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Old 21-06-2015, 13:46   #1
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Electric propulsion on dinghy

I've met CF member offpist on another thread who is using a Torqeedo 4.0 and rolled his own LiFePO4 battery bank for a 12+ mph ride. Are there any others going electric on their dinghies?

offpist, if you show up here, what prompted you to go electric on your dinghy? Your video proves it works great.
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Old 21-06-2015, 15:06   #2
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I've used a little trolling motor with a couple of small sealed batteries to push a small dinghy short distances. The batteries I used were smaller than group 24. When the first died I knew it was time to head home. With LiFePo batteries the range would significantly better. For longer trips I use my Lehr propane outboard.
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Old 22-06-2015, 02:14   #3
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
I've met CF member offpist on another thread who is using a Torqeedo 4.0 and rolled his own LiFePO4 battery bank for a 12+ mph ride. Are there any others going electric on their dinghies?

offpist, if you show up here, what prompted you to go electric on your dinghy? Your video proves it works great.

I have always been fascinated by electricity, since i was young.
I installed an 9,8KW solar system on my house and I build 30 KWH battery solution to harvest solar power during the day. Solar systems are not common here in Norway, so that made the national news.

I drive an electric car etc.. so having an electric dingy just came natural

Me and my family are planning to sail for at least 1 year, starting summer 2016. I like the idea of not needing to bring gasoline, at all. Only diesel for the main engine, and generator. The Torqeedo is a lot lighter that an 9,9HK gasoline engine. You have the batteries, but still I feel that this is easier to manage when the dingy goes on the water.

No maintenance, no spark-plug, oil-change, start problems etc..

Of-course there will be other problems, related to electronics and corrosion i guess. But these things should be manageable to fix myself.

I have also tried to pull the boat (Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42 DS) with the dingy, and it has a lot of torque. Actually it would be nice to have an attachment to the rear of the boat for the Torqeedo.
If i have an main engine trouble, rope in the propeller or whatever I could maneuver the boat into an marina using the electric motor.

I now use the "high speed propeller" for the dingy, for higher top-speed.
When pulling the mother-ship, the original propeller works slightly better.
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Old 22-06-2015, 02:57   #4
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I know a French sailor who uses his rigid dingy each day to lay fishing nets.

Laying a net is an art, it has to be laid in a serpentine to catch most fish.
Best done using two hands, so this guy build a electric outboard from the tail piece of an old 2hp outboard and a simple PAR electric 12 v motor. ( Ex electric pump )
He uses a small 12 v car starter battery ( gift from a friend ) has a solar loading connection at the back of his boat.
He lays the net using his feet for steering and switching on and off, standing on the back seat of his dingy. Very effective, it takes me his time x 3 to lay my net rowing. We both lay 50 meter net, more than enough for two people.

Definitely not for speeding, just a very cheap ( Zero ) electric outboard.
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Old 22-06-2015, 05:35   #5
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I'd be interested in exploring an electric propulsion system for our (square-stern) canoe... but I think the hurdle is about charging and I haven't given that topic enough brain time yet. (We can currently use our 5-hp two-stroke gasoline outboard, and while that's the boat's rated max hp, I suspect it's about (or maybe at least) 1-hp more than necessary.)

I don't think I've got enough brain time to puzzle out a LiFePO4 system.

Torqeedo seems very proud of their products. I'd suspect Minn Kota (or others) offer less expensive products with similar power, but I haven't shopped (or worked out the comparison between horsepower and pounds thrust).

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Old 22-06-2015, 09:48   #6
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I've marveled at the guy pushing his 21' sailboat in fort Myers with a Torgeedo, must be going 10 miles each way. His boat flys at what appears well above hull speed.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:02   #7
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

i have torqueedo t 1003s. surpasses little trolling motors by miles. it has a gps only for letting ye know how far you can still go, and percent charge in battery which is intrinsic to the unit. the recharge is 10 percent hourly.
does not leave ye in a random locale and is worth the dough invested, which is approx 2k usd.
minnkota showed me how poorly designed TROLLING motors do. this is a cruising supermodel. yes. electric is awesome. even has solar panel and charge system that is included in original price

btw--there IS a west coast cruising boat using a torqueedo..is a 35ish ft sloop. they LOVE the damn thing. go figger. yeah we noticed same type motors in use, and had a nice longish conversation.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:08   #8
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

offpist, all your reasons mirror mine including being into electricity as a youngster. How does Torqeedo's remaining range computer deal with your LiFePO4 pack. Since full voltage is only 0.2 volts different, probably pretty accurate. Also how accurate is the wattage display? Does it display 4000 watts at full throttle? Your 115 ah LiFePO4 bank has 5.9 kWhr, 4.8 kWhr usable at 80% DOD. Since you get 1 hour at 20km/h, it looks like you are being conservative on DOD, which is good for cycle life.

You might want to share your video here on this thread so posters can see how well your dinghy flies on electrons vs dead dinosaur juice. I'm thinking of going with a catamaran dinghy for my electric project.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:17   #9
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I'm thinking of putting electric engine in my 30' Bristol and you guys are talking about dinghies . Am I crazy putting it on a cruiser?
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:24   #10
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

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I'm thinking of putting electric engine in my 30' Bristol and you guys are talking about dinghies . Am I crazy putting it on a cruiser?
Staying with the standard V19 prop, a Torqeedo 4.0 would work as well as a 9.9 hp high thrust on your Bristol. If you only need it for getting in and out of the marina, it is a good choice for aux propulsion. Battery size would dictate your range.
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:26   #11
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I plan to have an electric trolling motor, small motorcycle battery and a weed wacker powered 12 volt alternator. I already have and use the generator setup, and the motorcycle battery, the key to living on a boat is to have things that can serve multiple uses. One of the next things is to find a propane weed wacker and keep gasoline off the boat. Most problems with weed wackers are gas carb related. A fold up Honda 90 motorcycle is in the planning stages. Then I plan to be able to connect the U shaped tube from an inflatable dinghy around the outside of my rigid 2 piece sailing dinghy if needed for extra capacity or rough weather use.
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:01   #12
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I converted my Tartan 27 to electric a few years ago. It works really well! It would not be good for someone who needs many hours at a time, unless you put in a generator with it. But in 4 years now we never needed more than 2 hours at a time, and love the quiet, lack of vibration, lack of smell, and low maintenance. Low speed maneuvering is also amazing, since the rpm go down to zero. We just acquired a dinghy at the end of last season. In time it will be electric as well.
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:25   #13
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
offpist, all your reasons mirror mine including being into electricity as a youngster. How does Torqeedo's remaining range computer deal with your LiFePO4 pack. Since full voltage is only 0.2 volts different, probably pretty accurate. Also how accurate is the wattage display? Does it display 4000 watts at full throttle? Your 115 ah LiFePO4 bank has 5.9 kWhr, 4.8 kWhr usable at 80% DOD. Since you get 1 hour at 20km/h, it looks like you are being conservative on DOD, which is good for cycle life.

You might want to share your video here on this thread so posters can see how well your dinghy flies on electrons vs dead dinosaur juice. I'm thinking of going with a catamaran dinghy for my electric project.
Hello.
With an unoriginal Lifepo4 battery, the range reading on the Torqeedo does not work! If i set it to "battery type=Lithium" it will display an error message as it is expected to communicate with the BMS located in the OEM batteries.

So, i have to set it to "wet cell".

It will probably give error message when battery falls below minimum level, but I try not to run them that low as i do not have an BMS system yet.

The motor will actually display about 4500W at full power.


Here is the video again:
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:22   #14
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

I saw this video and watched some other videos on YouTube and you guys have me sold. I think Torqeedo has brought their product up to where it is a very useable little motor. Has lots of range and pretty good speed if you want to boot it even on AGM batteries. Twin units if you want to push a cat.
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:37   #15
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Re: Electric propulsion on dinghy

offpist,

I would have to say you have things dialed-in rather well. If your display says 4500 watts at full throttle, and your able to run an hour at full throttle, then taking into consideration the low Peukert effect of your cells and at 80% DOD you have 4800 whr of usable capacity, looks like it is right on the money.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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