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Discussion Starter #1
I am buying a 20' sailboat, 2500# displacement, and am planning on using a Torqeedo 1003.
Pros: very light weight (31#) availability of remote throttle, low maintenance, no oil or gas
Cons: limited range, question of reliability, higher initial cost.

I only daysail, and just need to motor in and out of the harbor, so range is probably not a big problem. I can always buy a second battery.

I would appreciate comments from sailors that have used the 1003.

Anyone out there using the 1003?

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SVA,
Been there done that (Google)...I have seen all the online reviews. There really are not a lot of them. Torqeedo has made a lot of tweeks in the last couple of years, and am looking for sailors here on Sailnet that have experience with the 1003. Don't need google help.....?!&[email protected]?!
 

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rbh1515 -

The search tools on SailNet don't work well. Google solves that by allowing focusing the search on a particular site as you may know. There was an older thread I thought you might be interested in.

My experience with Torqeedo motors is that the changes from model to model aren't that big a deal.

If you are going to use an electric motor to get into your slip after a day of sailing and use any power at all underway (nav lights, radio, cell phone charger) I would definitely have a separate propulsion battery.

Torqueedo uses plastic propellers. There is a reason new propellers are readily available.

Do they still use the magnetic keys? They can be flaky.

All in all my experience with Torqeedo has been positive although I don't own one - just some locals that use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A neighbor at my dock bought a 1003 for his 21' sailboat near the end of last season. After motoring out to the harbor, sailing, and then motoring back to his slip, he still had 80% battery power left. After a couple months of use he was still happy with it. Would like to get more 1st hand experience.
The Torqeedo customer service person said there are a few changes coming for the 1003. It will come with a faster charger. There will also be a cable available to hook the battery to your 12V house battery to charge the Torqeedo battery while you're sailing. She also said that some of the error messages that people were getting were due to shifting the engine very fast between forward and reverse. They have made some changes so this won't happen any more.
My favorite feature as I mentioned above is the remote throttle which is attached via a cable to the engine. Also, it has Bluetooth and an App for a smart phone to give a ton of info including a map with range of travel possible with remaining power.
My biggest concern is reliability of the engine.
Rob
 

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Hi Rob,
I actually own a 1003L on my trimaran (26ft, 3000lbs) on an inshore lake (due to regulations) in Europe.
But back to the stuff:
I can push with about 3.5 kn in flat conditions but at about 4 bft with waves 2 ft speed is about zero.
This may be due to the higher wind restistance to my trimaran.

Positives:
- For just going from/to the dock the battery lasts for weeks without charging
- With a simple cable, you can charge the battery from your main battery.

Three things are really disappointing:
- with full throttle against 3 bft in a narrow channel, time to go is about 20 min or 1 nm
- when the remaining battery load is about 30%, the software throttles down for "security reasons" (like you would have to go 20mph to the next gas station for 100miles)
- when trying to stopp the boat (reverse from going forward without motor movement!) the motor mostly ends up with an error-message ("Overload") and has to be rebooted.

Keep in mind, that compared to standard inboard e-drives with big drive-units it is a nice piece of german high-tech.
Simply compare the torqeedo to a comparable inboard e-drive (size, weight, prize), so it is completely different.
The techology was initiallly used in RC-planes and copters.

So summary:
Yes, it is a viable alternative under some circumstances, it's quite cheap, compact, easy to use and way better than all the "trolling motors".
No, it's no alternative going to sea under rough conditions, for sea-use I still go with my Tohatsu MFS 6 SailPro (Ultralong).
The Torqeedo simlply can't compare in range, simplicity, reliability, repairability.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sailbert,
Thanks for the info. I just ordered a 1003 last weekend. Apparently they have resolved the issue with shifting from forward to reverse...software changes.
Hope this engine works out!
Rob
 

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I purchased a Torqeedo 1003 for our dinghy this past winter...while I cannot comment on its use for a 20' sailboat (others have), I've been pleased with it so far for dinghy use. When you throttle it up to full, the battery does go fast...but otherwise, the battery can likely last weeks for us without charging. Admittedly we haven't used it as much as we hoped (an 18 month-old daughter has influenced things dramatically :)), but for what we purchased it for, we are pleased. Since we use it sporadically, it is always ready to start as long as the battery is charged...no messing with fuel, oil, etc. Plus, it breaks down pretty small...on our 28' sailboat, space is certainly at a premium...
 

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I'm curious how folks charge these while cruising. Do you tap the house bank at 12VDC, run a 110V charger off the inverter, plug them into a Honda genset, or other? Can it charge fully from a full discharge overnight?

I'd strongly consider one of these but the cost of entry goes up significantly if you have to buy a second (ridiculously priced) battery to use while the first is slowly charging. Even that's not good enough if you get less than a day of use per charge and can't charge a battery fully overnight.

Over the course of a 10 day cruise I use about a gallon of gas in my Suzuki 2.5hp outboard so I never ever have range anxiety. I don't want to trade the hassle of gas outboard maintenance in the off-season for the bigger hassle of insufficient charge in the middle of my vacation.
 

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I have an early version of the 1003. For me full charge from full discharge is 15 hours. I charge from 12v direct or with a 110v inverter as the mood strikes me. It doesn't make a noticeable to me difference in charge time or impact to house bank.

As a practical matter I have only fully discharged the battery twice since 2011. Most often the battery is on the charger at 40-50% discharge. It doesn't need to be full to use it. My use to toodle around the Anchorage, go to shore, and to ferry passengers. The biggest chore it's been used for was to tow 30' Catalina that was having trouble picking up a mooring against wind and current in Ayala Cove.

The new fast charger for old batteries and new style fast charge battery which are touted to reduce charge time to 3 hours from flat would pretty much make battery capacity a non-issue for my uses.

Still pricey though.
 

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I haven't seen a high cap charger. Torqeedo says that the 1003 has a 532WH battery and the charger that comes with it is ~40W, so 18 hrs sounds about right assuming the usual efficiency and charge acceptance deratings.

I could only go 9hrs between charges (dictated by the dog's bladder capacity), so I'd either have to cut the rated run times in half or buy a second battery. Without a spare battery, I'd get 15 minutes at full throttle or about an hour and a half at half throttle. That's not enough. Alternatively, I could get a spare battery and swap them every day to get a full charge but I'd be looking at $3K out the door. Coincidentally, their spare batteries alone cost about what I paid for my Suzuki 2.5. I think I'll stick with that solution for a while.
 

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I wonder if the torqueedo is less prone to be stolen in a foreign country?
Truth be told I have been looking at them for a while, but keep worrying about how far I can take my dinghy, and how much speed I would have. Who knows, maybe torqueedo will be at the boat show this year with demos in miami?
 

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Hi Union Pacific,
I am a proud owner of a Torqeedo Travel 1003 - which is the succeeder of an Honda 2,3 - therefore i have very clear picture of the advantages and of course of the disadvantages of both engine types.
With regards to your first question: the engine is extremely light an advantage for someone who wants to steal it - but it is although very easy to 1. store it away 2. or lock it... good luck !
there is a physical relation ship between range and speed, the faster you go the less fare. what kind of dinghy do you have and what kind of speed are you expecting? I can share my experience with the travel 1003 S made on my daysailer ( bull 7000) and my zodiac.
cheers martin
 

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Fast charger for Travel / Ultralight till 2014 - Torqeedo

Dear IStream,
since i use this quick charger for my Travel my problems are solved.
cheers
Martin
Thanks for the link, Martin. I just saw the standard accessories that come with the unit, not the separate chargers. It looks like the post-2015 travel charger is only 90W vs. yours at 120W but it's still twice as fast as the standard charger, which saves about $600 for a spare battery with my usage pattern.
 

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I wonder if the torqueedo is less prone to be stolen in a foreign country?
Truth be told I have been looking at them for a while, but keep worrying about how far I can take my dinghy, and how much speed I would have. Who knows, maybe torqueedo will be at the boat show this year with demos in miami?
Would you sooner steal a $700 outboard or a $2000 electric motor? You can have two gas outboards stolen and buy the third one and still come out even.
 

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Would you sooner steal a $700 outboard or a $2000 electric motor? You can have two gas outboards stolen and buy the third one and still come out even.
Not sure where you buy your outboards, but I need the number :p


Hi Union Pacific,
I am a proud owner of a Torqeedo Travel 1003 - which is the succeeder of an Honda 2,3 - therefore i have very clear picture of the advantages and of course of the disadvantages of both engine types.
With regards to your first question: the engine is extremely light an advantage for someone who wants to steal it - but it is although very easy to 1. store it away 2. or lock it... good luck !
there is a physical relation ship between range and speed, the faster you go the less fare. what kind of dinghy do you have and what kind of speed are you expecting? I can share my experience with the travel 1003 S made on my daysailer ( bull 7000) and my zodiac.
cheers martin
I have have a walker bay super tender 10'. It is wider then a typical walker bay, but has the hard bottom and tube setup. I need you overcome a toe in NYC harbor, and still be able to move my yacht if it into disabled in calm conditions.
 

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I have have a walker bay super tender 10'. It is wider then a typical walker bay, but has the hard bottom and tube setup. I need you overcome a toe in NYC harbor, and still be able to move my yacht if it into disabled in calm conditions.
I have a Torqeedo 1003L. I haven't had a real chance to check it out, but it moves my 10 foot walker bay RID(same as yours) easily in any conditions that I would want to motor in. There is simply no comparison between it and my Newport 55lb Thrust Trolling motor with a big 55 lb Gel cel battery.

Yesterday I used about 30% of the available energy in the 75 amp gel battery getting out the 950 feet to my sailboat with windy 10 knots and 1 foot seas. I had to use level 5(wide open throttle) on the Newport to even move forward. On the way back to the dock using the Torqeedo to power my 19 foot West Wight Potter Sailboat(1200 lb boat, with additional 500 lb of people and stuff), I moved along at about 3 knots using a little more than 1/2 throttle, and used maybe 2-3 % of the available power(against the wind and current).

Now that I got a new Tohatsu 6HP Sailpro with the high thrust prop, I will probably not use the Newport hardly at all, and simply use the Torqeedo on the dinghy, transferring it to the sailboat as back up, and as easy movement when I need instant power and don't want to go through the hassle of starting the gas engine and dealing with the noise etc. Its much lighter and easier to use than the Newport and its giant heavy battery. I'm installing an additional motor mount in the spring for the Torqeedo, where my ladder is currently. I have no doubt with 2 batteries in a becalmed state that I could get back to my mooring from anywhere out in Frenchman's Bay, north of Bar Harbor.

In calm conditions, your could power your dinghy with it forever almost, and probably a sail boat like mine for about 8 hours at 3 knots.
 
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