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Old 06-08-2022, 14:27   #1
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Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

8 hp gas outboard for 10' RIB dingy quit out of the blue and need another outboard..

Who has switched from a gas outboard to an electric outboard for their dinghy?
What brand and size did you go with?
Likes and dislikes of the change?

Thank you!
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Old 06-08-2022, 14:56   #2
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

Might be a good time to consider a more efficient hull form. RIB is the least efficient dingy typically seen so requires the most power and this is difficult with electric.

Consider nesting sailing dingy that can row at 4 knots, or outrigger canoe. Even just using a kayak and rowing it would be a simple and viable option that is actually safer too as kayaks can make headway on human power against storm force winds and waves in conditions that would flip the RIB over.

You can put electric on any of these, but really you should have a working sailing dingy before considering the electric addition.

I made an electric outboard using a bicycle hub motor. There are lots of ways to make an electric outboard from re purposing existing motors.
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Old 06-08-2022, 17:43   #3
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

We switched from a 6 hp Tohatsu to a Torqeedo 1103. Why? Because I've never had a good working relationship with gasoline powered outboards, have no place to work on one, and in spite of professional service each year it was still giving me trouble.

Pros: It's lighter, separates into three parts so is easy to handle. It doesn't require a gas tank on board or in the dinghy, so even less hassle. It just runs, no fuss, turn it on and go. No maintenance required. Quiet. There was something else but I've forgotten. (Edit: I remembered - really good low speed control.)

Cons: You can go far(ish) or fast(ish) but not both. With the Tohatsu alone in the RIB I could plane; not happening anymore. My experience is that it will do 3 kt for 3 hours or 3.5 kt for 2 hours. Then you need to charge it, which takes time and is another drain on the boat's electrical system.

So, for our purposes, it was a definite improvement. We use our dinghy for puttering around small anchorages or visiting nearby places. It works fine for us but if you have more serious demands it might not be for you.
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Old 06-08-2022, 21:29   #4
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

I switched to electric about 5 years ago. The only major issue I've had is people like to steal them. I keep mine chained to the boat and the boat locked to a cleat when it sits.
Otherwise I'll never use a small gas outboard again. It's no more work to move a battery than a gas tank. I don't travel long distances so range has never been an issue. But if I did, I'd carry an extra battery. I only have diesel engines, so maintaining gasoline is a pia.
With gas outboards every few years they seem to need a trip to the shop. And I never have to pull a start chord for thirty minutes before running my electric.
I bought mine on Amazon.
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Old 06-08-2022, 21:42   #5
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by seandepagnier View Post
Might be a good time to consider a more efficient hull form. RIB is the least efficient dingy typically seen so requires the most power and this is difficult with electric.

Consider nesting sailing dingy that can row at 4 knots, or outrigger canoe. Even just using a kayak and rowing it would be a simple and viable option that is actually safer too as kayaks can make headway on human power against storm force winds and waves in conditions that would flip the RIB over.

You can put electric on any of these, but really you should have a working sailing dingy before considering the electric addition.

I made an electric outboard using a bicycle hub motor. There are lots of ways to make an electric outboard from re purposing existing motors.
Actually not the least efficient not much different than a normal hard dingy. The worst is the roll up with inflatable floor and keel
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Old 06-08-2022, 22:05   #6
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Actually not the least efficient not much different than a normal hard dingy. The worst is the roll up with inflatable floor and keel
What makes you say that?
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Old 06-08-2022, 22:59   #7
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
What makes you say that?
Many years of experience with all of the various above mentioned .

A RIB is a rigid ( fiberglass or aluminum vee bottom ) inflatable boat

Rigid bottom just like the part of a hard dingy from the chines down to the keel with integrated transom and inflatable tubes above that to give it stability and freeboard.
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Old 07-08-2022, 05:25   #8
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Many years of experience with all of the various above mentioned .

A RIB is a rigid ( fiberglass or aluminum vee bottom ) inflatable boat

Rigid bottom just like the part of a hard dingy from the chines down to the keel with integrated transom and inflatable tubes above that to give it stability and freeboard.
I understand all that, but what makes it more efficient? (efficient at what?)
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Old 07-08-2022, 06:10   #9
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

As stated above, my relationship with my Tohatsu 3.5, which I upgraded to a 5 was horrible. When I absolutely needed it, no start. So then it was a row boat with 55 pounds on the stern.

I have a Torqueedo. I also upgraded to the 1100 amp hour battery and have a spare. I'm not breaking any speedboat records, but anything is better than rowing and it really suits our needs. At half throttle I can go three knots for 4 hours on the main battery and equally as much on the second battery. I tended not to anchor more than two nautical miles away from wherever I want dinghy.
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Old 07-08-2022, 06:54   #10
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

Replaced the Merc 3.5 with an ePropulsion spirit 1.0 and couldn't be more pleased. All the advantages (and disadvantages) everyone else said. Since no gas or oil in the motor you can store it below out of sight if you're worried about theft.
Recharges from the ship's inverter which is a bit inefficient, maybe one day I'll rig up a 12V to 48V charger.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:22   #11
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
I understand all that, but what makes it more efficient? (efficient at what?)
My post was in reference to Sean's post stating the RIB was the least efficient of all dingy types.
Remember he wants everyone to only use human power or sail for everything boat.
A RIB is not the most efficient but it is also far from the least efficient.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:38   #12
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
My post was in reference to Sean's post stating the RIB was the least efficient of all dingy types.
Remember he wants everyone to only use human power or sail for everything boat.
A RIB is not the most efficient but it is also far from the least efficient.

RIBs are pretty inefficient in terms of power required to drive them to planing speeds (partly because they're heavier than soft inflatables and often have a high deadrise hull). A high pressure air floor inflatable is usually a little easier to drive, and any kind of hard dinghy without the big draggy tubes will be even easier to push along.
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:47   #13
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
RIBs are pretty inefficient in terms of power required to drive them to planing speeds (partly because they're heavier than soft inflatables and often have a high deadrise hull). A high pressure air floor inflatable is usually a little easier to drive, and any kind of hard dinghy without the big draggy tubes will be even easier to push along.
That is not my experience with many different brands and types of boats from the little 50 dollar Coleman rowing inflatable to the latest Achilles 12ft RIB hanging on the crab boat now . Planes good with a 5hp with me alone but has a 15 as that's what the boss wanted on it. Planes at 1/3 throttle with 2 adults and crab gear . 1/2 with 4 adults .
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:07   #14
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

If don't need highspeed and/or long range, electric is the way I would go. A simple trolling motor and battery will work great if you just need to get a couple hundred yards from boat to shore.

But if you want to do a daytrip 10 miles away, very practical.

Despite all the bickering, a more efficient hull form is good idea if going electric (or low HP gas for that matter). A catamaran design with relatively skinny hulls will be easier to push at a decent clip giving both better range and speed. The only downside is you will likely sacrifice payload capacity. For a couple mostly by themselves, that may not be a big issue. If you have a large family or frequently are loading 6 adults, it becomes easy to overload.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:18   #15
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Re: Gas to Electric Outboard for dinghy

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Actually not the least efficient not much different than a normal hard dingy. The worst is the roll up with inflatable floor and keel
Hmm, actually a roll up dinghy with a slated floor is even worse, we have one

We will eventually reach the side of the harbour, just can't say which side

SteveSails make s a good point. Since it doesn't have petrol and oil inside, then on longer passages it can be stored below out of harms way and the elements.

Its on the list of things to buy, but the little Honda 2.3hp continues to soldier on giving sterling service.

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