A breath of fresh air…

I ordered the Torqeedo on Tuesday, and Claude delivered it on Wednesday. And we installed it and it worked perfectly first time. What a breath of fresh to have things work as they should.

She was to be slipped at 4pm and so Claude brought the motor here early enough so we could go up the river beforehand and do some more tests.

This time we had three on board – the third being Phil from Dragon Song, one the inmates here at Monty’s, trapped here by contagious apathy. And this time I remembered to pull the centreboard up to reduce drag even more.

I added a piece of hardwood to the outboard bracket, which moved the mounting a little to the stern, and we adjusted the angle of the motor to what we thought to be most efficient.

Going with the tide we hit 7.5 knots, and the best we saw coming back was 5.9.  This would suggest a current of 0.8 knots going upstream, and so that makes the still water speed 6.7 knots.

Later we tinkered with raising and lowering the centre-board and it makes a difference of 0.3 to 0.4 knots.

Because the well is open at the bottom, the water sloshes around, and when under lots of power it boils around in there, absorbing quite a lot of power.  So there’s even more scope for better speed after I make a blocking wing to seal the hole.

And that’s the main reason she’s now out of the water on the trolly (again!).  It’ll take quite a few days to figure out and build suitable wings or flaps to block the hole when the motor is up, and down.  But it also gives me a chance to complete the repairs from the flood damage. Even on sunny days there’s a heavy dew till late morning, and this dampness has made it difficult to properly dry out the balsa core before doing  the repairs.  On the hard it will be easier to set up heater fans to get it properly dry.

In the tests we tried the motor at different throttle settings and think we found a ‘sweet spot’ for this boat – at around 1500 watts she lopes along at around 4.5 knots. This is a nice speed, and the batteries have enough to energy to do this for 5 or 6 hours.

These figures confirm that this motor is about twice as efficient as the Epod.  That is, at a particular speed I would get twice the range with the Torqeedo.  Or looking at it another way, switching to the Torqeedo is equivalent to adding another bank of batteries.  And at ten thousand dollars a bank, its a good investment huh.

The motor we tested a few days ago was off Claude’s boat, and the one I have now is new, out of the box.  And its seems there’s slight differences in settings of the controller – because with this controller we saw much better power astern. This controller showed up to 3000 watts of power, so I’m pleased with that.

Claude suggests there’s more to it, because the controller is clever enough to sense when there is cavitation of the prop and it automatically reduces power to allow the prop to grip.  And thats the effect we saw the other day with the lower readings. Understanding that better will have to wait until I’m back in the water.

3 Replies to “A breath of fresh air…”

  1. Chris great to have run on your boat and hopefully it cured some of my Montys disease:)So so harsh ….your trying to get me moving arent you !Hope you had a good climb.

  2. Hei Chris
    Congratulations with the first problem free e-motor installation on your boat. I hope it stays that way. 🙂 It will be interesting to read/see how you manage to build the wings closing the opening while sailing/motoring.

    I read the log-book of that guy having the 2.0 R torqeedo on his little trimaran. He was cruising with the previous model 2.0 outboard on the monohull he owned before from germany to southern norway. According to his logbook this trip included more than 400 miles of motoring. The problems he had were related to the engine electronics not being water resistant resulting in failure after waves washing over it in bad weather. However, he was able to repair it simply by drying it, changing the remote control plugs as well as packing everything into watertight plastic bags. That way he made it through the rest of the trip. Afterwards he got the new model in exchange for his 2 year old used one which also had been on other trips before the norway trip. I hope torqeedo learnt the lesson and the new model is really water tight and always reliable so that you are not running into a new beta-test phase. According to this other guy who is now using the 2.0 R the engine is the best engine he ever had.
    As far as I know the torqeedo is not regenrating nor is this feature planned to be included. Did you ask the australian vendor about that and about if it might be possible to reprogram the controller? 2 years ago or so they explained on the torqeedo website how they tested the efficiency of the engine and they did it by measuring the electricity produced when turned by a defined stream of water. I can’t find this mention any more so I think they have deleted it from the website already a year ago or so. However, it makes me wonder if there was a possibility for you to regenerate under sail anyway…
    I suspect that after this season I might go for the torqeedo, too if it turns out that it is reliable both in Australia and in Germany ;-). The biggest plus for me is that I often visit Germany, since my parents live there and if there is trouble I could just take it with me in the plane with it waying only 18 kg. I have never been in the states and not planning to go there either so repairing anything ordered there would force me to make use of expensive packet services. Also if torqeedo starts to sell in Norway I will have the guarantee regulations set by norwegian law and they are really good. Even if there would be water in the head after up to five years because of a construction failure I would get the repair for free…
    I will probably go for the 2.0 R though. It will not reach hull speed, but it will be able to reach the sweet spot of my boat hopefully. With 24 Volts only it will be much easier to adapt all electronics with windgenerators and solar cells since there is not much space for this kind of equipment on my boat and I decided that I just have to live with the fact that I can’t motor against the tidal currents and will have to plan better or wait for max 6 hours to get back home… A stronger engine would just use up the batteries when trying to motor against the 4 knots of current we have here in the straights around Tromsø.
    I will also follow what is happening with re-e-power and the experiences of the other users before making my decision this autumn. What I don’t like about the torqeedo is that I really didn’t want an outboard again since it will surface like the outboard I have now when there are waves bigger than somewhere between 0,5-1 meter. So if you come up with a nice solution for your closing wings I might go for it and install something similar in the stern overhang in my boat.



  3. Hi Matti,

    Thanks for this interesting information. I have talked to Claude about regen. and as far as he’s aware its not planned. But your comments about it being tested mean that its probably possible. For now I plan to use a towing generator.

    It is actually my wind generator, which I can use as a towing generator by removing the blades and attaching a rope onto the end of which is a propeller. And I plan to use the superseded Propulse adjustable prop from the Epod to begin with. Being adjustable I should be able to tinker with the pitch to figure out what will give me useful power.

    In the next few days I should have photos and details of the flaps arrangement for the Torqeedo.



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