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Old 07-06-2015, 21:33   #1
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Electric dink motor?

Hi All,

Apologies if this has been discussed before, I haven't been able to find any relevant threads.

I am about to start construction on a nesting dink that will be used for fun and sail training for the kids with the intention that it will become our workhorse when we set out on our circumnavigation in a couple years. It will be a Spindrift 11N which seems to be a pretty decent all round compromise that sails well, rows well and can even take a 4HP outboard.

I am considering forgoing the usual gas outboard in favor of an electric outboard with lithium batteries. I like the idea of the electric for silence, reliability and also not needing to carry any gas on board. It would obviously have a limited range, but I am thinking that could be acceptable because I expect it will be primarily sailed or rowed with the outboard only there for when there is no wind and we are feeling lazy.

Can I get some thoughts from those who are out there doing it? Is this workable or should I just stick with the true and tried gas engine?
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Old 07-06-2015, 22:32   #2
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I have never had an electric motor on a sail
boat. I have run an electric motor On a ten-foot aluminum Row boat. with me and my daughter in law and our gear and one fairly large marine batterie, we spent almost 6 hours trolling in a local lake fishing. when it started to sprinkle we opened the throttle and headed back to the boat launch. No problem, plenty of batterie power. I would try the electric for sure. so quiet, so smooth, no gas tank to haul around. Mac
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Old 07-06-2015, 22:33   #3
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I think it's workable. It's my plan as well. Light and easy to handle and no gas on board! Woot!
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Old 07-06-2015, 23:08   #4
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Re: Electric dink motor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I think it's workable. It's my plan as well. Light and easy to handle and no gas on board! Woot!
I think there will be weight advantages, but I don't think it is going to be that significant by the time you add the battery. Lithium batteries are light, but a 100AH still weighs a little under 10kg. That and the motor itself will probably be getting close to the weight of a 4HP gas outboard with the on board tank full of gas.

It looks like a 45lb Minn Kota sucks around 50A at full throttle. so I would think the 100AH battery would fit my purpose giving at least a couple hours of "normal" use between charges.

Only thing I'm struggling to find is a comparison between thrust and HP to size the electric motor to my dink rated for 4HP...
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:11   #5
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I've used a Minnkota 35 pound thrust motor to push an aluminum canoe and an 8 ft inflatable significant distances. I also have a 2.5 hp Lehr propane outboard that I like a lot. When your boat is finished, borrow an electric motor and try it. I think you'll like it. How do you plan to recharge the battery?
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:20   #6
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Re: Electric dink motor?

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I've used a Minnkota 35 pound thrust motor to push an aluminum canoe and an 8 ft inflatable significant distances. I also have a 2.5 hp Lehr propane outboard that I like a lot. When your boat is finished, borrow an electric motor and try it. I think you'll like it. How do you plan to recharge the battery?
My thoughts exactly!
I hate carrying all the gas for the dink... NOT worried about the properties of gasoline, but rather the space it occupies. I hate deck stored fuel, but it is the only spot for gasoline. I tend to use a lot of dink gas, as I like to explore around an anchorage.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:25   #7
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Re: Electric dink motor?

34Lb thrust pushes it a little faster than the fastest I can row. I need to swap out that large panel that's in the Dinghy with a smaller panel I have mounted on the mother vessel. The smaller panel will fit athwartship and forward.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:33   #8
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Re: Electric dink motor?

minnkotas are not adequate. needs a separate battery yada yada.....
i do have a torqueedo. they have a gps built into em and ttell ye how long you have left on the intrinsic battery that doesnt take up space needed for items and feeet in the dink.
good fo rthose who enjoy an uncluttered dink interior... get real folks, a battery in a dink takes uo a lot of room not to mention the wires etc. not so with torqueedo. dink remains totally uncluttered
very compact and accurate in distance left before stall out..lol... goes loong way after it says battery needs recharge, as opposed to minnkota which i have watched leave folks in a lurch. take your oars with minnkota.
torqueedo t1003s is a good lil motor. look it up , price it--yes and yikes it is pricey, but consider the fact you do not need gasoline. you have a gps in it to show you how far you can go with it before you need oars.. (minnkota aint got that)... and it is comparable in push to a 3 hp gasoline powered outboard, yet has no carbureter to foul up
yes i lik e mine. yes they have issues, but not the same kind gasoline obs have-- they do not get carb fail with etoh fuel..lol.....
and.. they stow easily. the charge rate is 10 percent every hour. comes with solar charger!! milagro!! how green is that!!!!
used 20 percent to go a mile and back. wow.. beats gasoline. how do i know this- guess what-- i HAVE one.. AND i am cruising.
doesnt need parts
doesnt need gas
doesnt LEAK gas...or burn oil.. no smoke, no stink
lower end unit doesnt fail easily
head is the battery so nothing under foot...
granted, the testosterone set wont approve, as ye cannot plane yer dink with it, but that is a good thing.
it is light weight, so even i can lift the thing onto boat without assistance...
they are quiet--stealth mode .. can be a lot of fun

oh and did i say it comes with its own FLEXIBLE solar panel......
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:10   #9
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I can see electric motors on dinghies now and then. I ask people and they say it works all right over short distances and relatively flat(-tish) waters.

We row but otherwise I would not hesitate to try it out in our particular case / use scenario.

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Old 08-06-2015, 08:19   #10
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Re: Electric dink motor?

barnie-- the torg=queedo t 1003s is a good motor even for chuppy situations. has good torque, and exceeds the parameters of minnkots, which is TROLLING motor and with constant use leaves ye in a lurch, as i have witnessed. i have used mine is chop with winf, an d thank th egods i didnt have to row across the bludi runoff current, which exceeds 4 kts easily.

there is electric and there is torqueedo. torqueedo is a GOOD dink motor.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:12   #11
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Re: Electric dink motor?

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
barnie-- the torg=queedo t 1003s is a good motor even for chuppy situations. has good torque, and exceeds the parameters of minnkots, which is TROLLING motor and with constant use leaves ye in a lurch, as i have witnessed. i have used mine is chop with winf, an d thank th egods i didnt have to row across the bludi runoff current, which exceeds 4 kts easily.

there is electric and there is torqueedo. torqueedo is a GOOD dink motor.
Argh. It may be, be but it looks very pricey to me. After all, it is just an electric motor. Nothing to it.

The future is green, sure, the dollar is also green, also sure.

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Old 08-06-2015, 14:17   #12
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Re: Electric dink motor?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Argh. It may be, be but it looks very pricey to me. After all, it is just an electric motor. Nothing to it.

The future is green, sure, the dollar is also green, also sure.

b.
1895 new including the gps and solar panel and charging via 120v as well.. 2 batteries, and all..is less than a regular outboard and sooo much more convenient when alcohol in fuel keeps destroying carbureters. well worth the dough..and i didnt believe in the damn things when i traded for it
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:29   #13
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Re: Electric dink motor?

We used a trolling motor for years on our dinghy. Worked great for short hops. Finally switched to a gas outboard to be able to more exploring in the dinghy.

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Old 08-06-2015, 14:30   #14
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I have a Torqeedo 1003S for my little Zodiac inflatable. It works beautifully. I've used to run around the lee side of Angel Island - it can push the dinghy against the strong winds and currents in Raccoon Strait just fine.

It has the advantage over the Minn Kota or other trawling motors that the batteries are much easier to manage. It comes in three pieces, none of which weighs that much on its own. The downside is the batteries are fairly pricey as they include a lot of the electronics for some silly reason.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:32   #15
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Re: Electric dink motor?

I mostly row, but also used a minnkota for a number of years. At speeds slower than I typically rowed I could last a long time on a charge, but but if I wanted any speed, or had to fight a chop, or carry a big load, then the thust went up and the power draw on the battery went way up.

I played with a Torqueedo, and really wanted to like it, but it too seemed to suffer from power vs range issues. And was surprisingly loud (compared to the Minnkota). At what I would consider moderate speeds (and trust me, I'm not looking to go fast ) the battery seemed to drain rather quickly. This was years ago, so maybe their battery tech is better now. But I was still not impressed, especially balanced against the cost.

In the end I still row most of the time, but we now carry a 3.5 hp outboard for when we want to go far, fight chop, or carry lots.
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