Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Torqeedo Travel 1003

We're just back from a two week cruise that covered Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. Rather than another edition of "My Summer Vacation," I thought I'd post a review of the Torqeedo Travel 1003.

We're in our second season with the electric outboard, which I bought used from a sailor who moved up to a bigger boat. The Torqeedo powers our West Marine rollup.

The pros:

The all electric outboard lets us avoid carrying gasoline on board. There's nothing to spill, even with the motor lying in a locker or in the cabin. Enough said.

It's light weight, and especially because the components (motor, battery, tiller) can be loaded separately. One hand for the component, one hand for me has worked well.

Power has always been sufficient, even when fighting wind and current.

Battery life has been sufficient to power a tender while cruising. It recharges on board whenever the boat's engine is running and that's kept up with use.

Battery life, speed, remaining miles, are calculated by in internal GPS and displayed on the tiller assembly. You always know what's left.

The cons:

It's slow to charge, so if you're a heavy user, expecting long runs and high speeds, you'll be out of luck.

I get occasional failure which has required a reconnect of cables and/or a power reboot.

The tiller assembly, in particular, is delicate, so beware and don't force anything.

The motor is designed to lock in the "up" position, but the latch is flimsy. A block of wood is suggested, instead.


Keep the oars in the dinghy (as you should with any motor).

I suggest rowing when the distances are short and conditions allow. Especially when cruising, it preserves battery life.

Test the motor in forward/reverse before casting off. That will insure that cables are properly connected, the electronics are working, and you don't need a reboot.

The magnet that functions as the kill switch is easily misplaced or lost. A backup is recommended.

Bottom line:

The motor is easy to mount/dismount, quiet and from what I've seen and experienced, as reliable as traditional alternatives. For the way we use it, battery life is perpetual.It's not perfect, but we're fans. 

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