hdra

Have Torqueedo Outboards Come of Age Yet

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I like only having to stow (i.e. Lock up) two rather than 3 parts.  One can be padlocked to the dinghy.  Still have to deal with the battery.  It is also much quieter than the Torqueedo (less whine sound to the motor).  The Chinese part keeps me wary...

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Veegs, do you have one of these Chinese units? I gotta say, the Torqeedo couldn't be more convenient form the standpoint of  ease of mounting/unmounting on the OB bracket and stowing below.

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3 hours ago, Bull City said:

Veegs, do you have one of these Chinese units? I gotta say, the Torqeedo couldn't be more convenient form the standpoint of  ease of mounting/unmounting on the OB bracket and stowing below.

Not yet--- but seriously considering one unless I find a good reason not too.....

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A sailing buddy showed up this weekend with the "latest" iteration of the Torqeedo. They claim to have cured some of the cabling flaws that lead to some error codes.

I was a bit green with envy as he zipped around in his Dyer 9 but I'll watch him for awhile and see what trouble he runs into.

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On 5/25/2018 at 9:36 AM, stumblingthunder said:

I am sorry that my bringing it up caused a hypertension reaction!       Were you a customer or an investor?

- Stumbling

Worse, I was the Guinea Pig skipper of the boat. If it had been my money going down that particular drain I would probably still be locked up for the maiming I would have given the bastard! As for the owner, it was one of the worse cases of Kool-Aid poisoning since Jonestown.

Image result for jonestown kool aid meme

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On 5/28/2018 at 11:49 PM, Veeger said:

Not yet--- but seriously considering one unless I find a good reason not too.....

Veegs, I would be concerned about service and support. I bought mine from a dealer, and they were helpful. Also, Torqeedo has a U.S. operation with real people that you can talk to or do an online chat.

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9 hours ago, Bull City said:

Veegs, I would be concerned about service and support. I bought mine from a dealer, and they were helpful. Also, Torqeedo has a U.S. operation with real people that you can talk to or do an online chat.

I bought one and am happy so far. Seems to be a slightly more robust version of torqeedo without as many mechanical parts and, best of all, a floating battery. Ex-torqeedo guys who started company to build what they were frustrated torqeedo would not do, or so I was told. Anyhow, will post any update if I encounter problems.

Support has been through local dealer and they have been excellent on other stuff bought through them so no reason not to expect the same for ePropulsion unit.

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5 hours ago, Telesail said:

I bought one and am happy so far. Seems to be a slightly more robust version of torqeedo without as many mechanical parts and, best of all, a floating battery. Ex-torqeedo guys who started company to build what they were frustrated torqeedo would not do, or so I was told. Anyhow, will post any update if I encounter problems.

Support has been through local dealer and they have been excellent on other stuff bought through them so no reason not to expect the same for ePropulsion unit.

Do you have the outboard motor? If so, I'd be interested in what type of boat, and how it does compared to a fossil fuel motor.

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OK. Yesterday, Mrs Bull came sailing with me. The wind was very light, almost nonexistent, so we Torqeedoed to a good lunch anchorage, swam had lunch, etc. At this point, the battery was about 49%. On the way back, similar conditions, ghosted a little bit, but mostly Torqeedoed. We were about 100 yards from my slip, the display showed 0.1 miles range left, and about 3% of the battery. Suddenly, the motor stopped dead. Fortunately, Mrs. Bull had anticipated this and had the spare battery ready to mount on the motor. (What would I do without her?) We got to the slip with no problems, but I'm wondering why the display showed some juice left.

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5 minutes ago, Bull City said:

OK. Yesterday, Mrs Bull came sailing with me. The wind was very light, almost nonexistent, so we Torqeedoed to a good lunch anchorage, swam had lunch, etc. At this point, the battery was about 49%. On the way back, similar conditions, ghosted a little bit, but mostly Torqeedoed. We were about 100 yards from my slip, the display showed 0.1 miles range left, and about 3% of the battery. Suddenly, the motor stopped dead. Fortunately, Mrs. Bull had anticipated this and had the spare battery ready to mount on the motor. (What would I do without her?) We got to the slip with no problems, but I'm wondering why the display showed some juice left.

Measuring battery state of charge is something of a dark art without actually testing he electrolyte - it’s not really something the manufacturer can know exactly, so they either have to take a guess or be extra conservative. 

I’d recommend swapping the battery early if you’re approaching a situation where a power loss will cause problems - but I’m sure you’ve already figured that out!

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12 minutes ago, Bull City said:

OK. Yesterday, Mrs Bull came sailing with me. The wind was very light, almost nonexistent, so we Torqeedoed to a good lunch anchorage, swam had lunch, etc. At this point, the battery was about 49%. On the way back, similar conditions, ghosted a little bit, but mostly Torqeedoed. We were about 100 yards from my slip, the display showed 0.1 miles range left, and about 3% of the battery. Suddenly, the motor stopped dead. Fortunately, Mrs. Bull had anticipated this and had the spare battery ready to mount on the motor. (What would I do without her?) We got to the slip with no problems, but I'm wondering why the display showed some juice left.

The state of charge versus voltage curves for lithium batteries is extremely flat except below 10% and above 90% SOC so you don't get much of a voltage change for large changes in SOC. Over most of the SOC range, the best you can hope for with a 10 bit A/D converter measuring battery voltage alone is about 2% precision. Adding a current monitor and counting electrons will allow you to do much better over the bulk of the discharge curve. However, the curve will shift with temperature, rate of discharge, battery age/cycles, and the like and the slope of the voltage vs. SOC at the extremes of the curve is very steep, so even small shifts in the curve can swing the estimated SOC quite a bit at the extremes. Even if Torqueedo compensates for temperature and other variables, I think 1% accuracy is about the best you can hope for. 

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14 minutes ago, Bull City said:

showed 0.1 miles range left, and about 3% of the battery. Suddenly, the motor stopped dead.

Your battery is made up of a number of small cells in a series / parallel arrangement. The battery controller keeps track of net energy (as best it can) for the whole battery. It also tracks each parallel bank of cells for faults. I suspect that one of the parallel banks hit the low voltage cut off point. That would raise a critical error and the system would shut itself down to prevent damage to the bank. 

As others have noted, counting net energy is really difficult particularly with efficient cells that have a flat voltage curve like lithium and nimh. With batteries made up from multiple cells that are not identical or in identical states it's much harder. So, plus minus 3 percent doesn't seem like an unexpected error to me. Torqeedo should know that. IMO, it's a bug that the display is showing 3% when they really only know that the state is dangerously low. Now you know too :)

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That is good to know. I knew I pushing it. With the spare battery fully charged, and the flat, windless conditions, I wasn't really concerned. Thanks, guys, for explaining the science. 

Below 20%, I think, a message began to flash on the display: Drive Slowly

When I bought the Torqeedo, they threw in something called TorqTrac, which is a Blue Tooth connector that links to a smart phone app. It displays your position on a map, and a circle that shows your remaining range based on your current speed and battery state. I've only used it once.

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3 hours ago, Bull City said:

That is good to know. I knew I pushing it. With the spare battery fully charged, and the flat, windless conditions, I wasn't really concerned. Thanks, guys, for explaining the science. 

Below 20%, I think, a message began to flash on the display: Drive Slowly

When I bought the Torqeedo, they threw in something called TorqTrac, which is a Blue Tooth connector that links to a smart phone app. It displays your position on a map, and a circle that shows your remaining range based on your current speed and battery state. I've only used it once.

It's especially hard to measure SOC in real time when the batteries have a heavy load. As soon as the load is removed or reduced, the voltage will jump. I suspect that's why they want you to go slow, in addition to extending range it will give you a more accurate SOC/range remaining estimate.

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5 hours ago, Bull City said:

 I knew I pushing it. With the spare battery fully charged, and the flat, windless conditions, I wasn't really concerned.

Sounds amusing. "Dangerous" was too strong a word.

The reporting is unreliable. It's probably not great for the bank to hit it's low voltage cut off. IIRC, at some point the controller forces the motor into slow mode. Assuming that didn't happen and it was supposed to happen then it's likely that one of your banks of cells is significantly out of balance. That can happen if you have a faulty cell in the bank. If you do have a weak bank that will make the "fuel gauge" even less accurate. I've been told that batteries like this last longer and are more reliable if you run them in the middle of their capacity. IIRC, (it has been a while since I looked) the Torqeedo 1003 battery is "top balanced". So all the banks are brought to the same voltage when the cell is fully charged and on the charger for a while. I suspect one should do a full charge from empty every once in a while just to keep the capacity reading consistent. Otherwise, it might not be a bad plan to charge to 90% or so and discharge not lower than 25% or so? But, tools are for using.

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5 hours ago, weightless said:

Sounds amusing. "Dangerous" was too strong a word.

The reporting is unreliable. It's probably not great for the bank to hit it's low voltage cut off. IIRC, at some point the controller forces the motor into slow mode. Assuming that didn't happen and it was supposed to happen then it's likely that one of your banks of cells is significantly out of balance. That can happen if you have a faulty cell in the bank. If you do have a weak bank that will make the "fuel gauge" even less accurate. I've been told that batteries like this last longer and are more reliable if you run them in the middle of their capacity. IIRC, (it has been a while since I looked) the Torqeedo 1003 battery is "top balanced". So all the banks are brought to the same voltage when the cell is fully charged and on the charger for a while. I suspect one should do a full charge from empty every once in a while just to keep the capacity reading consistent. Otherwise, it might not be a bad plan to charge to 90% or so and discharge not lower than 25% or so? But, tools are for using.

This is the first time I ran the battery to zero. When I got the motor, I recall Torqeedo said to charge the battery completely the first time so that it would index properly, which, of course, I did. 

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Modern 4 stroke outboards are extremely reliable, efficient, and quiet. Who needs another electric gizmo that will start flashing "error 33"  just when you need it most... Nothing like the sound of a strong motor roaring to life when you find yourself in a sticky situation. 

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On 5/28/2018 at 5:07 AM, Grinning Ape said:

There's no need to be suspicious.  Totally legit.  It's Hong Kong based company, so it's a little bit Chinese, OK then, quite a lot.  But don't let that put you off.  The company appears to have solid foundations.  

...

It's still a Chinese "managed" and manufactured product. Caveat Emptor.

Other than Apple products (extremely and harshly "managed" in China) I have had *zero* long-term satisfaction with any Chinese technology product. Even our vegetable bins self-destructed after one year.

Our current purchase policy is, ignore the cost; buy quality and it'll pay off in the end.

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15 hours ago, Sporgo said:

Modern 4 stroke outboards are extremely reliable, efficient, and quiet. Who needs another electric gizmo that will start flashing "error 33"  just when you need it most... Nothing like the sound of a strong motor roaring to life when you find yourself in a sticky situation. 

Sporgo, congratulations on your first post.

I would take issue with two of your statements: "Modern 4 stroke outboards are extremely reliable, efficient, and quiet." My Honda 4-cycle 2 HP was not quiet as it was air-cooled. The carburetor was quick to gum up, so that on more than one occasion, I did not hear "the sound of a strong motor roaring to life" when I really needed it.

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:20 PM, Bull City said:

 

I would take issue with two of your statements: "Modern 4 stroke outboards are extremely reliable, efficient, and quiet." My Honda 4-cycle 2 HP was not quiet as it was air-cooled. The carburetor was quick to gum up, so that on more than one occasion, I did not hear "the sound of a strong motor roaring to life" when I really needed it.

Of course an air cooled motor is not quiet, are you serious?  As for the carb problems and gumming up I would suspect lack of maintenance or use of poor quality fuel are to blame. Every time I hear someone complaining about carbs gumming up its because they put ethanol gas in it and forgot about for six months.  In such a case you have no one but yourself to blame for failing to check equipment condition prior to launch.

 

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58 minutes ago, Sporgo said:

Of course an air cooled motor is not quiet, are you serious?  As for the carb problems and gumming up I would suspect lack of maintenance or use of poor quality fuel are to blame. Every time I hear someone complaining about carbs gumming up its because they put ethanol gas in it and forgot about for six months.  In such a case you have no one but yourself to blame for failing to check equipment condition prior to launch.

Sporgo, you seem to have your mind made up, so there is really no point in continuing the discussion.

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While he does seem to have his mind made up, underneath it is a nugget of truth.  Carbs don't just gum up.  They gum up for a reason, and that reason is usually old gas.  Ethanol only makes the issue worse.  Every propulsion system has maintenance requirements.  Gas is no different.  You probably don't leave your Torquedo hanging on the stern when you are not on the boat.  You probably bring it a freshly charged battery every time you go sailing.  If folks treated their gas engines like they do (have to?) treat their electric engines, 99%  of the issues gas engines have would go away...

 

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1 oz of Seafoam in every gallon of gas helps a lot.

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2 hours ago, Crash said:

While he does seem to have his mind made up, underneath it is a nugget of truth.  Carbs don't just gum up.  They gum up for a reason, and that reason is usually old gas.  Ethanol only makes the issue worse.  Every propulsion system has maintenance requirements.  Gas is no different.  You probably don't leave your Torquedo hanging on the stern when you are not on the boat.  You probably bring it a freshly charged battery every time you go sailing.  If folks treated their gas engines like they do (have to?) treat their electric engines, 99%  of the issues gas engines have would go away...

 

Crash, to say "If folks treated their gas engines like they do (have to?) treat their electric engines, 99%  of the issues gas engines have would go away..." is hard to prove or disprove. I was pretty conscientious with my Honda. I used additives designed for ethanol gas, kept up with oil changes, and since I use my boat year round, it got frequent use. Maybe the problem is the smaller 4-cycles, like my 2 HP.

Ethanol-free gas is not easy to find. Manufacturers should take it into consideration.

Yes, I stow the Torqeedo below, unlike the Honda, because it doesn't stink and ooze oil at the slightest provocation.

The Honda also developed a nasty kick-back habit, where when starting it, the starter cord handle would be snatched back out of my hand and snap back to the motor cover, where it usually would hit my other hand. Ouch! The local Honda mechanic didn't have a fix.

As I have said before, if I were sailing in a more demanding environment, I'd use a 4 to 6 HP gas engine. But I'm fortunate to not need it where I am.

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3 hours ago, Crash said:

While he does seem to have his mind made up, underneath it is a nugget of truth.  Carbs don't just gum up.  They gum up for a reason, and that reason is usually old gas.  Ethanol only makes the issue worse.  Every propulsion system has maintenance requirements.  Gas is no different.  You probably don't leave your Torquedo hanging on the stern when you are not on the boat.  You probably bring it a freshly charged battery every time you go sailing.  If folks treated their gas engines like they do (have to?) treat their electric engines, 99%  of the issues gas engines have would go away...

Crash, I see that you own or have owned a Melonseed. I was smitten by them. I'd love to hear about your experience.

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The 2HP Honda gave me no trouble at all.  But for short trips in that size/power range I'd still rather have electric. 

They will get better.

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I've rebuilt our old evenrude. It's a 2 stroke. I highly recommend getting ethanol free gas. Our mower, chainsaw, weed eater, auger, pressure washer, all work well and start 2nd pull 

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I've been looking in to powering my 25' Pearson Ariel with something other than the gas 6hp 4strk Mercury she currently has. I found this company, based out of the Czech Republic. Would love to try one of their 9.5hp motors as it looks like an ideal solution. Being from the US, they are a long way away, but perhaps Dylan might find it easier to get one of their systems for a test...?

https://www.karvin.eu/menu/1/karvin-motor-2700-max-95hp
 

 

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Looks pretty beefy and robust.

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On 6/13/2018 at 6:15 PM, Bull City said:

Crash, I see that you own or have owned a Melonseed. I was smitten by them. I'd love to hear about your experience.

Bull,

Owned.  Wish I still owned it.  What a sweet little boat.  Ours was a Roger Crawford Melonseed.  With the sprit rig, it didn't point all that well,  but was a great little sail around boat. and could rocket along on a reach.  Rowed well too.  Quick and easy to rig, and set up to easy sail it alone, yet could carry 3 in reasonable comfort...For pokin' around a lake or inlet, river, marshy estuary, etc...it's great.  Plus it just looks sooo good.

Crash

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Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2018 at 9:47 PM, Bull City said:

Do you have the outboard motor? If so, I'd be interested in what type of boat, and how it does compared to a fossil fuel motor.

Sorry it took so long to reply - been out of contact mostly since your post mostly sailing and the other bit working somewhere overseas. The e-Propulsion unit is on a F-Rib 11ft and compares well to an appropriately sized gasoline engine (appropriate if you do not have the North American obsession with getting your dinghy up on a plane whenever you go anywhere)

The dinghy sits on the transom of a cruising boat when not in use and the ability to lift the motor off without a tackle (and more important for my wife, who is half my size, to do the same) transcends any need for ‘go faster’ power.

we will see if the reliability is there over the longer term when it gets serious usage early in 2019 but for now, there are no regrets

Edited by Telesail
Correcting autocorrect errors......

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49 minutes ago, Telesail said:

Sorry it took so long to reply - been out of contact mostly since your post mostly sailing and the other bit working somewhere overseas. The e-Propulsion unit is on a F-Rib 11ft and compares well to an appropriately sized gasoline engine (appropriate if you do not have the North American obsession with getting your dinghy up on a plane whenever you go anywhere)

Forgive my American ignorance, but why would anyone want a non-planing RIB? The good thing about them is that you can make them plane easily. And it's THE good thing IMO. They're otherwise miserable compared to most any similar-sized boat.

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No insult intended.I certainly did not mean to imply that North Americans are ignorant.

My point was that there are times when you do not need to plane - going 150 yards from anchor to beach or, in a crowded anchorage, going almost anywhere. That accounts for 90% of my use of a tender but my North American friends tell me that I must regret not having 15-20 horses on the back. I have a 15 HP that I can load onto a pulpit when I know I am going some place where I may need to go miles rather than meters. However, I was trying to answer the original question about how e-Propulsion compared and answering truthfully as to what I put it on.

i hope that clarifies.

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1 hour ago, Telesail said:

No insult intended.I certainly did not mean to imply that North Americans are ignorant.

My point was that there are times when you do not need to plane - going 150 yards from anchor to beach or, in a crowded anchorage, going almost anywhere. That accounts for 90% of my use of a tender but my North American friends tell me that I must regret not having 15-20 horses on the back. I have a 15 HP that I can load onto a pulpit when I know I am going some place where I may need to go miles rather than meters. However, I was trying to answer the original question about how e-Propulsion compared and answering truthfully as to what I put it on.

i hope that clarifies.

Miles vs meters is a good summary of gas vs electric power for the most part.

 

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3 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Miles vs meters is a good summary of gas vs electric power for the most part.

 

As a North American who exclusively uses a non-planing dinghy with a 2.5hp gasoline outboard, I concur with this statement.

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Just returned from nearly two weeks cruising in Maine with a new ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 on my inflatable. Perfect for my cruising needs, runs ashore, pottering around Seal Bay on Vinalhaven (without scaring the bald eagle from its nest by Davis Island) etc. The stow it anywhere aspect of an electric outboard is something we really came to appreciate. 

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On 6/14/2018 at 5:31 AM, CapnK said:

I've been looking in to powering my 25' Pearson Ariel with something other than the gas 6hp 4strk Mercury she currently has. I found this company, based out of the Czech Republic. Would love to try one of their 9.5hp motors as it looks like an ideal solution. Being from the US, they are a long way away, but perhaps Dylan might find it easier to get one of their systems for a test...?

https://www.karvin.eu/menu/1/karvin-motor-2700-max-95hp
 

 

No one has mentioned the outboards from Rays.  I have never tried one on a sailboat but have run one on a pontoon boat on an electric only lake for 7+ years now with zero issues.  

Price is comprable with the Karvin units the upside of being US based (for those of us in the US) for repair and support if needed.  

http://www.rayeo.com

As a builder of LI based battery packs for multiple applications I have never had a pack catch fire.  To prove a point I tossed one off the dock into the water and left it for 24 hours.  The BMS opened instantly just as it should preventing catastrophic failure.  $45.00 in parts and two hours had the pack back in service. 

Lifepo4 packs with proper management should go 3,000 charge cycles to 80% of initial capacity.  Slow charge rates help keep the packs healthy and happy.  The only failures in our electric bicycle/scooter packs have been the result of improper charging.  Every pack we provide includes a charger which must be used to maintain the warranty.  Do not try to fast charge cell based packs.

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@BullCity

Now that you're a few months into it, could you add anything WRT your firsthand experiences with the Travel 1003 as a replacement to the Honda 2HP? I am about to go the electric route myself in re-powering our roll-up inflatable dinghy. 

 

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15 hours ago, StoMo said:

@BullCity

Now that you're a few months into it, could you add anything WRT your firsthand experiences with the Travel 1003 as a replacement to the Honda 2HP? I am about to go the electric route myself in re-powering our roll-up inflatable dinghy. 

 

I've been using one for about a year. Parts are available and easy to get from torqeedo usa. It works well for what it is, I've had some issues with communication errors with the tiller. But for the most part it's reliable, has decent range and requires little maintenance. 

I used to have an RIB with a 15, it was nice for long trips. I have a wooden sailing dinghy now so I leave the torqeedo behind if I'm going any real distance and just sail. It's not so fast but that's kind of the point.

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1 hour ago, Not Nice said:

I've been using one for about a year. Parts are available and easy to get from torqeedo usa. It works well for what it is, I've had some issues with communication errors with the tiller. But for the most part it's reliable, has decent range and requires little maintenance. 

I used to have an RIB with a 15, it was nice for long trips. I have a wooden sailing dinghy now so I leave the torqeedo behind if I'm going any real distance and just sail. It's not so fast but that's kind of the point.

using the torqeedo is the next best thing to sailing.

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16 hours ago, StoMo said:

@BullCity

Now that you're a few months into it, could you add anything WRT your firsthand experiences with the Travel 1003 as a replacement to the Honda 2HP? I am about to go the electric route myself in re-powering our roll-up inflatable dinghy. 

 

I have had no problems with the Travel 1003. The only issue is a small one: connecting the motor cable to the battery. You have to align the fittings just right, and then turn threaded collar. The connection could be better from a design standpoint. Dylan may have a comment.

I am using it on a 3200 lb. keel boat, on an inland lake. Speed-wise, it's not quite as fast as the Honda. I have the 500Wh battery that it came with, and a 900Wh. No range issues so far. I have the remote throttle, since my boat has a long after deck. I stow the batteries and motor below when at the dock.

I got a 3-blade propellor from Torqeedo and I think it's better - just a feeling.

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2 hours ago, Bull City said:

I have had no problems with the Travel 1003. The only issue is a small one: connecting the motor cable to the battery. You have to align the fittings just right, and then turn threaded collar. The connection could be better from a design standpoint. Dylan may have a comment.

I am using it on a 3200 lb. keel boat, on an inland lake. Speed-wise, it's not quite as fast as the Honda. I have the 500Wh battery that it came with, and a 900Wh. No range issues so far. I have the remote throttle, since my boat has a long after deck. I stow the batteries and motor below when at the dock.

I got a 3-blade propellor from Torqeedo and I think it's better - just a feeling.

I agree about the connections - the threads are too fine for daily use - even if you are a really careful person then I reckon that they will soon get sloppy at the top and start cross threading.  Such a fine thread keeps moisture out but is not user freindly. As a result I never dismantle mine.  I have owned seagulls and hondas that I felt could be with me for life - but then I sail in a shallow place where the bottom moves round so hitting the putty or shingle or slip with a prop has to be a survivable incident.  

The Torqeedo is a lovely bit of gear - but I fear that it needs to be built for toughness as much as it is for lightness.  I am into my fourth fin , second prop and tenth shear pin. With a Honda 2.3 I would not expect to blow blow a shearpin more than once a year.

Bloody hell the honda is noisy though

disgraceful really

 

D.

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I assume that aside from water ingress and eventual corrosion, the crossthreading can cause the communication error conditions that I've read about in other threads. Is it simple to reset the motor from said state while in place (ie. on the transom)?

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2 hours ago, StoMo said:

I assume that aside from water ingress and eventual corrosion, the crossthreading can cause the communication error conditions that I've read about in other threads. Is it simple to reset the motor from said state while in place (ie. on the transom)?

The cross-threading will cause an error. I got the error once, and it was easy to reset. The connection is not that hard to get right, you just have to be careful. The other cable, from the tiller to the battery is easy to connect.

I also recall getting an error when I was making a tight turn at full throttle. I think there's some discussion of that in this topic. As I recall it had something to do with the fact that my 1003 is on the transom with the swivel or pivot locked since I steer with the boat's tiller.

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Thanks Anarchists -- that's all very helpful.

My wife caught me watching Dylan's Torqeedo review video on YouTube yesterday. Instead of the giving me the customary eye roll, she blindsided me with: "And why don't we already have one of those?!".

I'm going to interpret that as a tie-breaking 'yes' vote. 

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7 hours ago, dylan winter said:

The Torqeedo is a lovely bit of gear - but I fear that it needs to be built for toughness as much as it is for lightness. 

It's not built for toughness. I don't think it's built for lightness per se either. I suspect it was built to pragmatism and "get 're done".  It's a niche product. If there was serious demand for the things they could be tougher, lighter, more reliable and they'd cost less.

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I met a J70 owner at the last regatta who has one, a year old. Works fine but his gripe is the run time is a fraction of what was advertised - fine for getting in and out of the harbor but not much else.

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1 hour ago, d'ranger said:

I met a J70 owner at the last regatta who has one, a year old. Works fine but his gripe is the run time is a fraction of what was advertised - fine for getting in and out of the harbor but not much else.

It is billed as a 3 HP. I don't agree. So far it's working well for me, and I'm very happy with electric vs. gasoline power. If I wanted to spend big bucks, I would get the bigger OB model and battery bank. That's what they have on the Tartan Fantail (a 26-footer).

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27 minutes ago, Bull City said:

It is billed as a 3 HP.

" The Travel can do everything that a 3 HP outboard motor can. "

The above is a quote and I wish they wouldn't say it. I enjoy the 1003 that I use. It has many charms. I'm happy to recommend it for certain uses. However, it simply can not do "everything a 3 HP outboard motor can do".  Not even close. I believe it has about half the power, a fraction of the range and takes vastly longer to recharge than a typical 3 hp motor. If you need range or power a gas motor can be much more capable.

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I've got a beef with Torqeedo -- I have one of their early small units, and it worked OK for putting around in the dinghy.  I let the battery sit for a year (bad idea!) and it no longer takes a charge.  Torqeedo can't sell me a replacement battery.  Instead, they want to give me a deal on a newer unit.  I didn't like the old one enough to pay more for a new one.  My noisy Honda 2HP is good enough for me, and when I let it sit and the carb gums up, it's easy enough to clean.  Anyway, most of the time I use oars.

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3 minutes ago, valis said:

Torqeedo can't sell me a replacement battery. 

That's odd.  We're on our third battery. They seemed happy enough to part with them in exchange for money. They threw in a new charger with the last one to mitigate the pain.

FWIW, If you're willing to do it or know a techie, you can probably re-build or resurrect the existing pack.

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20 hours ago, dylan winter said:

I agree about the connections - the threads are too fine for daily use - even if you are a really careful person then I reckon that they will soon get sloppy at the top and start cross threading.  Such a fine thread keeps moisture out but is not user freindly. As a result I never dismantle mine.  I have owned seagulls and hondas that I felt could be with me for life - but then I sail in a shallow place where the bottom moves round so hitting the putty or shingle or slip with a prop has to be a survivable incident.  

The Torqeedo is a lovely bit of gear - but I fear that it needs to be built for toughness as much as it is for lightness.  I am into my fourth fin , second prop and tenth shear pin. With a Honda 2.3 I would not expect to blow blow a shearpin more than once a year.

Bloody hell the honda is noisy though

disgraceful really

 

D.

Dylan,

I have a few questions. What kind of boat are you using the 1003 with? Where do you store the motor? Do you have a spare battery? How are you re-charging? Ashore? 

Thanks,

B.C.

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2 hours ago, Bull City said:

Dylan,

I have a few questions. What kind of boat are you using the 1003 with? Where do you store the motor? Do you have a spare battery? How are you re-charging? Ashore? 

Thanks,

B.C.

mostly it is on the 10 foot clinker dinghy

 

but I also use it in a well on the 22 footer

 

always charged ashore.  I use it around three times a week. On the clinker dinghy it does 4 miles at 6mph - ten miles at 5 mph and 16 miles at 4mph

on the big boat I run it at full blatt - that gives me an hour at 3 knots

 

D

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3X a week is a good use case. Lots of hours. Plus, you use it on different boats which is even better.

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16 minutes ago, Ajax said:

3X a week is a good use case. Lots of hours. Plus, you use it on different boats which is even better.

I got the dreaded 401(from memory)  fault that normally costs £300 to fix but it was still under gauarantee

when I went to pick up the outboard the engineers said

"I hope you don't mind me saying this mate - but it looks as though you are giving this thing a hard life"

When it breaks again I will not pay much to get it fixed and will go down the trolling motor and battery box route. I get the feeling that once this starts failing it will be increasingly expensive to fix.

 

D

 

3 x a week minimum

 

 

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@dylan winter I would have responded "You mean by actually using the damned thing? I'm sorry, I didn't know it was decorative."

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27 minutes ago, Ajax said:

@dylan winter I would have responded "You mean by actually using the damned thing? I'm sorry, I didn't know it was decorative."

To which the service people might have responded:

"It is designed and built for propulsion, not dredging"  ;) 

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16 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

To which the service people might have responded:

"It is designed and built for propulsion, not dredging"  ;) 

Ok, point taken. @dylan winter- Stop dragging the leg on the bottom!

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2 hours ago, dylan winter said:

mostly it is on the 10 foot clinker dinghy

 

but I also use it in a well on the 22 footer

 

always charged ashore.  I use it around three times a week. On the clinker dinghy it does 4 miles at 6mph - ten miles at 5 mph and 16 miles at 4mph

on the big boat I run it at full blatt - that gives me an hour at 3 knots

 

D

Is that with the 500 or 900 Wh battery? What does the 22 footer displace?

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5 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Is that with the 500 or 900 Wh battery? What does the 22 footer displace?

900 I think - dunno for sure

 

the 22 footer is a one tonne trailer sailer

 

 

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Sounds like the problem here is battery cost.  If a few KWhr of spare batteries was affordable, quite decent ranges could be managed even on heavier boats like Dylan's mighty 22-foot superyacht.

In EVs, the price of LiIon batteries is coming down towards US$100/hr.  When those levels of price filter through to outboard world — whether through Torqeedo or some other maker — the game will change fast.

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:08 PM, Bull City said:

Crash, to say "If folks treated their gas engines like they do (have to?) treat their electric engines, 99%  of the issues gas engines have would go away..." is hard to prove or disprove. I was pretty conscientious with my Honda. I used additives designed for ethanol gas, kept up with oil changes, and since I use my boat year round, it got frequent use. Maybe the problem is the smaller 4-cycles, like my 2 HP.

Ethanol-free gas is not easy to find. Manufacturers should take it into consideration.

Yes, I stow the Torqeedo below, unlike the Honda, because it doesn't stink and ooze oil at the slightest provocation.

The Honda also developed a nasty kick-back habit, where when starting it, the starter cord handle would be snatched back out of my hand and snap back to the motor cover, where it usually would hit my other hand. Ouch! The local Honda mechanic didn't have a fix.

As I have said before, if I were sailing in a more demanding environment, I'd use a 4 to 6 HP gas engine. But I'm fortunate to not need it where I am.

Every Honda product we have owned except one has given us excellent service with minimal non preventative maintenance. That one product was the 2hp air cooled Honda outboard. No amount of storing, and care could aliviate the carb issue. ( other than an expensive rebuild every year. ). 

The starting kickback caused bloodied hands hands more often than not.

This motor was Basically a total waste of money. Replaced it with a trolling motor on our Santana 20 and have never been happier. 

Wish it it was as good as our two generators, our lawn mower and our power washer.  They have all been great. 

As as far as outboards, the old two cycle smellers and smokers are hard to beat as far as getting you home when you need it most. In this case I am not talking about saving the planet, I am talking about a motor to  save your ass. 

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1 hour ago, Santana20AE said:

Every Honda product we have owned except one has given us excellent service with minimal non preventative maintenance. That one product was the 2hp air cooled Honda outboard. No amount of storing, and care could aliviate the carb issue. ( other than an expensive rebuild every year. ). 

The starting kickback caused bloodied hands hands more often than not.

This motor was Basically a total waste of money. Replaced it with a trolling motor on our Santana 20 and have never been happier. 

Wish it it was as good as our two generators, our lawn mower and our power washer.  They have all been great. 

As as far as outboards, the old two cycle smellers and smokers are hard to beat as far as getting you home when you need it most. In this case I am not talking about saving the planet, I am talking about a motor to  save your ass. 

Santana, thank you for confirming my experience with the Honda 2 HP, especially the starting kick-back. I have also have a Honda powered lawnmower, and it's great. Maybe the larger 4-cycle Honda OBs are better.

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2 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

Sounds like the problem here is battery cost.  If a few KWhr of spare batteries was affordable, quite decent ranges could be managed even on heavier boats like Dylan's mighty 22-foot superyacht.

In EVs, the price of LiIon batteries is coming down towards US$100/hr.  When those levels of price filter through to outboard world — whether through Torqeedo or some other maker — the game will change fast.

Interesting. The Torqeedo 900Wh battery is $1,000 US, same as when I bought mine about 2 years ago. If I get serious range anxiety, I can stock up.

I looked into the Torqeedo Cruise 2.0, which they rate a 5 HP. (Torqeedo horses must be small.) It runs $4,000, and then you have to buy a 2600Wh Power Unit (battery), which is $2,600, and a $600 charger (I think). I stopped thinking about it, however, it seems to be around $1.00 per Wh in Torqeedo Land.

 

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There is a lot going on in the electric bicycle space, I am thinking of hitching up a trolling motor to a bicycle Lifepo battery pack.

anyone have any experience here?

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I have lots of experience with e-bike parts: motors, batteries, and controllers.

What chassis are you planning on using, especially for the prop, gearbox, and strut?  

http://ebikes.ca is the best online resource and has a good motor modeling tool for a few dozen popular motors.

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I was just thinking of using a standard brushless trolling motor and a bike battery pack, nothing flash.

that ebike site is amazing, I have been there before, it has taken many hours of my life...

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1 hour ago, olaf hart said:

There is a lot going on in the electric bicycle space, I am thinking of hitching up a trolling motor to a bicycle Lifepo battery pack.

anyone have any experience here?

No experience, but the electric bikes REI is selling look pretty spiffy.

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The standard bike battery packs are 36V nominal (which is 42V at full charge), so I think they are too high voltage for a standard trolling motor.  24V is a low voltage pack, 48 or 52V for high power bikes.

You could get a custom or semi-custom 12V pack made.

12V 100AH made out of 18650 cells would be 4S40P and I think it would weigh around 8kg, but it would probably be pretty expensive (a bit under $1000). 

I think a LFP prismatic battery would be safer, cheaper (60% of the price), but around twice the weight.

I'm not sure that this really saves enough over Torqeedo's setup to make it worthwhile. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Alex W said:

The standard bike battery packs are 36V nominal (which is 42V at full charge), so I think they are too high voltage for a standard trolling motor.  24V is a low voltage pack, 48 or 52V for high power bikes.

You could get a custom or semi-custom 12V pack made.

12V 100AH made out of 18650 cells would be 4S40P and I think it would weigh around 8kg, but it would probably be pretty expensive (a bit under $1000). 

I think a LFP prismatic battery would be safer, cheaper (60% of the price), but around twice the weight.

I'm not sure that this really saves enough over Torqeedo's setup to make it worthwhile. 

 

24V trolling motors are available.

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3 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Yes, sucks to be us. Still cheaper than one battery for a Torpedo.

I agree

torqeedos are not really cost effective -I think they are an intermediate step.

A trolling motor for $200 and a bike lipo  battery for $400 would seem to be a sensible way to go.

If and when the toreedo finally craps out on me then I will buy a trolling motor for the dinghy

I was given mine by a German friend who came sailing with me - he said it would  change my relationship with my Estuary - he was right. It was a revelation that a dinghy ride does not have to leve your ears singing was wonderful.

When you fire up a gas outboard then you might as well crank it up to max to get the noise over with as soon aspossible

with an electric outboard toreedo you tend to travel at rowing speed and enjoy the dinghy ride  to the boat - you can chat to other people in the dinghy or to boats you are  passing.

In the trailer sailer I use it just to get me around the up wind  bends in this twisty estuary  -- and I keep the 6hp tohatsu slumbering in the quarter berth should the wind kick up - but the Tohatsu is now the engine of last resort.

D

Back to ebikes for a moment... they are bloody wonderful things. I built one using a cargo bike from the web and a kit from the web - it took me about four hours to  put together

 

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@dylan winter Hey, bravo on building the e-bike!  I've been curious about them for sometime.

You know that I love electric transport of all kinds and I really, really want to love the Torqueedo but the longer this thread runs, the more I'm convinced that the Torqueedo is just too damned fragile in the name of keeping costs low.

Ordinary trolling motors seem more robust and simpler. It's just a matter of combining them with a better energy storage system.  By the time you finish assembling some sort of "DIY Torqueedo" you might be near the cost of the brand name item but you might also have a unit that is more reliable, easier and cheaper to get parts for.

@Alex W I've been out of the EV scene for quite awhile. Your current knowledge in energy storage is really helpful. I'll tell you that since I've already been lugging around lead batteries to power my trolling motor, I would be OK with lugging around LFP prismatic batteries as long as the energy density was higher than wet lead acid. Would a pack like this require some sort of BMS or is it small and simple enough to charge without it?

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@Ajax: I wouldn't run any lithium battery without a cell balancing BMS.  Getting out of balance kills packs.

@olaf hart: Those are pretty nice prices on the trolling motors, but they don't have a lot of information on power consumption.  Caroute seems to be a similar brand here with good specs on their website. Their 100lb thrust motor uses 1100 watts maximum and 30 amps maximum.  Assuming that you'd like to get an hour runtime that means using a battery of around 1300 watt hours (20% extra capacity to avoid full charge and discharge, which will help the battery last longer).  That is a 24v55ah battery, which isn't a common configuration in ebikes.  When shopping make sure that the BMS of the battery can handle 30 amps, a lot of LFP battery packs with built in BMS aren't designed for that amperage.

Some of Caroute's trolling motors can do 48v, if you can find the same from Pelican that would make it easier to get e-bike batteries.  It also drops the amperage in half, putting the max amps more in line with what you can expect from common BMSs.  If you were comfortable giving up a little runtime you could get into a 48V@20ah pack (960wh), which is the upper end of what is used on e-bikes.

I checked em3ev, which is a popular brand for cheap ebike batteries.  Their largest battery is 1200wh (52V@23.8ah) for $629, so that is probably the cheapest possible option.  In 24V you get out of bulk pricing and into custom packs and I'd expect to have the price get closer to $1000.

EP Carry is using a much smaller motor at 24V and a 24V @ 10ah battery pack (only 240 wh), which is why their battery is so small and relatively cheap.  It is about 25% of the capacity of the Torqeedo 1003C battery at 50% of the price.

Torqeedo's pack pricing ($999 for 915wh) still seems pretty reasonable to me, especially for an off the shelf item with easy availability.  You can get cheaper, but not a lot cheaper.  The motor portion of the system seems pretty expensive ($1500, since the full package is $2500).

I wouldn't say that I'm an expert at all, I just know enough to be dangerous and some of the websites that sell batteries.

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On 10/25/2018 at 11:10 AM, Alex W said:

Torqeedo's pack pricing ($999 for 915wh) still seems pretty reasonable to me, especially for an off the shelf item with easy availability.  You can get cheaper, but not a lot cheaper.  The motor portion of the system seems pretty expensive ($1500, since the full package is $2500).

The Torqueedo pricing is kind of weird:

1) The 1003 comes with the 530 Wh battery and is $2000. That battery alone is $700, so the motor is about $1300.

2) The 1003-CS  comes with the 915 Wh battery and is $2500. That battery alone is $1000, leaving $1500 for the motor.

What is the strategy here? Seems like they're pushing people to the 1003 with the smaller battery. Maybe they have a lot of the smaller batteries to get rid of.

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33 minutes ago, Bull City said:

The Torqueedo pricing is kind of weird:

1) The 1003 comes with the 530 Wh battery and is $2000. That battery alone is $700, so the motor is about $1300.

2) The 1003-CS  comes with the 915 Wh battery and is $2500. That battery alone is $1000, leaving $1500 for the motor.

What is the strategy here? Seems like they're pushing people to the 1003 with the smaller battery. Maybe they have a lot of the smaller batteries to get rid of.

They copied from Porsche...take a bunch of stuff out of a 911, like A/C, carpeting, radio, power windows, back seats.  Then name it Club Sport, and charge more! :P

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On 10/24/2018 at 12:27 PM, TwoLegged said:
On 10/24/2018 at 11:59 AM, Ajax said:

@dylan winter I would have responded "You mean by actually using the damned thing? I'm sorry, I didn't know it was decorative."

To which the service people might have responded:

"It is designed and built for propulsion, not dredging"  ;) 

Hah! Also true, but the trolling motor on my flats boat is missing some skeg paint and has a few dings in the prop blades. It happens.

And it sounds like the Torqeedo doesn't quite stand up to the use Dylan gives it as well as he'd like.

On 10/24/2018 at 7:26 PM, Ishmael said:

24V trolling motors are available.

Pretty much every flats boat on the harbor has one, except for those that have a 36 volt one. But,

On 10/25/2018 at 3:30 AM, dylan winter said:

A trolling motor for $200

The bigger, more powerful ones do run a bit more than that.

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Who among us with an outboard powered dinghy has never touched bottom with the motor???  I can not claim that distinction...  My little suzuki has tolerated it well thus far.

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2 hours ago, sculpin said:

Who among us with an outboard powered dinghy has never touched bottom with the motor???  I can not claim that distinction...  My little suzuki has tolerated it well thus far.

hitting the sand, stirring the mud or even grinding the gravel is meat and potatoes to my Honda

not to the Torqeedo though

yesterday morning - crystal clear day, sunrise, not a drop of wind I went for a row with the ebb heading for felixtowe ferry.  I rowed forwards, backwards,. I paddle boarded a bit standing up and J stroked it backwards with me sitting in the stern - all the while drifting with the 1.5 knots of tide.  After a couple of hours of this nirvana I quietly motored back to the hard - against the tide - the main noise the boat made was the water tinkling along the clinkers

 

I could have done the same with a petrol Honda - but the journey back would have been a brain rattling  hour rather than a gentle quiet serene hour.

D

 

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We've just finished our first season with an Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 which has replaced a Mariner 4hp four-stroke.

The main reason for the switch was that although starting the Mariner on low compression was fine for myself and my son; my wife and daughter could not guarantee to get it started (it was 2 years old so not problematic at all) and that meant that the boat wasn't getting used because they were worried about being stuck.

We live on the River Yealm in SW England and have the Spirit 1 on a Mac 370 (fake clinker dinghy made of recycled milk container) which we use to get to the pubs, the beach, up the river for drinks etc and out to our bigger boat. The striking difference is the sound - all you hear is water on clinker or the boat you're passing. Birds don't move, seals almost ignore you and there is so much joy in that.

We did try a Torqueedo but were put off by the whine - ft one of the big gains is the quiet, why compromise it? The Torqueedo is small prop spinning fast, the Spirit 1 is large prop spinning slower. The whine (as I understand it) relates to the gearbox on the Torqueedo? Not a techy so don't know if that's the reason but I do know that there is a significant difference in sound levels.

In terms of battery life, we normally go out for a couple of hours and rarely drop below 50%. Not had any problems with cutting out and apart from seaweed entanglement, no slowing or error messages.

All I know is that we would never change back...and the girls use the boat all the time - it's all about removing the barriers to use for us and enhancing the experience.

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To me, it seemed that the whine came from the fast switching of the PWM motor controller, not the gearbox but I could be wrong. In any case, I like the gearless design of the Spirit.

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