Towed Generator that We Really Need
Similar recent thread talks much about trying to hack a trolling motor into a hydrogenerator. Reviewing that thread, it's clear that there are a lot of creative and resourcful people with interesting ideas. It's also clear that most of them don't understand the fluid dynamics involved and few of the ideas would have a chance of working.
Trolling motors are cheap things designed for lightweight use, running fishing boats around at slow speed. On the other hand the Torqeedo Electric Outboard is a much more powerful device and better designed for exposure in the marine environment.
Having been a product design engineer for 30 years, doing both mechanical and electrical design, I am highly suspect about the success of a hacked system. On the other hand, it certainly seems to me that the smart guys who designed Torqeedo could develop a similar version that could clamp on the transom as a hydrogenerator, with it's power electronics doing a controlled system charge. The same device could then be unclamped from the transom, clamped onto your dinghy. A quick prop change (yes towing is different than motoring), add the battery pack, and your ready to zip around the harbor. This seems a realistic goal for a product. It might cost 50% more than a regular Torqeedo, perhaps even twice. Even if it cost as much as a Watt & Sea generator, the Watt & Sea is only a generator. An outboard/generator would serve dual purpose for a typical cruiser.
Marine Industry: Are you listening?