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Rich Jones
07-17-2011, 10:54 PM
Has anyone had any experience with these? I'd like to get the 4.0 model, but at $ 3600 or so, I'd like some good feedback first. It'd be perfect for my little lakes, so I wouldn't have to worry about the limited range.

David G
07-17-2011, 11:01 PM
I have a client who recently installed one at the bow of his 47' sailboat... in lieu of a thruster. He got the remote control for it, and seems to be quite happy with it. It's always been a lot of boat and a lot of windage for him to dock... and this makes it substantially easier. It's one of their larger ones - if not the largest. I have another friend who put a smaller one on his little pram some years ago, and is perfectly happy with the unit itself. Limited battery life is aggravating for him.

Chip-skiff
07-17-2011, 11:52 PM
Torqueedo motors intrigue me, but I just installed a MotorGuide Bulldog 54-lb. thrust trolling motor ($420) with a single 12v wet-cell lead acid marine battery ($80) on a 14 ft. cataraft that's designed as an instrument platform for river channel mapping and lake bathymetry. The model I used is a foot-control type (270 steering with a tilt pedal) but similar models with hand or remote controls are about the same price.

At the top of five speeds, the 54 lb. thrust pushes the cat fast enough to leave a slight wake. It's also forceful enough to need a stout engine mount. For normal getting about, I use the 2 or 3 power setting. The battery gives between one and two hours of continuous operation at that speed.

For my trim little sailing skiff, I'd look for a motor with 30 lbs. of thrust or less.

Waddie
07-18-2011, 12:14 AM
They sell a special battery for these 4.0 motors but as I recall they were very pricey. But they do give you good run time at higher throttle settings, and overall last longer.

Remember, whatever battery you choose has to be able to handle the draw and most shouldn't be discharged below about 50%. Also, as you use up the charge your top speed will drop off some. Sorry for the post if you already know all this..

regards,
Waddie

tomlarkin
07-18-2011, 12:17 AM
Chip-Skiff, I'd sure be interested in a thread about your river channel mapping project if you have the time. Is this a vocation or a hobby?

Rich Jones
07-18-2011, 06:32 PM
Torqueedo motors intrigue me, but I just installed a MotorGuide Bulldog 54-lb. thrust trolling motor ($420) with a single 12v wet-cell lead acid marine battery ($80) on a 14 ft. cataraft that's designed as an instrument platform for river channel mapping and lake bathymetry. The model I used is a foot-control type (270 steering with a tilt pedal) but similar models with hand or remote controls are about the same price.

At the top of five speeds, the 54 lb. thrust pushes the cat fast enough to leave a slight wake. It's also forceful enough to need a stout engine mount. For normal getting about, I use the 2 or 3 power setting. The battery gives between one and two hours of continuous operation at that speed.

For my trim little sailing skiff, I'd look for a motor with 30 lbs. of thrust or less.

Last summer, when my 15hp engine was being repaired, I put a pair of 36lb trolling motors on my 14' garvey. It moved along nicely, but I'd still like the extra power of the 4.0 torqueedo. Supposedly equal to a 9.9 hp gas engine.

Chip-skiff
07-18-2011, 07:08 PM
Chip-Skiff, I'd sure be interested in a thread about your river channel mapping project if you have the time. Is this a vocation or a hobby?

I'm in a grad program, fluvial geomorphology, and am collecting high-resolution channel data (depth, dimensions, velocity, current direction, turbidity, reflectance, et several ceteras). The desired result is to calibrate remote-sensing data sets so that the sort of information we're collecting with boats and surface surveys can be derived from air and satellite images. We've been working on a stream below a new dam (to document changes in the channel owing to a different flow regime) and on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park to develop a detailed map of the flow-field and resulting changes in bars and other features.

Interesting, but not exactly wooden boat stuff.

John P Lebens
07-24-2011, 01:10 AM
This thread is a lot like the composting toilet threads - so few people have had personal experience with these products, it's hard to know how well they work in the real world. I love the idea of a clean, quiet, lightweight, high tech Torqeedo. The only downside I see are that 1) they are a bit expensive, and 2) you might need a spare battery for extended cruising.

mcdenny
07-25-2011, 09:40 AM
The Torqeedo 4.0 is 4 kw - that's about 5 hp. It's more efficient than a gas outboard because it is turning a 12 x 10 prop but it won't push a light planing boat as fast as a 10 hp OB. It might push a 6,000 lb sailboat as fast as a 10 hp gas OB.

I have no first hand experience with Torqeedos but you could contact Todd Simms at Epower Marine in Fl. He has sold lots of them and will ship to you.

Torqeedo sells a lithium battery for their larger motors but you can use regular lead acid (much cheaper but much heavier) too.

andrewe
08-07-2011, 12:57 PM
In the other thread mentioned, the local friend was on the river and touched something by the bank. Snapped one of the blades off the prop. Now having trouble sourcing a new prop. Not a happy bunny, esp with the range. He liked the idea of quietly observing the wildlife, but finds he can't get home after.... I am lending him a Yam 2A as a stand by.
The lithium bats can be run right down, not so with a lead acid. I was told a rule of thumb. 20 discharges to zero and chuck it. Get deep cycle ones if you are serious, lead acid domestic, if for fun, and take care of them.

Just to clarify: The French agent has not replied to e-mails and appears to be in Paris. The UK guy(who supplied it) is 'ordering a couple of props from Germany' and will get back.

Chris Ostlind
08-08-2011, 05:09 PM
I just spoke with the U.S. Torqeedo distributor over the weekend at the Outdoor Retailer Show. I have only used the product on kayaks and canoes, but can tell you that it has serious power and lengthy run times when coupled with their Lithium Manganese batteries. It has not been confirmed to date, but there is talk of a new motor for the lineup at the upper end of things.


http://www.lunadadesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/5ae9ae70f8-297x300.jpg (http://www.lunadadesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/5ae9ae70f8.jpg)

Rich Jones
08-08-2011, 08:52 PM
Does anyone know what these Lithium Manganese batteries go for? On none of the Torqueedo supplier websites are prices mentioned for these batteries.

Dr.Spoke
08-09-2011, 01:27 AM
Lithium-Manganese batteries are a type of Lithium-ion battery. Sometimes called LIMA.
All Torqeedo batteries are of this type.

Todd D
08-09-2011, 10:15 AM
I bought a Torqeedo T1003S this spring to push my West Marine 310 (10') compact rib dinghy. The run to my mooring is a bit over half a mile. The round trip with two people and gear in the dinghy generally takes about 20% of the 420 watt-hour batteries capacity when running at 3-3.2 knots. At higher speeds the power consumption is considerably greater. According to the motor readout at 250-300 watts output, I have a range of about 5 nautical miles on a full charge. The motor will push the boat to about 4.5-4.8 knots with just me in it.

The motor weighs 28 pounds fully assembled. Most of the weight is in the removable battery. If you take the barrtery and control head off, the rest of the motor is easy to one hand up onto my stern rail from the dinghy.

The motor cost about $1,500. The 520 watt battery costs about $600. The AC charger draws 48 watts, so it can be run off an inverter on the big boat.

v10builder1
08-11-2011, 07:51 PM
Seems to me like the Torqueedo is a $100 trolling motor with a $1500 price tag. If your boat type and useage (don't have to keep taking the batteries out of the boat) permit it, 1 or 2 deep cycle lead acid batteries and a $100 3 stage charger would be just the ticket.

For everybody else, all we need is a 12 or 24 VDC lithium battery set/120 VAC charger package, with a handle to tote it aboard - many of the trolling motors are relatively lightweight, too.

My fortune may be made on this battery set idea - I'll start on it right away.

Boat on.

Joe

Breakaway
08-13-2011, 12:32 AM
Mine was a birthday present from my wife, who worried about the unreliability of my Johnson.

HA! Please forgive me Potterer, but that just tickled me.

S'cuse the drift. Carry on now boys

Kevin

v10builder1
08-16-2011, 12:07 PM
Potterer:

That wasn't the most diplomatic start to a thread I have ever written - your Torqueedo electric sounds like a great fit for your application.

Your Johnson gas OB sounds like mine, especialy the controllability issue. My '73 4 HP Johnson OB has no neutral or reverse, which is why it shares the transom with a 30 pound thrust Predator trolling motor.

I have been following the electrical hybridization/electrification of boat propulsion systems for quite a while. Nothing is as valuable as real world data on performance such as described in this thread and others; but, as previously posted, there are so many boat, motor, and useage variables that it is not easy to quantify performance much beyond "this is what works for me".


Having said that, I have, over the years, debunked a good number of over-optimistic to outright outlandish performance claims for electric propulsion systems for boats. Convenience and lack of noise aside, there is just no way an electric propulsion system can measure up in terms of range or speed, reliability, value, and ease of maintenance to a diesel auxiliary sailboat or a diesel powered displacement hull powerboat. In terms of what is available today, you just can't cram enough energy into batteries to approach the energy values found in diesel fuel or wind energy; and you sure can't put enough PV (solar) cell capacity on a boat to make up the difference. Unless cost is no object, you can't even get close.


For example: I honestly don't know how long my 4HP Johnson OB will run @ 4 HP on the 3 gallon tank (and I hope I don't ever have to hold the tiller that long), but since my 11 ton diesel trawler burns 4 GPH at 8 knots, figure 2 gallons per hour. So that is 1.5 hours of operation at whatever speed is developed at rated 4 HP. a 3KW Torqueedo (if there is one) should also develop about 4 HP(746 watts/HP). Operating for 1.5 hours would be 4.5 KWH.

For this discussion, and to simplify calculations we can use volt amps equal to watts- power factor does not offset these numbers much. To provide 4.5 KVAH @ 12 VDC would require 375 AH of battery but, from a practical standpoint, 750 AH would be needed to insure the bank is not discharged below 50%. To do this with lead acid batteries, you would need 6 (5.75, actually) Crown 31DC130 130 AH deep cycle batteries @66 pounds each for a battery weight of 396 pounds. Obviously, wildly impractical for a dingy or skiff, but the upside is they could be recharged many, many times at no cost of fossil fuel. If you go to lithium batteries, (FOUR TIMES the energy density of flooded lead acid) you are talking about a very expensive 100 pound bank (or 2 50 pound units), still mighty heavy to get aboard a dink or skiff. The 3 gallon gas tank only weighs about 18 pounds.

For comparison, my 30 pound thrust trolling motor (if the 4 HP Johnson quits or won't start - this has happened) pulls 30 amps at 30 pounds thrust. I don't know the speed at that power level (it is not fast), but will not pull down the Crown battery below 50% when used for 2 hours (30A x 2H = 60 AH of 65 AH capacity to 50% discharge.

Even though my skiff is a hybrid, I still carry a pair of oars.

Boat on.

Joe

Jefe
08-16-2011, 02:47 PM
Toward the end of this page there is some info on 1 owners experience...

http://members.shaw.ca/arctictern10/Vol07Iss12.htm

kbowen
08-31-2011, 12:36 AM
This thread wouldn't be necessary and all the conjecture would be moot if the company would supply serious data and research, which it has clearly undertaken, but isn't sharing. There is a US distributor in a Chicago suburb near me and I have spent a lot of time on the phone with them trying to wheedle out prop pitch, RPM, slippage at different thrust, amperes,etc, etc. I have offered to do local testing for higher speed, easily driven hulls, which is my interest. No Go. I think they would sell a lot more units if they would loosen up and share a tad. Open-source will rule the day, and the company who has the guts to open up will lead.

mcdenny
08-31-2011, 10:47 AM
Todd at Epower Marine in Ft Lauderdale set up a planing runabout with a Torqeedo. Give him a call.

kbowen
08-31-2011, 11:32 AM
Todd at Epower Marine in Ft Lauderdale set up a planing runabout with a Torqeedo. Give him a call.

Sorry, I wasn't clear enough about "high speed." I am interested in driving a Rangeley Lake boat at about 7mph, which I can do with an ancient Johnson LightTwin 3hp. My first attempt was to load the boat up with people and drag it from another boat with a Fish Weight scale to discover that it took 26lb at speed measured with GPS. So, foolishly, I guessed that at 35lb trolling motor would do the same. But the trolling motor, if it ever develops 35lb, does so at a dead stop, and barely pushes the boat at 3mph in actual practice. I learned this hard lesson with a $275 trolling motor + battery. I don't want to be equally disappointed with a $2000 motor and more expensive batteries. So, I would buy a motor if the engineering department could assure me that it would develop 30lbs at 7mph, but Torqeedo will not supply any data in this form. And, to repeat, we wouldn't need to resort to this word-of-mouth experience if the company would supply meaningful data or engineering expertise.

mcdenny
08-31-2011, 02:16 PM
When you did the drag test did you have a trolling motor in the water adding its drag? It would be add a significant fraction of the hull drag.

The problem with trolling motors is they are propped for max thrust at near zero speeds - after all they are designed for trolling at 1 -2 mph.

If you still have the trolling motor you might try a range of model airplane props, something like a 10 x 6 or a 10 x 8 sounds about right. They are cheap - $3 or $4 each so you can try several sizes. You can bore them out to fit the motor shaft with a drill press or even a hand drill if you are careful and cut a groove for the shear pin with a dremel tool. Bring some extra shaft nuts when you go out to do the trials ;)

You will need an ammeter to evaluate performance, something like a "watts Up" meter used by electric RC flyers (About $50). You want the prop that gives the fastest boat speed while not causing the current to exceed the motor's draw with the standard prop with the boat stationary. You will find that your range will be easily doubled by slowing down slightly.

I found I could drive a 14' plastic canoe at 5 mph with a 30# 12v trolling motor and a 10 x 6 prop.

Another very important tip is to make a fairing for the motor tube. Its drag at 2 mph probably does not matter, especially compared to the heavy boat it is pushing. On a light slippery hull at 5 or 6 mph the round tube drag is huge. IIRC the canoe's electric range at 4 mph was increased 30% by adding the fairing.

The downside of the RC props are they have very thin, narrow blades. This makes them very efficient but not very strong and easy to wrap weeds around. I've not found this to be much of a problem in open water plus they are so cheap it is easy to afford a few spares.

If you are interested in reading all the details of my trolling motyor experiments look here: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/efficient-electric-boat-27996-15.html Start with post #212.

kbowen
08-31-2011, 10:37 PM
When you did the drag test did you have a trolling motor in the water adding its drag? It would be add a significant fraction of the hull drag.


If you are interested in reading all the details of my trolling motyor experiments look here: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/efficient-electric-boat-27996-15.html Start with post #212.

Wow, there is a wealth of information in that thread! Thank You. Yes, I have spent some time messing around with Model Airplane propellers on my little minn-kota. I didn't get as quantitative as you did, but did find a great improvement in speed until I burned up the multi-position switch in the motor control. Is that thing really just selecting dumb resistors? I had assumed that it was switching on additional field coils to suppress RPM because I noticed that the current didn't drop a heckuva lot at lower RPM. Re: drag, no I didn't have the electric in the water when I did the drag tests on the hull, but I did put a cone hub on it, which took some screwing around to re-cut the cone because the prop was flipper over for pushing rather than pulling as an airplane does. For an ammeter, I discovered that a length of brazing wire makes a good meter shunt, it has just enough resistance that a couple inches of it will give a full-scale deflection on a VOM and it easily carries 30A. I used another meter to calibrate the length of the shunt. I had also bought a PWM control (40A) but then reality intervened and the whole project is currently sitting in a corner of the basement, your data inspires me to try to get back to it. Thanks

mcdenny
09-01-2011, 08:25 AM
It really is just selecting dumb resistors. Speed 5 puts full voltage to the motor, speed 4 puts half voltage to the motor and wastes half the battery power heating water. The prop RPM is cut in half, the boat slows (but not too much) the load on the prop drops and the current falls.


The motor connectors in the head are piece-o-crap blade terminals and the five position sliding switch is not much better. Get rid of all that and connect the output of your PWM speed control to the two power wires going down the tube.

Use RC bullet connectors for your wiring.

Goldberg (hobby shop) makes a 3" plastic spinner ($6) that almost is the right size to blend into the 3.5" motor.

If I were trying to power a boat like yours I'd get a 24v PWM trolling motor (1/2 price of bottom of the line Torqeedo), use an RC prop and make a fairing for the shaft. No electrical work and you would have a shot at 7 mph; 6ish for sure.

Here's a WBF thread about using the modified trolling motor in my sailboat: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?117455-Arctic-Tern-Electric-Power&highlight=

kbowen
09-01-2011, 09:31 AM
It really is just selecting dumb resistors. Speed 5 puts full voltage to the motor, speed 4 puts half voltage to the motor and wastes half the battery power heating water.
Here's a WBF thread about using the modified trolling motor in my sailboat: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?117455-Arctic-Tern-Electric-Power&highlight=

Thanks for the link, though photos didn't seem to appear as I viewed it. It continues to amaze / amuse me that the trolling motor companies are not jumping on this. There are so many no-motor lakes, so much interest in "green" stuff, and with Torqueedo grabbing sales at double and triple the price point, you would think that they would at least offer different prop options. I keep wondering if the ducted props that have proven so efficient on tugs, etc, could be effectively miniaturized for electric propulsion of small boats. What if one cut the bolting flange off of an electric bow-thruster and made it retractable from the bottom of the boat? I know that the motors are intended for intermittent use, but maybe with another motor, or??

SBH
09-18-2011, 06:48 PM
I bought a Torqeedo 1003 last year, thinking it would be enough to get my Yankee One-Design sailboat in and out of a marina slip, and maybe out the ship canal (in Seattle) but that was wishful thinking. The boat displaces about 4,500 lbs, which is more than Torqeedo recommends for that model, and so of course I was underpowered in anything above a light wind (my bow would get blown off). But I really loved the way it was so light and portable, and it did move my boat just fine in favorable conditions... I loved it. But to be safe, I've recently upgraded to the 4.0 model (skipping past the 2.0), with a couple of lithium batteries. The lithium seemed like my only viable option, since the pair of them weigh 88 lbs, as opposed to nearly 600lbs of lead acid, which my little sailboat can't handle.

The cruise 4.0 and its batteries arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I had to leave for the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival before I had a chance to install them. Now I'm back, but distracted by the upcoming CWB Woodie Regatta. So this will probably take me a couple of weeks. The 4.0 is an entirely different beast than the 1003. The chargers are massive, as are the wires. I've got to securely mount the batteries and chargers, swap out the wires for longer, thicker ones, and put some holes in my deck and bulkheads. I'll probably put a cowel vent on my aft deck, to drop the wires down that way... I'm using a modified Spartan removable engine mount. By modified, I mean we have a nifty way of securing it onto the aft deck so it doesn't pop up when the engine is in reverse, or when a wave bounces the stern.

I will gladly repost once I have some actual experience using the new setup. But I did want to say that I'm a big fan of Torqeedo, and I can highly recommend Todd Simms at EPower Marine in Florida. He was awesome to do business with. Both Todd and my contact at Torqeedo have answered many technical questions for me. Btw, after 800 full cycles, these batteries should have more like a loss of 25%.

kbowen
09-19-2011, 09:38 AM
I will gladly repost once I have some actual experience using the new setup. But I did want to say that I'm a big fan of Torqeedo, and I can highly recommend Todd Simms at EPower Marine in Florida. He was awesome to do business with. Both Todd and my contact at Torqeedo have answered many technical questions for me. Btw, after 800 full cycles, these batteries should have more like a loss of 25%.

I am glad you are pleased with your customer support, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I had hoped for better as I live <15 miles from the US distribution offices, but they never gave me hope over the phone that I would get any more data if I drove there. Please let us know how the new unit works out! I can't afford to be buying dead-ends as you apparently did the first time.

K

Full Tilt
01-01-2012, 04:55 AM
I love my Torqeedo 401 travel on my St. Lawrence Skiff. Last year I didn't even launch my other boats.Electric motorsailing has changed the way I use my boat allowing me to go further, go upwind, nightsail, gunkhole, motor through lulls and not have to worry about getting home. I bought two batteries but have never drained them both in one day. Their endurance has improved over the five years I've had them. I had to send one back for service after being run down by a large trimaran and it was replaced promptly with a refurbished battery at no cost. It is very difficult to describe the virtues of something that nobody even has a frame of reference for. You can't compare it to a gas motor. Toronto has a music festival on the island every year and it was while motoring through the canals on the way there that the advantage was profoundly demonstrated to me. A lady friend and I were enjoying the beautiful summer day, nature surrounded us, the fish were jumping and the swans were swimming, we could here the music in the distance gradually becoming louder as we neared the concert. Another couple in their tender were on a parallel course and looked to be enjoying themselves equally to us. They returned our wave and drew along side. Then their exhaust blew down on us and it was like being woken from a dream! A really good dream! Neither could they here the music nor the birds nor the splashing fish, nor could we when they were near. How do you put a value on bliss?

kbowen
01-01-2012, 09:13 AM
I love my Torqeedo 401 travel on my St. Lawrence Skiff.

It sounds like an excellent match. I worked on a composite wood/glass St. Lawrence skiff at WB school last summer, and it's hard to imagine a more easily driven hull form. I continue to look for people who have had experience with larger & heavier boats, because I am considering a Mackinaw which might displace 3 tons. I would also be interested in any experience people have had with shipping & unshipping an electric: the Mackinaw is a double-ender and I haven't been able to imagine any kind of motor well or rig that gets the motor out of the way when not in use. Thanks again for your enthusiastic endorsement! It's also possible that your electric doesn't just move the pollution away to the power plant but might also cause less total carbon footprint as the power plant is likely more efficient than a small outboard.

Full Tilt
01-02-2012, 11:11 AM
My original plan was to modify the Torqeedo utilizing the sectional nature of its shaft design to allow it to be disassembled,then inserted through the hull either in a dedicated opening or perhaps a slightly widened dagger well, from the bottom while on shore. The problem would be drag while sailing. Also the manufacturer implies that freewheeling of the propellor is detrimental to the motor, so some method of retraction is required. The concept would work if one chose to use the vessel strictly in the motoring mode with the oars as a standby. I am considering building a surrey top as seen on steam launches, striped and scalloped even, for motoring/rowing trips.
A Mackinaw boat would be a tough one to rig an outboard on without spoiling the design but there are some internal electric propulsion systems that would work nicely,especially with a folding prop.

kbowen
01-02-2012, 01:47 PM
A Mackinaw boat would be a tough one to rig an outboard on without spoiling the design but there are some internal electric propulsion systems that would work nicely,especially with a folding prop.

Your comments are particularly relevant in this case because a large part of my motivation in building this design is to experience the qualities which the historical sources describe. Among other factors, the design was said to leave very clean water behind, and to behave well in steep water because the fine stern sections (and full bow) discouraged broaching. I don't want to compromise this with a propeller cutout, and would prefer not to sail around with any kind of outboard permanently jury-rigged off the stern. I have sometimes fantasized about a pair of motor-wells closer to the mid-ship point, Port and Starboard, with plugs to fair the hull when two trolling motors, (or Torqueedo) were removed. Such a long-keeled boat would not turn quickly in a crowded anchorage and there is an argument for two mills, or for one power-unit of some kind that hung off the rudder. I have also postulated replacing the rudder with a Torqueedo when maneuvering. Any other thoughts?