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Old 14 July 2013, 11:35   #1
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Electric outboards

My local boat shop has some electric outboard motors at around 120.

They look alright, l was thinking of getting one to use on the canal, as it would only need to do 3mph.
Are these cheap ones worth buying? Or are they a waste of time.

The Torqeedo ones are five times the price.
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Old 14 July 2013, 15:52   #2
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Does nobody on here use one of these types of engine?

Well, I have done some research myself and it seems the best cheap electric engine is made by a company called Minn-Kota which is apparently Yamaha.

They cost about 135 for the version I need.

However while the engine only weighs 6kg the battery weighs 19kg! So hardly any lighter than my Tohatsu 9.8!! (26kg)

The idea was to save lugging 26kg of engine around when I only need to do 3-4mph....

Can I get a lighter 60-80Ah battery than the 100 year old lead-acid technology?
It seems that 60Ah is a minimum if you want the engine to run for 3-4 hours.
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Old 14 July 2013, 16:15   #3
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If you want battery to be lighter, lithium is the way to go - but I don't think you'll like the price!
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Old 15 July 2013, 03:59   #4
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I think I will just buy a lightweight petrol outboard, some of the 2hp ones are only 12kg.

As it seems from the lack of replies that there is no real interest in these electric engines on this forum, so they can't be a viable option.
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Old 15 July 2013, 04:12   #5
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Be sure to avoid the small air cooled Honda, as noisy as a 2 stroke.
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Old 15 July 2013, 04:21   #6
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As far as electric outboards go the power to weight ratio is very bad! and the weight of the battery is rediculous when you work out the weight of having the likes of a new 2.5 or 3.5hp.
I agree on the comments for the honda's not only are they noisy but the smaller ones are very poor build quality! personally I would either go for a yamaha or Tohatsu bearing in mind Tohatsu make the engines for Mercury/Mariner So same engine if you go to Tohatsu just a bit cheaper!
Hope this helps a little
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Old 15 July 2013, 06:17   #7
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There have been a few threads on here regarding electrics.

As above, the big problem is the "fuel density".

As you have found - plenty of wee lightweight petrols out there. That 3.5Hp tohatsu has been around in various guises from 1 to 3.5Hp and I think has carried pretty much every Manufacturer;s livery at some point. (nerds feel free to correct me on the paint job comments!)

One thing to note - if you go for the super lightweight Johsorudes from the late 60s / early 70s (The ones with the open bottom case) beware if it's hanging on the back of your rib - the exposed plugs are fine if it spends the day pushing displacement craft around, the open bottom casing does however allow a lot of the spray from your main's leg into the HT leads at the spark plug so not a lot of starting then happens!
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Old 15 July 2013, 07:11   #8
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Yes it is going to be a small outboard motor l think.

I had heard that the Honda 2hp was noisy, and l did see one in use in Scotland last week, it was a right racket!
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Old 15 July 2013, 17:43   #9
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OK basic stuff: people on here tend to want speed so an electric motor is not really the right thing.

Small engines on here tend to be for aux's. An eelctric motor sounds at first like it might do that - no contaminated fuel issues. But the second most common cause of engine faults after fuel is electrical so you cant rely on using the rib battery.

Endurance is poor.

If you run low on fuel as long as you can get ashore you can somehow get to fuel with a can and get back to the engine.

If you turn up with a 20kg battery at the local ESSO and ask if you can plug it in they will think you've lost the plot. Then to make it worse you'd be sat there for hours while it fills up.

Even if you cant get ashore someone can easily "lend" you some fuel. Cant really lend you charge in a battery.
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Old 16 July 2013, 04:38   #10
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Yes I see the issues now with electric engines.

The idea seemed good for the canal, as they also make almost no noise, but the need for a great big 20kg battery spoils it.

Running out of power would not be such an issue on the canal as I could row back to where we started.
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