hdra

Have Torqueedo Outboards Come of Age Yet

Recommended Posts

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks pretty beefy and robust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now