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ePropulsion and Torqeedo experiences


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I am planning on repowering a project boat with this:

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/sevcon-brushless-sailboat-kit-5kw.html

 

Hope to get the kit ordered in August for cooler weather work below in Sept. Will need to teardown a dead BMW D7 diesel and fab a mount with the help of some mech engineer friends.

Well....I look at the gear reduction apparatus has all the mounting stuff I need...it should fit with adjustment on the existing stringer and motor mount.

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/gear-reduction-for-electric-inboard-sailboat-motor.html

 

 

 

reduction2.png

5KWSailboatKit.jpg

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Thanks for the responses.

Seems like I will have to borrow a torquedo down at the marina when there is a strong breeze and see how things go on the water(I can sail into my protected harbor in case it is too much wind outside for the motor)
Now to see who to grab one off of... a number of early adopters returned theirs because they had a bit of an issue...
 

Short fetch shouldn't be an issue though as I intend to adapt a trolling motor with a longer carbon shaft to get around waves within reason.
The torquedo shaft length matches our current petrol outboard and even smaller waves make that more difficult. Actual swell of 1-2m it is always going to be sailing into flat water or find a better marina to enter.

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15 hours ago, Bull City said:

 I have some experience motoring into a strong headwind (15-20 knots), but not that often. The Torqeedo will get me through it, but seas are not very much, because of the short fetch.

 

11 hours ago, The great unwashed said:

A couple of years ago I tried to motor my 26’ daysailer into about 25 knots of trade winds on the port bow using a Torqeedo 1003 long shaft.  Fairly flat water.  Total failure.  At full throttle I couldn’t keep the bow into the wind or make any progress to weather.  YMMV.

I have been known to over-estimate wind speed.

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3 hours ago, EvaOdland said:

I am planning on repowering a project boat with this:

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/sevcon-brushless-sailboat-kit-5kw.html

 

Hope to get the kit ordered in August for cooler weather work below in Sept. Will need to teardown a dead BMW D7 diesel and fab a mount with the help of some mech engineer friends.

Well....I look at the gear reduction apparatus has all the mounting stuff I need...it should fit with adjustment on the existing stringer and motor mount.

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/gear-reduction-for-electric-inboard-sailboat-motor.html

 

 

 

reduction2.png

5KWSailboatKit.jpg

Interesting concept.

I have always wonder if for the DIY enclined, there is an alternative to the Torqueedo and OceanVolt packages.

For instance, would something like this make sense for a small to mid-size sailboat cruiser?

https://www.electricmotorsport.com/motor-drive-systems/brushless-pmac-turn-key-systems/air-cooled/pmac-g4845-36-48v-450a-motor-drive-system.html

 

In more general terms, there are gazzillions of golf cart electric motors, with the associated infrastructure of spare parts, dealership, OEM replacement etc... Would such a set up make sense for a small sailboat?

 

DISCLAMIER: I have no affiliation whatsoever with the company above: they are just one of the first to pop up on a Google search for 48V 10 kW golf cart motor...

SECOND DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrical engineer, I know nothing about electrical motors...  For instance, the performance curve of the motor in the link above is this...

Electric Motor me1114_performance_curves.pdf

And it does not make sense to me... the scales on the Y axis would seem to say that voltage is always at about 70 V (faint dotted green curve) ... Really???

 

 

 

 

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On 7/29/2020 at 10:38 AM, Bull City said:

Interesting. What kind of boat? What kind of batteries?

1981 Pearson  Flyer 

4-5 lead acid 100 amp/hr

Charged at slip.

The kit I am looking at uses a controller that uses pulse width modulation to govern the motor...rather than a giant resistor, and a gear reducer...so the efficiency of turning a propellor shaft at a steady draw is high making it possible to get in and out of a slip or mooring and out to the race course...I'll still have the outboard...see fix it forum for my return thread on the flyer.

 

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11 minutes ago, EvaOdland said:

4-5 lead acid 100 amp/hr

Is that 100 amps total or per battery? 6,135 lbs. of boat. How much range do you think you'll have?

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On 7/29/2020 at 6:21 AM, EvaOdland said:

I am planning on repowering a project boat with this:

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/sevcon-brushless-sailboat-kit-5kw.html

 

Hope to get the kit ordered in August for cooler weather work below in Sept. Will need to teardown a dead BMW D7 diesel and fab a mount with the help of some mech engineer friends.

Well....I look at the gear reduction apparatus has all the mounting stuff I need...it should fit with adjustment on the existing stringer and motor mount.

https://www.thunderstruck-ev.com/gear-reduction-for-electric-inboard-sailboat-motor.html

 

 

 

reduction2.png

5KWSailboatKit.jpg

For the marine environment, you would be wise to consider a TEWD (totally enclosed wash down) motor.  Then you must consider how to displace the heat generated by the motor.  Let's assume the motor is 93% efficient.  That would result in about 350W of heat that needs to be displaced.  However, that is probably a mute point if you only have a 100 Amp battery capacity.   Running the motor at 5kW, you would have a maximum of 20 minutes of powering if you could run the batteries to 0 (which you cannot)

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/16/2020 at 12:52 AM, Sidecar said:

I use a trolling motor on my 9.5m long 970kg boat because I need a long shaft:

Of the motors offered by australian company, which version do you have for the 48V?
Perhaps more importantly, are you sailing in salt water and can the motor cope well with this? Differently said, I am looking into using one of them(EMP100 or 120 most likely) and would like to hear an outside opinion.

The company has been great with figuring out the details over Email but another opinion is always helpful in that regard.

And how do you like the controls for the motor. The joystick or potentiometer option specifically?

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A friend of mine has had an electric boat for years. There is a company, Ray I think, that sticks 36 volt motors in what looks like old outboard motors with the powerhead removed. He lives on a lake that prohibits gasoline engines. The boat has enough range to cruise around the lake and it is a very pleasant way to get around sipping a drink. I don't think the boat goes faster than 6 knots or so, but the low end torque gives you a noticeable kick from idle.

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1 hour ago, allweather said:

Of the motors offered by australian company, which version do you have for the 48V?
Perhaps more importantly, are you sailing in salt water and can the motor cope well with this? Differently said, I am looking into using one of them(EMP100 or 120 most likely) and would like to hear an outside opinion.

The company has been great with figuring out the details over Email but another opinion is always helpful in that regard.

And how do you like the controls for the motor. The joystick or potentiometer option specifically?

I have the EMP 160 tiller model standard 1000 mm shaft. I have made my own mounting bracket.

0I only sail in salt water and the motor appears to be OK with that.

Charles and Hristos are very helpful, and they do a lot of other interesting specialist electric motor work. I see now they also do DIY motor kits and have steering wheel options, so they have established a niche market.

Tiller throttle control is basic but works OK, I never steer with the motor and don’t use the extension. The tiller is always locked off, but I switch directions and lock again, rather than use reverse for any length of time.

The “in water” parts of the motor are all pretty robust cast aluminium, the shaft is stainless steel and is robust, the tiller and head controls are plastic and could do with being  more robust. I have to take the head off to install it in the boat, the shaft going up through the cockpit floor. So the motor is effectively permanently installed.

The motor comes with a spare propellor, not that I have needed it so far, because the rudders touch bottom before the prop. But I am thinking about putting on a thrust Torquedo prop.

All that said, my unit is on a custom mount, I use the motor thrusting sideways on the shaft holding bracket, not as designed, and am pretty rough with things anyhow.

Hope this helps, If you need to discuss things more, please PM me.

 

 

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That covers everything I believe, thank you.

It is good to hear that the equipment can handle the ocean well enough. I should have it even easier seeing how the baltic is even less salty.
Discussed things with Hristos and will mount one of those custom ones to shave off some more weight in the bracket and shaft.

Going to build them specifically to fit my boat with carbon and "steering" via rope instead of the more elegant but expensive and heavier hydraulics.
 

But use the remote control as climbing aft on the pitching deck while possible is no fun when single handed. Much simpler if I only need to leave the cockpit for the jib and dropping the motor into the water initially.

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We're on our third season with an ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 -- it's been absolutely flawless so far. Way prefer it to a small outboard with a carburetor getting clogged up owing to ethanol in the fuel. Storage is another plus, as it can just get dumped in a cockpit locker in any orientation.

That said, if we were instead cruising in the Caribbean where longer dinghy rides to good snorkeling spots are more typical than the short runs ashore we do here in the northeast, I could see the advantages of a gasoline powered outboard, especially given that they don't contaminate their gasoline with ethanol.

 

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On 7/23/2020 at 1:47 PM, carcrash said:

By eventually, I mean I do not yet have solar, and I have a folding prop so regeneration is impossible. Need a feathering, not folding, prop to regenerate, and I'll get one soon. Solar, I am waiting for this silly trade war to end.

Just came across a boat video where they showed regeneration with a folding prop. Apparently, they run the motor first, to spin up the prop and afterwards it's held open by centrifugal force. Something like that, but it's definitely possible.

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17 minutes ago, green03 said:

Just came across a boat video where they showed regeneration with a folding prop. Apparently, they run the motor first, to spin up the prop and afterwards it's held open by centrifugal force. Something like that, but it's definitely possible.

I've tried many times. We all experience times when props don't fold in neutral. As soon as I try to pull energy from the prop, it immediately and always folds, at 4 knots, at 6 knots, even at 8 knots. Never works.

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2 minutes ago, carcrash said:

I've tried many times. We all experience times when props don't fold in neutral. As soon as I try to pull energy from the prop, it immediately and always folds, at 4 knots, at 6 knots, even at 8 knots. Never works.

Well, they were definitely showing a folding prop. Their description of the process sounded like they were not taking energy off the prop, but that it starts to spin faster than the motor drives it, thus reversing the flow of power starting at a bit over 5 knots. However, it's not something I know from personal experience; are there differences among folding props that may explain their success?

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Many companies selling folding props claim their props work for regeneration. My Martec Elliptical certainly has never worked for me. It will stay open and spin like crazy, but the moment I start to try and pull any energy out of that spin, it folds. Instantly. Like putting a transmission in reverse.

Hence, I think I need a feathering prop, like a Max prop. Or an Autoprop (constantly automatic adjustable pitch). The Autoprops are about a half or third the drag of a fixed prop, while the feathering props are close to zero drag. Hence my preference for the feathering prop. I don't think I'll need to regenerate much.

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On 8/22/2020 at 9:58 AM, Sweare Deep said:

We're on our third season with an ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 -- it's been absolutely flawless so far. Way prefer it to a small outboard with a carburetor getting clogged up owing to ethanol in the fuel. Storage is another plus, as it can just get dumped in a cockpit locker in any orientation.

That said, if we were instead cruising in the Caribbean where longer dinghy rides to good snorkeling spots are more typical than the short runs ashore we do here in the northeast, I could see the advantages of a gasoline powered outboard, especially given that they don't contaminate their gasoline with ethanol.

 

Ethanol in the fuel is a big FUCK YOU from the Iowa Corn Lobby.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a Torqeedo 1003 with two spare batteries, plus a Mariner 6hp for longer range grunt work.  I really didn’t like the Torqeedo much (temperamental connectors, fragile plastics, whining gears) and I was wary of carburettor clogging on the Mariner.  When ePropulsion brought out the Spirit 1.0 Plus with direct drive and a much bigger battery, I took a deep breath, sold the Torqeedo and Mariner and bought one.  So far, I’m much happier with it.  The other day I was driving against a 1+ kn tide and an F3-4 apparent wind and covered 9nm in just under three hours.  Slow but steady.

The interesting new bit of eProp kit for me is the solar controller.  It can charge the eProp on the go, not just from solar panels but from other batteries.  I have two fairly large e-bike lithium batteries that I use, one after the other, to extend the range through the controller when the sun doesn’t shine, which is mostly.  So for my 9nm trip at just over 400W, the eProp battery should have been almost fully discharged by the end  but because I was charging on the go, I had about a third of a tank left.  It helps to allay range anxiety in a cheapskate sort of way but I suspect that I’ll be buying a spare eProp battery next season.

Using electric motors requires a change of attitude.  The Mariner 6hp could blast its way through anything, once I got it started.  With the eProp, I have to take currents into account, planning (mostly) to work with rather than against them.  I’ve also had to get used to going more slowly but it’s curiously relaxing doing so.  No noise, smell or vibration, just admiring the scenery in zen-like detail and listening to the birds.

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  • 1 month later...

On Sunday, I did some runs to measure more precisely my performance. I have an Olson 40 with an Electric Yacht 10KW motor derated to use a maximum of 95 watts, so about 4.5 KW. I have a battery bank of four Battle Born "12V" 100 amp hour batteries in series for a "48V" bank. Since these are lithium, the typical voltage is in the mid to low 50V range.

The raw data consists of photos of the ElectricYacht instrument panel and screen grabs of iNavX instrument page on my iPhone. Here are the results tabulated:

image.thumb.png.35f24cfe4659e3eb18ba179ea5c8feed.png

Electric Propulsion Performance.pdf

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On 10/1/2020 at 12:22 AM, Beanie 101 said:

The Mariner 6hp could blast its way through anything

What boat are you driving with these motors again?

And as you have the direct comparison with a 6hp to the spirit I would like to know what exactly you mean with blasting through everything?

people keep telling me that, and from a watt perspective it makes some sense. But when I last tested with my H-boat(8m) speed topped out at 5,5-6kn(not wind) and the prop started cavitating instead of driving the hull faster. In other words, that extra power is wasted.

This was with slowly getting up to speed, nevermind in a high wind/wave situation where speed would be lower and loss of theust would happen even sooner. When looking at thrust at rest I barely got 50lbs or so  

Which is why I‘d like to know how different it actually is with the spirit n your experience. How much less thrust do you experience actually compared to the 6hp outboard. Range not considered as an electric at full power doesn‘t have a lot of that. Certainly not anywhere near the energy density gas provides. But when power is the important factor and not range(typical high wind harbor approach  short but gusty)

 

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On 8/27/2020 at 6:04 PM, fastyacht said:

Ethanol in the fuel is a big FUCK YOU from the Iowa Corn Lobby.

Ethanol in gasoline is called "oxygenated" because alcohol has a lot of oxygen in the molecule that is easily released and used for combustion. Adding Ethanol to gasoline has huge performance advantages if the engine control computer can take advantage of it. For example, the SSC car that recently went 330 mph on a public road in Nevada used E85 to get maximum HP from its turbocharged engine.

In California, oxygenated fuel has been literally a life saver. The smog in LA almost disappeared, like magic, with oxygenated fuel (Ethanol added).

I agree that lobbying is evil, and should lead to incarceration, but our elected officials do not agree: both parties reap enormous financial gain from lobbyists. And I agree that Ethanol has problems. But it also has big advantages. Like nearly everything in life, there is some good that comes with some bad.

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Oh: The speed in the table above is in knots. And the governor is set to 95 amps, not watts.

The reason the V seems to increase over time, with power being drawn, is because even LiFePO4 batteries have **some** internal resistance, so higher draw results in lower voltage. No generator was being used, no solar panels, and no other electrical draw (even the fridge was turned off).

Too late, I can't edit it.

 

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1 hour ago, carcrash said:

On Sunday, I did some runs to measure more precisely my performance. I have an Olson 40 with an Electric Yacht 10KW motor derated to use a maximum of 95 watts, so about 4.5 KW. I have a battery bank of four Battle Born "12V" 100 amp hour batteries in series for a "48V" bank. Since these are lithium, the typical voltage is in the mid to low 50V range.

The raw data consists of photos of the ElectricYacht instrument panel and screen grabs of iNavX instrument page on my iPhone. Here are the results tabulated:

image.thumb.png.35f24cfe4659e3eb18ba179ea5c8feed.png

Electric Propulsion Performance.pdf

This is great data, thanks!  

Curious what the all-in weight looks like compared to the engine plus fuel tank, exhaust system, original lead-acid batteries, etc. etc. etc.  

Those LFP batteries weigh 29lb/ea, so you could double your range for only another 100lb assuming you had the space and $$.  Looks like ~10NM of functional range albeit at low speed.  That'd probably be fine for 95% of most people's actual usage.  

The other interesting thing I see from that table is how efficient your hull is at low speeds - another way of boosting range for that other 5% would be to run one of those 2.2hp Honda gensets.  For instance you could run at 4.8kts with 1kW from the genset and 1kW from the batteries for 4.5hrs and get 20NM to Catalina (barely), then trickle charge back up with solar while you're there.  Obviously if you did that a lot you'd probably want to keep the diesel!  

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What I have noticed is many many people in the J/70 class have gone back to 4 stroke outboards.  Class rules dictate a minimum weight so you have to carry 2 batteries. No gas mess to deal with, but that is the only benefit.  And most are tired being beaten to the hoist because the Torqueedo can only manage 3.5 - 4.0 knots while the 4 strokes are pushing 5 knots.

Also, the gen 1 and gen 2 Torqueedo batteries were shit and rarely lasted much more than 1 year.  Not sure if they have improved them or not.

MS

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1 hour ago, Mr. Squirrel said:

What I have noticed is many many people in the J/70 class have gone back to 4 stroke outboards.  Class rules dictate a minimum weight so you have to carry 2 batteries.

 

Class rule minimum weight is 12kg, so there should be no need for extra batteries.

.

 

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5 hours ago, carcrash said:

Ethanol in gasoline is called "oxygenated" because alcohol has a lot of oxygen in the molecule that is easily released and used for combustion. Adding Ethanol to gasoline has huge performance advantages if the engine control computer can take advantage of it. For example, the SSC car that recently went 330 mph on a public road in Nevada used E85 to get maximum HP from its turbocharged engine.

In California, oxygenated fuel has been literally a life saver. The smog in LA almost disappeared, like magic, with oxygenated fuel (Ethanol added).

I agree that lobbying is evil, and should lead to incarceration, but our elected officials do not agree: both parties reap enormous financial gain from lobbyists. And I agree that Ethanol has problems. But it also has big advantages. Like nearly everything in life, there is some good that comes with some bad.

Before the E10, we had MTBE and ETBE additive (oxygenate). The ethanol during the switchover caused the fucking fuel to GEL IN THE FUCKING TANK AND CARBS.

Howevver MTBE was no saint. Made the tankermen high as a kite and terrible headaches. Toxic. Also fucked up a lot of groudnwater. Aty least ehtanhol is nontoxi  (hahahaha well not but you get the point).

In the MTBE dayts in the east coast the oxygenate was originally all about seasonal stuff. It wasnt year round or it varied over the year (it has been a long time).
 

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4 hours ago, socalrider said:

This is great data, thanks!  

Curious what the all-in weight looks like compared to the engine plus fuel tank, exhaust system, original lead-acid batteries, etc. etc. etc.  

Those LFP batteries weigh 29lb/ea, so you could double your range for only another 100lb assuming you had the space and $$.  Looks like ~10NM of functional range albeit at low speed.  That'd probably be fine for 95% of most people's actual usage.  

The other interesting thing I see from that table is how efficient your hull is at low speeds - another way of boosting range for that other 5% would be to run one of those 2.2hp Honda gensets.  For instance you could run at 4.8kts with 1kW from the genset and 1kW from the batteries for 4.5hrs and get 20NM to Catalina (barely), then trickle charge back up with solar while you're there.  Obviously if you did that a lot you'd probably want to keep the diesel!  

At the time, I think the weight savings was about 700 lbs, but I did not keep the data, and did not measure precisely. But it was certainly closer to 700 lbs than to 500 lbs.

I am thinking strongly about doubling my battery capacity. As you point out, its about 120 lbs to do so, not bad. I still have a LOT of tools aboard from the refit that I can offload.

Before adding a generator (which I agree is pretty darn simple to do), I am going to change the prop and add solar.

At the next visit to the shipyard later this calendar year, I intend to swap the folding Martec for either an Autoprop as Rasputin mentioned above, or a feathering prop. Not another folding prop, which does not work, and I can't imagine how it could possible work to provide meaningful charging current. I know Rasputin had excellent experience with Autoprops on an electric catamaran. I would rather have lower drag, hence the continuing attraction to feathering props. But the Autoprop seemed to be easily the best for regeneration.

Given a prop that provides hydrogenation via the existing motor, I don't need a big ugly high windage permanent solar platform. I will instead mount the solar on a shade structure that I put up when moored/anchored/docked. The shade structure will probably be a hyperbolic paraboloid surface so it does not flap in the wind, as such motion can break even flexible panels. A hyperbolic paraboloid structure can be a square, with one diagonal running from the mast to the backstay (holding up), and the other diagonal running athwartship to adjustable re-purposed whisker poles to the side (pulling down). The nice thing about such a surface is that the entire surface is smoothly curved, and under tension, so each point has 3D forces acting on it, not just 2D, so if the corners are tensioned, the entire surface is tensioned and stable.

image.jpeg

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I recently got my hands on a Torqeedo Travel 801. A friends dad had it lying in his garage for 8 years. I tried charging it but it wouldn’t take a charge. 
Has anyone bought new battery cells online and replaced them? 

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9 hours ago, Dino said:

I recently got my hands on a Torqeedo Travel 801. A friends dad had it lying in his garage for 8 years. I tried charging it but it wouldn’t take a charge. 
Has anyone bought new battery cells online and replaced them? 

8 years old is very old for NMC. Not surprised it didn't charge. I'd be tempted to carefully take the cover off and see if you can revive it by charging it slowly using a bench power supply connected to the terminals. It's a long shot but it might just need to get above the LVC to begin the charge cycle.

I rebuilt a Torqeedo battery just to see if I could. I removed the bad cells and made a new battery from the good ones. It can be done but it's a dangerous project and it could result in a dangerous product in the end. One unexpected complication was that the battery was bedded in urethane. So, removal was a chore.

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1 hour ago, SailRacer said:

'battery was bedded in urethane'

Just the bottom quarter or so of the battery, IIRC. Looked like they poured in a pack of rubber. The case looked like it was designed with a more conventional system of securing the battery in mind. So, I wonder if the one I had wasn't an ad hoc assembly. Maybe they ran out of parts? Maybe a design change to deal with fire or vibration? I dunno, but it was unexpected.

The faulty cells looked like they had gotten seriously hot.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/2/2020 at 7:56 PM, allweather said:

What boat are you driving with these motors again?

And as you have the direct comparison with a 6hp to the spirit I would like to know what exactly you mean with blasting through everything?

people keep telling me that, and from a watt perspective it makes some sense. But when I last tested with my H-boat(8m) speed topped out at 5,5-6kn(not wind) and the prop started cavitating instead of driving the hull faster. In other words, that extra power is wasted.

This was with slowly getting up to speed, nevermind in a high wind/wave situation where speed would be lower and loss of theust would happen even sooner. When looking at thrust at rest I barely got 50lbs or so  

Which is why I‘d like to know how different it actually is with the spirit n your experience. How much less thrust do you experience actually compared to the 6hp outboard. Range not considered as an electric at full power doesn‘t have a lot of that. Certainly not anywhere near the energy density gas provides. But when power is the important factor and not range(typical high wind harbor approach  short but gusty)

 

I have a BayRaider 20, which is an open 20’ yawl.  The outboard well is quite a way forward of the rudder, so the prop remains well buried in all conditions and has never cavitated.

The Mariner had a high thrust prop which would take the boat up to theoretical maximum hull speed (5.5 knots) and beyond to over 6 knots, making an enormous wake and a lot of noise.  In practice, I was usually lighter on the throttle but if headed by wind and waves, there was always sufficient thrust in reserve to counteract them.  Hence the comment that I could blast through anything.

Not so with electric - with either the Torqeedo or eProp Spirit, the most speed I could get out of the boat in flat calm conditions on full revs is 5 knots and heading into a force 3 or 4, I’d be lucky to get up to 4 knots.  If travelling any distance, I would make do with 3 knots to conserve the battery range.  Using electric requires a different outlook and a bit of patience.  It’s probably not for everyone but for me, it’s a price worth paying for the lack of smell, noise and vibration, not to mention the risk of a clogged carburettor and zero knots.

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Thanks for the response. That is certainly an interesting experience in regards to the electric's lack of ability to push the boat. Or more importantly, that the gas one did not struggle with thrust either.

I wonder where this discrepancy comes from? You are not the first one that told me about this experience(one of the few with a good explanation though) and I can't figure out what causes this when the thrust figures between the motors should be similar. Not range or peak power that the gas engine wins every time hands down, but actually usuable thrust that should not be higher but in every direct comparison always seems to be.

What I wish for companies using some good standards for comparison instead of leaving the marketing department to being useless.
Or puplish some good depiction of use cases instead of feel good videos...

For me the benefits of going electric(the smell, gas everywhere, somewhat more maintenance. Vibration. Damn the noise and vibration!) do outweigh the drawbacks. But I'm also sharing the boat with family members that are... harder to convince and I am not switching outboards every time I want to go out.

Thanks for sharing your experience in detail. Got a good argument or two and things to look out for from it.
Now to find someone I can pick a motor off of in my area and demonstrate that it works with my boat... I asked a local supplier about this and he just shrugged his shoulders in regards to test drives. Can't believe they're missing out on that business opportunity.

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10 hours ago, Beanie 101 said:

Not so with electric - with either the Torqeedo or eProp Spirit, the most speed I could get out of the boat in flat calm conditions on full revs is 5 knots and heading into a force 3 or 4, I’d be lucky to get up to 4 knots.  If travelling any distance, I would make do with 3 knots to conserve the battery range.  Using electric requires a different outlook and a bit of patience.  It’s probably not for everyone but for me, it’s a price worth paying for the lack of smell, noise and vibration, not to mention the risk of a clogged carburettor and zero knots.

I've been using a Torqeedo 1003 (3 HP) on my H-Boat (27 feey, 3,200 lb.) for almost 3 years on an inland lake. My experience is very similar to Beanie's. I have three 900 Wh batteries, so range is not an issue.

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5 hours ago, allweather said:

I can't figure out what causes this when the thrust figures between the motors should be similar.

Many of us have observed that "equivalent" gas motors produce more thrust than electric in the service we put them to. They give better speed, better acceleration, and do a better job of driving into wind and seas. If tests produce results that differ from observations then the tests aren't testing the thing being observed.

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2 hours ago, weightless said:

Many of us have observed that "equivalent" gas motors produce more thrust than electric in the service we put them to. They give better speed, better acceleration, and do a better job of driving into wind and seas. If tests produce results that differ from observations then the tests aren't testing the thing being observed.

 

8 hours ago, allweather said:

Thanks for the response. That is certainly an interesting experience in regards to the electric's lack of ability to push the boat. Or more importantly, that the gas one did not struggle with thrust either.

I wonder where this discrepancy comes from? You are not the first one that told me about this experience(one of the few with a good explanation though) and I can't figure out what causes this when the thrust figures between the motors should be similar. Not range or peak power that the gas engine wins every time hands down, but actually usuable thrust that should not be higher but in every direct comparison always seems to be.

What I wish for companies using some good standards for comparison instead of leaving the marketing department to being useless.
Or puplish some good depiction of use cases instead of feel good videos...

For me the benefits of going electric(the smell, gas everywhere, somewhat more maintenance. Vibration. Damn the noise and vibration!) do outweigh the drawbacks. But I'm also sharing the boat with family members that are... harder to convince and I am not switching outboards every time I want to go out.

Thanks for sharing your experience in detail. Got a good argument or two and things to look out for from it.
Now to find someone I can pick a motor off of in my area and demonstrate that it works with my boat... I asked a local supplier about this and he just shrugged his shoulders in regards to test drives. Can't believe they're missing out on that business opportunity.

Thrust is utter bullshit useless quoted number. Utterly totally and cometely meaningles. It depenfs on flow conditiond and propeller!

Toraur on the other hand is what yoi want over rpm range.

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39 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Toraur on the other hand is what yoi want over rpm range.

Seems to me that power, which is proportional to torque x rpm and is a measure of how much work can be done in some time, isn't a bad place to start when comparing devices that you want to do work in time.  It's almost like it was designed to for these kinds of comparisons. Not?

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3 hours ago, weightless said:

Many of us have observed that "equivalent" gas motors produce more thrust than electric in the service we put them to. They give better speed, better acceleration, and do a better job of driving into wind and seas. If tests produce results that differ from observations then the tests aren't testing the thing being observed.

‘Twas ever thus.

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18 hours ago, weightless said:

Many of us have observed that "equivalent" gas motors produce more thrust than electric in the service we put them to.

Yeah, the "equivalence" label is the worst. It is not exactly rocket science to look at shaft/power and see that a 1000W motor does not equal 5hp, aka 3,7ish kilowatts.

I am more annoyed that there seems to be little useful test data. With which I mean comparisons between "typical" use cases with small yachts. Or at least I have not seen it.
Because for all the shaft power my outboard has I know that even with a "higher thrust/lower speed" prop it can not transmit its full power into the water. Cavitating and dropping in power instead once the boat stops accelerating around 5,5kn no matter how gently I accerlerate.

I know that some guys buy special thrust props for their outboards and get much better results in using the full power the gas engine can provide. Thrust prop in this case being a four blade one with very large area(as much as can be fitted really) and low pitch to keep from dragging down rpms. Doesn't do that much for top speed but acceleration is significantly higher.

Anyway before I digress too much. My... insistence about (low speed) thrust is based in the idea that I am not able to use the full power of my gas engine anyway, so a lower power rating with an electric is potentially not that bad as long as it is better suited to the low flow velocity I see. But as you said the gap still seems to be too big with the espirit's mere 1kW. Even half a 5hp gas outboard is more than that.

 

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3 hours ago, allweather said:

the gap still seems to be too big with the espirit's mere 1kW. Even half a 5hp gas outboard is more than that.

 

To add to the anecdotal evidence, a few years back a number of 20’ BayRaiders were caught out in an unexpected strong squall during a race in the Carrick Roads near Falmouth (gusting F7 - photo below).  The race was abandoned, we all hurriedly dropped our sails and got ready to motor into the wind to return to the marina.  Several had 2.5hp Suzuki outboards and got back without problems.  I had my (now ex) Torqeedo 1003 with a less than full battery and made quite slow progress on full power.  However, the battery ran out before I could reach home.  I managed to grab hold of a Cornish Shrimper on a mooring and hang on until the rescue boat came back for us. Lesson learned: even in seemingly benign conditions, expect the unexpected and don’t go out without at least one full battery.

11CE1039-C31B-4098-A3A1-7F32D19762CF.jpeg

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That sounds unfun. The motor running out of "fuel." not sailing the pictured boats with nice wind!

And does show the limitations powerwise one has to take into considerations. It is just 1kW in the end. The good thing about the h-boat is that you can sail it through most weather pretty well. Even before pulling out reefing and/or tri sails.(don't always carry the tri main/reef but storm jib and anchor most of the time. Prefer that to trying to motor in those winds to be honest)

With an electric however I definitely would be forced to sail or drop the anchor. With the gas one I have some... adventures in 6-7Bft. But honestly in those times it usually comes down to sailing to flat spot of water to drop the sails(sometimes right between the wavebreakers) and then only motor the last couple meters which again doesn't need that much power. But that is me who likes to dock under sails compared to some family members that don't want all that stress. :D

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1 hour ago, Beanie 101 said:

To add to the anecdotal evidence, a few years back a number of 20’ BayRaiders were caught out in an unexpected strong squall during a race near Falmouth.  The race was abandonned, we all hurriedly dropped our sails and got ready to motor into the wind to get back to the marina.  Several had 2.5hp Suzuki outboards and got back without problems.  I had my (now ex) Torqeedo 1003 with a less than full battery and made quite slow progress on full power.  However, the battery ran out before I could reach home.  I managed to grab hold of a Cornish Shrimper on a mooring and hang on until the rescue boat came back for us. Lesson learned: even in seemingly benign conditions, expect the unexpected and don’t go out without at least one full battery.

One BayRaider with a crew of three managed to sail back to the marina under jib and mizzen.  I thought that we were too close to the lee shore to get the boat reefed down quickly and so relied on the motor to claw our way upwind while we sorted ourselves out.  With hindsight and more experience, we might have got back under jib and mizzen too but it’s not always easy to make the right decisions when confronted with the (very) unexpected.

0E98B7DB-B8F6-4202-9FA8-D5CCD004C890.jpeg

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On 11/18/2020 at 9:09 AM, Bull City said:

I've been using a Torqeedo 1003 (3 HP) on my H-Boat (27 feey, 3,200 lb.) for almost 3 years on an inland lake. My experience is very similar to Beanie's. I have three 900 Wh batteries, so range is not an issue.

I have the Torqeedo 3-blade prop, not the standard 2-blade.

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Torqeedo had never made a profit when they were acquired by Deutz two years ago.  Their financial tribulations appear to continue.  I think that they’re suffering from competition from ePropulsion and perhaps the cost of moving up the scale into much larger saildrive motors.  They have a new(ish) CEO “with a focus on improving profitability”, presumably at Deutz’s behest.

Torqeedo could start by improving their smaller recreational product line.  The announcement of new products for 2021 is unexciting for small boat owners.  There’s a direct drive version of the Travel 1103’s less powerful relative, which is designated the Travel 603.  They say that it’s suitable for boats up to 1 tonne but I think that’s very optimistic.  And that’s it.  No response to eProp’s much higher capacity battery on the Spirit Plus and, direct drive aside, no addressing the plasticky fragility of their smaller outboards.

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1 hour ago, Beanie 101 said:

No response to eProp’s much higher capacity battery on the Spirit Plus and, direct drive aside, no addressing the plasticky fragility of their smaller outboards.

Torqeedo really needs a major redesign of their product line to fix those issues of capacity and fragility.   But a quest for higher short-term profitability doesn't leave much room for that sort of investment.

They have huge brand recognition, and huge experience.  If they built on that, they could be in a very good place ... but if the investment isn't forthcoming, they will be overtaken.

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7 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

if the investment isn't forthcoming, they will be overtaken.

Having been a somewhat disgruntled owner of a noisy Torqeedo 1003 (with two extra batteries) and now a much happier owner of an ePropulsion Spirit Plus (with the new solar controller), I think that they were comprehensively overtaken two years ago.  ePropulsion was founded by ex-Torqeedo managers who obviously thought, and subsequently found, that they could do better at the lower end of the range.  Torqeedo have been spending a lot of effort and money developing seriously big electric motor systems, such as new 50 and 100 kW saildrives.  However, they have neglected the smaller outboards except where they have been forced to improve (eventually and insufficiently) by superior competition.

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On 7/7/2020 at 3:54 PM, Alex W said:

Diesel is 7lbs per gallon, so 140lbs.
Battleborn 100ah batteries are 31lbs each, so 124lbs (source https://battlebornbatteries.com/product/12v-lifepo4-deep-cycle-battery/)
ElectricYacht QuietTorque 10kw motor is 65lbs (source https://electricyacht.com/product/quiettorque-10-electric-motor/)

That's 27 gallons of diesel.  Not bad, but not under 20 gallons.

It looks like your range in ideal conditions (1.5KW @ 5 knots) is about 15nm.  Bump this to 60nm (a reasonable delivery day for racing around here, 12 hours at 5 knots) and you'd need 500lbs of batteries (20KWh) and the total system weight isn't looking quite as attractive.

I'm interested in going in this direction if our diesel ever fails, but it does have big limitations.

One bit of math you're missing here is that he replaced a diesel that weighed 302lbs dry (280 for the motor, 22 for the gear); you can double the battery size of his setup, add the motor weight, and be right around the weight of the yanmar he pulled out. CarCrash's current setup is ~100lbs less than his old diesel before considering fuel weight and works very well for his use case.

Weight wise, it would be a net gain rating wise for a 30nm commute on race day as fuel isn't considered part of the boat weight in a lot of ratings (IRC, ORC, etc).  The question for your 60nm commute is does ~200lbs of rated weight of batteries hurt more than ~60lbs unrated weight of fuel (guesstimate on how much you have sloshing around the tanks to get home)?

Edit: currently in the design spiral of electric vs. diesel for our next boat and it's very close at the moment, especially when you start including a built in hydro generator and the weight of the house bank. The major issue is we can't meet the 10-12 hour motoring requirement at near hull-speed for the offshore event's we'd be doing so it's unlikely to work without battery sizing getting silly.

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1 hour ago, smokeless said:

Edit: currently in the design spiral of electric vs. diesel for our next boat and it's very close at the moment, especially when you start including a built in hydro generator and the weight of the house bank. The major issue is we can't meet the 10-12 hour motoring requirement at near hull-speed for the offshore event's we'd be doing so it's unlikely to work without battery sizing getting silly.

And that's the issue for most people. Whether it's offshore event requirements or inland cruising, 10-12 hours at hull speed is still gonna call for unreasonable costs and/or bank sizes with current technology. In a few years, the battery cost reductions may make it reasonable but it won't really take off until energy densities double once or twice.

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  • 1 month later...

ePropulsion are about to announce the Spirit EVO, which is the same small electric outboard as before, but with hydro-generation capabilities through the propeller at speeds in excess of 4 knots.  Also the throttle will be detachable instead of hinged and will be interchangeable with a remote control.  Details have somehow leaked ahead of the official announcement - see this from a UK distributor Nestaway comment

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