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Time to switch to electric ?

Bathdave

Well-known member
Joined
4 Apr 2012
Messages
1,034
Location
jersey, CI
Thanks for all the contributions so far...some very interesting observations

I think I draw out of this

1. The 2 contributors to the thread who have Torqueedos have had them for several years and are staunch advocates
2. The demands on how often and in what context you use your dinghy has a significant impact on the choices
3. They’re waterproof !
4. Battery life and recharging cycles are a significant concern to most non-adopters
 

sailingmartin

New member
Joined
28 Nov 2017
Messages
14
Location
Bristol
We are now on our second Torqeedo. We bought the first 10 years ago and upgraded to the newer 1100 model last year. Much bigger battery in the new model and almost totally silent. The older 1003 had a distinct whine. We have also had a Suzuki 2.5 and I would say the performance is similar, apart from the noise. The advantage is no petrol on board, silent running, no oil leaks, no servicing and the fact that the separate parts mean it is easy to carry/transport/store on board. I accept there is a restriction on range, although this has never really bothered us. A trip to the trots and back uses less than 10 per cent of even the smaller battery, which is still working after 10 years and used as a spare. If you use the engine at top speed (about 4kts on a 2.6m inflatable or on our replacement Portabote dinghy) then battery range is much reduced compared to half throttle. Finally, it may be waterproof, but like most outboards, it doesn’t float!! You can always get a top up battery charge in a pub, but this might mean you have to stay for a second or third pint....
 

Allan

Active member
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17 Mar 2004
Messages
4,354
Location
Bristol
The fact that it didn't have any hydrocarbon means of recharging the batteries that the bilge pump was relying upon was somewhat material.

You've made so many posts in favour of electric prolusion on this thread that I have to wonder if you're in that line of business.
I'm on the fence about electric power. When I read the first reference to the damaged boat, I thought, he must have had loads of power for the bilge pump. I would have had to worry about starting the engine on our boat. Funny how we look at things from different angles.
Allan
 

Catalina36

Well-known member
Joined
6 May 2020
Messages
1,081
Many boats use solar panels to recharge the batteries.

I'm retired; I'm a consumer, not a supplier.
This is getting silly. Solar panels to recharge the batteries which are running the bilge pump in a sinking vessel?
 

pvb

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
40,345
Location
UK East Coast
This is getting silly. Solar panels to recharge the batteries which are running the bilge pump in a sinking vessel?
I didn't mention the sinking vessel; I merely said - factually - that many boats use solar panels to recharge their batteries. What's silly about that? Many members of these forums rely on solar power primarily.

As I've mentioned solar power, I imagine you'll now accuse me of being in that business too!
 

ryanroberts

Active member
Joined
25 Jul 2019
Messages
534
I was really tempted by the ePropulsion spirit - slightly cheaper than the torqueedo and the batteries float. Ended up going petrol, partially because cost and partially charging worries. It's also lot of systems to couple together. Notably, Uma use a petrol outboard.
 

RivalRedwing

Well-known member
Joined
9 Nov 2004
Messages
2,545
Location
Medway, UK, boat in SYH
My other plus point is the e-outboard will be easier to use by my wife and kids, and the kids won't pi** everyone else off in the anchorage with the sound of an outboard, (although they may explore other options ;-))
 
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Poignard

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Joined
8 Oct 2018
Messages
11,563
Location
Singapore-on-Thames
My other plus point is the e-outboard will be easier to use by my wife and kids, and the kids won't pi** everyone else off in the anchorage with the sound of an outboard, (although they may explore other options ;-))
Also my British Seagull won't be leaving a trail of oil in the water!
 

RupertW

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2002
Messages
8,292
Location
Greenwich
My other plus point is the e-outboard will be easier to use by my wife and kids, and the kids won't pi** everyone else off in the anchorage with the sound of an outboard, (although they may explore other options ;-))
It’s even better than that. My unexpected benefit was that instead of having to go ashore for shopping trips, “in case I can’t pull start the outboard” I can stay and work/snooze/sunbathe on the boat.
 

Zing

Well-known member
Joined
7 Feb 2014
Messages
4,683
Location
The Northern Powerhouse
I was wondering if it was viable for my purpose, so I did a little calculation. On a day with the greatest use I will travel as much as 12 miles. That’s a gallon of fuel or 4.5 litres in my engine. Equal to 13.5kWh of energy at the prop. Batteries to store that amount of energy at the prop in an electric dinghy will be about 16kWh allowing for losses and a bit more with reserve, so say 18kWh. That’s 180kg of batteries and about £5000. Plus say £2000 for the electric bits and another 30kg. An outboard with ten times that range of fuel in reserve weighs 85kg all in and costs half the price. I also like the sound of my quiet Suzuki outboard, so where is the advantage? All in all, not appealing.
 

Bathdave

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Joined
4 Apr 2012
Messages
1,034
Location
jersey, CI
I was wondering if it was viable for my purpose, so I did a little calculation. On a day with the greatest use I will travel as much as 12 miles. That’s a gallon of fuel or 4.5 litres in my engine. Equal to 13.5kWh of energy at the prop. Batteries to store that amount of energy at the prop in an electric dinghy will be about 16kWh allowing for losses and a bit more with reserve, so say 18kWh. That’s 180kg of batteries and about £5000. Plus say £2000 for the electric bits and another 30kg. An outboard with ten times that range of fuel in reserve weighs 85kg all in and costs half the price. I also like the sound of my quiet Suzuki outboard, so where is the advantage? All in all, not appealing.
I think your calculations and assumptioñs are flawed

I started this thread as a genuine question with no axe to grind and no agenda

I had reservations but I have been quite swayed by the unreserved endorsements by all three actual owners of torqueedo

Re your calculations and assumptions

Torqueedos website say the 1103 engine and stock battery pack will do 6 hours at half throttle at 3 knots, giving a range of 18 nm

That will cover your trip with a 50% reserve on its stock battery ...no need for 180kg of excess batteries or the £5,000 you calculate.

No offence intended (and lord knows some contributors seem to revel in it) but I don’t think your sums are right
 

Zing

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7 Feb 2014
Messages
4,683
Location
The Northern Powerhouse
I think your calculations and assumptioñs are flawed

I started this thread as a genuine question with no axe to grind and no agenda

I had reservations but I have been quite swayed by the unreserved endorsements by all three actual owners of torqueedo

Re your calculations and assumptions

Torqueedos website say the 1103 engine and stock battery pack will do 6 hours at half throttle at 3 knots, giving a range of 18 nm

That will cover your trip with a 50% reserve on its stock battery ...no need for 180kg of excess batteries or the £5,000 you calculate.

No offence intended (and lord knows some contributors seem to revel in it) but I don’t think your sums are right
I’m sure they are right. The difference is a lot of energy is used to only do 12mpg. If you putter along at very, very slow speeds you can reduce that consumption by some multiples to a point where the battery is much less of an issue. Also if you use a tiny ultralight dingy it multiplies again.
 

RupertW

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Joined
20 Mar 2002
Messages
8,292
Location
Greenwich
I think your calculations and assumptioñs are flawed

I started this thread as a genuine question with no axe to grind and no agenda

I had reservations but I have been quite swayed by the unreserved endorsements by all three actual owners of torqueedo

Re your calculations and assumptions

Torqueedos website say the 1103 engine and stock battery pack will do 6 hours at half throttle at 3 knots, giving a range of 18 nm

That will cover your trip with a 50% reserve on its stock battery ...no need for 180kg of excess batteries or the £5,000 you calculate.

No offence intended (and lord knows some contributors seem to revel in it) but I don’t think your sums are right
As a 1003 owner for many years (and we use our 5hp Honda about once a year to keep it alive) we have the 550wh battery which uses about 10 percent to do 1/4 mile with a 3m heavy rib and 4 people with heavy luggage or shopping. Both 1003 and 1103 come now with 950wh as standard.

I will be frank - if I did 12 miles a day regularly I would stick with petrol and a 15hp engine to get on the plane and do it high speed. All the hassles of engine derricks etc would be a price worth paying.

But if it’s no more than a half mile to a mile to harbour then electric wins every time. First four years it was an hours engine morning and evening to charge batteries for fridge and occasionally Torqueedo via rapid charger. since then all solar.
 

Seven Spades

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Joined
30 Aug 2003
Messages
3,982
Location
Surrey
I have been watching the couple “Sailing Fair isle” on their Hand Christian on YouTube. They use an electric outboard and have been forced to anchor during this pandemic. They seem to have found a way to charge it.

if I was just costal cruising I would change to electric. However I Plan to go blue water cruising and watching other people who do this it appears that many avchorages are a long way from the docs. Using an electric propulsion risks running out of power, taking too long to reach the shore and the extra drain on power might make it very hard to recharge.

The thing is I don’t have a huge arch with solar panels and maybe if I did it would not be a worry. Clearly the lack of maintainance required is a huge bonus and the simplicity is a bonus and starting is a bonus. But for versatility I think that patrol is probably still the most sensible choice for me.
 

Daverw

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Joined
2 Nov 2016
Messages
1,296
Location
Humber
Re Sailing Fair Isle, They have if I recall, had at times to row to conserve power to make sure they can do the return trip
 

richardsn9

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2007
Messages
308
I have had a Torqueedo 1003 for ten years and I am really pleased I bought it.
You need to make a realistic assessment of your likely usage.
I seldom do more than a couple of miles at a time, and the range is more than fine for me, I seldom drop below 40%. The benefits are ease of handling, the main body and the battery are one-handed lifts, no petrol in the car and servicing consists of a wash down with a hose.
If I know I am not using it for a while, I delay recharging until just before use and leave it half charged.
Yes, it is more expensive, but you also need to take into account servicing and fuel costs, which would have added up over 10 years.
I have a good lock and remove the battery if unattended for some time.
Works for me, and would go the same route again, although I would compare the new E Propulsion motor.
 

Stemar

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Joined
12 Sep 2001
Messages
13,448
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
I have to say that the only reason I didn't get a Torqueedo when I had to replace my OB last year was the cost. There are cheaper, but it really does seem that you get what you pay for.

For those who are interested in electric power for a yacht, I would recommend Sailing Uma on Youtube. They make it work, but I'm not sure it would suit me, as I'm rarely allowed to put the sails up :rolleyes:
 

sailaboutvic

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Joined
26 Jan 2004
Messages
7,141
Location
Med
I sure the Torqueedo is a good but of kit , and hand in flat waters , rivers and so on , what I be interested to hear is how good are they when you basing against waves and wind ,
We do a lot of off shore anchoring and at times wave break over the bow of the dinghy even our Honda 2.5 has problems pushing us along , with being bias to them who have , how would it perform in them conditions?
 

sailingmartin

New member
Joined
28 Nov 2017
Messages
14
Location
Bristol
“how would it perform in them conditions?” From my experience, it would behave much like your Honda 2.5 (or my old Suzuki 2.5) in similar conditions. The only additional issue would be the impact the extra power needed to cope with wind and waves would have on battery consumption. As previously stated, if you up the power, then the battery gets used up quicker. No problem on short distances but might be an issue on longer trips. I treat the Torqeedo like I would a small petrol outboard and always try to go with the tide rather than against it. Quicker and more efficient. It will never compete with a 5 or 8hp petrol engine and is not designed to do so.
 
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