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EPropulsion auxiliary


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Recently I visited the Green Boat Show in my home city of Plymouth.

Although I don't own a green boat (!) I wanted to look at an electric outboard before finally committing to buying one.

The ePropulsion 1.0 Spirit Plus is not a trolling motor, though you could use it for trolling. It has the power equivalent of a 3.5hp petrol outboard. Because I don't use my current four-stroke 5hp auxiliary as much as I should, it is often difficult to start, which discourages me from using it - a real vicious circle. As an auxiliary which won't start in an emergency isn't much use, I'm going electric, which should be ultra-reliable. It will also enable me to move my boat around quietly in the shallow waters I often fish.

The integral battery is easily removable and floats if dropped in the oggin, so I will be taking it home to recharge. I had thought of getting a solar panel and leaving it in the boat, but figure an electric outboard without the £800 battery is less tempting to thieves!

I'm excited about my new engine, which should arrive from the USA in the next week or two. Once it is on the boat and I've given it a good trial I will review it here.  

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I researched both the German-made Torquedo and the US-made ePropulsion. Several things decided me: the ePropulsion has a higher capacity battery and the battery unit floats if you drop it in water. Since my battery will be going ashore after each trip, using my rubber dinghy, there is a chance it will get a dunking at some point. Also, the ePropulsion has a single stainless steel power connector, while the Torquedo has two connectors made of plastic. There's not much difference in price, so I went for the motor with the better spec.

It hasn't arrived yet, but I will post a full report when I have given it a good test.

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14 hours ago, Plaicehunter said:

I researched both the German-made Torquedo and the US-made ePropulsion. Several things decided me: the ePropulsion has a higher capacity battery and the battery unit floats if you drop it in water. Since my battery will be going ashore after each trip, using my rubber dinghy, there is a chance it will get a dunking at some point. Also, the ePropulsion has a single stainless steel power connector, while the Torquedo has two connectors made of plastic. There's not much difference in price, so I went for the motor with the better spec.

It hasn't arrived yet, but I will post a full report when I have given it a good test.

Over the last few months, I have researched using a trolling motor to accurately anchor, without all the faffing of chains and ropes.

Best in class appears to be Minn Kota and to be fair, their technical assistance from the states has been outstanding. I will be using a bow mount terranova, however whether it will be 55lb or 80lb is as yet undecided. 55lb is adequate for my RIB, but 80lb would give an added comfort factor. 

The spot lock system should hold me within a 1m radius (probably better), for a period of about 7 - 10 hours. An added bonus is the fact that I can use it as a bow mounted aux, and it will give me a little under 5 knts (SOG) for about 5 hours.

I am now working out the installation detail as the Minn Kota will be mounted on a quick release plate.

Not cheap, but a good solution.

Edited by GPSguru
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5 hours ago, GPSguru said:

Over the last few months, I have researched using a trolling motor to accurately anchor, without all the faffing of chains and ropes.

Best in class appears to be Minn Kota and to be fair, their technical assistance from the states has been outstanding. I will be using a bow mount terranova, however whether it will be 55lb or 80lb is as yet undecided. 55lb is adequate for my RIB, but 80lb would give an added comfort factor. 

The spot lock system should hold me within a 1m radius (probably better), for a period of about 7 - 10 hours. An added bonus is the fact that I can use it as a bow mounted aux, and it will give me a little under 5 knts (SOG) for about 5 hours.

I am now working out the installation detail as the Minn Kota will be mounted on a quick release plate.

Not cheap, but a good solution.

I've just bought another little boat which has the 55lb Minn Kota with spot lock which my daughter is keen to pinch off me for her zodiac, will be interested to see how you set yours up. Lucky for her is that her boss who owns the charter boats is a stainless steel welder and no doubt able to knock her up some sort of front bracket system. They are bulky units and then there's the issue of the extra battery's etc. I will look into getting the lithium battery setup for the latest boat project.

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19 minutes ago, JDP said:

I've just bought another little boat which has the 55lb Minn Kota with spot lock which my daughter is keen to pinch off me for her zodiac, will be interested to see how you set yours up. Lucky for her is that her boss who owns the charter boats is a stainless steel welder and no doubt able to knock her up some sort of front bracket system. They are bulky units and then there's the issue of the extra battery's etc. I will look into getting the lithium battery setup for the latest boat project.

With a RIB, the mount is the issue, as it has to be quite high for the Minn Kota to sit along the tubes

Luckily, I have a friend who owns an aluminium trailer business, and he is going to knock up a mount, once I have designed it.

I intend to fit the battery in the bottom of the mount and have it completely separate from the boat batteries (in the console). I will be going for a deep cycle lead acid as any decent lithium battery here in the UK is upwards of £1000 for a similar capacity. Charging will not be an issue as the boat sits in my driveway and I will use a smart charger.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/5/2021 at 6:18 PM, GPSguru said:

Over the last few months, I have researched using a trolling motor to accurately anchor, without all the faffing of chains and ropes.

Best in class appears to be Minn Kota and to be fair, their technical assistance from the states has been outstanding. I will be using a bow mount terranova, however whether it will be 55lb or 80lb is as yet undecided. 55lb is adequate for my RIB, but 80lb would give an added comfort factor. 

The spot lock system should hold me within a 1m radius (probably better), for a period of about 7 - 10 hours. An added bonus is the fact that I can use it as a bow mounted aux, and it will give me a little under 5 knts (SOG) for about 5 hours.

I am now working out the installation detail as the Minn Kota will be mounted on a quick release plate.

Not cheap, but a good solution.

The mini kuta’s are quite simply amazing!

we were playing around with one on the weekend and we came alongside the fuel pontoon using only the trolling motor. We also got told off for standing on the pontoon whilst doing 360* with the boat in an open area of the marina. All by remote control! 
 

they really do work well. We had over 5kts of tide and it held perfect over rough ground. 
 

lowrance have an identical system coming out. Maybe a bit more affordable. The 36v system is interesting 

 

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On 8/2/2021 at 7:18 AM, fishybuisness said:

The mini kuta’s are quite simply amazing!

we were playing around with one on the weekend and we came alongside the fuel pontoon using only the trolling motor. We also got told off for standing on the pontoon whilst doing 360* with the boat in an open area of the marina. All by remote control! 
 

they really do work well. We had over 5kts of tide and it held perfect over rough ground. 
 

lowrance have an identical system coming out. Maybe a bit more affordable. The 36v system is interesting 

 

Tell me more Dave,

Was this your boat, or if another boat what was the size and estimated weight ?

What thrust was the minn kota ? If it was 12v then it would be 55lb, if it was  24v then 80lb (or more) thrust).

minn kota are telling me that 55lb will be fine for my boat, but I really need some confidence that is the case.

The main reason for going down this route is to enhance my SPJ fishing on the wrecks, by being in the kill zone for much longer and being able to kick it in any direction in 2m increments.

However, it will take me a while to sort out as the mounting is much more complex on a RIB compared to a hard boat.

I saw Matt yesterday on the inshore wrecks, which was a pleasant surprise.

 

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5 hours ago, GPSguru said:

Tell me more Dave,

Was this your boat, or if another boat what was the size and estimated weight ?

What thrust was the minn kota ? If it was 12v then it would be 55lb, if it was  24v then 80lb (or more) thrust).

minn kota are telling me that 55lb will be fine for my boat, but I really need some confidence that is the case.

The main reason for going down this route is to enhance my SPJ fishing on the wrecks, by being in the kill zone for much longer and being able to kick it in any direction in 2m increments.

However, it will take me a while to sort out as the mounting is much more complex on a RIB compared to a hard boat.

I saw Matt yesterday on the inshore wrecks, which was a pleasant surprise.

 

The mini kota was using 36v and on a extreme boat game king 795. A pretty heavy boat. Im lining up to have the smaller version when the engines come in stock. I will need to sell gadget to fund it. 

if you havent seen them have alook at them https://www.extremeboats.eu/

Such a solid boat 7-8mm alu but the selling point for me was the construction and the hull that fills up when stationary for stability. Everything is welded to a high standard even the rod holders and the tuna fountains. it will be a game changer for me to hit out at 50+ knots 

The trolling motor is setup to be used with your multifunction display and chart. So you can do exactly as you say plan a route over a reef of wreck. This one was plenty powerful and could manoeuvre quite easily in strong tide. You also have the ability to lock position or you can have a little bluetooth remote so you can stand anywhere and position the boat.
 

personaly i dont think it would help with our spj issues of tide and wind causing a drift on our lines if anything to get true vertical line you would want to speed your drift up to match the wind/tide. 

I was out on sunday and had a bit of a blast to the 20 mile wrecks. It was the wrong decision really as it got mega rough heading in! It was an average day with my 2 bass and a couple of pollock on board. I did manage to catch quite a few massive scad, the biggest ive ever had! The tide favoured jigs and my friend oban jones came out with me and was adamant on his fiiish lures until he gave up and tried some jigs. 
 

I passed matt on the way in on sun. He was on the meat boat (he loves it there) 

At some point in the future there will be a x boat down here and you are more than welcome to come and have a play with the troll motor.

with my background with high tech battery and motor systems i would recommend using the highest voltage you can afford. Volts dont kill motors and esc’s but amps do! Also i dont think youll have loads of time with one 12v 100ah. What helped this boat was the twin engines having duel charging systems and still would take a few hrs to re coupe. 

ive added some pics 

 

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Edited by fishybuisness
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18 hours ago, fishybuisness said:

with my background with high tech battery and motor systems i would recommend using the highest voltage you can afford. Volts dont kill motors and esc’s but amps do! Also i dont think youll have loads of time with one 12v 100ah. What helped this boat was the twin engines having duel charging systems and still would take a few hrs to re coupe. 

The guys at Minn Kota have estimated that I would get about 5 hours run time from a single 12v 110Ah battery, probably 7 hours using it on spot lock.

I am of the same opinion as you that higher voltage and more thrust is a better solution. I am hoping to stack 2 85Ah batteries in the mounting frame and that would allow me to use the 24v 80lb thrust motor. As I don't run an Aux because I already have the max transom weight (150 Merc) the Minn Kota would double up as an Aux. 5knts for 7 hours or so would be perfect.

I would like to go lithium, but decent Li batteries of that capacity (or greater) are well over £1000 each !

Hmm , decisions, decisions … 🙄🤣

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On 8/4/2021 at 9:19 PM, GPSguru said:

The guys at Minn Kota have estimated that I would get about 5 hours run time from a single 12v 110Ah battery, probably 7 hours using it on spot lock.

I am of the same opinion as you that higher voltage and more thrust is a better solution. I am hoping to stack 2 85Ah batteries in the mounting frame and that would allow me to use the 24v 80lb thrust motor. As I don't run an Aux because I already have the max transom weight (150 Merc) the Minn Kota would double up as an Aux. 5knts for 7 hours or so would be perfect.

I would like to go lithium, but decent Li batteries of that capacity (or greater) are well over £1000 each !

Hmm , decisions, decisions … 🙄🤣

I take it those hours are from a deep cycle lead battery, the lads are getting far better out of smaller lithiums over here. I haven't gotten round to using mine yet but I do intend to upgrade to lithium when I do. Lithium are about double the price of a quality deep cycle and dropping in price rapidly. They are also reported to be good for around d 5000 charges, so much cheaper in the long run.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/3/2021 at 5:51 AM, Plaicehunter said:

m excited about my new engine, which should arrive from the USA in the next week or two. Once it is on the boat and I've given it a good trial I will review it here.  

Why didn't it work for your boat Graham ? 🤔

I am still going to fit a Minn Kota bow mount trolling motor (when time permits). Although the 12v 55lb thrust should do the job, I will probably go for the 24v 80lb thrust model.

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My boat, Piranha, is 18ft and weighs around half a ton. I fitted the e-Propulsion and initially was very impressed by its smoothness and silence. However, I soon realised that to get it to push the boat fast enough to combat wind and tide in the Tamar, where the tides can be fierce, I had to run it at full throttle. This is no problem in the river, but in a worst-case scenario when I was halfway to the Eddystone with a head wind I might struggle to get back. Since I sometimes go out to sea or round to Whitsand Bay, I need the battery capacity to get back if the main engine fails. I think the engine would be absolutely ideal for a lighter boat, since it is virtually silent and maintenance-free. I am selling it with great reluctance. GB

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5 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Presumably these electric o/b's could also be used in the same way as a bow thruster for berthing?

Yes, but better than a bow thruster as you get 360 degrees rotation 👍

However, a decent bow mount setup will cost the thick end of £3.5k.

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