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Old 17-06-2021, 07:31   #1
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Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Hello all, first post here. With the question I am honestly not trying to start a brand war, but the marketing strength of Torqeedo and ePropulsion seem to be miles ahead of Elco. It forces me to wonder if there is anything deficient in reliability or brand reputation for Elco outboards that would make using Elco in saltwater a bad idea?


As far as I can tell the differences are (9hp equivalents):
  • Torqeedo
    • Slick design
    • Most expensive
    • Built in computer (to eventually break)
    • Common batteries.
  • ePropulsion
  • Elco
    • Boring Design
    • Common Batteries


Off of the above, looking for a simple electric outboard I am definitely about to buy a Elco but it is difficult to find independent reviews outside of electric only lakes.
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Old 17-06-2021, 07:36   #2
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

The problem with brand advice on expensive things - very few people ever own more than one of them so there is no comparisons.

I own a ePropulsion and am happy, but cannot tell you if I would be happier with another brand. One factor that you have not considered is dealer support / service (admittedly much less than a gasoline engine). You will find dealers for Torqeedo everywhere, but the other two are rarer.
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Old 17-06-2021, 09:53   #3
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Setting aside the fallacy of "equivalent" hp...

I would lean toward dull. If you have an issue with the elco, the lower unit looks pretty standard, I would hope that suggests they use standard parts for the lower unit. That means maintenance of things like the seals on the lower unit could be done by anyone.

It also keeps the motor above the water. Trolling motors typically die when the seals give out and water shorts out the motor.
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Old 17-06-2021, 09:54   #4
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

For a sailboat I would consider hydro regen an absolute killer feature. For that reason I'm about to buy ePropulsion, whereas I previously considered Torqeedo.
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Old 17-06-2021, 10:04   #5
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

keep in mind hydro generation efficiency is about half what it should be if you use a standard prop

you need to use a special generation turbine to get the same power output at half the drag, so for passages you would want to swap out the prop for a generating turbine.

it's possible to design a turbine compromise not ideal at either generation or propulsion but not terrible at either, but I have not seen an example.
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Old 17-06-2021, 10:40   #6
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon.Sails View Post
For a sailboat I would consider hydro regen an absolute killer feature. For that reason I'm about to buy ePropulsion, whereas I previously considered Torqeedo.
Unless you do a ton of offshore work...not so much.
- Typical weekend cruiser are under way maybe 4-10hr per month and hooked up to shore power the rest of the time.
- Long term coastal cruisers, maybe 10-15hr under way per week but a good percentage of those are motoring.
- Round the world cruisers, maybe 10-15wks per year offshore. The rest of the time coastal cruising.

Even at the higher end, it's generating on a negligible percentage of days. Solar is the killer feature. Unless you get into the high latitudes, you get power several hours every day regardless of if the boat is anchored or not.
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Old 17-06-2021, 11:02   #7
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Setting aside the fallacy of "equivalent" hp...

I would lean toward dull. If you have an issue with the elco, the lower unit looks pretty standard, I would hope that suggests they use standard parts for the lower unit. That means maintenance of things like the seals on the lower unit could be done by anyone.

It also keeps the motor above the water. Trolling motors typically die when the seals give out and water shorts out the motor.
Installing a direct drive motor mounted at the propeller is a simple solution, one just configures a hermetic design with magnetic coupling to the propeller thus there are no seals to contend with and one does not need to have the transmission of torque through mechanisms from above the water to below the water. This is the norm for many pumps and for compressors and vacuum pumps.
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Old 17-06-2021, 12:12   #8
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Solar is the killer feature. Unless you get into the high latitudes, you get power several hours every day regardless of if the boat is anchored or not.
I am not so sure high latitudes is a problem. We are 50N and during the summer have oodles of solar to run the boat. Very long daylight hours help too. I was shocked the first time I went to the Caribbean, it went dark at tea time, what's that all about.

Today it was starting to get light at 4.30am and Sunset is at 21.20pm, that makes a long sunny day. However, during the winter say a dull, heavy cloudy January day, forget it.

Anyway back to electric outboards, an interesting option for us next time around when our little Honda 4 stroke finally dies.

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Old 17-06-2021, 12:12   #9
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

I have a 3hp torqeedo for my 19' sailboat. Range is limited so bought spare battery(another thousand $). The motor is quiet, clean, powerful and reliable.
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Old 17-06-2021, 12:20   #10
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
I am not so sure high latitudes is a problem. We are 50N and during the summer have oodles of solar to run the boat. Very long daylight hours help too. I was shocked the first time I went to the Caribbean, it went dark at tea time, what's that all about.

Today it was starting to get light at 4.30am and Sunset is at 21.20pm, that makes a long sunny day. However, during the winter say a dull, heavy cloudy January day, forget it.

Anyway back to electric outboards, an interesting option for us next time around when our little Honda 4 stroke finally dies.

Pete
That really wasn't the point. The point is solar works pretty close to every day that you might be out cruising (if you winter over at high latitudes it might be an issue...is that better?).

On the other hand hydro works great when you are in the grove with strong winds making hull speed but that only happens while the boat is under way. Even underway, if you are ghosting along in the doldrums at 2kts, it isn't going to generate much of anything.

Hydro is a very specialized tool that generates significant output only in rare situations.
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Old 17-06-2021, 12:30   #11
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Forget solar, wind or hydro, nuclear is the way to go!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billspringer/2021/04/12/will-scientists-save-the-world-aboard-this-nuclear-powered-980-foot-long-superyacht/?sh=2aa213285f2f
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Old 17-06-2021, 13:35   #12
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Frank View Post
Hello all, first post here. With the question I am honestly not trying to start a brand war, but the marketing strength of Torqeedo and ePropulsion seem to be miles ahead of Elco. It forces me to wonder if there is anything deficient in reliability or brand reputation for Elco outboards that would make using Elco in saltwater a bad idea?


As far as I can tell the differences are (9hp equivalents):
  • Torqeedo
    • Slick design
    • Most expensive
    • Built in computer (to eventually break)
    • Common batteries.
  • ePropulsion
    • Slick design
    • Same price as Elco
    • Proprietary Batteries.
    • Regen
  • Elco
    • Boring Design
    • Common Batteries


Off of the above, looking for a simple electric outboard I am definitely about to buy a Elco but it is difficult to find independent reviews outside of electric only lakes.
There is a German alternative brand Herzlich willkommen!
Originally invented for military use, they are very simple and extremly robust. The external controller is a well proven mass product and used for Linde fork lifter. Every battery can be used (LFP is generally preferred for many reasons)..

My choice will be two times "Momentum M220" for a Max 42SC.
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Old 17-06-2021, 13:48   #13
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Torqeedo travel 3.5 hp for 4 years and lots of issues. Cable wiring issues with comm errors. Tiller circuit board issues. Error codes are very annoying. I have a second travel model which is newer with no issues so far.
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Old 17-06-2021, 13:50   #14
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Installing a direct drive motor mounted at the propeller is a simple solution, one just configures a hermetic design with magnetic coupling to the propeller thus there are no seals to contend with and one does not need to have the transmission of torque through mechanisms from above the water to below the water. This is the norm for many pumps and for compressors and vacuum pumps.


Yes, please! Sign me up for this one.
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Old 17-06-2021, 15:02   #15
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Re: Torqeedo v. ePropulsion v. Elco Outboards

We have the EPcarry, https://www.electricpaddle.com/, made in North Bend, Wa. We have used it for two years with no issues. Incredibly light and easy to take on and off. We have a gig harbor hard sided dinghy. As others have mentioned, the range is very limited, 1 hr. at full throttle. So, if you want to use your dinghy to explore, this is probably not for you. Price is $1600, so considerably less than others. Love that you turn the throttle and go everytime.
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