throttle control for the Yanmar setup on Amati.

Backing out of slip:

neutral, move lever-click, thunk count 2 seconds, revup 1 second, wait for propellor to bite (Martec was 3-5 seconds), wait another 5 seconds to start to move, another 5-10 seconds for steerage. While enjoying propwalk.  Leisurely........

Torqeedo:  turn tiller, 2 seconds, boat is moving, another 2 seconds, I have steerage.  If there is propwalk, I haven’t noticed.  Granted it’s a 2300 pound trimaran, not a 9600 pound monohull.

which is more sinus clearing?  A lot of outboards don’t even have reverse ( which means the dreaded swivel from hell), and the prop takes a while to grab, which means in emergency manouvres you always over rev anyway

 

 

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On 4/27/2018 at 6:13 PM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

The vibrator stopped at a critical moment......?

FKT

Just blew coffee out of my nose.

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I'm waiting for drive pod #3 at the moment. Apparently there shouldn't be a need to wait between astern and forward when maneuvering, and this winter there has been another software update for the pods to mitigate E45.

We shall see.

 

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4 minutes ago, N1772 said:

I'm waiting for drive pod #3 at the moment. Apparently there shouldn't be a need to wait between astern and forward when maneuvering, and this winter there has been another software update for the pods to mitigate E45.

We shall see.

 

mine has started chucking E45s at me

and also an e30

beginning to get some doubts about this gear

 

D

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Just now, dylan winter said:

mine has started chucking E45s at me

and also an e30

beginning to get some doubts about this gear

 

D

E30 - spray loads of contact cleaner at it.

If the E45 is intermittent - then I have no ideas, Mine were all fatal. You could take the prop off and check the breaking pin behind is in good nick.

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2 minutes ago, N1772 said:

E30 - spray loads of contact cleaner at it.

If the E45 is intermittent - then I have no ideas, Mine were all fatal. You could take the prop off and check the breaking pin behind is in good nick.

I am on my third fin and second prop

the problem is that the props break before the shear pin - which is odd

back to the Honda today - which is a shame because I love the quiet of the Torqeedo -   the Honda is a noisy oily stinky sun of a gun

 

Dylan

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12 hours ago, dylan winter said:

I am on my third fin and second prop

the problem is that the props break before the shear pin - which is odd

back to the Honda today - which is a shame because I love the quiet of the Torqeedo -   the Honda is a noisy oily stinky sun of a gun

 

Dylan

Put a nick in the shear pin so it breaks easier. Not having seen one for this I may be off point but chucking the pin in a drill chuck and cutting a groove with a 3 cornered file while the pin is rotating should work.

As for the Honda I'll grant you the noise and smell, but oily? What have you done to it? I've had one of those baby Honda outboards for over 10 years now, it's a beautiful little engine, never leaks oil, never misbehaves. Yeah, it's noisy but it's reliable and with an extra 5 litres of fuel on hand, it'll go for a very long time.

FKT

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8 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Put a nick in the shear pin so it breaks easier. Not having seen one for this I may be off point but chucking the pin in a drill chuck and cutting a groove with a 3 cornered file while the pin is rotating should work.

As for the Honda I'll grant you the noise and smell, but oily? What have you done to it? I've had one of those baby Honda outboards for over 10 years now, it's a beautiful little engine, never leaks oil, never misbehaves. Yeah, it's noisy but it's reliable and with an extra 5 litres of fuel on hand, it'll go for a very long time.

FKT

My little Honda gets horribly used and abused - yet comes back for more. It lives on its side - either in the garage or in the bottom of the dinghy. I am now on my third one - I dropped one overboard (cracked the head singing as it went down, , the second  got a crack at the top of the post - so I  canibalised the two to make  a third , that Frankenstein got nicked from my shed, now on my third which I bought as a non runner for £10 from ebay and canibalised the remains of the first one - replaced the carb and it has been running ever since.

 

 

As for the Torqeedo - it just does not feel tough enough.  The fins crack before they blink. they sound and feel as though they are made of Melaware. Drop one of the floor and it makes an unpleasant ding.

I also dislike the look of the thing - it is  like a bloody cannon or gun hanging on the transom - it shoves the  dinghy along in fine style. At 5.5 knots - full blatt, 1000 watts , it will do 4.7 miles - cut that to 500 watts and it will still do 4knots but it will do 9 miles - go at three knots and it will do 20

 

It does work in the trailer sailer -  and is a pleasure to use on a quiet day just to get me around the bends 

 

but our five knot tides at the entrance to east coast rivers would make mincemeat of it - so  all the time I use it on the big  boat I have the 6hp tohatsu slumbering in the quarter berth.

 

 

 

The dreaded error 45

 

 

The outboard is less than a year old. I have contacted the local dealer... they got me to fill in a form to send to Germany - so I do not know if it is an under warrenty repair. I hope so, or I will take to the web and start complaining about not of  merchantable  quality etc etc

In short it is a wonderful bit of gear - but not tough enough.... for me anyway.

When it does go bellyup then I will  deffo buy a trolling motor for the dinghy -  an 86 lb thrust one.

The thing about them electrics  is that it is not a direct replacement for petrol - I would not  buy one and chuck the petrol outboards away - horses for courses

Dylan

 

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53 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

The thing about them electrics  is that it is not a direct replacement for petrol - I would not  buy one and chuck the petrol outboards away - horses for courses

Dylan

 

Yeah - I'd love a nice quiet outboard, thought of getting a trolling motor for my nesting dinghy. Every time I get close I look at the range issue and the hassle of lugging a heavy battery somewhere to recharge it, and get over the idea again. I'm not impressed with the issues you guys are having with the Torqueedos either.

When lithium batteries get a lot cheaper, I'll revisit the idea. ATM I could easily use one to go from my beach to my moorings and back again.

FKT

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I’m very happy with my Honda 2.3 and 5hp 4 strokes.

I don’t know anyone who is happy with their  Torqeedo..

I personally don’t think a Torqueedo looks like it belongs anywhere boat.

They worked very long and hard at making a very ugly piece of equipment

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8 hours ago, Veeger said:

Has anyone tried the E-Propulsion electric wannabe motor?

https://seattleboatworks.com/products/electric-outboards/

 

New to me.

The outboards are available in two shaft lengths. Whatever those might be.

The battery on the 6 hp is easy to carry. It weighs whatever.

No cavitation plate on something they're calling a 6? I guess if that shaft is long enough. And it might be.

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9 hours ago, Veeger said:

Has anyone tried the E-Propulsion electric wannabe motor?

https://seattleboatworks.com/products/electric-outboards/

 

I'm looking at the E-Propulsion website. It's very slow. It looks like their Spirit 1.0 3 HP motor has a removable battery (1000Wh) like the Torqeedo. They're made in China. One US dealer in Cally. $1800. To my eye, it looks like a knock-off that's one or two hundred less than the Torqeedo. Their blue is nicer than the Torqeedo orange.

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29 minutes ago, IStream said:

Oars against a corrugated wall, picture sideways.

With Torqeedo Orange blades, handles and collars.

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This sounds like an opportunity for second-mover advantage.

Torqueedo has proven the basic viability of an electric outboard and the core technologies.  However like many first movers it seems to lack the industrial expertise to make a product which is robust and reliable.  So the path is clear for an established player to move in with a more solid product and meet the demand which Torqueedo has shown exists.

The question is whether that second-mover comes from the electrical industry or the existing marine biz, or some partnership of the two. 

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2 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

What are those things?

FKT

They are right way up on my iPad!

Preese Oars, another order of magnitude better than flat wood ones.

Let me know if you want a lend to try them out, they come  regularly on gumtree round here...

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On 4/11/2018 at 7:30 AM, Ajax said:

I really want one of these but they are obviously just not ready.  It's not the battery technology, it's whatever they're using for software and control.

In addition to the stories here, I've seen more than one person on the Chesapeake fighting and swearing at their Torqueedo.  The Lehr propane outboard seems like a great idea, also executed poorly. Reviews are all over the map. People who get one built on Tuesday, love 'em.  People who get one built on a Friday or a Monday get the shit ones and continually curse them.

Exactly. That Lehr (ironically that pronunciation means "empty" (leer) in German) is typical Chinese crap and probably experienced the development interval of same - i.e.none., including questionable metallurgy, outrageous tolerances, and zero QC.

But hey, you can probably get a lot of 100 of them for $10K on Alibaba and hawk them yourself, with your own label! The Ajax!

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4 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

This sounds like an opportunity for second-mover advantage.

Torqueedo has proven the basic viability of an electric outboard and the core technologies.  However like many first movers it seems to lack the industrial expertise to make a product which is robust and reliable.  So the path is clear for an established player to move in with a more solid product and meet the demand which Torqueedo has shown exists.

The question is whether that second-mover comes from the electrical industry or the existing marine biz, or some partnership of the two. 

I think you may be right

 

of course trolling motors might be the ones we need for our dinghies.

 

For me a lead acid battery wouod be viable as I wheel my dinghy from the house to the water so a lead acid in the bottom of the dinghy would not be a problem. There is a Canadian/kiwi who is fixing up an elderly 22 foot  junk rig yacht that he is planning to sail around this coast in.   It came with a viable 6hp two stroke - which he has chucked out and is planning to use an 86 lb thrust trolling motor and  a 24 volt  battery charged by solar panels

- the trolling motor has an aluminium motor head and "unbreakable" shaft. It feels a lot stronger than my Torqeedo

I am still waiting to find out if the German masters of Torqeedo will approve my repair under warrenty

 

D

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2 hours ago, olaf hart said:

They are right way up on my iPad!

Preese Oars, another order of magnitude better than flat wood ones.

Let me know if you want a lend to try them out, they come  regularly on gumtree round here...

Yeah sorry, I knew they were oars. I just try to avoid ever actually *using* such things..... friend gave me a gorgeous set with carbon-fibre blades. They reside in the shed unused.

I hate rowing. Maybe I should learn to scull so I can at least see where I'm going.

FKT

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1 hour ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yeah sorry, I knew they were oars. I just try to avoid ever actually *using* such things..... friend gave me a gorgeous set with carbon-fibre blades. They reside in the shed unused.

I hate rowing. Maybe I should learn to scull so I can at least see where I'm going.

FKT

These apparently work quite well, hitch one up to an old Purdon hardwood oar and you are good to go.

if you can fabricate them, I would be keen to have one as well.

https://www.duckworksbbs.com/product-p/dw-sc.htm

i could swap you a hardwood oar for one...

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3 hours ago, olaf hart said:

These apparently work quite well, hitch one up to an old Purdon hardwood oar and you are good to go.

if you can fabricate them, I would be keen to have one as well.

https://www.duckworksbbs.com/product-p/dw-sc.htm

i could swap you a hardwood oar for one...

They don't look difficult - bit of stainless tube and some TIG welding. Finding the time is a bit more problematic this side of September though. I'm getting ready for the annual migration north soon - we've had the first snow on Mt Wellington, a hard frost at my place and I'm gone.

FKT

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12 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

This sounds like an opportunity for second-mover advantage.

Torqueedo has proven the basic viability of an electric outboard and the core technologies.  However like many first movers it seems to lack the industrial expertise to make a product which is robust and reliable.  So the path is clear for an established player to move in with a more solid product and meet the demand which Torqueedo has shown exists.

The question is whether that second-mover comes from the electrical industry or the existing marine biz, or some partnership of the two. 

If they were smart, that second mover would be Minn Kota. They're already dipping a toe in the higher power waters, though freshwater only and bolt-on:

https://minnkotamotors.johnsonoutdoors.com/electric-outboard-motors/electric-outboard

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Saw a boat test of the w1Da the other day. An all electric 33’ using a ducted prop/Kort nozzle. I think they’re using a unit designed for UUV/submersible drones. Maybe this one? https://www.copenhagensubsea.com

 

Anyway, I like the idea of the rim drive motor. No gears, only one moving part. But how efficient are ducted props compared to u ducted? Obviously no good at high speed, but for sailing boat motoring speeds? 

594D7931-59AE-4CE1-9302-803C4FE48DCF.thumb.jpeg.aee5fd53c70621c4a85b57b26135bfb7.jpeg

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On 5/6/2018 at 9:04 AM, IStream said:

If they were smart, that second mover would be Minn Kota. They're already dipping a toe in the higher power waters, though freshwater only and bolt-on:

https://minnkotamotors.johnsonoutdoors.com/electric-outboard-motors/electric-outboard

I’d figure it’d be a Motorguide/Mercury combo. They’re both already owned by the same company. 

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6 hours ago, Presuming Ed said:

Saw a boat test of the w1Da the other day. An all electric 33’ using a ducted prop/Kort nozzle.

Is this the test? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAlTYSuUUxU

I spent some time crawling around the prototype W1DA (http://w1da.com) at the 2016 Southampton Boat Show.  I liked the concept and the people behind it are lovely.  I really wanted to like the boat, but there are some design quirks I couldn't live with:

  • the saloon is pushed well forward, to a point where the beam has narrowed so much that the fwd end of the settees are almost unusable for sitting never mind lounging or sleeping
  • to gain standing headroom over fwd end of the cabin sole which extends a long way outboard the coachroof has been pushed out so far that the side decks are impossibly narrow
  • Similarly, the foredeck is mostly eaten by coachroof

Even if everything else added up I couldn't live with these ergonomic failures.

Some of the other oddities are more fixable, but still don't help:

  • the prototype has an offputting red/black hull colour like a 1980s GTI car.  Lacks the "I can see myself in that" factor
  • the deckgear is all metal connectors and tracks, rather than soft shackles and floating leads.  I had just stepped off a Pogo 30, and the W1DA's cluttered cramped deck felt like a time warp back to the 1980s ... and not in a good way

I am also unpersuaded by the wisdom of locating in Mayo.  Lovely place with great people, but a long way from supply chains and markets.  I hadn't expected them to be still in business, but the various development agencies are backing them and they do seem to have stamina.

So I'm not sure whether they will ever be able to give technology the series production testing it deserves.  I hope my doubts are misplaced, because I'd really love diesel-free boats to become the norm

 

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50 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I’d figure it’d be a Motorguide/Mercury combo. They’re both already owned by the same company. 

I was guessing a combo with an electrical giant: something more like Hitachi/Tohatsu, or Bosch with somebody.

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5 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I was guessing a combo with an electrical giant: something more like Hitachi/Tohatsu, or Bosch with somebody.

Bosh was already an investor in Torqeedo and Torqeedo was recently acquired by DEUTZ (industrial combustion engines). I'm personally still happy with my Torqeedo but some things are questionably flimsy.

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2 minutes ago, bilgejuice said:

Bosh was already an investor in Torqeedo and Torqeedo was recently acquired by DEUTZ (industrial combustion engines). I'm personally still happy with my Torqeedo but some things are questionably flimsy.

I didn't now about the Torqeedo /Bosch connection.  Odd that Bosch, who make solid products, didn't demand a little more robustness.

I had seen the Deutz,  takeover and it loos like an odd fit.  AFAICS Deutz does neither electric motors nor marine

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I have been talking with the US Torqeedo guy for over two years about using their DeepBlue 80 outboards on the charter cat I have been designing. No way I could fit the BMW i3 batteries in the boat but they are now offering the i8 batteries but the weight is considerable and we need a fast charge turnaround. What I have heard here about the smaller motors in not encouraging. I talked with him about 6 months ago about the Duetz thing and personally wish they had hooked up with BMW/Steyr. 

Duetz is an odd fit.

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This is the sort of recharge I wish we could work out for the electric daysail cat in Hawaii. Much be some sort of capacitor setup to juice that big ferry cat up that fast!

https://insideevs.com/this-electric-catamaran-leaves-us-lost-for-words/amp/

 

PowerdockSeasight.jpg

This 40m long, 5m wide floating glass fibre dock will sit in the water at Gudvangen, housing a 2.4 MWh battery pack. This charges steadily throughout the day via connection to the local grid network, which does not have the capacity to charge the Future of The Fjords directly. The innovative solution allows the vessel to stably, efficiently and cost effectively ‘refill’ in just 20 minutes.

 

 

 

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No need for capacitors, just high voltage. I'm guessing the power dock battery bank is similar in capacity to the ferry's bank but wired such that the output voltage is high enough to max out the allowable charge rate of the ferry. 

EDIT: I see that the dock capacity is 2.4MWh versus the ferry's 1.8MWh capacity. That extra 30% capacity will let the dock batteries maintain voltage as they transfer energy to the ferry and non doubt accounts for other factors like the derating due to temperature, cycle count, etc.

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Just another little note. My house uses about 5MWh of electric power per year, so that dock and ferry together have enough battery capacity to run my house for the better part of a year, assuming I can get ever my kids to turn out the lights when they leave a room. 

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On 5/6/2018 at 2:16 AM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yeah sorry, I knew they were oars. I just try to avoid ever actually *using* such things..... friend gave me a gorgeous set with carbon-fibre blades. They reside in the shed unused.

I hate rowing. Maybe I should learn to scull so I can at least see where I'm going.

FKT

I have the same objection to rowing.

The Hobie Mirage Drive is basically hands-free sculling without any required thought or skill. Genius.

I think a bigger one would be a great power source for small sailboats of the type often powered by a Torqeedo or tiny outboard.

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Ducted props are about 20-25% more efficient than open props at slow speeds. IF the duct is shaped like a proper airfoil and is not just a tapered cone or simple cylinder.

The permanent motor Rim drive thrusters are a new technology. Quieter than regular thrusters but 2.5-3x more $$, at least in the 150 kW range that I'm using for a current project

I suspect that the subsea thrusters are costly, like all good underwater technology.

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Have you seen the Electric Paddle EP Carry?  Lower power but a nice package.

Does anyone know what the Harbor 20 comes with?

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I took a good look at the electric paddle at the Seattle boat show. Nice unit. My buddy bought one but I don't think he's gotten it wet yet.

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39 minutes ago, IStream said:

I took a good look at the electric paddle at the Seattle boat show. Nice unit. My buddy bought one but I don't think he's gotten it wet yet.

I would be very interested in his report.

 

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1 minute ago, Veeger said:

I would be very interested in his report.

 

I'll ping him and see what he says.

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Back to the original post -- about a Torqeedo for an air-floored dinghy...

Unless you need to go on long dinghy rides, electric is the way to go.  In 9 years of cruising around the PNW, we rarely took dinghy trips longer than a few minutes.  Most people don't.  Our longest was maybe 2 hours around Princess Louisa.  Other than that, electric would have been perfect, pushing our 10' aluminum RIB as well as our Honda 2.  The Honda was best throttled way back, not quite as fast, but a lot quieter.  Quiet is good.  As I saw more and more people with trolling motors, I began to want one too. 

Charging every day would have been no problem for us.  It may be for some.

Torqeedos are neat but I'll let their owners speak to their reliability.  There are several other brands that would work fine for a dinghy.

 

 

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4 hours ago, IStream said:

I'll ping him and see what he says.

Got in touch with him and my impression was correct that he hasn't used it yet. I've offered up my dinghy as a test rig (his is an hour away) so we may be able to get it wet sometime this week if he can break away.

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12 hours ago, Zonker said:

Quieter than regular thrusters but 2.5-3x more $$

I suspect that the subsea thrusters are costly, like all good underwater technology.

Torqeedo is about 3 - 4x more expensive then a 3.5hp tohatsu for me. So not exactly a cheap alternative to start with.

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My Torqeedo was given to me by  a German Tanker captain who watches my films

 

he said that the Torqeedo would transform my relationship with the river

 

it did

 

I now go more slowly in the dinghy and actually enjoy going for a motor around the river.... it is also lovely when I come to a bend in the river and want to keep sail;ing so I just dial in 300 watts of push and the boat heads up enough to make the bend, I then kill it again and carry on sailing

 

but... when out on a a few day cruise then I generally leave the torqeedo at home and take the little hinda for the dinghy - because it is also a back up to the 6hp on the trailer sailer

 

but I hate the smell and the noise now

 

D

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

he said that the Torqeedo would transform my relationship with the river

 

it did

Moving about under electric power, especially when controlling it remotely, puts a grin on my face. It looks like this:

RemoteTrolling.jpg

And that evening, I did actually use the electric motor to get home, just for fun. "Home" being under those powerlines in the background.

Electric motors drive cruise ships and locomotives, so they're great for everything from large to small. But to get any range, you can either carry a shitload of batteries or a tank of fuel.

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8 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Moving about under electric power, especially when controlling it remotely, puts a grin on my face. It looks like this:

RemoteTrolling.jpg

And that evening, I did actually use the electric motor to get home, just for fun. "Home" being under those powerlines in the background.

Electric motors drive cruise ships and locomotives, so they're great for everything from large to small. But to get any range, you can either carry a shitload of batteries or a tank of fuel.

Power density has to get near what a couple of gallons of fuel has before I find electric propulsion attractive.   As you said, the motors are pushing/pulling amazing tonnage in the working world, but these are all hybrid systems with multiple large gen sets converting fuel into electricity for those motors to work.

10 years ago there was a company in Tarpon Springs that did both battery and hybrid electric propulsion systems (Solomon Technologies.) They had a lot of article coverage in the marine periodicals, moved to Maryland, got bought out, bankrupted and then remains got absorbed.   The idea was intriguing, but they never got enough product out to stay in business.

What is scary is if there was electric storage that was dense enough to be equivalent to a similar amount of diesel.   Lithium batteries are delicate enough and are a spectacle when they fail.   3 gallons of diesel's worth of power storage being unleashed on a boat from a 'containment' failure could be catastrophic.

- Stumbling

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47 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

What is scary is if there was electric storage that was dense enough to be equivalent to a similar amount of diesel.   Lithium batteries are delicate enough and are a spectacle when they fail.   3 gallons of diesel's worth of power storage being unleashed on a boat from a 'containment' failure could be catastrophic.

 

Uhm... I've got two Torqeedo Travel batteries sitting in my boat right now. One about 500Wh, the other about 900. I know they're not anything close to 3 gallons of diesel, but what is the downside you speak of? 

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1 hour ago, stumblingthunder said:

Power density has to get near what a couple of gallons of fuel has before I find electric propulsion attractive.   As you said, the motors are pushing/pulling amazing tonnage in the working world, but these are all hybrid systems with multiple large gen sets converting fuel into electricity for those motors to work.

10 years ago there was a company in Tarpon Springs that did both battery and hybrid electric propulsion systems (Solomon Technologies.) They had a lot of article coverage in the marine periodicals, moved to Maryland, got bought out, bankrupted and then remains got absorbed.   The idea was intriguing, but they never got enough product out to stay in business.

What is scary is if there was electric storage that was dense enough to be equivalent to a similar amount of diesel.   Lithium batteries are delicate enough and are a spectacle when they fail.   3 gallons of diesel's worth of power storage being unleashed on a boat from a 'containment' failure could be catastrophic.

- Stumbling

many boats have petrol, diesel, paraffin and gas on board - petrol is bloody dangerous, gas is even worse, diesel and paraffin are not bad - but really stink. Lead acid batteries give off nasty gasses.

If I could junk them all for electricity topped up by solar panels that would be bloody wonderful and I beleive less risky than any lithium battery bank.

 

D

 

 

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26 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

many boats have petrol, diesel, paraffin and gas on board - petrol is bloody dangerous, gas is even worse, diesel and paraffin are not bad - but really stink. Lead acid batteries give off nasty gasses.

If I could junk them all for electricity topped up by solar panels that would be bloody wonderful and I beleive less risky than any lithium battery bank.

 

D

 

I continue to believe that electric makes more sense than people think.  The main issue is the yawning gulf for the way many people actually use their boats and the way they think they'll use their boats.  There are always exceptions, but I think (for example) 10-20 miles of motoring range might cover 95% of boaters 100% of the time.  Solar or marina re-charge will provide plenty of top-up power to get back up to full charge between outings.  

If my 4108 threw a rod today, I'd probably repower with electric.  I've been hung up on the idea that I want to be able to motor all the way to Avalon from SD (~80nm) but honestly that's a miserable slog and I'm never gonna do it as it would put my family off sailing for good.  I'd harbor hop up the coast & take a bit longer instead.  The winds here are predictable enough that 10-20nm of range is safe, particularly if I have 1kw or so of PV on board.  With a beefed up electrical system, I'd swap out the propane Force 10 for a 2-burner induction hotplate.  

The biggest upside is the elimination of the systems: fuel, exhaust, raw water, coolant water, oil, filters, impellers, pumps, etc. and getting rid of the propane re-fill headache and combustion risk.  

I think it's doable now, and will just get better as batteries get cheaper & better.  The biggest hurdle is the lack of pre-engineered solutions that have already been driven down the cost curve (i.e. just throw in a Yanmar).  There will always be a role for marine diesels when extended motoring is a requirement due to the inherent power density advantages of diesel, but hopefully marine grade electric systems will become a standard option on new vessels & an easy re-power option for old.  

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1 hour ago, dylan winter said:

many boats have petrol, diesel, paraffin and gas on board - petrol is bloody dangerous, gas is even worse, diesel and paraffin are not bad - but really stink. Lead acid batteries give off nasty gasses.

If I could junk them all for electricity topped up by solar panels that would be bloody wonderful and I beleive less risky than any lithium battery bank.

 

D

 

 

phrased that badly

what I meant was

any lithium battery bank would be safer than our collection  of explosive and flammable liquids

 

 

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I like to row. Its fun. Its fun to explore rocks, kelp, sea caves, going through surf. Doing any of those things with a prop underwater leads to bent and broken bits.

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On 5/6/2018 at 1:07 PM, olaf hart said:

They are right way up on my iPad!

 

Photos on this site can be weird like that. I have posted photos on my PC that are rotated sideways but when I look at them on my iPad or phone they are the right way up. Maybe some of the tech heads can explain why this happens. I have the same level of IT knowledge as a caveman. 

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Just now, carcrash said:

I like to row. Its fun. Its fun to explore rocks, kelp, sea caves, going through surf. Doing any of those things with a prop underwater leads to bent and broken bits.

Me too. I have an 8'6 foot GRP sailing tender that is a joy to row. Rowed it around the marina yesterday just for fun.

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2 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

Power density has to get near what a couple of gallons of fuel has before I find electric propulsion attractive.   As you said, the motors are pushing/pulling amazing tonnage in the working world, but these are all hybrid systems with multiple large gen sets converting fuel into electricity for those motors to work.

10 years ago there was a company in Tarpon Springs that did both battery and hybrid electric propulsion systems (Solomon Technologies.) They had a lot of article coverage in the marine periodicals, moved to Maryland, got bought out, bankrupted and then remains got absorbed.   The idea was intriguing, but they never got enough product out to stay in business.

What is scary is if there was electric storage that was dense enough to be equivalent to a similar amount of diesel.   Lithium batteries are delicate enough and are a spectacle when they fail.   3 gallons of diesel's worth of power storage being unleashed on a boat from a 'containment' failure could be catastrophic.

- Stumbling

    Reading this about Solomon Tech was enough to send my blood pressure up! Where are those nitro capsules...

    Solomon Tech was founded by the biggest Snake Oil salesman that ever breathed. I should have grounded that bastard out across the 144 volt terminals of the battery bank on his system when I had the chance! He would have gotten absorbed by the ghost crabs in the mangrove creek and further stunk it up.

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Rowing is fun, and it's great work out. I have a sliding seat single scull, and it uses all of the large muscle groups: legs, core and arms. If I did it more often, I would be a chiseled god.

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12 hours ago, socalrider said:

I continue to believe that electric makes more sense than people think.

I think it's on the verge of making sense and crosses that line occasionally.

For example, I was impressed by the Bolger Sneakeasy in this year's Everglades Challenge. I forget the numbers, but he could maintain pretty good speed all day. All sunny day in the tropics, but still.

The thing is, it's an efficient hull with lots of the available storage stuffed with batteries. So you can do it, but at sailboat speeds and if you don't have in mind carrying much.

Tad Roberts put up images on FB yesterday of what amounts to a 40' version of the Sneakeasy, but better looking and with twin Torqeedo power. If you have the money, it's definitely an idea that will get better as you make the boat bigger. Can't find the images right now.

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I have heard talk of photo-electric cells built into sail cloth. Would the ability to form batteries into the right shape make it feasible for them to be used as ballast?

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