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Old 15-07-2014, 17:53   #331
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
I'm actually in that photo, second from the left.

Interesting that's still on their website. Bryan asked that references to his boat be removed from it, when the motors were removed from his boat.
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Old 15-07-2014, 17:54   #332
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

deckofficer, I can vouch for everything that 44'cruisingcat said about SCHOOL's OUT.
I have followed the CF discussions on her.

It's all good
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Old 15-07-2014, 18:05   #333
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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While trouble-shooting my Nissan 5 hp four-stroke, I found water in the gas tank..
I can confirm this was posted on CF, water in the gas tank causing trouble.
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Old 15-07-2014, 18:13   #334
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
No, AFAIK, they don't have a blog or whatever. They are very good friends of ours, I spent most of the last 12 months rebuilding their boat with them, after it was extensively damaged in a cyclone.

They originally launched with e-power pods, which he basically threw in the garbage bin after about a month, refitted Torqeedos which had several failures of various types, and eventually fitted a single Yamaha 60 HT.

When the boat was wrecked he took the opportunity to fit twin outboards. The boat still has the diesel genset, and 48 volt lithium batteries, but returning to electric power wasn't even considered.

But since this isn't the kind of thing you want to hear, and since I can't "prove" it, you'll probably choose not to believe me. Up to you.
I'm just as interested in Torqeedo failures as success stories, thanks for taking the time to share. I didn't ask for a link because of doubts but rather to read first hand about the usage and problems.
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Old 15-07-2014, 19:10   #335
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I'm actually in that photo, second from the left.

Interesting that's still on their website. Bryan asked that references to his boat be removed from it, when the motors were removed from his boat.
Are you the one sitting with one hand on the davits? If so, nice full head of hair and no grey.
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Old 15-07-2014, 21:02   #336
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

deckofficer & 44'cruisingcat;

Regarding the dramas School's Out & Brian had with the Cruise 4 Torqeedo's, I actually checked on this when it was raised by someone else who thought Torqeedo's were "unreliable" when they heard I was interested in the Deep Blue for our cruiser.

I consider myself a fairly careful consumer and I check things out. So when I heard that a boat had gone through several motors, and yet from several others I heard that they never had a problem over years of use, it piqued my curiosity and I put it to Torqeedo directly and heard the other side of the story. This is all well documented by Torqeedo, as you would expect. It contains some very important information for all those interested in electric propulsion. It will take a bit of detailed explaining so here goes and I'll try and keep it brief.

The owner did not put standard Cruise 4's on the boat, he heavily modified them to fit his swinging leg setup on School's Out that he had for his prior electric motors. In doing this he altered the design engineering principals of the product and that caused the motors to (1) overheat and (2) to suffer electronic failure from excessive induced current.
I will explain how this happened, but the important point to learn here is that good engineers can have their work effectively sabotaged by (well meaning) folks who make changes and do not understand the impact the changes can have on the product. In this case the owner caused overheating by removing the case and bracket from the head unit to fit it into his pod. Trouble is, those bits are what provide some of the radiant cooling.

Then the owner had 2 motors fail on the same side of the boat, in exactly the same way. The cause of this is very interesting and took Torqeedo to diagnose the issue. The owner had extended the cable length on that side of the boat (with his own cabling) to the point where a phenomenon called induced current was created when he quickly changed the forward-reverse on the motor with the cable that was too long. Torqeedo supply the cable with the motor and an approved cable extension but this was not used; extra cable was used by the owner. Even so, Torqeedo replaced the 2 motors under warranty BECAUSE THEY DID NOT STRESS IN THE USER MANUAL TO NOT EXTEND CABLES OR USE UNAUTHORISED CABLING.

Another motor failed when debris got caught in the prop and distorted the shaft, causing water to leak past a seal and short a pump. That was deemed a design issue and Torqeedo would have replaced that motor too with the improved design that fixed the problem, but the owner demanded his money back and got it, as I understand it.

I think by this time Torqeedo would have given him his money back eagerly. It has been my experience in business that sometimes (rarely it must be said) there are customers you would rather not have.

So I think the takeaway lesson from all this for consumers is that unless you have REAL expertise in a field, maybe it's not a good idea to assume you can improve on something professional engineers have designed, or else there may be consequences that you could not, with your lack of expertise, have predicted.

And contrary to what boat alexandra alleges, ie. that Torqeedo do not have a customer service ethic, I think this example shows quite the opposite.
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Old 15-07-2014, 21:07   #337
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

44' Cruisingcat,

You wouldn't have been one of Brian's friends who was telling him those bloody electrics are no good, would you?
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Old 15-07-2014, 22:54   #338
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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44' Cruisingcat,

You wouldn't have been one of Brian's friends who was telling him those bloody electrics are no good, would you?

What is funny about Cruisingcat's belief about diesel reliability, is just how absurd it is. The MTBF of a really good diesel is at best 1000 hours. Most small properly installed diesels count there MTBF in hundreds of hours.

http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/100526

A typical properly install electric motor would have a MTBF of 10,000 hours or more. He probable works on his diesel 2 or 3 times a year, yet the one time in twenty years he lose an electric bilge pump because of a lighting strike, all electric motors are evil, bad, and unreliable. Even though that was probably the only time he has ever had one go bad....and that took lighting! But I love how absolutely he is! Every Internet forum has to have their trolls I guess.
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Old 15-07-2014, 23:45   #339
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

>Most small properly installed diesels count there MTBF in hundreds of hours.
http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/100526

I would hardly call a 70's era Russian built 8000HP, 42 cylinder, turbocharged engine used in a Croatian Navy missile boat comparable to the average cruising diesel on a catamaran as far as MTBF goes.

Added: Especially when the analysis was done in 2010 when those engines had probably been in service for 40 years or so.
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Old 16-07-2014, 00:37   #340
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
[I]
Added: Especially when the analysis was done in 2010 when those engines had probably been in service for 40 years or so.
Really would not be MTBF unless they start counting from day one. But instead of banging your head please do post any manufacturers MTBF numbers for any diesel marine or not that even approach a run of the mill electric motors MTBF.

Most folks have an electric tool that they got handed down from a parent or grand parent that has never fail once in 30 years. I can say with 100% confidence no one can say the same for any petro engine.

So if you have a point make it. Do you really believe that a diesel can compete with an electric motor on MTBF? If so google away my friend.
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Old 16-07-2014, 02:53   #341
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

> Most folks have an electric tool that they got handed down from a parent or grand parent

Congratulations. That is even more irrelevant to the topic than the Russian missile boat engines.
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Old 16-07-2014, 04:22   #342
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
deckofficer & 44'cruisingcat;
...
case the owner caused overheating by removing the case and bracket from the head unit to fit it into his pod. Trouble is, those bits are what provide some of the radiant cooling.
...
BECAUSE THEY DID NOT STRESS IN THE USER MANUAL TO NOT EXTEND CABLES OR USE UNAUTHORISED CABLING.
This is exactly what I mean by poor engineering.

They didn't put a temperature sensor in the motor to cut it off if it overheats. As a result, many motors have burned out, and wasted lots of people's time and money. Exactly the problem with the motor I had. With the temp sensor, it would have a chance to cool off, and work again, and the problem could be diagnosed. My motor had not even been modified or had any cooling plates removed, only the previous owner ran it at full speed all the time with multiple batteries swaping one after the other.

They also didn't use balancing circuits on the lithium batteries. The list goes on.. these motors just aren't built to last. I'm sure they are getting better with the newer ones since these simple mistakes cost very little to fix.
Quote:
Another motor failed when debris got caught in the prop and distorted the shaft, causing water to leak past a seal and short a pump.
Yes, and I have heard about propellers breaking on other units.. there is supposed to be a spring-loaded clutch so under excessive force it will slip rather than break anything. Most other designs use a key which is more fool-proof. Could be the user's fault for tightening the prop nut too much.
Quote:

I think by this time Torqeedo would have given him his money back eagerly. It has been my experience in business that sometimes (rarely it must be said) there are customers you would rather not have.
I think so too. Torqeedo only really wants customers who use their products in protected waters without any sort of modifications, or alternate configurations, and have access to dock power to recharge.
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Old 16-07-2014, 16:22   #343
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
44' Cruisingcat,

You wouldn't have been one of Brian's friends who was telling him those bloody electrics are no good, would you?
Actually, I don't think anyone was telling him that. He's a very intelligent man, 7 engine replacements in less than a year was more than enough evidence.

I actually wasn't even aware he was replacing the e-pods until I was invited to come for the test run with the Torqeedos. I was busy finishing my own boat and getting ready to move aboard at the time.

The Torqeedo failures mostly occurred on their first cruise north, again we weren't in constant contact - I didn't know how many problems he'd had until after the fact.

Torqeedo's response to your enquiry about School's Out should IMO serve as a warning to you. The installation was done entirely under their oversight, all modifications made with their permission. And when the theory about back EMF causing the speed controllers to fail was raised, another 48 volt battery was installed in the rear beam, right next to the motors, which Torqeedo assured Bryan would fix the problem, but the failures continued.

Maybe they should have never sold the motors for that kind of use - there's simply no way to fit motors to each hull of a 7 metre wide boat without having some cable length.

But the fact is they did, they were very keen to get into the "big boat" market, even though their product really wasn't suited.

The fact that they now refuse to accept any responsibility, and make it sound like Bryan was ignorantly hacking their motors to pieces then demanding replacements should tell you quite a lot about them.

And while YOU might think they'd give him his money back eagerly, Torqeedo did not. IIRC it took more than a year after the last motor was returned to them.

But you've obviously already made up your mind, so I say: go for it. If you refuse to learn from the experiences of others, you probably deserve to suffer them yourself.
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Old 16-07-2014, 16:32   #344
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by yamez4u View Post
What is funny about Cruisingcat's belief about diesel reliability, is just how absurd it is. The MTBF of a really good diesel is at best 1000 hours. Most small properly installed diesels count there MTBF in hundreds of hours.

http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/100526

A typical properly install electric motor would have a MTBF of 10,000 hours or more. He probable works on his diesel 2 or 3 times a year, yet the one time in twenty years he lose an electric bilge pump because of a lighting strike, all electric motors are evil, bad, and unreliable. Even though that was probably the only time he has ever had one go bad....and that took lighting! But I love how absolutely he is! Every Internet forum has to have their trolls I guess.

If you knew anything about my past or my boat you know how absolutely stupid that post is. The abbreviation NFI could have been created just for you.
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Old 16-07-2014, 16:37   #345
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Re: Electric Propulsion on Catamarans

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Actually, I don't think anyone was telling him that. He's a very intelligent man, 7 engine replacements in less than a year was more than enough evidence.

I actually wasn't even aware he was replacing the e-pods until I was invited to come for the test run with the Torqeedos. I was busy finishing my own boat and getting ready to move aboard at the time.

The Torqeedo failures mostly occurred on their first cruise north, again we weren't in constant contact - I didn't know how many problems he'd had until after the fact.

Torqeedo's response to your enquiry about School's Out should IMO serve as a warning to you. The installation was done entirely under their oversight, all modifications made with their permission. And when the theory about back EMF causing the speed controllers to fail was raised, another 48 volt battery was installed in the rear beam, right next to the motors, which Torqeedo assured Bryan would fix the problem, but the failures continued.

Maybe they should have never sold the motors for that kind of use - there's simply no way to fit motors to each hull of a 7 metre wide boat without having some cable length.

But the fact is they did, they were very keen to get into the "big boat" market, even though their product really wasn't suited.

The fact that they now refuse to accept any responsibility, and make it sound like Bryan was ignorantly hacking their motors to pieces then demanding replacements should tell you quite a lot about them.

But you've obviously already made up your mind, so I say: go for it. If you refuse to learn from the experiences of others, you probably deserve to suffer them yourself.
Well I haven't made up my mind yet and your sharing is important to me. Back EMF can be a brutal bitch and if they didn't design enough room for chokes that can handle that current under the assumption owners will only be using their batteries and cable, it is a deal breaker for me. I don't plan to use their batteries and would need a cable run to my centrally located LiFePO4 bank.
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