- - First, let's clear the air - Ataraxia
are you in any way associated with or involved in or an employee of the Torqeedo Company in any way shape or form?
- - I am all for electric motors to replace internal combustion motors for both environmental reasons and for safety
issues involved in carrying tanks
of explosive gasoline/petrol.
- - Third the video you linked to is made by Torqeedo and obviously an invalid demonstration as the Torqeedo boat is smaller, lighter and better shaped. The "competitor's" boat is larger, probably twice as heavy including a mounted gas outboard, solar
rack, and other hidden things most likely lead acid batteries. And, additionally, the most common electric trolling motors are designed for "quiet operation underwater" to avoid scaring away the fish
. Torqeedo uses a much larger and more efficient prop.
- - Fourth, The Torqeedo website and data pages show the Model 401 (12VDC model) and Model 801 (24VDC model) equal to a 2 HP gas outboard. That power range is not viable for a current
real world cruiser's RIB dinghy found on the average 40+ft (13m) boat. It is viable for an pure inflatable dinghy that a super economy 28ft (8.5m) sailboat would use.
- - Fifth, That leaves the Torqeedo Cruise models 2.0 and 4.0. Both of these engines require external batteries in the 225 Amphour capacity to achieve 3 hours of use (as shown in many of the UTube videos specifically about these model engines and by customer comments from Torqeedo dealers in the USA. Model 2.0 is shown as equivalent to a 6HP gas outboard. Probably the most used size outboard by cruisers on a tight budget
. Model 4.0 is shown as equivalent to a 9.9HP gas outboard which is the most common size outboard for moderate budget cruisers. Both these units are viable, power-wise, as alternatives to gas outboards.
- - Sixth, Weight of batteries, both the Cruise models are recommended by the manufacturer's information to use 2- 12VDC batteries for the Model 4.0 and 4- 12VDC batteries for the model 8.0. Gel cell 8D batteries at 225 amp hours fit this requirement. 2- 8D gel batteries weigh 322 lbs ( 146kg) and 4- 8D gel batteries weight 644 lbs (292 kg). That is roughly equivalent to adding 2 to 4 extra people in the dinghy and does frequently exceed the rated legal
carrying capacity of the smaller inflatable/rib dinghies common to this HP range.
- - 7th, forget all the above! The final determinant is cost of the systems.
Torqeedo sold in the USA - - vs. - - Mercury Gas outboards (2stroke-Caribbean)
Model 401 = US$1300 - - - - - - - 2.5 HP = US$700
Model 801 = US$1500 - - - - - - - 2.5 HP = US$700
Cruiser 2.0 = US$2700 - - - - - - - 5 HP/6HP(4-stroke) = US$1100/1500
Cruiser 4.0 = US$4000 - - - - - - - 10 HP = US$1650
2-Batteries = US$1200 - - - - - - - zero
4-Batteries = US$2400 - - - - - - - zero
- - Summary, Although the technology of the electric boat motor is very attractive and I for one, and I believe most others would flock to it both for environmental (something dear to the heart of sail boaters) and comfort of noise and ease of maintenance
. But as shown electrics are twice to three times more expensive than the old gas outboard. A 15HP gas outboard, the current
most popular size for catamaran
and larger monohull
sailboat dinghies is 1/3 the price
of the Cruise 4.0 plus batteries. When push comes to shove, price
is the determinant. Build a better mouse trap, fine but if the price is 2 to 3 times more than the old version, you will not sell many. If nothing else, sailboat cruisers are "cheap" (frugal, to be politically correct) otherwise we would buy motor yachts.