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Thread: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

  1. #1
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    Default Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Hi everybody,

    I am looking for some information about the Torqeedo travel 1003 electric outboard motor. It seems to be difficult to find useful information, the product reviews appear to be somewhat mixed, and lots of the low rating comments are written very angrily. In addition, there have been some upgrades sometime in 2015 and out of the available information it's not clear to me if the motors sold after that have fewer problems.
    There are also some very enthusiastic reviews but in light of the other information, they may be somewhat biased, and last not least we all know how easy it is to manipulate all this information one or the other way.
    I can remember that this motor was discussed in this forum a while ago, I looked it up and the last discussion had been started in 2015, hence I am wondering if there is some newer information out here. Maybe someone purchased the motor after 2015 and has some more recent information.
    Currently, I am using a small Honda outboard on my Caledonia Yawl and don't have any problems, but we all know the downsides like the gasoline smell the significant noise and so on. In addition, I am looking for an outboard that I can use with a smaller boat on lakes where gasoline engines are not allowed.


    I appreciate any information
    Thanks
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I too would like to hear about the latest info on these. There is a used marine store in R.I that occasionally gets them in and supposedly I'm on his call list for my CY. More I read about them however makes me think a used one is probably not a good idea. Seems like incremental improvements over the yrs and especially issues with the charging circuit...makes me think a new one would be best.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Check out the EP Carry electric outboard. It's very light and we just got one!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I have one. I got it in 2016. I have never had any problems with it. No error messages, which seem to be the main gripe of the earlier reviews. I use it on my Ilur dinghy not so much as an auxilliary(I'll use the oars if I run out of wind sailing), but more as the main source of power to go fishing or across the bay to a local village to the pub! Cruising speed is about 3.5 knots. After that is above hull speed(roughly) and range reduces dramatically. It would be fine as an auxiliary motor on a Caledonia Yawl. It certainly doesn't have the range of a petrol outboard but I have never run out of battery as the gps/ mileage display works very well. It is really light and easy to mount & de-mount. The lack of smell and noise are great. I have the plans and plywood for a Ross Lillistone Fleet, that I will eventually use it on, which I hope I will get more range and speed out of. That boat would ultimately take over the fishing and pub duties.



    The torque is amazing. I even managed to tow this boat up the harbour in a fresh-ish breeze after it had broken down.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I'll be using it on my non-wood Nigel Irens Romilly, which is at the top of the size range, mostly for mooring to dock duty since the docking situation here is pretty horrible under sail. There have been significant upgrades since it came out. Major motivaton is the weight; I will be stowing it under sail, something i used to do with one of those light johnrude 4hp long shaft two strokes on my 18' catboat. Down side of the 4 stroke revolution is that small outboards got heavier. I'll post with experience.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Brown View Post
    Check out the EP Carry electric outboard. It's very light and we just got one!
    Thanks for that. Can you give info: how big of battery, run time on charge, what boat do you use it on.
    I am trying to solve, just in my head for now, the dinghy problem for a small,25' crusier. Davits, out of the question, I don't always want to tow it, etc. So am leaning towards an inflatable, but don't want to deal with a traditional outboard. Perhaps this will work.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Hi all,

    thank you so much for your input, all appreciated.

    I spend a few hours last night and read through lots of information in other sources, mainly German and Austrian boat forums and my impression based on what I have read is not that great.

    I think it all comes down to:

    - great concept, everybody seem to like it
    unfortunately...

    - the technical implementation is at best mediocre
    and...

    - their service appears to be horrible

    I have to admit that lots of the information read is relatively old (3-4 years) and meanwhile they could have improved many of the the questionable areas. Furthermore we should not forget that almost as a general rule only those people post something on a forum who have problems or aren't satisfied with the product, which easily can skew reality.

    Because of my origin I certainly have a bias towards this product but after all what I read I am really not convinced anymore and in addition I have found another very similar product that is new to the European market and now also coming on the north American market.
    I found it yesterday while looking videos from the German "BOOT 2018" which is the biggest European annual boat show. The product itself is from China (argh...normally not my favorite ) but they can produce good quality if they want and this group seems to be comprised of young engeneers eager to make a product able to compete with the Torqeedo. I read that Torqeedo had tried to sue them on the European market because of plagiarism but they weren't successful since it only looks similar but important technical details are different.
    It sounds pretty appealing, it's a little less expensive like the Torqeedo and has basically the same features. Sure they likely had the Torqeedo as an example when they designed it, but they obviously also knew about the Troqeedo problems and tried to avoid them.
    It's funny, they talk about all the problems known from the Torqeedo during the video from the German Boot show and how they have done different to avoid them, but they never named Torqeedo in that discussion.
    The German distributor offers custom solutions for wooden boats. (check the video at about 15 min).

    Unfortunately the only dealer here in the US, as far as I could figure out, is in California, pretty far away in case something would happen.

    Here some videos and their website

    http://www.epropulsion.com/

    the US dealer http://www.fourseas.com/

    the video from the German boat show, unfortunately mostly in German...
    https://youtu.be/d_kW2vJcMEA

    Any information on this engine out there?

    Thanks
    Chris


    PS: Is there any experience what shaft length I would need for a CY?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Brown View Post
    Check out the EP Carry electric outboard. It's very light and we just got one!
    The EP Carry was reviewed recently by Chris Cunningham of WB's Small Boat Monthly.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I have one of the Torqeedo 1003s. Mine is vintage summer of 2015. I like it a lot for the auxiliary power unit that it's meant to be. My longest trip was a bit less than 2.5 nautical miles against the current of maybe 2 knots. I had 25% battery capacity remaining at the end of this trip. There was no wind so I couldn't sail. Sorry but I don't have any more definitive data as far as battery use is concerned. One other thing... I mount my motor on the side of the hull which probably affects it's efficiency. I know I have to adjust the steering to compensate for the side thrust.

    I like the motor for all the obvious reasons: lightweight, can be broken down into three components, clean fuel. I dislike it's relative short range but that hasn't been a serious problem given my limited need for it.

    The most aggravating aspect has been the error message I get sometimes. This occurs when I first connect the battery and control cables. It seems that if I don't do this carefully, the error happens and the motor won't start. To correct, I must remove the cables from their connectors and re-connect. It's never absolutely failed. I've learned to pre-test the motor prior to launching at the local ramp which has no dock. All it takes is to do all the connections on the ramp and try it. Once it goes on, it will always go on for that assembly.

    Something I wish it had was a operable friction device that would restrict the ability to turn. As it is, one can fix it to go straight with no turning ability or leave it totally free to turn. But in that free position one must keep hold of the tiller. It will readily go off track without a hand.

    I sometimes use the motor on my 8' inflatable dinghy. Here the high thrust vs. speed issue is most apparent. The dinghy won't ever be breaking any speed records with the Torqeedo. But it's easier than rowing.

    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Jeff,


    thank you for your input and telling us about your experience!
    God to hear that you haven't had significant issues with your motor, on what type of ship are you using the motor, other than the dinghy?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Emily Ruth is a Somes Sound 12.5. Small sloop, a cousin to the Haven and H12.

    Jeff

  12. #12

    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Electric motors are the future. Just look at the growing popularity of e-bikes which are all of what mopeds and scooters used to be. You can now buy a riding lawnmower that is battery powered. I have a 40 volt wheedwacker from Lowes that is almost like a chainsaw; keep your feet out of the way.

    I loved the Torqeedo idea a few years back. But a friend had had issues with battery burnout every few years as well as prop issues. If possible, I'd suggest waiting a year or 3 until something more reliable comes along, which it surely will. Batteries will become more affordable, have longer charge times and be switchable between your bike, mower or small boat engine.
    Maybe I'm a little overenthusiastic, but I'm really looking forward to getting rid of gas, spark plugs etc. Just need more power centers at home to recharge all the stuff. Bad enough now with cell, laptops, rechargeable bike lights, cordless tools and on and on.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I have used the 1003 as back up power for my Vivier/Chase Jewell for a number of years.
    The old 1003 (which I have) has a 503 WattHour battery.
    The new 1003c has a 950Wh battery which presumably has a longer range.

    I bought a spare battery (very pricey) This is like having a reserve tank on a gasoline engine.

    When the sea is dead and the sky is bright (as is often the case on summer mornings in Maine) I can motor at around 2 kts on one battery while the other one charges with its solar panel. I just about break even. (It is possible to solar charge the battery you are running on.) This isn't very fast but it beats sitting still and I don't have worry about draining my power supply. When the breeze starts, I sail and leave the battery to charge. By then end of the day I am tanked up. The obvious weakness of this system is its inability to cope with a long series of windless cloudy days.

    Range is not a great issue as a full battery will take me an estimated 10 NM in flat conditions.

    Aside from windless times, I occasionally use the battery in a sticky situation (such as Ben's post no 5 above). High speed motoring significantly drops range but the gauge keeps you informed of this.

    Light weight and easy stowage are obvious pluses.

    I think it will be a while until electric outboards will rival gas for range...that is especially true if you need to motor against wind and/or current at any great speed.

    Overall, this motor has worked well for me.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I don't know much about the Torqueedo, but have admired the look and design.

    On the other hand, I have to second the recommendation on EP Carry, I have been watching the progress of this design for a few year now and the new Carry may fit your needs. Their first one, the Electric Paddle, was very cute and creative but too small to be practical for anything above a small dinghy. This new one is more powerful but still just as creative and may have enough punch. This is still something of a cottage industry so marketing and backup will be a bit lame. They are asking us to be their beta testers so we have to be aware we are early adopters and the products will get better. On the other hand, Honda, has be at this awhile, and their little 2hp is really optimized.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Hi all,


    I checked the Ep Carry website


    https://www.electricpaddle.com/ep-carry-boat-motor.html


    and according to the information there their motor compares to a one horsepower gasoline engine which maybe not be enough for a CY depending on the situation you are in.

    Anyhow, I further researched both of the engines (I should change the thread title ...) the Torqeedo as well as the Epropulsion. I found a newer thread about the Torqueedo in another Yacht forum and all sounded pretty positive.
    Then I called an Epropulsion dealer in Annapolis, and the information from there sounded was pretty positive towards the Epropulsion engine.
    Finally, I read through the Epropulsion and Torqeedo manual and found one difference that I hadn't realized before, the Epropulsion engine has no gearbox. The lack of a gearbox is likely the reason that it doesn't seem to have that whining noise of the Torqeedo, but there were also some issues with the Torqeedo and broken gearboxes due to ground contact. The Epropulsion may not have that problem.
    Anyhow, both engines should not be in the water when the boat is driven by another force so that the propeller is running without the motor. My CY has a motor well so that could be somewhat cumbersome since the complete motor needs to be unmounted and taken out of the motor well, on the other hand, the electric motor is not hot, lighter and didn't smell of gasoline, which may make things much more manageable.
    However, there are good reasons not to have a gasoline engine, here is only one of them...


    https://youtu.be/46kNKJxMbJY

    even though the young skipper doesn't seem to be bothered at all by the motor sound...

    Thanks
    Christoph

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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Since you mentioned the whining noise: I'm not bothered by it at all. I've got the 1003. The sound it makes is far less objectionable to that of any gasoline motor.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I think you are right, we should not overemphasize the noise from the Torqeedo, compared to the gas engine it's much better. However, if we compare among electric engines, the sound from the Torqeedo engine is at least different than the sound from other electric engines. My best guess is that the reason for the Torqeedo sound is the gearbox, what else could it be since electric motors normally are very quiet.
    Systems without a gearbox may have two advantages, they may tolerate ground contact better and they are somewhat quieter.

    like in this video

    https://youtu.be/mlQL0u3dBQw

    Sure this is not a scientific comparison but I think one can get the idea.

    I started this thread to find out more recent info about the Torqeedo and make a decision whether to buy one or to continue with my Honda2.3. Now I know that I would like to have an electric engine but got stuck with the question which one it should be since I discovered the Epropulsion. Both of them seem to be reasonable the Epropulsion may have some advantages over the Torqeedo but the Torqeedo is way longer on the market and the manufacturer meanwhile may have found and solved most of his problems.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Re Christoph's concern (#15) above about whether one can leave a torqeedo in the water while under sail power:

    A few years ago Small Craft Advisor had an article which included the use of a larger torqueedo unit for power. The builder had consulted torqueedo about this question. My memory is that the manufacturer said that they had not tested the motor in this mode so they didn't recommend it.

    I take that to mean that it is not known to be harmful but you are doing it at your own risk.

    That said, when I motor with a Torqeedo 1003 on a calm day and the wind comes up, the motor is driven in reverse and gives off a noise slightly quieter than the noise of motoring under power. I simply tilt up my transom-hung motor and sail. If your motor well's set up requires you to pull the engine, that is obviously a bigger bother. Ease in switching from sailing mode to motoring mode is a safety factor when a dicey situation strikes unexpectedly. I think this applies to all motors, gas or electric. A light weight motor is easier to un-mount than a heavy one. As the electric motors come in units, they can be disassembled as you un-mount them. With the torqeedo, the tiller/throttle come off first. Next comes the battery. This makes the drive unit quite light which I greatly appreciate when leaning over the transom.

    Hope that helps some.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    I have the 1003 that I use on my Wm Garden Eel ďAunt LouiseĒ. It is about 3 years old with the 503 Whbattery. It has enough thrust to movethe boat at a reasonable pace, the range drops dramatically with increased speed. I have a 12V AGM battery as a house battery, that I can use to recharge the motor battery that I mostly use when I am going to be out for several days. I can also connect the charger to the battery while using the motor to extend the range. Earlier this year I had miles to go against a strong current with no wind, and this allowed me to use the motor with no worries. The GPS/battery monitor give you a range based on the power level being used, a useful monitor.
    The Eel has a canoe stern, so the motor mount is on the side at the aft end of the cockpit. When under sail in light air, the motor can be tilted out of the water. Most of the time it is taken off and stored in the cabin.Tiller and battery is taken off and stored, and then the shaft and motor. No one part weighs over 10 pounds.
    It is never left in the water when not in use, I canít think of why you would want to do that. It would create major drag, is much nosier free wheeling than when running.
    The initial cost is the only downside that the motor has formy use. If I were buying today, I would spend the extra money for the 915 Whbattery.
    Iíve never had any reason to ask for service, or warranty,so I canít speak to that issue.

    The EP Carry is closer to the 503 and close to the sameprice, and you give up the GPS range monitor. Iíd choose the Torqueedo.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Quote Originally Posted by MW Jones View Post
    I have the 1003 that I use on my Wm Garden Eel “Aunt Louise”. It is about 3 years old with the 503 Whbattery. It has enough thrust to movethe boat at a reasonable pace, the range drops dramatically with increased speed. I have a 12V AGM battery as a house battery, that I can use to recharge the motor battery that I mostly use when I am going to be out for several days. I can also connect the charger to the battery while using the motor to extend the range. Earlier this year I had miles to go against a strong current with no wind, and this allowed me to use the motor with no worries. The GPS/battery monitor give you a range based on the power level being used, a useful monitor.
    The Eel has a canoe stern, so the motor mount is on the side at the aft end of the cockpit. When under sail in light air, the motor can be tilted out of the water. Most of the time it is taken off and stored in the cabin.Tiller and battery is taken off and stored, and then the shaft and motor. No one part weighs over 10 pounds.
    It is never left in the water when not in use, I can’t think of why you would want to do that. It would create major drag, is much nosier free wheeling than when running.
    The initial cost is the only downside that the motor has formy use. If I were buying today, I would spend the extra money for the 915 Whbattery.
    I’ve never had any reason to ask for service, or warranty,so I can’t speak to that issue.

    The EP Carry is closer to the 503 and close to the sameprice, and you give up the GPS range monitor. I’d choose the Torqueedo.
    I picked up the 1003 to power my recently acquired Romily and was thinking about a similar set up with a AGM battery as a house battery. What cableing did you use to go from the AGM to the Torquedo, just the Torquedo cable or did you make up something? The kind of fitting you need to plug into the torquedo isn't obvious. I have a well with a filler block which I'll need to use under sail. I don't reckon that freewheeling will be an issue for a short interval like getting set up to make a mooring. (BTW will you make it to the WoodenBoat show this year?)

    Another question, what size AGM are you using on the Garden?
    Last edited by Ben Fuller; 06-07-2018 at 06:58 AM. Reason: more info
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    What cableing did you use to go from the AGM to the Torquedo, just the Torquedo cable or did you make up something?
    i've thought about this too - they sell a very overpriced car adapter style cable https://www.torqeedo.com/en/products...v/1128-00.html which looks like it's just a standard 5.5 barrel connector.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    The Torqeedo battery is rated at 29.3 volts. So some sort of electronic converter would have to be employed in order to use a 12volt AGM battery. They do have a charging accessory available to charge the motor's battery from either a 12 or 24 volt source. I'll bet that's a slow process because it takes a fair while to charge from household current using the standard charger provided.

    Jeff

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    ^ I would want to see the input voltage on the motor. Is there a plate or tag listing that? Often, a DC device will tolerate a range of input voltages.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    The Torqeedo battery is rated at 29.3 volts. So some sort of electronic converter would have to be employed in order to use a 12volt AGM battery. They do have a charging accessory available to charge the motor's battery from either a 12 or 24 volt source. I'll bet that's a slow process because it takes a fair while to charge from household current using the standard charger provided.

    Jeff
    I think the charging accessory is just a cable to connect to the 12v source. They say any source from 9.5 to 50 volt as well as from a solar panel. The max charging time from AC is 6 hours. Nothing speced for 12 or from solar; reckon some of it has to do with how deeply things are discharged. The converter seems to be in the battery electronics. MW Jo
    nes in #19 would have the direct experience.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    In my Eel, I have a small inverter that I plug the charger into, and run the charging cable to the motor. The direct cable would be simpler, but redundant and one more wire to be stored/tangled. I'm not sure how long it would take to charge the battery with the direct cable. All I have on the Eel is a USB/12V plugs for phones and VHF charging, red and white LED cabin lights, the compass light and the inverter.

    Torqeedo does have a rapid charger available- two models one for 2014 and earlier, and one newer units, with no information as to why. The output from my old slow charger is 12V, I don't know if the new rapid charger has a higher output voltage.

    I had a 55 AH battery for the first couple of years and then replaced it with a 105 AH for no good reason, needed the 55 (34 size) for the jeep. I think the choice would have more to do with the weight and placement of the battery, as well as how long and what all you plan to power with the battery, the 55 AH was fine for my use.

    I regrettably won't be able to attend the WBS this year, but hope to next year.

    I looked for the plans for the Romily a while back, but they are no longer available. Would like to hear about yours.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    Hi all,


    thanks again for all the input and information.


    A word to the passively turning propeller, I heard that in some of the inboard electric motors the passively turning propellor is used to regain some energy, like a generator so in such a setup the passively turning propeller seems to be of no harm.
    Anyhow, I am going to open a new thread to the subject electric outboard engine because I bought an Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 which is pretty much the Chinese counterpart of the Torqeedo.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Any recent information about Torqeedo electric outboard motors?

    It will be quite interesting to know how this new motor performs. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

    Jeff

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