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I need some help with facts or at least educated guesses.  

  1. What percentage of bass boats are powered by motors of 35 hp or less?  
  2. How many would you guess there are - or if you have a source for 'real' numbers, what is it?
  3. How many of those <35 hp motors are mounted on boats that also have a trolling motor?
  4. Would there be demand for an all electric motor, software configurable from 35 hp down to 9.9 (i.e. same motor, but with a software key to limit the hp to allow it on restricted lakes, etc.)  Battery system would allow this motor to operate for between several hours to all day, charge is quick, zero maintenance.  
  5. What would be the best way to reach owners of small gasoline motors who might consider an electric?

 

 

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Also, this motor is a real product.  It is brand new with the first alpha prototype launched in October in Seattle.  A short run of Beta motors is being built now.  It will be cost competitive with a gasoline motor for anyone who uses their motor a lot.  

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Also, in a test run a few weeks ago, this motor with two battery packs pushed a 25', twin hulled outboard carrying three adult men plus gear at ~ 17 mph for over ten miles, and used less than ½ the battery charge.  It is very quiet - you can carry on a normal conversation.  Primary noise is water rushing past.  The same boat with a gas motor throws a small but still measurable wake.  With the electric, the wake is much smaller.

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I will give you my take on the idea.

I know electric motor and battery technology is light years above what it was not too many years ago, but I have a hard time believing it has come far enough to be practical for the application you are referring to.

First some plain simple facts, it takes volts and amps to make power. To make 35HP, even at 200 volts, that's close to 150 amps. To get 150 amps, even for a few hours out of a "200 VOLT" battery you are looking at maybe a 1,000 Amp hour battery. Plus I have a hard time believing any manufacture would accept the risk of mixing a dumb a** human, 200 Volts and water into one element. If you drop the voltage, even to 100 volts, you are looking 300 amps. That's up there with very large, industrial electric fork lifts. I can see a motor that would be no bigger than a 35HP outboard, but it still has to run on battery and probably a very expensive battery.

Next, even with some outlandish new technology, that allows this, with even the latest in battery technology, the battery would still have to be big and heavy. When you are looking at power boats the would use a 35HP motor, you are looking at boats in the 15-16 foot range. These size boats do not equate to having big, heavy loads.

You would have to provide some facts on just how, what appears to be a very impractical application, would be achieved before I would even waste my time.

Fall right into the electric car thing. Yep, they have them, actually have them where they are practical to own, until that one or two year warranty runs out on the battery and you have to replace it. Then you are looking at a cost of what the used value of the vehicle is sometimes.

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In reality the fastest electric outboards available are the Torqeedo 4.0.  It is a 24 volt motor producing the equivalent power of an 8 hp outboard.  These have become very popular here in Maryland reservoirs.  They replaced the 60 volt Ray Electric as the most popular engine for our reservoir anglers.  The guys running these boats have a stack of batteries under the decks.  Most often 10 6 volt group 31s for the Rays and 8 6 volt batteries for the Torqeedos. Torqeedo also offers electric outboards up to 80 hp equivalence but these are for commercial uses do to their cost.

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I would have serious doubts about them using lead acid batteries. To produce that kind of power for any length of time would almost certainly require some new, super state of the art nickel-zinc and lithium-ion battery. They have the only thing going that would come close and a super fast recharge time. However, at what kind of a price tag are they looking at for that technology. They have made worlds of headway in electric motor technology, but the batteries are still the Achilles heel in the practical use of electric power for this type application. It takes a hellavalot of battery to produce the same amount of power as one gallon of gas in a modern outboard.

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One other thing that I think is important to mention is that a large percentage of your target demographic own small boats and motors because they can't afford a larger boat and new motor. I've always wondered who bought these small gas outboards when new, because it sure wasn't me. Used outboards are a tremendous deal, if you know how to buy one. 

 

When I owned my jon boat with 25hp Merc, I did so because it was the best I could afford at the time. I bought the motor used for $400 in like new condition. I doubt you can compete with that pricing. 

 

Even if this motor is real, I'm guessing you're going to find a lot more customers in the yacht tender market than the aluminum bass rig market.

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I have a Lowe Skorpion with a merc 20hp elpt that I really like , I'm not a tournament guy so a day out on the river or lake it's perfect and light ...

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