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Old 11-11-2005, 04:15 AM   #1
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Default dingy power

Looking for opinions on powering Inflatable, would an electric motor make sense? I mean, I would not mind caring extra batteries it seems to make sense. Is there enough power available with a trolling motor to move a dingy in rough water?
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:43 AM   #2
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My brother uses an electric motor on his aluminum rowboat because the lake he lives on does not allow gas powered outboards. The motor is driven by an automobile battery, and it goes very slowly on a calm little (tiny, really) lake. I can't imagine it having the power to drive an inflatable in a choppy anchorage with two people in it.

You can get a nice 4 HP outboard - won't drive you very fast, but faster than my brother's electric motor, and has enough power to run against a mild current or wind and chop. Fuel consumption is minimal. And a lot easier than lifting that heavy battery into the boat and worrying about salt water destroying it very quickly.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:41 PM   #3
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Hi,

This is not really an option but I read just yesterday in the Vetus catalogue of a water cooled electric motor they produce which powered a 6 metre launch (if I remember the length correctly) at 6 m.p.h. (note not knots). This I consider a reasonable performance but, as I say, it won't help you as it is an inboard. However, I think it does indicate that electric motors are improving and, under the right conditions, definately have a place on certain boats.

By the way, although Vetus did not give a price, they claim the electric motor costs less to purchase than a conventional inboard.

The set up showed in the catalogue interestingly can also be rigged as a hybrid with the electric motor charging the batteries when the main engine was running.

This obviously does not solve your problem but, given what I learned yesterday about the electric inboard, I would not rule out electric propulsion until I examined the marked more carefully. After all, the thought of silently gliding through the water does appeal to yachtsmen!

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Stephen

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Old 11-11-2005, 08:00 PM   #4
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I just did some searching on the internet, and found a few things that might be of interest.

Etek electric outboard: http://www.psnw.com/~jmrudholm/etekoutboard.html

Briggs & Stratton electric outboard (wow! I didn't know they existed like this!): http://www.briggsandstratton.com/display/r...asp?docid=76404 The trouble is that it is designed for Freshwater use, not saltwater, and it's a 48 volt system requiring four (4) batteries! Not exactly a dinghy motor at all.

So not yet ready for prime time cruising, I think.

But there's Minn-Kota. they do make outboards that are designed for salt water. See their products:

http://www.minnkotamotors.com/products/index.asp

So. More batteries to carry and charge (and batteries are much heavier than an equivalent volume of gasoline). My biggest concern - outside the UK or the US, who is going to service them?
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:41 AM   #5
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Thank you for the responses, I have continued to research and think the electric dingy motor is just around the corner. I see nothing but pluses with having more batteries and fewer explosives onboard Morning Sun. However in the tradition of keeping it simple it is just too soon to be the first on the block with an all electric powered dingy. I just can’t give up the idea without a fight thought. It really made sense but proves too expensive to put two or three 130 lb thrust trolling motors and 24 volts on an inflatable.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
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I understand your concern for carrying gasoline onboard. However, will your trolling moter be able to get your dink off the beach when the surf is rolling in? How do you plan on recharging the battery(s)? And how often will this be needed? Also, the weight of the battery will reduce the number of jerry cans and groceries you can carry at any one time.

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