Evinrude E-TEC Multi-Fuel Engines

Torqeedo Launches Next Generation of Tiller-Control Electric Motors

Torqeedo Cruise 4.0T Electric Outboard System

Torqeedo Cruise 4.0T Electric Outboard System

Torqeedo, which I’ve talked about a lot here on OceanLines, has launched the next generation of its tiller-controlled electric outboard motors.  The company says the new Cruise 2.0T and 4.0T are “stronger, faster, more robust and more efficient.

Torqeedo says the motors have a new, innovative display on the tiller, which shows information regarding battery charge status, remaining range, speed over ground and input power.  A 4AWG  plug-and-go cable set, including fuse and main switch should make the motors more comfortable to use.

Some of the specs:

    • Operating on 48V with 8-9.9 hp, the 4.0T motor only weighs 40 lbs.
    • The smaller Cruise 2.0T operates at 24V with 5-6 hp and weighs 39 lbs.
    • Both models are offered in short and long shaft versions.
    • Torqeedo’s new Cruise 2.0T is priced at $3,299, while the Cruise 4.0T is $3,799.

I think Torqeedo has provided one of the two best technology paths for future tender and small-boat propulsion. Most cruising powerboats have plenty of excess electrical generation capacity and keeping some Torqeedo batteries fully charged for the tender shouldn’t pose any kind of real challenge. The benefit is clean, reliable and efficient propulsion. I’ve always wished someone (Evinrude, are you listening?) would develop a new-generation diesel outboard, but I may opt instead for a Torqeedo electric.

Copyright © 2012 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Engines, Technology

Got Propane? Run Your Outboard Motor on It

Could This Be Your Next Dinghy Gas Tank?

Could This Be Your Next Dinghy Gas Tank?

Well, soon maybe.  In my apparently Quixotic quest for a single fuel for vessel, tender and toys, I keep looking for new ideas.  Using propane as fuel for an internal combustion engine is not new, but it is for a modest outboard application.  A company I can only identify so far as Marine Green (more on that later) has posted a video on YouTube that shows a small outboard running on what appears to be propane from a recognizable tank near the transom.

To quote the YouTube poster, “The ongoing progress of Marine Green’s R&D program. Propane is a better alternative fuel than other fuel sources. Safe, reliable, it does not go bad, and emits much fewer harmful emissions than gas… ”  Here’s the video:

 Is propane really a good fuel to use for your outboard?  Possibly.  We’ll have to wait and see Marine Green’s final performance and emissions numbers, but we do know a little bit about propane, generically, as a fuel.  Check out the table below to see how propane ranks in terms of its energy density.

Btu Content of Common Energy Units

  • 1 barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil = 5,800,000 Btu
  • 1 gallon of gasoline = 124,000 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 gallon of diesel fuel = 139,000 Btu
  • 1 gallon of heating oil = 139,000 Btu
  • 1 barrel of residual fuel oil = 6,287,000 Btu
  • 1 cubic foot of natural gas = 1,028 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 gallon of propane = 91,000 Btu
  • 1 short ton of coal = 19,988,000 Btu (based on U.S. consumption, 2008)
  • 1 kilowatthour of electricity = 3,412 Btu

Source:  U.S. Energy Information Administration

You can see that propane has about 26 percent less energy in a gallon than a gallon of gasoline, and nearly 35 percent less than a gallon of diesel.  That means that you’re not gonna get as far on a gallon, but if range isn’t an issue and if you’re already carrying and monitoring propane availability, it might be a solution.  It’s hard to tell what size outboard is in the video; but I might be anywhere from a 9.9hp to a 25hp unit, based just on appearance.  We’ll have to wait until the company’s website is up and running to get more details.  I have also reached out to an individual well-known in passagemaking circles to confirm a rumor that he is at the center of this project.  I’ll let you know what I hear from him.

Ultimately, I would still like to see someone like Evinrude take one of its multi-fuel E-TEC models and just certify it for diesel.  It will already run on the stuff, as well as practically everything else out there; from gas to Jet fuel.  Yes, I know diesel fuel is harder on an engine and it would require beefing up key components, but there are a LOT of diesel-powered yachts out there who would love not to have to carry gasoline for their tenders and dinghies.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Engines, Powerboats, Technology