ePropulsion Pod Drive

DDW

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I love fresh water. I'm using it in salt. When I had my boat in the Great Lakes everything stayed new for 2 years. We hit the salt just above Quebec City on the St. Lawerence and everything started to corrode like crazy. More corrosion in 2 weeks than in 2 years on the GL. I'd be a lot more confident in it in fresh water. 

 

TwoLegged

Super Anarchist
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I have an eProp Spirit outboard as well. It is more reliable, lighter, and less noisy than the British Seagull that it replaced  :p
To be fair, a bunch of high explosives playing heavy metal is quieter than a British Seagull.

Or at least the newer Seagulls.  My father had two: a wee 1950s Seagull with lots of brass components, which ran like a jewel ... and a 1970s one with some cheap steel components and hideous din.

 

DDW

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Let's just say they could hear me coming. It is a mid 70's (late model!) Silver Century Plus, with clutch. I bought it from a would be collector, it hadn't run in at least 20 years. After filling it with the oil-gas mixture it runs on, and letting the cork gaskets swell to stem the many leaks, I was disappointed that it did not start on the first winding of the rope. But it did start on the second. Not the most refined mechanism, but one that does not suffer from needing tight clearances and intricate adjustments either. Absolutely reliable thereafter, until retired in favor of the eProp. It is sitting in my shop now, leaking the gear oil/seawater mix contained loosely in the bevel drive. 

 

ChrisJD

Member
244
165
Boston, MA
I love fresh water. I'm using it in salt. When I had my boat in the Great Lakes everything stayed new for 2 years. We hit the salt just above Quebec City on the St. Lawerence and everything started to corrode like crazy. More corrosion in 2 weeks than in 2 years on the GL. I'd be a lot more confident in it in fresh water. 
DDW, do you leave it in the water when not in use?  I recall the user guide/manual recommends taking out of the water and wash with fresh water after each use; we honor that a bit in the breach, but we don't leave it on the dinghy, and we wipe it down with a paper towel wet with bottled water before moving the mothership and generally stow in the aft cabin.

 

DDW

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I don't leave it in the water, but in my use it isn't practical to coddle it much either. It is on the dinghy, on davits on the trawler. When we are out that's where it stays, last year for about 6 months up into Alaska. It gets plenty of fresh water washes in the PNW  :lol:  but only gets properly washed when put away for the season or maybe rarely at a marina. A fresh water wash after each use isn't happening when the nearest source of fresh water may be a weeks drive away and we use it nearly daily. I guess I should install a watermaker but that is a maintenance nightmare for sure. 

 

Bull City

Bull City
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I've been studying the Torqeedo Pod Drive 2.0 (5 HP) and the ePropulsion 3.0 (6 HP). An all Torqeedo system would probably run about $7,850, while eProp would be less. 

I would like to position the battery in a storage bin under the cockpit and accessible from the cabin. The Torqeedo battery would easily fit, but the eProp NAVY Battery would be tight. The two are the same price, but the Torqeedo has more Watt Hours. So I was thinking of using the Torqeedo battery with the eProp pod. I have a Torqeedo throttle, so I might be able to get a credit for the one that's included with their pod. Unfortunately, the voltages are different: Torqeedo 24v, eProp 48v. So I don't think that will work.

Then I recalled that eProp has another technology, the E Battery that is cheaper than the NAVY Battery,

Here's a comparison of the eProp options:

image.png

The NAVY Battery (https://www.epropulsion.com/product-page/navy-battery) is a High-performance Li-ion battery. The E80 Battery (https://www.epropulsion.com/product-page/e80-battery) is a 4096 Wh LiFePO4 battery. Different technology, but I don't know what the difference is.

I like the idea that the E80 has more Watt hours, and that it is more compact, but it is 36 lbs. heavier.

So what do y'all think so far?

 
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Ishmael

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
48,083
9,401
Fuctifino
I've been studying the Torqeedo Pod Drive 2.0 (5 HP) and the ePropulsion 3.0 (6 HP). An all Torqeedo system would probably run about $7,850, while eProp would be less. 

I would like to position the battery in a storage bin under the cockpit and accessible from the cabin. The Torqeedo battery would easily fit, but the eProp NAVY Battery would be tight. The two are the same price, but the Torqeedo has more Watt Hours. So I was thinking of using the Torqeedo battery with the eProp pod. I have a Torqeedo throttle, so I might be able to get a credit for the one that's included with their pod. Unfortunately, the voltages are different: Torqeedo 24v, eProp 48v. So I don't think that will work.

Then I recalled that eProp has another technology, the E Battery that is cheaper than the NAVY Battery,

Here's a comparison of the eProp options:

View attachment 415351

The NAVY Battery (https://www.epropulsion.com/product-page/navy-battery) is a High-performance Li-ion battery. The E80 Battery (https://www.epropulsion.com/product-page/e80-battery) is a 4096 Wh LiFePO4 battery. Different technology, but I don't know what the difference is.

I like the idea that the E80 has more Watt hours, and that it is more compact, but it is 36 lbs. heavier.

So what do y'all think so far?
I'd be looking at getting a sailboat.

 

TwoLegged

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I like the idea that the E80 has more Watt hours, and that it is more compact, but it is 36 lbs. heavier.

So what do y'all think so far?
AIUI, LiFePO batteries are safer, and have a longer life but lower energy density: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery

Overall, I really like the sound of this idea.  The overall cost is modest compared to a new boat; more like the price of a new suit of sails.  And the installation should be fairly unintrusive.

If I read the specs right, the overall weight of the installation would be about 60kg for pod+battery, which isn't bad: that's about the weight of one slim crew member, but it will be low down. If you can charge it at your dock, it looks like a brilliant solution.

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
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If the battery isn't on top of an outboard you are having to sling around, I'd go with the LFP every day. Especially if I'm being paid $1200 for the choice. 

 

Bull City

Bull City
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North Carolina
The E80 makes the most sense.

  • You save $1,200 between the battery and charger,
  • Longer life
  • Longer  warranty
  • You get 1000+ more Wh,
  • It's more compact, and
  • It's only another 36 lbs. of weight.

Am I missing anything?

My dilemma is where to put the thing. Under the cockpit makes the most sense, but I hate to give up my storage bin. I need to do some crawling around down there.

 
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allweather

Member
392
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baltic
Under the cockpit makes the most sense, but I hate to give up my storage bin. I need to do some crawling around down there.
DIY batteries from bare cells are usually smaller than the commercial offerings.
Darn, didn't write down my notes for that compartment on account of tossing the idea for commercial battery packs. From memory there is virtually no space between the storage bin and the cockpit drains. Depends a bit on how exactly the drains are done in your boat.(ours are a bit forward so that there is space for the chargers aft of them)

Pulling out the drawer until it rests under the step nets you 170mm or so but comes with the downside of everything falling into the drawer now. Sacrificing a bit of drawer space with a custom one could accomodate a battery. Possibly, the E80 could be a real tight fit.

As jdege said, custom battery bank of the same size could be done to use space more efficiently. Know little about people with experience with actually doing it on a boat though. I know set ups exist and even get sold as designed kits to fit into specific boat compartments though. With the usual caveat of building a proper case where all the cells are secured to each other to avoid fatigue damage on the connectors. Otherwise it is not really more complicated than wiring a couple old lead acids together.(battery management included)

Anyway, if you can make yourself a custom storage bin(not as deep aft for example) the place would be most useful for weight placement and short, really short, cable runs.
Otherwise I know one H-boat sailor that mounted lead acid batteries in the lazarette forward of the rudder shaft. Bolted right to the wall to the cockpit. This would require somewhat longer cable runs but be entirely out of the way and weight wise not too bad.

Have you considered dropping the battery into one of the cockpit hatches? There is a suprising amount of space right under where the winches are. Quite a bit of mass to the side, but anchor on the other can reduce the effects of that potentially.

 

Bull City

Bull City
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North Carolina
Darn, didn't write down my notes for that compartment on account of tossing the idea for commercial battery packs. From memory there is virtually no space between the storage bin and the cockpit drains. Depends a bit on how exactly the drains are done in your boat.(ours are a bit forward so that there is space for the chargers aft of them)

Pulling out the drawer until it rests under the step nets you 170mm or so but comes with the downside of everything falling into the drawer now. Sacrificing a bit of drawer space with a custom one could accomodate a battery. Possibly, the E80 could be a real tight fit.

As jdege said, custom battery bank of the same size could be done to use space more efficiently. Know little about people with experience with actually doing it on a boat though. I know set ups exist and even get sold as designed kits to fit into specific boat compartments though. With the usual caveat of building a proper case where all the cells are secured to each other to avoid fatigue damage on the connectors. Otherwise it is not really more complicated than wiring a couple old lead acids together.(battery management included)

Anyway, if you can make yourself a custom storage bin(not as deep aft for example) the place would be most useful for weight placement and short, really short, cable runs.
Otherwise I know one H-boat sailor that mounted lead acid batteries in the lazarette forward of the rudder shaft. Bolted right to the wall to the cockpit. This would require somewhat longer cable runs but be entirely out of the way and weight wise not too bad.

Have you considered dropping the battery into one of the cockpit hatches? There is a surprising amount of space right under where the winches are. Quite a bit of mass to the side, but anchor on the other can reduce the effects of that potentially.
Allweather, Thanks for these ideas. The E80 battery weighs 106 lbs. (48 kg) so I have to give it some serious thought. I had not thought of the lazarette or cockpit lockers, since I felt it was important to keep the weight as low and centered as possible, and out of the ends of the boat.

I also have to figure out how to charge them while I'm away from the boat. I do not have a shore power system on the boat. There is a 110 volt outlet on the dock and I lead an outdoor extension cord safely to a point in the lazarette or cabin. 

I have some investigation and fact gathering to do.

 

allweather

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 I do not have a shore power system on the boat.
You're welcome. I am not quite sure what you mean here? The standard charger for these batteries do come in 110V versions and from there it is just a simple cable run.

Weight wise you're right, the drawer below the cockpit is about as close as you can get to the CoB.(about below the companionway hatch... I mean where the lift ring is on the keel is about right :)

Going a bit further aft however is not that disastrous. From the back of the drawer to the lazaretty it is just about one meter. Cockpit locker literally just a wall. So some 30-40cm.
have fun locating everything onboard. ;)

 

Bull City

Bull City
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North Carolina
Oh. For a 2kw charger?
I know very little about electricity. The charger designed to charge a 48 volt battery, and here is the description of the one I'm looking at:

Max output power: 1152 W
Max output voltage: 57.6 V
Output current: 20 A
Input voltage (AC): 185V - 255 V
Charging time: 9 hrs (E175 Battery), 5 hrs (E80 Battery), 2.5 hrs (E40 Battery)
Dimension: 235* 175 * 110mm

If "Input voltage" is the number to look at, it doesn't seem like a 110 volt outlet would work.

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
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If "Input voltage" is the number to look at, it doesn't seem like a 110 volt outlet would work. 
Looks like they also have 110v models of both the 20A and 40A chargers. eg. 20A:

image.png

I'm not going to opine on the extension cord idea except to say that I think getting expert advice before hooking things up would be a good idea.

 

TwoLegged

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I know very little about electricity
Same with many of us :)  

But given that lack of expertise, it seems that your options are 

  1. begin a crash course of earning a heck a of a lot about how this all works, until you enough expertise to design and build and test and safely install a self-designed system
  2. use the off-the-shelf setup designed and tested by the supplier, which they can stand over

I have a very talented friend who often takes the first approach with electrical projects, and usually ends up with something better than the off-the-shelf setup.  But the real gain for her is that she actively enjoys the project, since it allows her to use the electrical skillset that she last used professionally about 30 years ago.  So even if the DIY approach is abandoned, she is satisfied with the experience.

For me, I don't often get much of a kick out of such things, so I try to be an educated consumer.  I try to understand enough to asses whether off-the-shelf solutions are suitable, whether the price is sane, and if the supplier is reliable.  I don't try roll-yer-own unless there are significant savings, and the task isn't time-critical, and if I'd find it fun.  In the 1990s, I used to build my own desktop PCs, because it wasn't hard, the savings were significant, and the spec that I wanted wasn't available off the shelf.  But by the 2000s, I could buy a PC  for not much more than DIY costs which came close to what I wanted, so I gave up the DIY.

Sometimes I find a halfway house in the shape of a skilled friend who'd enjoy the project.  But that can lead to other tangles of expectations, so I am cautious.

In this case, it seems to me that DIY would be huge effort for small reward.

 

allweather

Member
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baltic
I'm not going to opine on the extension cord idea except to say that I think getting expert advice before hooking things up would be a good idea.
I know very little about electricity.
It should be straight forward enough. But with your level of skill in that regard getting a professional to do it for you is probably the better choice depending on what shore installation you have exactly...

You should not need more than a marine grade cable run to the boat/extension cord(won't degrade too much in the weather and has no issue with even being in the water. As seen in many a marina) DIY battery is out, but the E80 and the fitting 110V charger can be bought as is. Add in a switch, cables to the motor and charger that a professional can crimp in his shop once you determined lengths, and a fuse(nobody likes electrical cable fires) sized to those cables and you should be done.

Well, and checking the fuse between the outlet and the extension cord since I don't know about your shore installation. Both that there is one(likely) and that you don't accidentally blow it as your LiFePo can pull quite a bit of power.

 
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