ePropulsion and Torqeedo experiences

Roller Skates

Super Anarchist
1,160
108
North
Honestly they are motors, no more no less.

If you're buying a Torqueedo to replace an "unreliable" outboard, you're going to have the same issue - take care of it or it won't work. All the issues I've had are storage issues (wet, unplugged roughly, bad contacts, tossed in boat, charged irregularly). If you can't dry an outboard out of fuel and store on its correct side, you're going to wreck a torqueedo too. Take care of it and it'll work well. Just like the 4 stroke 4hp Yamaha I run (with an external feed).

I want an electric but need the range. IMHO the biggest issue with electrics is that I can't repair em. Torqueedo goes down, I have to buy an assembly and throw the rest in the trash. There's no shop, dealer, etc. Yamaha, I order the specific piece off amazon and I'm running in two days without customer service leading me on a chase. With 99% of my original engine. Or I drop by my OB shop. Look up what happens to Teslas, your phone, etc. Can't scrap it. Can't repair it.

 

 

Guvacine

Member
328
78
North CA
Honestly they are motors, no more no less.

If you're buying a Torqueedo to replace an "unreliable" outboard, you're going to have the same issue - take care of it or it won't work. All the issues I've had are storage issues (wet, unplugged roughly, bad contacts, tossed in boat, charged irregularly). If you can't dry an outboard out of fuel and store on its correct side, you're going to wreck a torqueedo too. Take care of it and it'll work well. Just like the 4 stroke 4hp Yamaha I run (with an external feed).

I want an electric but need the range. IMHO the biggest issue with electrics is that I can't repair em. Torqueedo goes down, I have to buy an assembly and throw the rest in the trash. There's no shop, dealer, etc. Yamaha, I order the specific piece off amazon and I'm running in two days without customer service leading me on a chase. With 99% of my original engine. Or I drop by my OB shop. Look up what happens to Teslas, your phone, etc. Can't scrap it. Can't repair it.

 
This. Nailed it.

 

Expat Canuck

Anarchist
711
207
Salish Sea
It seems to me that the propane powered Lehr outboards kind of bridge the gap between the 2hp gas outboard (with all the gas smell and mess), and the Torquedo.  I've seen a few around, but never talked to anyone with experience using them.

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
5,608
587
All power sources are a hassle, including sails.
Sure, but they aren't all the same sized hassle. Some folks have testified that they find the Torqeedos and similar less hassle to use than small gas outboards. I get that. Small, cheap, pull start, manual choke, gas outboards take a knack to work reliably. Once leaned I think it's easy to forget it ever had to be learned -- like driving standard. Still, it's less of a hassle not to learn it at all.

 
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green03

Member
301
18
Sure, but they aren't all the same sized hassle. Some folks have testified that they find the Torqeedos and similar less hassle to use than small gas outboards. I get that. Small, cheap, pull start, manual choke, gas outboards take a knack to work reliably. Once leaned I think it's easy to forget it ever had to be learned -- like driving standard. Still, it's less of a hassle not to learn it at all.
It's a knack that's escaped me, for one. My experience with small internal combustion motors is regularly hit or miss (whether on land or water). Over decades of using trolling motors and small electric outboards, I had two times that a motor was inoperable. One time it was a dead battery (old age, not lack of charging) and one time it was a bent plastic propeller. Since I take the motor off after every use, the light weight of the modern batteries (and motors) even compared to a trolling motor has made a small hassle even smaller.

 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,928
2,600
Sure, but they aren't all the same sized hassle. Some folks have testified that they find the Torqeedos and similar less hassle to use than small gas outboards. I get that. Small, cheap, pull start, manual choke, gas outboards take a knack to work reliably. Once leaned I think it's easy to forget it ever had to be learned -- like driving standard. Still, it's less of a hassle not to learn it at all.
Considering that 96% of the boating public has voted with their time money that sails are a bigger hassle than petroleum engines, I find this discussion quite hilarious.

 

C. Spackler

Member
470
62
Boat
I don't think the sailing community or industry are missing the point at all. Look at the marketing. It's all about reduced hassle relative to ICEs and the joys of nearly silent propulsion, akin to rowing or sailing.

What it's not about is range, expense, or power, for obvious reasons. It's also not so much about increased reliability anymore because Torqueedo kinda pissed in that punchbowl and now everyone has to overcome a perceived negative there.

With a wealthy customer base, both range and reliability concerns can be overcome to some degree by raising the price or cutting your margins and offering bigger/multiple batteries and longer warranties.
It would be nice to have ICE range with electric ease. I'm surprised nobody has figured out how to make a keel that's also a battery. 

 
It would be nice to have ICE range with electric ease. I'm surprised nobody has figured out how to make a keel that's also a battery. 
Pure electric, I don't have much range. But motor sailing, I have a lot of range. Sailing, I have infinite range. Since with solar and re-generation I can (eventually) refuel without a fuel dock, that is another big advantage over chemical fuel range.

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.

 

Sidecar

…………………………
3,241
1,630
Tasmania
It would be nice to have ICE range with electric ease. I'm surprised nobody has figured out how to make a keel that's also a battery. 
Build a proa and put the batteries in the ama. See post#64 upthread.

And there is  room to triple weight and capacity. With a righting arm of over 4.5 metres, it doesn’t take much to get significant extra righting moment in a 970kg boat ..... and you are not taking up accommodation or useful storage space in the main hull.

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
7,185
2,820
North Carolina
So a battery and a battery charging computer, a heavy industrial electric notor, are not a hassle? All power sources are a hassle, including sails.


Considering that 96% of the boating public has voted with their time money that sails are a bigger hassle than petroleum engines, I find this discussion quite hilarious.
Did you get up on the wrong side of bed two days in a row?

 
CarCrash, 

What are you using for a speed controller? 

How many amps at 12 VDC (or mention your operating voltage at load) are you using when pushing your hull into choppy conditions at 4 kn, 5kn and any higher speed?

Do you need to cool the e-motor?

Does your controller reverse the motor electrically?

Do you miss having an alternator on the old diesel engine?

Do you have any plans for long distance/world cruising? ever?.... would you still consider this setup in that situation?

If I may ask... How much money are you able/willing to spend on a system like this if you hade to start all over from scratch... just pretend, OK?

Thanks

 

allweather

Member
438
82
baltic
I've been using a Torqeedo Travel 1005 on a 3200 lb. keelboat, an H-Boat, for about 2 years. I've been very happy with it. I have three 915 Wh batteries, so no range anxiety. I use the remote throttle. I also bought the 3-blade prop, which I feel is better.

Motoring in flat water:

 Knots   Watts
4.0         810w
3.0         400w
3.5         560w
2.0         110w 
Those numbers are very interesting to me sailing a H-boat as well. Some additional questions if you don't mind.

Major point is if you have experience using the motor in windy conditions, for example the last stretch into port with a strong headwind(20-25kn) and some chop?

Our H-boat has been running a 5hp two stroke for well over decade before it broke(an anode screw came lose and the watch didn't notice until the motor broke the shaft in half :rolleyes: ) and got replaced by a 6hp four stroke.

That is quite a bit of power but I also notice how I rarely use the available power and wonder how you're doing with those lower numbers.
Range was the big argument, but looking over the last two years the boat gets used in a 10mile radius in our bay and that is within range of an electric setup easily while removing a lot of weight from the transom!
For long range we could always keep the petrol engine but I found that in my area stretches between ports are maybe 30-40miles and rarely dead calm for more than a couple hours. Not that much of an issue for myself.

Back to my questions. I am really curious about handling in gusting conditions, if you have sufficient power to maneuver in port and while raising or dropping sails in adverse, choppy, conditions. I typically drop sails right before the port or while already protected by land windwards. Subsequently tend to not need a motor for powering into a headwind. That is what I have sails for.(to be honest, even with the big 6hp four stroke powering into a headwind is... not quite futile but sucks. Nevermind if there is more than a meter of swell and it starts pulling air)

How fast do you tend to go with your H-boat while underway with the electric on distance?
Seeing just how massive the jump in power draw is from three to four knots I would like to hear your personal stance on range versus convenience of speed. I knew how displacement power needs scale up rapidly with speed but having actual numbers for the H-boat at even such slow speeds is sobering and helpful in debating battery size for a given range if one is willing to lose some speed.

 

Bull City

A fine fellow
7,185
2,820
North Carolina
Those numbers are very interesting to me sailing a H-boat as well. Some additional questions if you don't mind.

Allweather, I sail on an inland lake, so my experience is likely different than yours. The waters outside of the marina are such that an area protected from wind is easy to find to drop and secure sails.

Major point is if you have experience using the motor in windy conditions, for example the last stretch into port with a strong headwind(20-25kn) and some chop? 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.

Our H-boat has been running a 5hp two stroke for well over decade before it broke(an anode screw came lose and the watch didn't notice until the motor broke the shaft in half :rolleyes: ) and got replaced by a 6hp four stroke.

That is quite a bit of power but I also notice how I rarely use the available power and wonder how you're doing with those lower numbers.
Range was the big argument, but looking over the last two years the boat gets used in a 10mile radius in our bay and that is within range of an electric setup easily while removing a lot of weight from the transom!
For long range we could always keep the petrol engine but I found that in my area stretches between ports are maybe 30-40miles and rarely dead calm for more than a couple hours. Not that much of an issue for myself.

Back to my questions. I am really curious about handling in gusting conditions, if you have sufficient power to maneuver in port and while raising or dropping sails in adverse, choppy, conditions. I typically drop sails right before the port or while already protected by land windwards. Subsequently tend to not need a motor for powering into a headwind. That is what I have sails for.(to be honest, even with the big 6hp four stroke powering into a headwind is... not quite futile but sucks. Nevermind if there is more than a meter of swell and it starts pulling air)

How fast do you tend to go with your H-boat while underway with the electric on distance? I usually go about 3.25 knots if distance is a consideration, usually with light wind and flat water.
Seeing just how massive the jump in power draw is from three to four knots I would like to hear your personal stance on range versus convenience of speed. I knew how displacement power needs scale up rapidly with speed but having actual numbers for the H-boat at even such slow speeds is sobering and helpful in debating battery size for a given range if one is willing to lose some speed. I have three 915 Wh batteries - no range worries.

 




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