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Old 13-09-2016, 20:44   #1
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Electric motor on dinghy

Instead of using the 8hp dinghy motor that comes with the sailboat I'm purchasing, which has an 8' hard bottom inflatable. I'm considering switching it for a battery powered motor like those used on kayaks such as a Bixpy. Is anyone using electric? Advantages? Disadvantages?

The dinghy will be used only rarely in salt water.

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Old 13-09-2016, 23:13   #2
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

Depends entirely upon what uses the dinghy sees. If it is just from shore to a nearby mooring, the electric motor may well suit you. If you cruise to distant anchorages and like to explore, or just get to a distant dinghy landing, you are gonna have range and speed issues. There have been a lot of conversations on this subject here on CF. I'd suggest trying the google custom search function, accessed from the title bar near the top of every page. You will find a lot of opinions in earlier threads; those that agree with me are correct!!

Good luck,

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Old 13-09-2016, 23:24   #3
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

Keep the outboard, we frequently get into situations where the electric motor would never be up to the job.

Examples: 1) Heading into choppy waves and wind trying to get back to the anchorage. 2) Today, we're heading over to a walled city 2 miles away to explore. 3) My feeling is that the dinghy should also be able to function as a tugboat for the mothership when the need arises, electric can't do this.
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Old 14-09-2016, 06:24   #4
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

I was glad I had an outboard on my Avon, when crossing the Gulf Stream, with no wind, and had diesel overheating problems. Lashed the dink along side. started motor, tied tiller off, and got back in big boat. I would run diesel until temp got close to overheating, shut it down, run dink motor for 20 minutes or so, then repeat.
Got me back to FL, instead of Bermuda!
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Old 14-09-2016, 07:42   #5
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

Our friend here uses a small electric motor within the marina (a small zodiac dinghy). I asked he says some 20 minutes of fast driving or else over one hour at slow speed. The battery he uses looks like a 70Ah unit.

I have also seen a number of electric outboards in the Caribbean (it is often less than 5 minutes drive to the dock here). Some of them fancy with lithium tank. These are fast. They charge faster too. Nice.

We do not have any outboard now. I will get an electric one when we need one. A Torqueedo if I can afford one.

b.
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Old 14-09-2016, 09:29   #6
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

We have a Torqeedo 1003L. The big pluses for us are that we don't have to have any gasoline on board and it can be stored inside the boat.

I suspect that it could push our 43ft sloop across a calm marina but we haven't tried it yet.

Pluses:
- No gasoline
- Lightweight. It separates into three pieces to lower into the dinghy and install and the heaviest part is the battery which is easy to handle.
- Quiet, though a bit on the whiny side. :-)
- Easy store inside the boat.

Minuses:
- Expensive
- You won't get there fast
- Takes electricity and each battery can take eight hours to charge.
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Old 14-09-2016, 10:10   #7
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

I'll be watching this closely, as I'm looking at electric motors. Thinking Torqeedo 1003; I keep hoping they'll go on sale, but so far no luck.
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Old 14-09-2016, 12:04   #8
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

I am using a 50 lb. thrust electric on a 10 ft. Achilles dingy and the largest battery amp hour I could get. Have been able to run a couple of hours at about 1/2 power. No problems and enjoy the quiet ride.
Good luck,
John
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Old 14-09-2016, 12:12   #9
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

Perfect on lakes
Expensive batteries, if lithium
Even worse, if having 2 batteries, as advisable
Can match a 4HP outboard only, which in turn has unlimited range almost
1h capacity means you willing to recharge every 3rd time of usage....approx. .. too much!!

Thus, it sounds good for the very rich as a SECOND dinghy engine, imo
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Old 14-09-2016, 14:36   #10
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

2 slow
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Old 15-09-2016, 04:47   #11
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

The bloke who sells Torqeedo in Aust. is on youtube with the 1003 motored from Pittwater to Manly in Sydney harbour (20 + miles) open ocean real good day and going slow. My 3 1/2 hp Tohatsu has not been used since, I love the torque. no cavitation (reminds me of the torquey putputs when i was a kid), no buying mixing fuel, plug in to solar panel at the stern, 2 seconds to start, 4 miles @ 300w but on an easy pushing float skirted Walker bay dingy and also makes it to the boat in 20-25kns with 2 ft chop (not ideal)

But a quirky thing that is real different (take that in many ways), but to many pluses to go back to the petrol.

Cheers
Peter.
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Old 15-09-2016, 06:53   #12
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

I have a 9ft Caribe and have swapped out the 100 lb Suzuki OB for the Torquedo 1003L. Lots easier to hoist up on the davits no gasoline onboard. Plan to replace inflatable with Portland Pudgy with solar panel - theoretical unlimited daytime range.
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Old 15-09-2016, 08:09   #13
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by a22dphd View Post
Instead of using the 8hp dinghy motor that comes with the sailboat I'm purchasing, which has an 8' hard bottom inflatable. I'm considering switching it for a battery powered motor like those used on kayaks such as a Bixpy. Is anyone using electric? Advantages? Disadvantages?

The dinghy will be used only rarely in salt water.

Advantages:

1. Quiet. (Unless you need to use a generator to recharge).
2. No combustion. (Unless you need to use a generator to recharge).
3. No fumes. (Unless you need to use a generator to recharge).
4. Less risk of fuel / oil spill. (Unless you use a generator to recharge).
5. Low end unit with a standard flooded lead/acid is lower cost (than a new gas outboard of significantly greater power).
6. Lower maintenance on motor (but not necessarily on battery or unless you need to use a generator to recharge).
7. Less prone to failure (than infernal combustion engine, unless you need to use a generator to recharge).

Disadvantages:

Low end unit with Grp 24:

1. Slow.
2. Short range.
3. Fragile. (Relatively)
4. Heavy battery to transfer back and forth to vessel to recharge (heavier than 3 USG fuel tank).
5. Battery will leak acid if tipped.
6. Requires significant charging capacity.
7. Battery can pound hole through dinghy bottom if not secured properly when towed in waves.

In short, I know people who use them to move a light dinghy short distances in protected waters with great success. Using it on a cruising boat as a grocery getter, explorer, or dive boat some distance in choppy water, forget it.
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Old 15-09-2016, 08:25   #14
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

I have used both electric (Torqeedo) and petrol powered. I can write and give pages and emails of the headache and how bad a company Torqeedo is along with there products more then 5. The idea is great and I think electric motors are great in a lake or with casual use. If you are doing any kind of cruising and require more then the very casual use then until its been designed by people that are full time cruisers and maybe some technology changes I would stick with petrol.
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Old 15-09-2016, 20:23   #15
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Re: Electric motor on dinghy

This isn't mine but is similar. In my case I have a 50 watt panel and the controller is inside the battery box. Agm battery. I can use it for several hours at part throttle and travel faster than I can row even without the solar panel. With the panel at a slow speed there is no limit. My 55 lb thrust Minn Kota uses about one amp at trolling speed.

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