Torqeedo

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

Judging Innovation in the Boat-Building Biz

As I write this, I’m on my way back home from the “IBEX” international Boatbuilders Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky, where I served as one of the judges in a panel that gave out a series of awards to recognize innovation in new products.  IBEX is a unique, trade-only show where the people who make everything that goes into boatbuilding and repair and maintenance try to sell their products to the boatbuilders, repairers and maintainers.  There are no boats (mostly) at this show; just all the stuff it takes to make and service them.  

And I saw some pretty cool new stuff.  I also saw some solutions in search of a problem, and some I just couldn’t figure out.  My industry colleague Zuzana Prochazka, who is the chair of the Boating Writers International Awards Judging Committee (oh yeah, and also the current president of BWI), has a good write-up on the awards here at her blog, “Talk of the Dock.”   

Here are a couple of my own highlights from the show, not all of which were entered in the Innovation Awards competition:  

Torqeedo Power 26-104 Lithium Battery

Torqeedo Power 26-104 Lithium Battery

The new Torqeedo Lithium battery, the Power 26-104. This replaces the current main Torqeedo battery for the company’s high-efficiency electric outboard motors. Lithium battery technology just keeps getting better and more affordable and, I think, in the foreseeable future, we will all be running some form of Lithium-Ion battery in all of our vehicles, maybe even for direct propulsion power.  The new Power 26-104 will set you back a bit (MSRP of $2,499) but with a capacity of 2.7 kWh, you’re getting a power density of $0.93/Wh, which is highly competitive. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a simple, and perfectly green solution to your yacht tender power problem, the Torqeedo outboards, powered by this new high power-density and cost-effective battery, are something you should consider.  

ProMariner ProNautic 1240P Battery Charger

ProMariner ProNautic 1240P Battery Charger

ProMariner was showing a new battery management device, the ProNautic P Series. If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art charging system that will be able to handle the batteries you currently have, as well as the Lithium-Ion batteries you know you will eventually have, take a look at this series. It’ll handle just about any typical marine power input and then the sophisticated software and digital conversion and management features will lovingly feed and caress your batteries, ensuring that they are charged, and even conditioned, perfectly. They’ve got nice digital displays that tell you simply whether you have any of the typical faults in your battery configuration, like wiring and polarity problems. These are great examples of high-tech at affordable prices ($199 to $699 depending on the unit).  In fact, this unit won the award for most innovative new product in the electrical equipment category at this week’s IBEX show. 

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics, Gear & Apparel, Powerboats, Sailboats, Technology

Take the Poll — What’s the Ideal Tender Outboard?

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

If you could have the perfect outboard for your dinghy or tender, what would it be?  A diesel perhaps, because you’re already carrying hundreds or thousands of gallons of that fuel and because looking for and storing gasoline is such a pain in the neck, not to mention dangerous? I’ve long thought, for example, that Evinrude could probably make a small killing by adapting its current universal-fuel outboard for regular diesel use. It would probably get a little heavier, but since most of us are using a davit or crane of some kind already, that might not be a big problem. Size is probably the biggest current issue for small diesel outboards. Most engineering efforts, such as the Marine Engineering Group outboard in the top photo, have focused on larger, high-power units so far. But there are 20- and 30 hp diesels out there that might be adaptable. The second image is of the old Yanmar D Series, which I don’t believe is available anymore.

Marine Green Co-Founders Bill Parlatore and Howard Brooks test an early propane-powered outboard

Marine Green Co-Founders Bill Parlatore and Howard Brooks test an early propane-powered outboard

What about a propane-powered outboard? There’s at least one in development that looks promising and if you’re tanking propane for stoves or barbecue grills, it wouldn’t be much of an inconvenience to use that for the dinghy, too.

Yamaha's Current 2.5 hp Gas 4-stroke Outboard

Yamaha's Current 2.5 hp Gas 4-stroke Outboard

Maybe you just want whatever is cheapest because you don’t use it enough to justify any real investment. You just want something cheap and reliable. That’s probably a two- or four-stroke gas outboard, which is relatively inexpensive and (mostly) reliable.

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

What about an electric outboard? Like the Torqeedo or something similar?  Lots of benefits there — low noise, zero pollution, great acceleration, and plenty of fuel since most cruisers and passagemakers have copious electrical generating capacity. Okay, some sailboats don’t and maybe for them electric isn’t a viable option.  The downside to electric? Somewhat limited range, depending on what kind of performance you require (fast or slow). Read about Torqeedo’s outboards here and here.

Whatever your thoughts are, we’d like to hear about them.  Please take just a few seconds to take the poll on our front page (lower right section, you may have to scroll down a bit). We’ll do a follow-up with the results, although you can see the results any time you’d like by clicking on the link at the bottom of the survey.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Engines, Gear & Apparel, Powerboats, Sailboats, Technology

Torqeedo Adds More Electric Outboards

 

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

New Torqeedo Travel 1003 Electric Outboard

Torqeedo keeps adding new models to its line of electric outboards. The latest is the Travel series with two new units offering power equivalent to 1.5 hp and 3 hp, respectively. The Travel 503 and Travel 1003 not only offer more power than their predecessors but are tougher and are completely waterproof to IP67 standards.

According to Torqeedo, the Travel 1003 offers a battery with 30% more capacity and an even higher level of efficiency than before.   Torqeedo’s lithium-manganese batteries enable a large amount of energy to be stored per pound of battery weight.  At slow speed, the range of a Travel motor exceeds 12 nautical miles. A display located inside the tiller shows precise information about the remaining range, as well as current speed-over-ground, power consumption and state of charge.  Speed and range information is calculated with the help of the integrated GPS.  If the remaining charge of the battery drops below 30% an acoustic warning is triggered.  Both models can also be rigged for remote throttle.

Torqeedo outboards are not cheap by any measure but they offer some significant advantages. On a diesel yacht, carrying a Torqeedo-powered dinghy or tender can eliminate the requirement to carry hazardous supplies of gasoline. You’re not going to water-ski behind a Torqeedo outboard, but if you’re looking for quiet, environmentally sensitive power, they will fill the bill.

You can even charge the motor in a more environmentally-friendly way. Foldable, 3′ square solar panels utilizing CIGS-technology are available.  The absorbed sun energy is stored in the weatherproof and UV-resistant modules, so they still deliver electricity even when the sky is cloudy or dull.  I can imagine installing the solar panels on a small tube frame over the outboard, or above a driver’s console in a bigger RIB.  When the panels are combined with a Torqeedo Travel, users get one of the lightest and smallest solar-powered drives in the world, with a total weight of only 31 lbs.

These new Torqeedo models would be great for dinghies, tenders, Jon boats, fishing boats and any other sailboat up to a weight of 1,653 lbs. for the 503 or 3,000 lbs. for the 1003. The Travel 1003 from Torqeedo has a price of $1,899, while the Travel 503 costs $1,599.

Editor’s Note:  The Torqeedo Travel 503 and 1003 will be on display in booth #J65 at the Miami International Boat Show, February 11-15 in Miami, Florida.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Engines, Gear & Apparel, Industry News, Passagemaking News, Powerboats, Technology

Torqeedo Ups the Horsepower for Electric Outboard

Earlier this year I wrote a Wish List item about the advantages of a single, common fuel for all marine engines; the issue being the need to carry gasoline for a tender wile operating an otherwise diesel-powered boat.  There may be another option and that is the one provided by Torqeedo, manufacturer of an innovative line of electric-powered outboards.  The company’s latest offering, the Cruise 4.0 R has a thrust equivalent to a 9.9 hp gas outboard, which makes it a good power match for an inflatable or light RIB up to about 11 feet or so, depending on your need for speed.

Torqeedo Cruis 4.0 R Electric Outboard -- Photo: Torqeedo, Inc.

Torqeedo Cruis 4.0 R Electric Outboard -- Photo: Torqeedo, Inc.

Torqeedo motors utilize a special onboard computer that includes an integral GPS.  This allows the system to display not only speed, but time and distance remaining on available charge.  This information is presented on the remote throttle display.  The motor uses a special 48 volt lead-gel, AGM battery bank or two high-performance lithium manganese batteries.  The company says the Cruise 4.0 R achieves an efficiency of more than 50 percent, which is significantly higher than most electric propulsion motors.

While we think the Cruise 4.0 R is a great alternative for a passagemaker who doesn’t want to deal with finding and carrying good gasoline, Torqeedo also suggests the motor is a good  choice for boats on “green” lakes, pontoon boats, sailboats and catamarans.  In fact, the company tested the new model on a “well-stocked, 24″ pontoon boat with 25” pontoons and seven people aboard — achieving a speed of 6.1 mph.

The motor is not cheap, with a suggested retail price of $3,699, although it likely has a much more competitive total cost-of-ownership when you consider the cost of gas and oil and the maintenance requirements of reciprocating engines used in salt water.  The Torqeedo unit comes with a cable set, fuse, main switch, remote throttle, magnetic off/on switch and a link-arm for connecting to standard steering systems.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Technology

New Torqeedo Might Be The Green Go for Your Dinghy

New Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R Electric Motor Has High Thrust and Efficiency

New Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R Electric Motor Has High Thrust and Efficiency

Torqeedo, the German company that produces those cool, skinny electric outboard motors has introduced a new model — the Cruise 4.0 R — that has the power to realistically be considered a replacement for the gas-powered outboard on your dinghy.  And it does so with an overall efficiency of more than 50%, which is at least an order of magnitude greater than other electric motors, and much higher than any gasoline outboard.

The Cruise runs on 48 volts and offers 215 pounds of thrust, roughly equivalent to a 9.9hp gas outboard.  The Cruise 4.0 R is designed specifically for remote steering and throttle.  The throttle mount includes an LCD display that shows remaining battery charge, current speed and range remaining at current speed, as well as input power in watts.  The motor’s onboard computer includes its own GPS receiver, which enables the speed and range calculations.

The Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 R addresses one of the principal shortcomings of electric motors as primary propulsion on boats, which is the short range and time of operation due to limited battery capacity and relatively low efficiency.  With its significantly higher efficiency, and with a power output that should be sufficient to get a typical 10 or 11-foot dinghy to speed with a full load, it can truly be considered a potential replacement for the gas motor.

Another potential advantage not cited by Torqeedo might be the ability to eliminate the carriage of gasoline for the tender.  All trawlers and passagemaking boats on the water have sufficient electricity generation capabilities to keep the Torqeedo’s batteries charged.  And with no mess or the inherent danger of gasoline storage and management, it offers a safety enhancement.  The motor operates on lead-gel or AGM batteries, or a set of two high-performance lithium-manganese batteries available from Torqeedo. 

The motor is not cheap, with a suggested retail price of $3,699, but the extra thousand or so compared to a gas outboard motor might be more than made up by the economy, efficiency and safety of operation.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Industry News, Technology