A Boat on the Side
2May/140

Electric dreams do come true

We’ve been working on a new retractable electric outboard and I’m glad to report that the prototype is up and running and working well. The Protruar 2 HP based unit was fitted to the new Secret 20 finished just before Christmas. The unit will eventually be available for lots of different boats but it fits neatly and unobtrusively into the counter stern of a Secret or Sienna. I’m really pleased – finally an outboard that doesn’t entail big ugly brackets, heavy smelly cans of fuel and bits of string – way to go. The Protruar people have a 5HP model in the pipeline which would be perfect for the Scintilla but at present we have a good compromise with a standard petrol or 6HP Torqeedo motors lifting up on tracks and full-tilted with the prop back up in the counter. The all important water flows over the hull, smoothed along by a neatly fitting engine hatch.

Retractable outboard

So, the new retractable unit solves more than a few irritating hindrances. I did consider fitting the unit with servo motors for fully automated push-button operation but that means there’s more to go wrong and frankly, if you can’t manage to manually raise or lower an electric pod, you’ve no business calling yourself a sailor. I comforted myself with designing a pop-up control pod, hidden under a flush hatch on the Sienna 19 but that will have to wait oar the new GRP deck/seat moulds to be built – so many solutions, so little time!

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