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Time to switch to electric ?

sailaboutvic

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Joined
26 Jan 2004
Messages
7,008
Location
Med
“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.
I think your last comment answer my question , if it has problem deal with tide it be US against a .5 to 1 mts swell , probably ok for rivers but last time we needed to go ashore in say a river was some years back
Some how I think trying to get back to the boat which 1/4 miles off shore in any swell isn't going to work , shame .
I did have a long conversation with a liveaboard over the winter who had one and had it for sale , his option was for the type of work we need we better off sticking to petrol , which is why he was selling his , shame we was thinking of buying one
 

RupertW

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Joined
20 Mar 2002
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8,231
Location
Greenwich
I think your last comment answer my question , if it has problem deal with tide it be US against a .5 to 1 mts swell , probably ok for rivers but last time we needed to go ashore in say a river was some years back
Some how I think trying to get back to the boat which 1/4 miles off shore in any swell isn't going to work , shame .
I did have a long conversation with a liveaboard over the winter who had one and had it for sale , his option was for the type of work we need we better off sticking to petrol , which is why he was selling his , shame we was thinking of buying one
Anywhere we have sailed the Torqueedo has done fine - even with swell. My issue would only be for longer distances like the 12 mile round trip mentioned and then I’d like a petrol engine that go the rib planing. Not so much for range but for the tedium of a 2.5hp crawl for a couple of hours.
 

Orion_surprise

New member
Joined
9 Sep 2014
Messages
3
I have a Torqeedo 503 for use on a 3m Walker Bay rollup to get from boat to shore/jetty and back. We have not used it much, due to how we have used the 'main' boat, but have others have said it is light, can be easily handled as it breaks down to constituent parts, never fails to start, and there is no petrol involved (I do not have a vehicle and transporting/storing petrol would be troublesome).
The Torqeedo electrical connections are a bit awkward, and the controller (throttle) could be more substantial, but if you want something that can propel you + crew from anchorage to near destination it works very well indeed. I recently went 4km around the marina on 75% full charge, this is at 4knots, don't expect to go faster. After 5 years on charging it now gets to 91% gradually then jumps to 100. Nothing lasts forever.
Charging at 220v takes about 6 hours.
Not cheap but very good for simple use, easy to use, reliable, zero maintenance, and if I needed to replace it I would likely get another.
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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21,189
Location
SW Scotland
I get the historical arguments against electrics (cost, battery life, power and range) and I had I initially pondered an modern upgrade to my Honda. But I am attracted to the convenience ease of use and quietness of electric, and the fact is battery technology is moving in leaps and bounds...I suspect it will be a non choice, being blindingly obvious in say 5 years,
As things stand, electric outboards seem to be a viable alternative for any trip you could easily do with oars but not for any trip for which you need a petrol outboard. Since I get on fine with oars, electric would give me no benefits for a staggering cost.
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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21,189
Location
SW Scotland
What is the lifespan of the battery? I have an ebike and the supplier is suggesting that about four years is about the limit before a mix of unavoidable battery degredation and battery technology improvements means replacement is a good idea. Now at £700 ish for a battery that is a serious lump of degradation for an occasional use outboard.
Aside: I have just tried my other half's nice new e-Bike with a view to getting one for myself. However, on the hill away from the house the motor isn't powerful enough to keep my rather large body moving fast enough, so it cuts out (at 5mph, I think) leaving me to pedal a bike which weighs more than twice what my normal one does. I am reluctant to spend a grand and a half on a bike which can only give assistance when I don't need it.
 

pvb

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Joined
16 May 2001
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39,804
Location
UK East Coast
Aside: I have just tried my other half's nice new e-Bike with a view to getting one for myself. However, on the hill away from the house the motor isn't powerful enough to keep my rather large body moving fast enough, so it cuts out (at 5mph, I think) leaving me to pedal a bike which weighs more than twice what my normal one does. I am reluctant to spend a grand and a half on a bike which can only give assistance when I don't need it.
Move to somewhere less hilly!
 

oldmanofthehills

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Joined
13 Aug 2010
Messages
2,038
Location
Bristol / Cornwall
As things stand, electric outboards seem to be a viable alternative for any trip you could easily do with oars but not for any trip for which you need a petrol outboard. Since I get on fine with oars, electric would give me no benefits for a staggering cost.
Since I love my outboard taking me through big swells to exposed moorings about half a mile offshore or Lundy, or circumnavigating St Helens Island in theScilly Isles I will stick to petrol. For the rest likeJumble, I enjoy rowing
 

RivalRedwing

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Joined
9 Nov 2004
Messages
2,506
Location
Medway, UK, boat in SYH
Aside: I have just tried my other half's nice new e-Bike with a view to getting one for myself. However, on the hill away from the house the motor isn't powerful enough to keep my rather large body moving fast enough, so it cuts out (at 5mph, I think) leaving me to pedal a bike which weighs more than twice what my normal one does. I am reluctant to spend a grand and a half on a bike which can only give assistance when I don't need it.
A conversation with Woosh Bikes might be useful for you Woosh Electric Bikes - Quality electric bikes inspired by you.
 

RupertW

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20 Mar 2002
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8,231
Location
Greenwich
As things stand, electric outboards seem to be a viable alternative for any trip you could easily do with oars but not for any trip for which you need a petrol outboard. Since I get on fine with oars, electric would give me no benefits for a staggering cost.
That is completely wrong. They are a viable alternative for any trip you could do with a 2.5hp motor with a range of 10 miles.
 

pvb

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16 May 2001
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39,804
Location
UK East Coast
That is completely wrong. They are a viable alternative for any trip you could do with a 2.5hp motor with a range of 10 miles.
You need to be careful in your enthusiasm for your electric outboard; before long, Catalina36 may be accusing you of having a business interest in them! ;)
 

prv

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Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
36,063
Location
Southampton
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:
For certain values of “work”. They only motor at about three knots, and not for very long at a time. Their talk about the importance of of light-air sails in order to keep moving in a calm, and delaying passages to await fair winds, reminded me of the engineless Pardeys. Very admirable for the purist - their “Electrobeke” truly is the “auxiliary” of the 1930s - but quite limiting for those of us who want to get somewhere within a week’s holiday.

Pete
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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SW Scotland
Move to somewhere less hilly!
The thing is that even in my rather paunchy condition I can keep a bike going on levelish ground just fine. I would appreciate help up the hill (between 1 in 6 and 1 in 4 for 1/2 mile) but on that section only the electric assist system just says "You're on your own, chubby" and gives up. Which is a fat lot of good.
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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SW Scotland
That is completely wrong. They are a viable alternative for any trip you could do with a 2.5hp motor with a range of 10 miles.
I chose my words carefully. I didn't say "any trip you could do" with a petrol outboard, I said "any trip for which you need a petrol outboard" as opposed to oars.
 

geem

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27 Apr 2006
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Anywhere without Covid19
I knocked up a simple outboard crane from odd bits of S/S tube I had or scrounged. Including the new double blocks, shackles, rope and a tenners worth of welding, about £35.

It is now a doddle to handle our 5HP four stroke Suzuki. Which is bloody heavy!

We sometimes have to make a half hour dinghy trip. The Suzuki and vee floor 2.4 Sunsport make it really easy. Very economical too.

For all their advantages, I am not going electric yet.
Our outboard is a 35kg Yamaha Enduro 15hp. We dont have a lifting crane. We lift the whole dinghy up the side of the hull just forward of the spreaders. We do it using the Spinnaker halyard either with the rope drum on the windlass or a winch at the mast. We have a three point bridle permanently rigged for this purpose. To install the outboard on the dinghy from the outboard bracket on the transom, we attached the main halyard to the engine strop. My wife uses the main halyard to hoist the engine off the bracket whilst I steady it and walk the engine forward to the dinghy. We simply lower it over the side on to the dinghy and clamp it up. No lifting of the engine. When its choppy its far safer than trying to get the engine on the dinghy in the water
 
Last edited:

FairweatherDave

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28 Sep 2009
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1,428
Location
Solent
The thing is that even in my rather paunchy condition I can keep a bike going on levelish ground just fine. I would appreciate help up the hill (between 1 in 6 and 1 in 4 for 1/2 mile) but on that section only the electric assist system just says "You're on your own, chubby" and gives up. Which is a fat lot of good.
Bit of thread deviation but something sounds wrong there JD. I specifically did an e bike conversion on a tandem to deal with a steep hill in Brighton. It works a dream. Yes you have to keep pedaling a bit and yes you don't go as fast as on the flat, maybe 6-8mph instead of 15mph which is where it cuts out electrical assist on the flat. But it makes the hill a joy. Yes it makes the bike significantly heavier and you always use assist. Nor is the motor completely silent. But hills are where e bikes come into their own. And during lockdown for exercise I have done 25 mile circuits with my son on the South Downs roads. He has a disability, still a strong stoker on one side of his body and he weighs maybe 80kg, I'm near 90kg. E bikes are for hills! No connection but Google Woosh bikes (Southend).....cost of my conversion just under £600
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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SW Scotland
Bit of thread deviation but something sounds wrong there JD. I specifically did an e bike conversion on a tandem to deal with a steep hill in Brighton. It works a dream. Yes you have to keep pedaling a bit and yes you don't go as fast as on the flat, maybe 6-8mph instead of 15mph which is where it cuts out electrical assist on the flat.
I'm just too heavy, I think. My other half's bike has a 250W (I think) motor, which just isn't up to lugging me up the hill and I couldn't pedal hard enough to keep it going fast enough for the assist to stay on, So off it went and I was worse off than ever. If I'm going to push a bike up the hill it might as well be my scruffy old 21 speed hybrid and not a grand's worth of ballast ...
No connection but Google Woosh bikes (Southend).....cost of my conversion just under £600
Someone else suggested them, and I've had a look. They do a special higher power model (Big Bear Plus) for the larger rider, which looks like just what I need, but alas they won't have them in stock till mid-August. By which time I expect that the e-bikes being sold now will start to appear on the second hand market.[/QUOTE]
 

FairweatherDave

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28 Sep 2009
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Solent
I think the 350 watt motor IS what you are after. I thought with your PBO practical skills you might fancy a conversion, but you need the right bike to start with. You do describe a proper hill. If a hill is "unrideable" there is a push assist feature to help push the bike, although I have never used it. I think a side effect of the pandemic has been a real surge on e bikes, so I'm not surprised Woosh are out of stock for somethings.
BTW just a thought re the assist feature cutting out if you are going too slowly. I wonder if there is a setting you could adjust there. On mine theoretically I can override the speed settings. A slightly murky legal area.. Also there is a bit of learning required with the gears, it helps to change gears like a normal bike according to your speed, even though you have assist control. I suspect that you know this if you have had more than one go on the bike, and obviously not all e bikes use the same drive systems.
Pedelec forum is where all these things are discussed. Apologies for the thread drift Torquedo people....
 

RivalRedwing

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9 Nov 2004
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2,506
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Medway, UK, boat in SYH
The legal area isn't that murky - the law in the UK specifies e-assisted bikes to have an assistance limit of 15.5 mph, after that you are on your own... I accept that there is an grey area regarding the power of the motor, with most suppliers somewhat exaggerating the actual power of the motors (and there not really being an easy way to test them in your average bike shop)
 

JumbleDuck

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8 Aug 2013
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SW Scotland
I think the 350 watt motor IS what you are after. I thought with your PBO practical skills you might fancy a conversion, but you need the right bike to start with. ... Also there is a bit of learning required with the gears, it helps to change gears like a normal bike according to your speed, even though you have assist control.
My current bike has lain out of use for ten years and really isn't a sound base for a conversion. I was using the gears - some strange 8 speed system which convinced me that having a proper derailleur would be preferable.

The legal area isn't that murky - the law in the UK specifies e-assisted bikes to have an assistance limit of 15.5 mph, after that you are on your own... I accept that there is an grey area regarding the power of the motor, with most suppliers somewhat exaggerating the actual power of the motors (and there not really being an easy way to test them in your average bike shop)
Most suppliers that I have looked at seem extremely keen not to say what the motor power is.
 

FairweatherDave

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28 Sep 2009
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Solent
Part of the murky bit is the googling how to adjust the display and change the setting in engineering mode. Took a while. I believe some people have to buy a chip. The rationale is for off road purposes (only.....) As you say the limit for assistance is 15.5 on the road.
 
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