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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > re-e-power
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2010 03:26 PM
sailingdog One other point—if you're buying a major purchase for your boat, use a credit card. You have many more options, especially in the United States, if you bought with a credit card. Buying with cash or check is relatively stupid IMHO, since it gives you little recourse if the vendor does not come through with the goods. While it may cost you a tiny bit more to purchase using a credit card, the reassurances it gives you are generally worth it.
03-24-2010 02:18 PM
Architeuthis Re-e-power can be a lesson for those wanting to do something like this.

I first saw the system partly installed in a homebuilt cat. The builder was very smart but not too comfortable with electrical issues. The ease with which such a system could be installed had been grossly over stated for someone with his background.

When I looked at the system I knew I could get it working pretty much as designed, but then I actually worked in a department that did prototyping and manufacturing of limited or one off systems. There was no way the average builder was going to put together that system without major time and money and even then I doubt they would get the performance or relaiblity they expected.

I recommended pulling out everything, ebay all of it and buying outboards. Eventually that happened but it took a while for the dream to die.

Here are some of the warning flags when I first looked at re-e-power.

Small business run by an Engineer.

This should ALWAYS be a huge warning to everyone other than Engineers. If you do not understand why, run do not walk from such companies. I’m not knocking Engineers but it is very rare indeed for a person to have the skill sets needed to develop such products and also have the skill sets needed to operate a business, interface with customer problems, handle the little annoying and endless details of getting and keeping such systems running, and handle all the ordering, shipping, money, taxes and other key issues of running a custom electrical drive business. These guys prototype, that’s what they like to do and do best. If they have a team then it can work. That way they can hand off some of that crap to someone like me.

Only prototypes used for display or example.

When I saw that no Re-E-Power system had been run for more than a few hours I knew this was not a kit. A proper kit has many installed examples, many commissioning reports, lots of data, and there should be one example of it being installed in your boat model. If you are the first person to install the “kit” in your boat then you need to be the type of person who can do it without a kit.

Lack of data on parts.

There was almost no data on the parts, no posted manuals, no information on how the system worked what the objectives were, in short a complete lack of key information needed to design and install the system.

If you are considering installing these types of “kits” you do not need the “kit”. You will be far ahead of the game to sit down design your own system, source your own parts and install it yourself. If that is too much then such a "kit" is not for you.

If Re-E-Power was properly run they would have had many more successful installations before advertising, and then taken on only a few customers until they had the bugs worked out.

One last thing.
Never buy the person. Everybody I talked to about this company, were sold on the “guy”. He was such a nice guy, such a smart guy. The guy is not going to push your boat through a swell. Sure that is how people buy everything yet it is a really bad way to buy a prototype kit.

In this case I easily sourced all the parts cheaper (of course he had no volume yet had to mark up) and got lots of needed data at the same time.

I hope everyone gets their money back and future people considering such systems learn from Re-E-Power.
03-24-2010 12:10 AM
Lavatube
Re-e-power woes, 2 dead motors

I had a similar problem with my pair of motors from re-e-power dying prematurely, and Re-e-power (Kevin Plank) has refused to respond to email, phone, skype, BBB complaint, or certified mail. My story is on my site: lachat dot com. /node/120
03-13-2010 11:54 AM
mnikisher
Another RE-E-POWER Victim

I purchased an EPOD 3000 system in September of 2007. Kevin took so long to dribble parts out to me that I started a complete refit of my boat. Well here it is 2010 and the boat is ready to go back into the water and the EPOD motor is frozen solid.

I have been looking at a Mars 3001 motor based system to replace the EPOD but have not figured out how to gear it properly. Would you mind telling me how and what you used in your system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerryda1 View Post
Beware of this company. This was a very expensive mistake:

I ordered and paid for two (2) of the Series 3000 electric boat motor units from Re-e-power in March of 2008 with a delivery date of approximately six weeks later (May 2008). The kits were to include motors, controllers, propellers, throttle controls, amp gauges, charging monitors and wiring harnesses. It took well OVER A YEAR to receive all the components. Even after all that time I had to purchase two (2) propellers myself from a different supplier. (Re-e-power recalled the original two (2) propellers they shipped to me but never shipped me replacements.) Kevin and I negotiated a longer warranty against defective parts to make up for the lack of propellers. I installed the complete system in late May 2009. One motor worked for a day. The other worked for about 3 weeks. Upon inspection it was determined the motors stopped working due to a factory defect that caused water intrusion in both motors. Re-e-power sent new parts (brushes and springs) telling me how serviceable the motors are and I could fix them while they negotiated with the factory to replace the defective units.

One motor was determined, by a local electric motor shop, not to be salvageable. I replaced the brushes and spring, per Re-e-power’s direction, in the other motor. It worked for 15 minutes. Per Re-e-powers directions I replaced the brushes and springs again, and the motor worked for about 2 minutes. I asked Re-e-power for new motors or some other kind of resolution / compensation on 8/26/09. At that time Re-e-power stopped communicating with me. I filed a BBB complaint back on 11/01/09. It is now 12/08/2009 and I have not heard from Re-e-power.

Since Re-e-power did not reply to my emails I was forced to power my boat with alternative methods. This cost me considerable time and expense. Hauling my boat out for repairs to the Re-e-power units alone cost me over $1000.00. I have lost two sailing seasons due to Re-e-power’s lack of customer support and defective products. Since I have repowered my boat by other means. I used a 48 volt sysytem with a Mars Eteck motor and a gear reducer transmission powering the original prop shaft.

The boat goes faster drawing less amps than the Re-e-power setup. Go figure.
12-28-2009 08:51 AM
roline I like the idea, but it does not appear to be a system engineered for a marine application. It is too klugy, a bunch of components poorly tied together in a prototype way, non marinized. You'd be better off with a couple stern mounted trolling motors... Keep the diesels until this idea has been truly designed for the marine market.
ps, I did an internet search and their domain is no longer functioning, but they still have a site on E-Bay. They were located..
Re-E-Power
1229 W Franklin St
Elkhart, IN 46516
(574) 522-2400
12-27-2009 01:26 PM
hellosailor Sue-
Depending on where and how you placed the order and what was shipped...By all means remember that you can FIX SOMETHING HERE rather than just be a victim. There are local, state, and federal complaints to be filed either in the US or Oz, criminal complaints that basically require you to file them and then the government takes over. Once a certain $ threshold is crossed, in the US it automatically becomes a matter for the FBI not just local authorities. AU$9k might well cross a threshold, in both nations.
In the US that might include our Postal Inspectors for mail fraud or wire fraud, for taking the order and then not fulfilling it. A lot of bounders will ignore anything you have to say--but when the postal inspectors say "We're cutting off all mail delivery and looking into jail and fines for you" they sit up and take notice, because without the mails they have a harder time stealing more money from new victims.
Ask your authorities, ask our authorities (USPS.COM should have a referral link to the government postal inspectors, the "post office" is just a .com here) and by all means--sic 'em on the guy. What will it cost you? The price of a letter or a notary stamp?
12-27-2009 07:39 AM
Sueballu
Re-e-power

Hi
I can not help to reply re these electric motors. We are in Australia and after much research and planning we decided to purchase electric motors for our 38' wharram cat. Even met Kevin at the 2007 Sydney Boat show after 6 months of communication. WE sent the full purchase price for 2 x 3000 Cat pack complete with all components for approx $9000 Aus dollars. It took a year to receive the motors(afte a lot of hasseling)- no controls or props. In 2008 we met two other people who had purchased these motors - they were still having problems, but at least they had all the components. They were both knowledgable on mechanical and electrical issues and were advising Kevin on their attempts to improve these motors. Kevins response was " I like you Aussie's you try and fix issues instead of complaining". One person eventually had to take a pod apart after no communication from Kevin, he found they were poorly built with many different metals. At this stage we tried to communicatre to Kevin we were sending our unused still packaged motors back as we had not recieved controllers and we had lost all confidence in his product. He replied saying he had received another order so he was able to order our controllers - 2 years after paying full price for the kit! At this stage we just wanted amotor so we could move the boat .
Kevin has not replied to anything - we even paid for a solicitor to write a letter of demand. We have just saved enough to purchase Torqueedo motors - and have found that there is at least 4 Australians who have purchased from Kevin and have lost their money - they do not work and he will not communicate. DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS COMPANY!
12-09-2009 01:52 PM
COOL Operating an electric motor underwater
sounds like a bad idea from the start,
and a pod type arrangement makes no
sense for an auxiliary sailboat.
Electric propulsion may not be quite ready
for general audiences, yet, but it is definitely
on the horizon. A few more sharp spikes in
fuel prices, and this technology will get worked out
real fast.
12-09-2009 02:20 AM
mitiempo Mark
That makes sense to me. Most of the examples I've seen were the opposite. Putting all that gear underwater seems like a backward step. Like a saildrive.
12-09-2009 02:14 AM
Mark F Hi Brian,

I think most electric repower jobs are inboard using existing prop shaft.
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