ePropulsion Pod Drive

Bull City

Bull City
6,895
2,534
North Carolina
As many know, I have been using a Torqeedo Travel 1003 on my H-Boat (27' 3200 lbs.) for about 3 years. I've been happy with it. I have been eyeballing their 5 HP pod drive, but the cost has put me off some - $8400 plus tax, shipping and installation. I'm looking into the ePropulsion pod drive (6 HP), and the cost is $2,000+ less than the Torqeedo. I've got a lot of questions, and there are probably important ones that haven't occurred to me, so I thought I would start this thread and ask for y'all's advice.

I confess that I can live with the Torqeedo OB; the Pod is a "nice to have" not a "gotta have." I think the extra  power would be nice if conditions get nasty. The Torqeedo's 3 HP is not robust. Ease and convenience are a consideration. I store the Torqeedo in the cabin, and schlep it out and back when sailing. I also schlep a battery home for re-charge, although not every time. Aesthetics are also a consideration. An OB motor and bracket do nothing for a boat's appearance.

A pod drive would solve these problems, I think. But there would be new things to worry about. Anti-fouling. Anodes. Continuous immersion. What to do if the motor breaks down - the motor is in the pod. What kind of batteries - eProp has a Li-ion with 3042 Wh for $3K , and a LiFePO4 battery with 4096 Wh for $2K. 

The Torqeedo brand has a mixed reputation. I've had a good experience. I don't know anything about ePropulsion. The closest dealer is Annapolis Hybrid Marine. So far they have been responsive and forthcoming.

Thanks in advance.

B.C.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,730
2,932
With the rate this field is developing, my suggestion would be to live with your Torqeedo until it craps out, which it inevitably will. Then take a look at what's available and at what cost. Designs are getting better, batteries are getting better and cheaper, and competition is entering and driving system prices down. I don't think that in two years the situation will be night and day but it might make a 25% difference in price, power, or both.

 

Diarmuid

Super Anarchist
3,430
1,433
Laramie, WY, USA
With the rate this field is developing, my suggestion would be to live with your Torqeedo until it craps out, which it inevitably will. Then take a look at what's available and at what cost. Designs are getting better, batteries are getting better and cheaper, and competition is entering and driving system prices down. I don't think that in two years the situation will be night and day but it might make a 25% difference in price, power, or both.
Very good advice. We lived with our old solar PV panels for maybe a little longer than was conducive to restful sleep, battery health, or domestic bliss. But waiting until the last minute (read: this Fall) meant we got new panels with 2.5 times the output at a laughably low cost.  There's definitely a crossover point. "Fun to play with" becomes "Nice to have" becomes "What idiot wouldn't?"

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I may crap out first.
In which case, problem solved. ;)  

 

Bull City

Bull City
6,895
2,534
North Carolina
The the question becomes whether your wife or kids would prefer the upgraded boat or the $8400. 
That really is not the question, at least to me.

Even if it were, they will get some stuff that that ain't cash, however, they can consider themselves fortunate that they will not have to dispose of a 60 foot ferro-cement broken dream, and all of the "valuable" accessories that go with it, that are worth pennies on the dollar, maybe less.

That is not a worry to me.

 

Beanie 101

Member
64
36
UK
https://www.sailmagazine.com/gear/epropulsion-alternative-fuel-outboards

any one got one or their smaller stuff

I have never seen or heard of one of these
Yup, I have the small ePropulsion with the integrated and demountable battery, the Spirit 1.0 Plus.  I previously had a Torqeedo 1003 for several years, which pissed me off with its whiny gearbox noise, plasticky fittings and temperamental electrical connections.  I was pleased to get rid of it (and a Mariner 6hp) and use the cash to buy the eProp, which has a direct drive, gearless and therefore silent motor and a MUCH bigger battery.

I can’t see where you’re based but eProp have taken off in the UK despite only having a few dealers.  Word has mostly spread by mouth on forums like this as I don’t think that marketing is one of eProp’s strong points.  Their website is fairly clunky and misses the brisk German efficiency (and over-promises) of the Torqeedo website.

if you want to see a side by side comparison of the small Torqeedo and the small eProp, have a look at this website of an agent for both brands, although probably not for much longer! https://nestawayboats.com/shop/epropulsion-spirit-plus-1kw-electric-outboard/.  The comparison is below the first couple of screens.

 
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Beanie 101

Member
64
36
UK
I'm currently eyeing the Haswing Ventura 

no fancy proprietary gimmicks, apps or voltage like with Torqeedo, but a rather 'open' system, so I can decide which batteries to use.
Now that eProp have moved the Spirit outboard battery from 40.7V to 48V,  it too can be run on a variety of batteries.  However, you can’t buy the outboard without its lithium battery - you could probably sell it to someone who needs a spare.

Matagi’s link to the Haswing Ventura page has a toggle (top right) between German and English language versions.  Choose the English version and you get the page......in German.  I don’t take it personally.

 

ChrisJD

Member
245
165
Boston, MA
I’ve got the Spirit 1.0 for my inflatable dink. Trade offs are well-known and similar to other electrics: It’s plenty for tooling around an anchorage, and the peace and quiet are wonderful, but it can’t get onto a plane or go more than a few miles at speed. I have neither a talent nor an interest in gasoline engine maintenance, so the fact that it needs literally no maintenance at all is worth the sacrifice. It’s probably the only thing on my boat that hasn’t given me issues at least once since I bought it a couple of years ago.

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
6,251
985
I have an eProp Spirit outboard as well. It is more reliable, lighter, and less noisy than the British Seagull that it replaced  :p

I'd think the pod drive would be an expensive, if convenient replacement for an outboard. I'd worry a little about longevity, there are signs of corrosion on my Spirit after only one year use (but to be fair, the same can be said of most outboards).

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
5,607
581
more reliable, lighter, and less noisy than the British Seagull that it replaced 
As is convincing a passing pinniped to take your painter and and tow you to where you want to go.

I've lived with a couple of saildrives for a couple of decades and I suspect the concerns that they bring are similar to a those of a pod drive.

  • seals
  • electrolysis / zincs / isolation / corrosion /  etc.
  • bottom paint / fouling
  • access to the mechanical and electrical bits for maintenance and repair.
  • local parts availability

Presumably they will also add electrical and electronic complications.

That said, I like the idea. The details may take some working out though.

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
6,251
985
Yes - and I am more suspicious of the corrosion protection on the eProp than a Volvo or Yanmar saildrive. At least, unlike a saildrive, the required holes are pretty small, no large gasket either. 

 
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