Boat Toilets Dept. Blog: Great Portable Electrical Propulsion For Tiny Sailboats

Courtesy of Torqeedo

Your Boat Toilets Suppliers Discuss Some Great Ways to Motorize Your Small Sailboat

Raritan Engineering your boat toilets distributors would like to share with you this week some great information regarding great portable electrical propulsion for tiny sailboats.

In part one of our two-part test of five and six-horsepower engines in the upcoming January issue of Practical Sailor, we take a second look at portable electric motors. Practical Sailor’s interest in modern portable electric propulsion dates back to 2004, when then editor Doug Logan began to lose faith in the two-stroke outboard on his Boston Whaler. 

Logan’s initial review of the Minn Kota focused on its potential as a dinghy motor but he also tested it on larger skiffs. We later heard from several Practical Sailor readers who use trolling motors to power their sailboats (some as large as 30-feet!), but most said they used them mainly for short distances and in mostly flat water. .

Although people often compare such trolling motors to the $2,000 Torqeedo Travel 1003, there are several key differences. The Torqeedo uses a dedicated lithium magnesium battery that has a longer life and a more favorable power-to-weight ratio than a lead-acid battery. 

In 2005, we tested four popular trolling motors with rated thrusts ranging from 40 to 80 pounds. The results highlighted a major drawback of all electric motors: available horsepower and range is closely tied to battery capacity. Driving a sailboat with one of the more powerful trolling motors at full throttle for more than a half an hour will nearly drain a standard Group 24 battery. 

If you need more power, there are other options. In our most recent foray into electric outboards, we tested a motor called the SolidNav Traveler. The hefty 48-volt, four-horsepower outboard was manufactured by Parsun Power Machine, China’s largest outboard exporter. The outboard’s brushless solid magnet motor was built by Mars Electrical Co. of Milwaukee, Wis. (now Motenergy). 

We Share More Information On How to Boost Your Small Sailboat’s Engine

Your boat toilets professionals share how our testers were impressed by the motor’s heavy duty design, and the way the electric motor was incorporated into the familiar gasoline outboard form factor. Performance was good, but again, it was limited by the constraints of electric power. In our test of the Solid Nav, four North Star Energy group 24 AGM batteries with 140 amp hour reserve capacity were wired in series to deliver the required 48-volts.

Of all the electric outboards available to the sailor, the Torqeedo holds the most promise, but the niche is rather narrow. This is the third time we’ve looked at these motors. In our first preview, we tested an early iteration of the Travel 801L, an ultralight electric equivalent of a two horsepower outboard. 

As with all electric motors, power and range are limited. On our test boat, a Catalina 22, the range on a single battery at 4 knots speed is about 2.5 miles. At slower speeds of about 2.5 knots, the maximum range is about 7 miles. 

Bottom line: For the average daysailer with high power demands, a small gasoline outboard remains the most practical choice for portable propulsion. An electric motor can work, but for longer range service it will require significant investment in big battery banks, and perhaps a solar charging system. 

So don’t forget these great benefits to using portable electrical propulsion for your small sailboat. 1) These motors have a lot of potential;  2) you will save money on fuel;  3) there will be less maintenance involved.

The Fastest Single Engine Outboard Boats You Can Buy Right Now

At Wave to Wave, our favorite boats are smaller, single engine sport boats. This covers a large spectrum because some boats are semi offshore, some are lightweight lake hot rods and some are somewhere in the middle. Most people like something that can do it all, handle some chop, get some decent speed in a straight line; while bringing the family along. 

Allison, GrandSport 2003

The XS-2003 Allison GrandSport is the gold standard for small single engine family boats. Allison makes a slightly smaller boat, the SS-2001 SuperSport but the GrandSport offers a little more room and usability. Both are exceptionally fast. Probably the fastest production boats available in this category. Allison has been a pioneer in using high quality materials too. They have had full composite construction for a very long time and they have bullet proof transoms, by integrating aluminum in them. In racing, Allison is obviously well known and revolutionized the light, pad bottom design that has been emulated by many. With a steep deadrise, pronounced notch and aggressive strakes, the GrandSport gets incredible lift. I believe Darris Allison once said he was concerned with making not the fastest boats but the most efficient boats. With a Grand Sport, you can run a stock 175 Pro XS and be in the high 80s (MPH). 

Click here at and see how Raritan Engineering provides you the best quality and selection in the marine sanitation industry today.

Be sure to watch our latest video on boat toilets below.

via Portable Electrical Propulsion for Small Sailboats

via The Fastest Single Engine Outboard Boats You Can Buy Right Now

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