Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Hilton Head Island: outboarded

The ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo outboard arrived late yesterday afternoon in three boxes, one each for the shaft, the tiller arm, and the battery.  I unpacked them and read enough of the owner’s manual to connect the tiller arm to the shaft and understand how the battery goes into place.  

This morning I woke early and carried the outboard to GANNET at high tide at 7 a.m. so that the ramp down to the docks would not be steeply slanted.  I thought I might have to make two trips, but I did it in one with the battery in my knapsack on my back and carrying the still connected tiller arm and shaft in my hands.  I only had to do this half the distance, a little over a quarter a mile, until I reached the dock carts in the marina parking lot and transferred my load.

Once on GANNET, after disturbing two Great White Egrets who were not pleased with my interrupting their hunt for breakfast, I dug out the outboard bracket, mounted the tiller arm and shaft and then the battery.  This last was more difficult than on the Torqeedo because the battery is twice as heavy, twenty pounds versus ten, and larger requiring a longer reach out over the transom.  It might be easier to attach the battery in the cockpit and then lift the whole motor into place.  I will secure a line around it and experiment.

The tiller arm can be removed from the shaft, but this is a bit more complicated than on the Torqeedo and with the ability to fold the tiller arm down making them one relatively compact unit, I may leave them permanently connected.

The motor started with the press of a button as it should.  Went forward.  Went into reverse.  And I turned it off.

Tilting it out of the water is as you can see different than on the Torqeedo.  It took me a few tries to fold down the tiller arm and I wish there were more than one angle to lock the tilted motor, but there does not seem to be.  It is all or nothing.  In this position the side of the battery is against the transom which is all right at anchor, but would no doubt bang underway.  

My initial impressions are that the ePropulsion is bigger than the Torqeedo, more complicated, and better constructed.

I had other things I needed to do today, including biking to a supermarket and a liquor store and Walmart, where I got my second COVID booster.  There are those who think it better to wait for a new wave of COVID before getting the second booster, but I am not going to try to outguess this virus any more than I try to outguess the stock market.

Assuming I have no reaction to this shot, as I have not to the three previous COVID shots, I will go down to GANNET again tomorrow morning and explore the new outboard further.  It’s full name is too long.  From now on it is simply Evo.

UPS tells me that my second Lifeline AGM battery is in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Considering that it was shipped from Arizona this is a considerable navigation error.  Allegedly the wayward battery will be delivered tomorrow.

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