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Old 03-04-2019, 07:34 AM   #1
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Torqeedo electric outboards versus gas

I'm in America this week and visited West Marine the other day, having a chance to view the Torqeedos for the first time.

I really liked the 1100 series with the built-in (removable) battery pack. That would really simplify things. However, with a limit of 3hp you'd be pushing your dinghy along at maybe 4 or 5 knots.

The Cruiser series had more power, with 5hp+ being available, but requiring an external battery.

The thing though that really stopped me in my tracks was the price, all-in being about triple the cost of a little Merc or Nissan outboard of same power.

There must be many of you here who own these electric outboards, really what is your feedback considering the thousands of dollars more that needs to be spent to procure these?
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:48 AM   #2
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I know some people like them, but to me paying way more for less power, less convenience, less range, about the same noise level and no more reliability is not a very good idea. A few cruisers on YouTube have tried the Torqueedos, and reviews are not great.


As a fisherman, I've used a number of trolling motors in a saltwater environment, including motors purpose built for saltwater. Though they serve their purpose, none of them have been what I would call reliable. I would not want to rely on them as my main propulsion. The Torgueedo is really just a big trolling motor. No thanks.
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:49 AM   #3
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I really like the electric outboard option, but unfortunately the range, speed, and cost doesn't work for me. If I were in an anchorage or mooring field within a mile of most destinations, I may have gone that route. I like to go exploring where distance is a factor and speed to get back before the afternoon thunderstorms, are required. Somewhere on YouTube there is a video comparing the Torqeedo to another brand. They are quite noisey. Part of the allure of an electric motor was quiet when going nature watching.

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Old 03-04-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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I decided to ditch my 5 HP 2-strok Mercury and go with the Lehr OB for my inflatable. It uses propane, not gasoline. I love not having to worry about a gas can and the associated smell, leaks, fuel mixing, etc.

The Lehr will run on those camping stove canisters or a larger propane canister via the use of the included hose.

I have the 2.5 HP and I would probably be happier with more HP but I didn't want to invest in a bigger one at first if I wasn't going to like it.

It will go about 1.5 hours on one can of propane at idle speed or 45 minutes at top speed. Since my use of the dink is primarily taking the dog to shore or going ashore to a restaurant, I don't need speed. When a can runs out of propane, you unscrew it and attach a new one and it starts right up. I usually toss a couple cans in the dink whenever I go out. Works perfectly for me. With the Torqueedo I was concerned about keeping the battery charged, with Lehr, its easy to keep several hours worth of fuel ready whenever you need it.
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I really like the electric outboard option, but unfortunately the range, speed, and cost doesn't work for me. .....Somewhere on YouTube there is a video comparing the Torqeedo to another brand. They are quite noisey. Part of the allure of an electric motor was quiet when going nature watching.

Ted

Yep, if they were cheaper, quieter, had more range, more power and were more reliable they would be the perfect motor.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:59 AM   #6
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I decided to ditch my 5 HP 2-strok Mercury and go with the Lehr OB for my inflatable. It uses propane, not gasoline. I love not having to worry about a gas can and the associated smell, leaks, fuel mixing, etc.

The Lehr will run on those camping stove canisters or a larger propane canister via the use of the included hose.

I have the 2.5 HP and I would probably be happier with more HP but I didn't want to invest in a bigger one at first if I wasn't going to like it.

It will go about 1.5 hours on one can of propane at idle speed or 45 minutes at top speed. Since my use of the dink is primarily taking the dog to shore or going ashore to a restaurant, I don't need speed. When a can runs out of propane, you unscrew it and attach a new one and it starts right up. I usually toss a couple cans in the dink whenever I go out. Works perfectly for me. With the Torqueedo I was concerned about keeping the battery charged, with Lehr, its easy to keep several hours worth of fuel ready whenever you need it.
Make sure you thoroughly flush the engine with freshwater after each use. The aluminum alloy is not salt or brackish water tolerant. Had lots of problems with mine and the internal corrosion was the final straw. Probably much better in freshwater.

Ted
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:46 AM   #7
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I have used the Torquedo with modular battery for a month on a charter boat. Since it comes apart into three pieces it is easy to move to the dinghy and back but I always worried about dropping a piece over the side when climbing to / from the dinghy. Range is OK if you need to go less than 1 mile each way without a lot of current or wind. Overall, OK for a very small dinghy used by kids in a harbor; too limited for general dinghy use.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:14 AM   #8
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After comparing both the mainstream electrics, I decided on the E-Propulsion unit. A more modern and updated version of the Torqueedo concept. 4 hp equivalent, and a 2.5 hour range at 1/2 throttle where my Portland Pudgy is happiest. Larger battery and more HP than a base Torqueedo. Cheaper to at $1895. Battery floats if you fumble it putting it on the motor unit. I've been Very happy with the choice.. Quiet too as it doesn't have the whining planetary gearset that the Torqueedo has. Very high quality build also....VERY happy with the choice..
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #9
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I know of 2 cruises that were ruined by the inability of the bride to operate the gas outboard.

A gas engine that could plane the boat for him, an electric trolling motor is not at all expensive for her.

Still 1/3 the price of a super duper electric motor.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:06 PM   #10
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If your current boat is single prop, then you might want to stick with gas and a bit larger hp to help move your larger boat along in an emergency, if the only motor kicks out.

I did look at propane but Lehr had a number of not happy customers, if I was to buy a propane motor it would be the Tohatsu/Mercury 5 hp.

Epropulsion in my opinion is the better electric motor choice.

I have consider extensively both electric and propane options but settled on gas for fuel availability and power, I'm going with a Yamaha 8 hp.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:09 PM   #11
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Yep, if they were cheaper, quieter, had more range, more power and were more reliable they would be the perfect motor.
Hmm, you're not demanding at all
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:11 PM   #12
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If your current boat is single prop, then you might want to stick with gas and a bit larger hp to help move your larger boat along in an emergency, if the only motor kicks out.
Good point. I have thought about this for the future, as a dinghy with a 5+hp engine also makes a backup tugboat, in case needed for maneuvering or docking. A 10-15hp would be a good get-home for short ranges.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:27 PM   #13
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I have a Newport Vessels NV55 that moves my Livingston utility boat at about 9 knots. Before that I had a Minn Kota that was stolen and a 2 cycle before that.

I'll never go back to a 2 cycle. They're a constant problem. The battery is much less trouble than dealing with mixed fuel. No more carburetor problems and hand cranking.
I paid $200 on Amazon for the NV55. I haven't had it long enough to comment on reliability.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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I have the Torqeedo 1003C and an 8.5 foot inflatable hard bottom dingy. It is convenient. It's very easy to hand carry the modules to install/uninstall - even in rough water. It can reach 5 MPH with one person on dead still water. Range is significantly increased with slower RPM (speed). It's fine for running back and forth from boat to shore, but it's "exploring" capabilities are quite limited. It all depends on what you're planning on using it for: boat to shore transport = OK - higher speed/distance island hopping/exploring = no way. Kicker - won't cut it, either.

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Old 03-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #15
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When we purchased our current dinghy motor (9.8 Tohatsu) we got the electric start version just to make sure my wife could start it (Since the previous Honda 5 was so hard to pull). Add a small garden tractor sized battery and battery box and its good to go. As it turns out, my wife can pull start the 9.8, *I* usually use the electric.

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Old 03-05-2019, 12:06 AM   #16
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I know some people like them, but to me paying way more for less power, less convenience, less range, about the same noise level and no more reliability is not a very good idea. A few cruisers on YouTube have tried the Torqueedos, and reviews are not great.
Iíve had one for a number of years. I would disagree with your characterization. I would say, less power, more convenience, less range, MUCH quieter, and much more reliable.

My only complaint is that it is a lot slower than say a 15hp gas powered OB on a rib.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:55 AM   #17
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I have both a Torqeedo and a 4hp Nissan on a 10 foot inflatable cruising Northeast USA. For me, its all about ease of installation and type of cruising you do.

I use electric when only splashing the dink for one or two nights as it is light and easy to install. Since we mostly anchor, I don't usually recharge until back at home port.

The gasser when staying in one location for extended periods and expect to do longer dinghy runs.

Also, the Torqeedo also makes a good backup for the gasser. This has been realized once.

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Old 03-05-2019, 04:11 AM   #18
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I have both a Torqeedo and a 4hp Nissan on a 10 foot inflatable cruising Northeast USA.......
How do the speeds compare between the 2 motors ??
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:32 AM   #19
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From a practical use standpoint there we tend to run at higher speeds with the Nissan 4hp. With the Torqeedo we usually run fairly slow (2-3 kts) to preserve battery charge. This is just how we use the units.

If you google search you can find discussions on HP and efficiency of electrics vs gas. I don't think the Torpedo 4hp is equivalent to the Nissan 4hp. I never put much research time into this since we have different use cases. Hope this helps.

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Old 03-05-2019, 08:24 PM   #20
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I am getting new davits installed and the Youtube below shows how it operates. Notice the motor is never touched by the skipper, but comes up without fuss. When you lower the dinghy and motor you just tighten some bolts and your motor is on the dinghy secured:

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