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Torqeedo

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I love my new Torqeedo outboard. No more storing a jug of gasoline in the cockpit. No more mixing oil with the gasoline. No more spilling gas into the ocean as I fill the tank of my Mercury 3.3 as the dinghy rocks and rolls. Just get into the dinghy and go! Quietly! We can whisper as we motor around the anchorage.
This little motor has changed our lives as cruisers. It has just as much power as our old 3.3, so that it powers against the current and wind, and scoots out of the way in those busy inlets. (We have the 1003 Travel, short shaft model).
We weren't concerned about running out of power. The onboard computer (with GPS) keeps track of your power usage and distance traveled and computes how much of a charge you have left. We would typically run from our anchorage to the town dock and back several times a day and charge up the outboard's battery every night or two. We never got below 48% of charge on the battery. It helps to have a solar panel on the sailboat. We charged the Torqeedo"s battery from the Catalina's house batteries.
The Torqeedo has a couple of quirks to be aware of. When shifting from forward to reverse or vice versa, you must move the throttle slowly, and hesitate in neutral for a second or so. Moving the throttle quickly confuses the computer, and it gives an error message while you drift about helplessly. (The controls are fly-by-wire, with no direct connection to the motor). Also, there is no way to lock the battery securely to the outboard. The battery normally is held in place with a pin, and just lifts off the outboard after the cables are disconnected. I'm working on some way of using a steel cable to secure the battery.
All in all, this is a great little machine and worth the extra boat bucks it costs.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,286
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Thanks for the review. Have you ever tracked how much power it takes from the house bank to charge the battery? Also, how long does that take and did you have to install any type of special connection?

Thanks,

Jesse
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,317
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
I just looked it up and it runs for 2 hrs at 1/2 throttle and appears to take 50 amps at 12v or 25 amps at 24v to recharge. Charge time depends on recharge rate of charger or solar. Chief
 
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Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Thanks for the review. Have you ever tracked how much power it takes from the house bank to charge the battery? Also, how long does that take and did you have to install any type of special connection?

Thanks,

Jesse
Sorry, Jesse, I only have a voltmeter on board Andante, so no accurate way to track power consumption. When the Torgueedo came new out of the box, they claimed it could take up to 11 hours for a full charge from 110V AC. Mine took close to 14 hours. Later, from a low charge of around 48% it would take about 6 hours. Unfortunately, I only have the 110V AC connection to the charger that the Torqeedo came with, so I have to use an inverter on board Andante. I called Torqueedo about obtaining a 12V DC connector, and they said they are available from epower marine. I also asked about a cap for the motor cable connector to protect it from the elements, and that is available from Hobie. I intend to order these parts over the winter.
Charging the Torqueedo at night does put us at the limit of power storage that we get from our 135W solar panel, when added to the total power usage of Andante herself. Careful management of the power used by the Torgueedo itself will minimize charging times. The computer on the outboard shows power usage in watts, and the range you have left at that throttle setting. It also indicates speed, so I find that a throttle setting of 125 watts gives me about 2 knots and a range of 20 kilometers or so. Of course, running at full throttle will knock the range to less than 2 kilometers.
A benefit of the Torqeedo that I didn't mention initially is that it disassembles easily for storage. The tiller (with computer) and the battery lift off and I store them in a sea bag in the v-berth. The rest of the outboard is very light and is easily carried into the cockpit and rinsed off, to be stored on the aft berth (no grease to worry about).
We find the Torqeedo to be hugely beneficial to us personally, because now my wife can use the dinghy solo. An old shoulder injury prevents her from being able to use the pull start on our old Mercury, so I drove the dinghy everywhere. Now the Admiral is free to come and go as she pleases.
I hope this helps, Jesse. Let me know if you need any more info.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,317
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
I hope you remain enthralled with your outboard as my calculations indicate it is going to consume more power than you have. I would suggest a generator for charging it even though they can be a problem onboard. Additional solar is also an option. Fridge on board?
Chief
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I hope you remain enthralled with your outboard as my calculations indicate it is going to consume more power than you have. I would suggest a generator for charging it even though they can be a problem onboard. Additional solar is also an option. Fridge on board?
Chief
Yes, Chief, we run a fridge, which is our main power consumer. I have considered a dedicated solar system for the Torqeedo. Actually, Torqueedo offers such a system, but I haven't priced it out. In the meantime, it is possible to charge the Torqeedo at a shore facility when needed. Setting up a generator gets me back to the gasoline in the cockpit thing, which I very much want to avoid. Perhaps a wind generator is in order.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,317
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Tom: Go for expanding your existing solar system rather than wind. Its much cheaper plus produces better with no vibration. After you get a better feel for your amperage demands from your outboard, total up all the boats daily average ampere use. With that figure send me a msg we and should be able to establish a solar panel demand size for you. My guess is it will be about 300 watts, so lets see how close I come! Chief
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Thanks for your input, Chief. I'd like to install a battery monitor at some point, probably at the same time as increasing the solar capacity. Anyway, the boat is laid up for the winter, so I should have plenty of time to work out what I need. Then again, we are building a house and starting a farm, so time for boat stuff could be at a premium.