- Alternative drives for inflatable boats -
The first electric boat motor was developed as early as 1839 by the German engineer Moritz Hermann von Jacobi, and it was used to power the paddle wheels of a small boat. At that time, steam engines were the first to be used to power boats. However, thanks to new battery technologies, especially lithium-ion batteries, electric boat engines have been considerably improved in terms of range and performance and are now becoming more and more popular.
An electric outboard is a motor driven by battery power. Outboard batteries must be charged regularly for this to be possible.
Electric outboards are the ideal solution for dinghies, inflatable boats and for daysailers. There is also a growing trend in electric outboards used for sailing boats, small ferries and water taxis. It will be some time before electric drives can also be used for motor boats, cruising or fishing boats. Electric boat drives are best suited for use in nature reserves and lakes where combustion engines are prohibited. Electric outboards are also a favourite choice for sport fishing because of their low noise level.
Outboards with rechargeable batteries are quiet, low in emissions and vibrations. Electric boat engines usually have no gearbox, making them low maintenance and light in weight. After use, they can be easily packed in a bag and taken with you to prevent theft. Electric outboards do not require oil and have very low mechanical wear. Despite their low speeds they have good torque.
Compared to internal combustion engines, electric outboards have linear torque, which makes them more efficient than classic outboards. However, it is not possible to compare them using kW or HP data.
Before you buy an electric boat engine, think about how you want to use it. Electric outboard motors have limited battery power and are not suitable for longer distances. The outboard battery should be charged and discharged carefully, as both overcharging and deep discharging can damage the battery. Please also remember to pay attention to charging times. If you are looking for fast speeds or sailing in waters with strong currents, an electric outboard motor may not be the right drive for your boat.
There are many electric outboard motors on the market. In our electric motor boat shop you will find the best electric outboards from Torqeedo and Minn Kota.
If you want to buy an electric motor for your boat, you should base your decision on various factors when choosing the right model. On the one hand, the power of the motor is important to get the right performance for your boat. While Torqeedo gives the motor power in kW and gives an equivalent horsepower figure, Minn Kota gives a maximum boat weight for each outboard motor with battery. The dead weight of the outboard electric motor can also be important if you plan to take it off the boat after each use. Before buying an electric dinghy motor find out about battery charging time and about quick chargers available. The charging time for electric boat motor batteries varies greatly and can be between 70 and 630 minutes, depending on the model and charger. Depending on where the electric motor for your boat is used, you should make sure that your preferred model is suitable for seawater. This is not the case with all electric outboards. If you use an electric boat drive in salt water despite not being certified, the factory warranty is void.