At home, I drive a Tesla Model S, ocean blue, gorgeous. And it’s so true: Once you switched to an electric car, especially a Tesla, you never EVER want to go back to a gas car. That’s only half the truth, though: Ever since hubby Rolf and I switched to electric cars, we want ALL of our ‘vehicles’ to be electric! While the electric rEVolution is making big leaps and bounds – Seattle busses, Canadian governmental limousines, UK double-deckers… – there are still ‘vehicles’ that are stuck in the Dark Ages: our boat, though packed with solar panels, still runs on diesel (unless we sail! :-)); our main dinghy runs on gas (no sail :-(). Hubby Rolf says, that’s because the energy consumption of electric motors in marine transportation is still very high.
Except…I have a ‘Tesla’ dinghy! Well, almost…
So, this is the story of Kye, my Tessie and I:
I’m a ‘chicken’, the big, fast motor on our main dinghy, currently a Yamaha 30 (though we wish it was not!), freaks me out. Plus, the dinghy is just too heavy for me to handle by myself. No way can I pull it onto and off the beach! On the other hand, I do welcome independence and actually do need my own ‘marine transportation device’ to get my dog to shore when hubby is ‘otherwise engaged’. Hence, I got my own little dinghy, a tiny, light one that stores away easily when deflated. And the best of it: it runs with an electric outboard motor!
Little Tessie is propelled by an Electric Torqeedo Outboard Motor
Built in Starnberg, Germany, the Torqeedo Travel 1003 is a great tool to guarantee my mobility and independence while living on our boat. It has 1.5 HP, so yes, it’s not fast, but I don’t need fast (if I want fast, I take my Tesla!). Instead, I enjoy the ride and smell the roses along the way – ah well, maybe not in The Bahamas… 😉 But I do enjoy my slow rides, watching sting rays and corals going by and the odd shark. Several times daily, I ask Kye “you wanna go?” and every time he’s gung-ho, cannot wait to get in the dinghy. Kye.Loves.DinghyRides. At other times, Kye does his ‘hind-leg-sitting-thing’, with which he’s telling me “can we go, please? NOW!” For those ‘emergency trips’ I can speed up the ride to 8km/h, but usually, I keep it between 4 and 5. I know, because the Torqeedo on-board computer with GPS-based calculation tells me – together with my energy consumption and the percentage of charge left. No range anxiety here – just like in a Tesla. Cool!
Kye LOVES the dinghy rides in little Tessie
No surprise, my little dinghy was named ‘Tessie’. So, several times daily, I get my little magnet key, let Kye jump in, put the propeller in the water and zoom away in my Tessie. All nice and quiet and fully electric! No biggy with the number of solar panels we have on the boat – six panels/ 1.8 kW total – that charge my Torqueedo every 3 to 4 days over night. Gosh, that sounds so familiar! That’s exactly what I do with my Tesla at home (almost 10kW on the house roof at home)! So, even though my Tesla is nicely tugged away in a Ft. Lauderdale car storage facility right now, I barely feel withdrawal symptoms. Well, maybe a little ;-), but I know that I’ll be reunited with my Tesla again soon. 14 more days and we’re back on the road…
Tessie is charged by Solar, 6 panels/ 1.8kW, on our Boat