Electric outboards

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sgr143
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Electric outboards

Post by sgr143 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:39 pm

...For use mainly on dinghy for getting to and from mooring (at Wicor).

My ancient 2HP yamaha is sort of ok, but it would be nice to have something that didn't smell strongly of petrol, especially in the car ; and other family members would feel a bit happier with something that's plug and play (and light and clean) rather than tug, fiddle and curse (and a bit heavy and greasy).

The torqeedo ones look interesting, but are pretty expensive (well, tbh, madly so) and there are quite a few reports of them coming down with weird electronic problems. So I was thinking of one of the more powerful Minn Kota (45? 55?) units, run off a sealed-unit lead gel acid battery like I have on my motorcycle, maybe 80 or so Ahr.

Any experiences or thoughts?

Ta, Steve
Steve Roberts - "Osprey" Merlin MN74 at WicorMarine

Chris H
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Re: Electric outboards

Post by Chris H » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:13 pm

Hello Steve,

It all depends on what you need to use the outboard for....

I have used a cheap (appx £140) Osapian 40 to power my tender to and from my mooring. It is only a short run but it uses very little (appx 2A/h) for the two trips with a heavy 9ft tender and the two of us!

In view of this I use a 20A/h battery which I charge at home and has so far lasted 3 years. To make my life easier I connect the battery to the outboard with a plug and socket.

The outboard is not very powerful but it drives the tender as fast as I used to row and it does not get tired pushing against the tide!
The advantages:- It always starts, has 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, cheaper than a petrol outboard, cheaper fuel if the battery last a few more years very much cheaper! can be stored anyway up!, does not smell, cleaner (I just rinse off the bottom bit with fresh water), if it needs to be handed up to the boat each part is much, much lighter that a petrol outboard.

It works just as well on my inflatable and the battery can be charged on the boat or car when the engine is running.

I hope this helps

Chris H Pinar GN400

Wolfgang
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Re: Electric outboards

Post by Wolfgang » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:13 pm

Hello Steve,
one of the questions is, do you just need the outboard to get to your mooring buoy? Or also as a regular outboard on deck? If the latter, you might want to think about the expensive version.
Two years ago I bought a Torqueedo, after long discussions with dealers and sailor friends. The consensus was, that either you hate the Torqueedo or you just love it. A lengthy discussion with a couple, long time cruisers in the Med, convinced me to buy the Torqueedo. As there is already a new version of the outboard on the marked, I hope that most negative points (like problems with saltwater, electronics, etc.) are solved now. So far I'm very pleased with my decision. No petrol aboard anylonger, very light engine and very easy to handle (basically 3 parts, shaft, battery and tiller), more then enough speed and range for my needs, it always "starts", just to mention some. Plus you charge the battery just by plugging it directly to a 12V socket. Just the price is bloody high.
Best regards
Wolfgang - s/v Adventure Galley, OR2

sgr143
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Re: Electric outboards

Post by sgr143 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:26 pm

Thanks, Chris : this is very helpful indeed. This brand of motor seems to be even cheaper than the Minn-Kota ones of comparable thrust. At that price I'll probably just give it a try. I'll report back here how we get on. Steve

(Just seen Wolfgang's post.Thanks! .. Given the 10x price difference, I'll try the cheaper item first! Agreed, the Torqueedos do look very nice, but there are other boaty things that the over £1000 difference could usefully be spent on.)
Steve Roberts - "Osprey" Merlin MN74 at WicorMarine

sgr143
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Re: Electric outboards

Post by sgr143 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:17 pm

Just for info for anyone still following this. .. I've had a "Bison 65 " electric outboard delivered today. When I've had a bit of experience with it, I'll report back. Steve
Steve Roberts - "Osprey" Merlin MN74 at WicorMarine

sgr143
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Re: Electric outboards

Post by sgr143 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:10 pm

Update: the Bison 65 coped pretty well with a trial run at Wicor on Sunday. The tide wasn't running strongly, but the easterly wind was pretty high and gusty, producing half-metre waves with some whitecaps. One short practice loop off and back of the jetty, one empty run out to the mid-river pontoon and back, then a run fairly fully laden out to Osprey. Needed full throttle to make me feel we were getting along in open water (so I'm glad I went for this 65-pound thrust motor rather than a 40-pound one), but the control offered by the lower settings and the instant reverse was much appreciated when coming alongside. Used one of a pair of 22Ah AGM batteries, which my smart charger tells me was run down to 70% of capacity by these trips.

One awkward thing is the length of the shaft, which puts the tiller and throttle at my shoulder height when sitting down (and I wasn't going to be standing up in those conditions! ); I might see if the shaft length can be reduced should this continue to be irksome.
Steve Roberts - "Osprey" Merlin MN74 at WicorMarine

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