The Travel 1003, a serious case of Torqeedo love

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jul 25, 2011


About two months ago I received a Torqeedo Travel 1003 for long term testing, I've used it almost every day since, and, well, the title tells the story. I simply adore this electric outboard! Admittedly certain personal traits may be in play. Historically small gas outboards are a significant exception to my generally high success rate with mechanical boating issues; possibly related is my annoyance with the smell and noise of the damn things (and the hearing aids don't help); and, finally, a faulty shoulder makes starting even a lawn mower somewhat painful. But then again I did not fall so hard for the original Travel 801 model that I tried in 2009...

Oh, the original Torqeedo design did impress me with its remarkable torque, its reliability, and its mild whirring sound (Torqeedos are not silent). But the LED "state of charge" indicators seemed vague, and without an expensive spare lithium-manganese battery, that meant that my range was also vague. The designers did try to compensate for this with a clever throttle system -- twisting from neutral through full speed takes you to a slower, automated RPM calculated on what the remaining charge can sustain for an hour -- but in practice that's awkward. When you try to slow down from that calculated speed, the motor speeds up first!
There was also the fact that the Travel 801 tested in 2009 -- which admittedly had been through the hands of another rough reviewer already -- wouldn't easily dissemble into quite as compact a bag of components as originally designed. And I subsequently heard that some owners had more significant corrosion issues. Which may account for the nearly complete redesign that Torqeedo did on the Travel series, as illustrated below. A few features were lost, like the ability to adjust prop and tiller height interdependently, and to take the battery off without detaching plugs, but the T1003 is still only 30 pounds and that's before being fairly easily broken down into three components.
Plus the new design is IP67 waterproof -- as Torqeedo convincingly demonstrated in this T1003 YouTube video -- and it feels really solid. What's especially neat, though, is the GPS and display built into the tiller assembly. You can not only get a percent-of-charge figure whenever you want, but also your speed underway and -- most important -- a variable range estimate based on current wattage drain...


I doubt that we would have attempted to circumnavigate a large, high island in our 11-foot tender, as documented below, either with the original Travel 801 or just with oars (though I like rowing and it fortunately doesn't irritate my shoulder much). But it was easy, and very enjoyable, with the T1003. I've gotten so confident of its smooth throttle control that I regularly stand up and drive with a tiller extension, and the boat trims well with my best mate sitting forward in the middle seat. Altogether that was a cozy, quiet setup for enjoying the sights close in on the wild side of that island, while I could also keep an eye out for underwater ledges. (Standing up also means I can see traffic among all the moored boats in Camden Harbor well, as seen in the top photo.) And the 3.5 mile trip was absolutely no strain on the T1003's battery either...


I saw 87% battery charge on the T1003's 18 amp-hour battery (newly developed for 2011 and still only ten pounds) when we departed the anchored Gizmo and 44% when we got back, but I wasn't really going for economy. We did cruise a lot of that shoreline at very slow battery-sipping speeds -- heck, you can get down to a few RPMs if you're trying to, say, approach an active osprey nest with maximum stealth -- but I also gunned her for those open water legs, just for the hell of it. Now that only yields about 6 knots (and is also hell on the battery), but it's a lot faster than I can row.
At any rate, in normal around-the-harbor mode, I can go for weeks without charging the 1003 (which can take up to 18 hours using either home 110 or Gizmo's inverter). Torqeedo does offer a high-tech solar panel that outputs the needed high voltage, but it's high price too, and it seems like the ideal set up for this little boat would also charge it's EasyBailer system (another product I'm very fond of). The Travel 1003 at a retail price of $2,000 is not inexpensive either, but I don't think that compares too terribly to small outboard costs even without taking into account all the pluses. I know for sure that I find this motor a joy to use, and it's nicely extended big Gizmo's gunkholing capabilities.



I am surprised more boaters don't go the electric route for skiffs and dinghies.I have a one on my 9.5ft skiff.
Just make sure your battery is fully charged and you're off!
No worries about old gas or stabalizers or clogged carbs,lower gear oil and on and on.

The lack of noise is the main thing.
Sigh..still have not seatrialed my 32ft cat with the cruise 2.0 ,hoping it will work out ok.

Posted by: Peter at July 25, 2011 4:24 PM | Reply

This is very timely, as I am looking for a new motor for my dingy. I watched the 1003 video on the Torqeedo web site, especially speed vs range. What is your experience Ben. Is this data reasonably accurate? Have you run any tests to determine how long it takes to discharge the battery at full throttle, at half throttle etc?

Posted by: Rick R at July 25, 2011 5:05 PM | Reply

What, no photo credits ???

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at July 25, 2011 6:01 PM | Reply

My concerns are:

- No 'throttle' on the handle. Very nice when coming alongside.
- Reverse. Preferably on the handle as well.
- Ease to change a damaged prop away from the mother ship?
- Use mother ship solar panels for charging?


Posted by: yachtvalhalla at July 25, 2011 7:51 PM | Reply

The throttle is definitely on the handle, Terry, reverse too. And reverse has serious torque too (note the 11.5" two-bladed prop). I keep the 1003 locked down for fast stops and high power backing in Camden Harbor, but had it in kick up mode for that round island cruise.

Dan, I thought I'd at least given you credit in the photo name, but not so. Sorry! World, that top photo was taken by Dan Corcoran with my camera a couple weeks ago in Camden. Thanks, Dan!

Posted by: Ben in reply to yachtvalhalla at July 25, 2011 8:28 PM | Reply


I'm also the owner of a 32 foot sailing cat. I'd love to hear more about your Cruise 2.0 setup. How do you charge your batteries, for example? Do you have a generator that you can run while motoring to extend your range? It seems quite a challenge to make these work on larger boats.


Posted by: Andrew at July 26, 2011 3:52 AM | Reply

Hi Rick, the range indicator on the 1003 tiller display seems very responsive to speed changes, and the variation of ranges at different speeds is pretty startling, as Christoph Ballin suggests in that video. I believe there's truth in that, and can feel it when rowing this boat. It takes very little energy -- especially given the inefficiency of regularly lifting and repositioning the oars -- to go quite slowly in calm conditions, but LOTS to go fast.

I have not tested the accuracy of the range display, though, and it would be hard with this particular setup. For one thing, I can't easily sit back where I can see it well without either putting the boat way out of trim or having a passenger of my size or larger way forward. Peter's cat might be a better setup for this sort of testing, though maybe I could do something with the dinghy fixed to Gizmo.

I might add that I got to meet Torqeedo founder Ballin at a demo last February in Miami, picture here:

And I saw him get some pretty sharp questioning about Lithium ION technology and safety from Ed Sherman and he responded with impressive knowledge and credibility. Ed has also become a Torqeedo fan:

Posted by: Ben in reply to Rick R at July 26, 2011 11:29 AM | Reply

Hi Andrew
I have seriously looked at the torqedos for a 10,000 pound cat. The Cruise 4.0R seems the best fit as a replacement for the ubiquitous Yamaha T9.9s, and the Cruise 2.0R looks great for cats under 6,000 pounds. There are suitable generators and battery banks on the market today for an efficient diesel/electric propulsion system, at a considerable price, which brought my research to a screaching halt.


It's getting there!

Posted by: Sandy Daugherty at July 26, 2011 12:46 PM | Reply

Ben, I have looked at the Torqueedo over the years and the concept is great. But I think the one factor in getting this motor accepted in the boating world is the cost. Most of us boaters are cheap SOBs and I don't think this will become more than a wealthy mans toy until the price gets into a realistic range for the average boater. Chuck

Posted by: Capn. Chuck at July 26, 2011 2:15 PM | Reply

Chuck, I thought a Honda 2hp, which seems vaguely comparable, was going for about $1,100. But checking again I see that one can be had for $875 from Defender and elsewhere. And 2 - 3.5 hp Mercurys and Tohatsu's seems to be in that same range, though none have a reverse gear, and I suspect the 1003 will push a bigger displacement boat.
But as far as non-planing tender motors go, the price gulf is wider than I realized. And another bummer is that the Honda 2hp that came with Gizmo is worth less than I thought! But, then again, I saw a number of negative reviews when I just looked at small outboard shopping sites like West Marine, and I've never gotten my Honda started, though it looks nearly new and still had a winter service tag on it.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Capn. Chuck at July 26, 2011 3:55 PM | Reply

Ben, Both Nissan and Mercury 2.5 HP can be had in the $700.00 plus range if you research enough. Honda is heavy and not what they used to be. Lots of Honda OB owners are unloading them for reasons just like your problem. I would like to see companies like Torqueedo get real with pricing, the gap gets wider with the larger engine, so that those of us that want to get green and quiet could consider them as an alternative. We are in the market for a new OB right now but can't pry all those dollars from my hands for electric. Add to that the thrust comparisons for the electric make it necessary to buy the more expensive model to make it comparable to the traditional OB. Chuck

Posted by: Capn. Chuck at July 26, 2011 4:07 PM | Reply

I was seriously considering a Torqueedo for an inflatable to tool around the harbor with the kids. The manager of my local West Marine advised she had several customers with serious technical and customer service problems with their Torqueedo motors (unsure if new or old style). Any issues with yours yet, or interaction with their customer service?

Do you suppose that 1003 would get a 9 foot inflatable on plane?

Posted by: Brad at July 26, 2011 4:28 PM | Reply

The Torqeedos have certainly come along way. Interesting to see more and more applications of these, particularly with the larger Cruise models.

Posted by: Luke at July 26, 2011 4:34 PM | Reply


Replacing a damaged prop on the 1003 is not difficult, but whether you could do it away from the mother ship depends on what tools you are carrying -- I assume this is the case as well for a gas powered o/b.

To replace the prop, you remove the prop nut with a 17mm socket (this is a bit more difficult if the shear pin is gone), then work the prop off. Drift out the shear pin and any parts left in the shaft (can you tell I've done this?), then put a new shear pin through the shaft and replace the prop. If you've done it before it takes about 10 minutes.


Posted by: Adam in reply to yachtvalhalla at July 27, 2011 1:08 PM | Reply


I very much doubt that the 1003 would get a 9' inflatable on plane. We have a Walker Bay RID275 (8' rotomold hull with 10" tubes) that weighs about 100 lbs. Using the 1003, our maximum speed with two on board is about 5 kts.


Posted by: Adam in reply to Brad at July 27, 2011 1:11 PM | Reply

I have a similar setup. Walker Bay RID275 with Torqueedo 1003 and the whole package works really well. I used to have a Honda 2HP but decided to switch to the Torqueedo because the Honda is air cooled (meaning it's quite loud) and very heavy for a 2 HP (it's a 4 cycle motor). The Honda had been quite reliable but we got tired of having to stow an extra gas tank on board and we felt bad whenever we took our dog ashore early mornings. Nothing worse than waking everyone in the anchorage when taking your dog ashore. Damn thing sounded like a lawnmower.

The Torqueedo is very quiet (but not completely silent). The range is good as long as you don't twist the "throttle" too much. I wouldn't recommend the smaller unit because it doesn't have enough range based on my experience with the 1003. I would be afraid that I would constantly be recharging it.

On the negative side, my Torqueedo 1003 has exhibited periodic "failures" where it refuses to turn over and displays various error codes. Disconnecting and reconnecting the battery resolves the issue. It doesn't happen often and is easy to fix so it's mainly irritating . I have only had this motor for about 5 weeks now so if this problem persists I will send it back for service at the end of the season.

Also, I would not recommend this motor to anyone who needs to get to their destination in a hurry. We tend to run it at 2, 2.5 knots and this provides a decent speed and range. At this speed we can get many hours out of a single charge. Once you hit above 2.5 knots you will see your range drop dramatically. Not a problem if you have access to an AC power source but if you're out cruising and don't want to continuously recharge the battery, you better take it easy.

The display mounted on the tiller is great and helps you get rid of "range anxiety".

One great feature is the motor will "beep" a couple of times to warn you once you hit 30% of reserve power. It will also do this every time you turn it on until you recharge it.

Speaking of recharging. You can hook up the tiller unit to the battery while you are recharging it. This way you will see the status of the charge via the tiller's lcd display.

I would recommend this motor to anyone who wants to kick the "gas" habit as long as you are aware of the limitations. They are few but it's not the same as having access to the horsepower and extended range of a gas engine.

You also better be an outgoing person because you will asked about it in every anchorage you visit. We get flagged down constantly because people are still not used to seeing them around.

Posted by: Maurice in reply to Adam at July 27, 2011 2:25 PM | Reply

Hey Maurice,

I've had the 1003 since May, and have enjoyed it with the wife and kids. It moves my 10 ft West Marine HP 310 inflatable nicely, not on plane but at about 5.5 mph, full throttle.

Over the past two weeks though, I have also noticed the "E45" battery overcurrent error when I decelerate (causing the motor to stop and necessitating shutting off the power and restarting) and it happens rather frequently. Have you gotten this same error as well?

It hasn't affected traveling at full throttle, so the kids are happy, but I've notified Torqeedo and I'll let you know what advice they may have about resolving this. I did try recalibrating the tiller per the Travel 1003 manual, and this seemed to help a little. I'll try again this weekend and will keep you posted.

Posted by: Paul in reply to Maurice at July 29, 2011 8:33 AM | Reply

Paul, we get the same E45 battery problem if we jam the throttle too quickly in one direction or the other. It happened the first time when I hit a rock with the prop, and the second time when I hit a coral head. :) The first hit broke a shear pin but the second just E45'ed and I was able to run again after shutoff.

I have found that if I am a bit gentle with the speed changes I don't get the error. I will be interested to see what Torqeedo support has to tell you.


Posted by: Adam in reply to Paul at July 29, 2011 1:49 PM | Reply

We would really like to rid ourselves of a gas powered outboard. Dinghies are a necessary pain in the a... We have considered this as an option but now wonder if a cheaper trolling motor is a viable solution. We would like a small inflatable and tag this on the stern for the times we need a dinghy. I would like a better solution to charge batteries underway than an inverter.

Posted by: Lookout Sailors at July 29, 2011 6:41 PM | Reply

Last winter I installed the Torqeedo cruise 2.0 on my small sailing yacht, a Danish designed "Marsvin", 22ft double ender.
Power comes from 6 pcs lithium batteries, 270ah at 24volts, at 85 kgs. Shorepower in Europe is often of low amperage, so I decided for two 12volt chargers of 20amp.
Additionally I installed a solar panel with high spec mppt controller, which can power the system a 4.5amp at 24 volt. The easily driven hull reaches  about 2knots only on sunshine!
Depending on speed my range with full batteries is estimated between 15miles (at 6knots) to 45miles at 4knots. Range at 2knots is some hypothetical 150 miles even enhanced by the solar panel, but surely usable when motor sailing in light air.

By the way: besides above I also installed a N2K system: maretron and airmar with ray autopilot. All system is monitored by iPad and iPhone. And: this system was inspired by this website.
A few week ago I made a first sea trial: 75 miles solo on North Sea:

Posted by: Joost at July 30, 2011 4:27 AM | Reply

Thanks, Joost; looks like a neat setup. Are there pictures anywhere online?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Joost at July 30, 2011 11:04 AM | Reply

Joost,sounds like my system except for the batteries..
could you advise what type/brand of lithium you are using?

Posted by: Peter at July 30, 2011 6:27 PM | Reply

Ben, I forgot to mention my one big pet peeve about the 1003: The plastic threads on the cable locks.

You've heard me on this one before (I'm looking at you, Garmin N2K cables), but given the constant connecting and disconnecting required with the Torqeedo the situation is much graver. I can almost never get the main battery cable connected without it at least starting to cross-thread. The N2K-style tiller cable is easier to manage because the cable isn't as stiff as the high-current battery cable, but I still live in fear of the day that the threads on one or the other get badly mangled.

Torqeedo claims "2011 improvements" to the 1003 but doesn't say what they are. Are metal connectors among them?


Posted by: Adam at July 31, 2011 2:10 AM | Reply

Hi Adam, I think the 2011 improvement is the 520 watt hour battery. The connectors are still plastic, both male and female. I'm careful with them but I think the real danger is combining metal and plastic threads, as sometimes happens in NMEA 2000 installs. I'd like to believe that a plastic-to-plastic cross thread could be healed.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Adam at July 31, 2011 3:29 PM | Reply

Quick update on my last trip using the Torqueedo Travel 1003 on my Walker Bay dinghy. Just returned from a week's vacation and used the Torqueedo daily. No more errors or issues using the OB except an annoying "squeak" that manifests itself whenever I turn the motor. I don't know what kind of grease I can use to take care of this without affecting any of the plastic parts. Other than that the motor has been flawless on this trip.

Posted by: Moxieskipper at August 8, 2011 11:00 AM | Reply

@Moxieskipper, I get the same squeak, but it only started after we broke and replaced the shear pin. I noticed that despite it's purpose the shear pin when breaking did dig into the prop somewhat, but I don't know if the squeaking is related to that deformation or not.


Posted by: Adam in reply to Moxieskipper at August 8, 2011 2:57 PM | Reply

Interesting. In my case I find I hear the squeak each time I pivot the motor port or starboard whether the motor is running or not. The sound seems to come from the pivot point when the motor is in and out of the water. Sounds like a plastic bushing that's dried out but I can't tell if there are any bushings or anything serviceable in there.

Posted by: Moxieskipper in reply to Adam at August 8, 2011 3:08 PM | Reply

Sharing what I have learned so far...

I have a 2011 torqueedo 1003 on my macgregor 26s and it pushes it just fine, although not as fast as our old, completely infuritatingly unreliable, honda 5.
With little to no wind i get the following approximate speeds and battery range(per the tiller handle GPS readout):
45 watts = 1mph = >10+ hours ( i can't see the use of running at theis speed for very long)
100 watts = 2mph = 6+ hours
300 watts = 3mph = ~2 hours
650 watts = 4mph = ~1 hour
1025 watts (full)= ~4.5mph = 35minutes
Much more efficient at low speed, obviously.

I have yet to run the battery below 65%, tending to be on the conservative side and preferring to use the sails whenever possible. We have supplemented the sails in low wind situations with good results.

The 'throttle' control is excellent, being able to run under10 watts in either direction makes for very controlled docking. Virtually silent when running this low too. Our gas motor that stalled below 1500rpm used to be very tricky in the same situation, usually drawing a crowd of springline catchers at the slip in case I timed it wrong and came in too hard. So it is a huge improvement.

The electric is consistantly easy to use and with the exception of the occaisional E45 error code, has been problem-free. This error (so far) can be mitigated by disconnecting blowing on pins and reconnecting, sometimes more than once. It is however, mildly concerning that I would get this with a brand new product. The 1003l comes apart easily and can be unmounted from the stern and stored under deck when not in use. They recommend that the battery is not left out in the sun anyway.

Torqeedo sells a solar charger that costs another thousand bucks... Too much for me, so i've improvised. This weekend I will run my new range-extension solar system for a two-day overnight cruise. I have concerns with the panel voltage dropping below what the torqeedo wants, so the following is my solution for now: costco deep cycle marine battery, an old 42 watt uni-solar panel, an old charge controller and some fittings/connectors that i picked up cheap. I can either charge directly from the battery with 12v via a barrel plug and some wire clamps, or, as an alternative, with a cigarette plug, a 200 watt inverter, & the supplied 120v charger. I expect that this step up then back down will result in substantial power/efficiency lost. If possible I will try to find a way to determine the difference. I want a meter to monitor the deep cycle 12v to make sure it does not discharge too low. i think I have one somewhere, but might have to do without, at least this time around. i will experiment with different places to mount the panel. Directly over the motor atop the stern rail corner seems like the least obtrusive, but may block the GPS reciever in the torqueedo.

From the manual (
"Also you can charge the Travel battery from a 12 V battery bank (boat/car) with a direct connection cable (not included in delivery). In this case, use a cable with a cross sectional area of at least 0.5 mm2 (American wire gauge 20 or bigger). The charge barrel plug has the measures 5.5 / 2.5 mm."

The only other minor issue that I have so far is that my Macgregor 26's motor mount well is not long enough to hold the tiller when the motor is raised. I have to remove the handle (but not disconnect). If the tiller handle were just a few inches shorter, this would not be an issue. It does not have to be as long as it is, since it's a low power motor, and there's no hearing problem with being close to it as it "whirs".

I'll try to return to this post after I have some experience with the new setup.

PS I got it from defender after really digging around for the best price. Saved about $150 over the worst price out there. They also had the 1003s on clearance sale for about $250? less not too long ago. Seemed like a great deal for a dinghy. I needed the "l" for the sailboat.

Posted by: timb429 at August 9, 2011 2:13 PM | Reply

Hey Adam,

Torqeedo service informed me that the E45 error (Motor safety stop when hitting an object) is very likely the result of a software issue with the 1003. I purchased a 1003 with an early software version(January 2011) which causes the motor to stop even when not hitting an object because the setting was too high. They can fix this by upgrading the software at their Crystal Lake, IL center.

They've sent me shipping labels and I'm sending it back this coming Monday to have the service done. Should be back in about a week. I'll let you know the results as soon as I can. Sven, their service rep who I worked with, has been very helpful- he said to give them a call if you have questions about this issue with your motor. Their service number is 1 (815) 444 8806.

Posted by: Paul in reply to Adam at August 12, 2011 8:55 AM | Reply

Following up on my post about extra range and E45:

The connection between the battery and the controller was bad and would only stay when pressure was applied. I contacted torqueedo about this and the E45 code. They fixed both issues at no cost to me and without any hassle. They paid shipping both ways (I had the box and packing, which helped, otherwise they would have sent me a box). This was done very promptly and so far has been flawless. The E45 code is to shut down the motor when the prop is obstructed. According to TQ they had the threshold set to low on some of the earlier software versions. Going from dead stop to moderate throttle was probably too much sudden torque. Since it has been fixed, I've had the code appear only once, but this was when a line got tangled in the prop, so it appears to be working as intended.
I improved my range by adding a deep cycle marine battery and a 45 watt solar panel. I made a direct connection between the two with a cable, two clamps, and a $6 charger barrel fitting from radio shack*. The TQ will draw about 50 watts from the battery (the same rate at which the wall adapter charges it), so any throttle under this will read 0 watts. Using 100 watts it will indicate 50 watts etc. When sailing or otherwise giving the motor a break, it was cool to see the % charge indicator gradually go up. The marine battery, if drained halfway (anymore is bad for it), will double the TQ's range. Add as many as you need. I got mine at costco for well under $100 which is far better than the $thousand for an extra TQ battery. I didn't need the range, so this allowed me to run faster than I would have otherwise. As far as I know the solar panel is keeping the marine battery charged.
*From the manual: "The charge barrel plug has the measures 5.5 / 2.5 mm" is all you need to know at radio shack to get the correct pin. Be sure get the polarity correct when making your charge cable.
I hope this helps someone who is considering a TQ. At this point, overall I recommend it.

Posted by: timb429 at October 11, 2011 11:49 AM | Reply

We recently completed the first season with the 1003 on our 20' daysailer (weighs about 1100kg with us aboard).
We have bought the TQ in early 2011 but it's a 2010 model anyway, we just got the 'bigger' battery with it.
It works fine, nearly perfect, for us as we do not leave the lakes and channels into the open sea.
We encountered the "E45" issue a few times when switching from forward to reverse or vice versa. Here it looks like it's better not to wait in "stop" but to change the direction without hesitation (as i was used to do with the mechanical gear on gasoline engines). The electronic brain brakes the prop and immediately starts counterrotation, so the motor is not forced to run against the prop being driven by the boats movement through the water.

One thing that has been changed by TQ for the 2011 models is the tilting mechanism respectively the stern brackets. Somehow it happened to bend the small latch that keeps the engine in the upper position, for sake at the end of the last weekend on the water this year. It has been replaced by a stronger construction... I got the parts from TQ and mounted them myself today to avoid shipping the whole machine.
If you have a pre-2011 engine keep an eye on that!
The older latch/release-lever is an almost straight, about 3" long and an half inch wide. The new construction is about one inch wide and has a 90° bend in it (pretty much like the tilt-lock lever).

I bought the three bladed prop (that comes with the Travel 503 originally) just to check for it's effect on speed and range. Next season we will use the TQ on a small (14') rowing boat, at least with that the behaviour is probably better. Changing the prop is a question of a minute...

greetings from Germany

Posted by: Frank at November 29, 2011 11:38 AM | Reply

Hi all, I sail in a J 80, 1'5 Tons and 4 years ago I fall in love with Torqeedo, today I'm the Torqeedo sale manager for Spain and Portugal........ I only can work with service or products that I truly believe on.
I appreciate your enthusiastic comments that means I choose a right way of life.

Best wishes from Spain.

Posted by: carlos martinez at January 17, 2012 3:50 AM | Reply

Hi Ben

How about an update on your T 1003 experience? The six month trial must be up but then perhaps I missed something.

We would like to get one but are in Thailand at the moment and heading across the Indian Ocean early 2012. A month in Chagos with an electric outboard driving a Tinker traveler with sail option is a dream.

We have come across some negatives re reliability, locking up etc and poor service from Germany and being on the other side of the world would make any problems a lot worse so look fwd to your final comments.

We love your blog and have bought a Watchmate AIS and the Broadband radar recently based on your reviews. We mentioned your review to Jeff at Vesper Good work!

Cheers Jim

Posted by: jim den hartog at March 11, 2012 3:34 AM | Reply

Jim, the test 1003 did develop what sounds like a possible bearing issue toward the end of last summer. At high RPMs it whines and shakes a bit. I did remove the prop and check for shear pin damage, line around shaft, etc., but everything looked fine. The motor also continued to run fine at lower RPMs the rest of the season. I meant to call Torqeedo USA to further troubleshoot, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

That said, I do believe that most Torqeedo negatives relate to the first generation designs, and that equipping your tender with one could be wonderful for exploring and bird watching in the Chagos.

Posted by: Ben in reply to jim den hartog at March 11, 2012 5:27 PM | Reply

Interesting. Torqeedo is now getting venture capital support from Bosch (the Bosch).

Also, that bad bearing sound I described in the last comment seems to have gone away over the winter.

Posted by: Ben at March 28, 2012 2:05 PM | Reply

We just turned on our cruise 2. It worked for about 1 min then got an error 47. Does anyone know what this is or how to fix it?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 11, 2012 12:26 AM | Reply

I was interested in the Torqueedo until I saw the new Lehr propane outboard. runs from a small bottle (like a cartridge) or the big bottles like you use to run a stove and heater.

No gummy gasoline, one less fuel to care for, one less battery to care for. the Lehr Propane OB costs lots less too.

Does anybody have any knowledge of this motor?

Posted by: Rick Gard at April 12, 2012 10:07 PM | Reply

Thanks for the reminder, Rick. I briefly saw the Lehr in Miami as it was a West Marine featured product. That's a good sign in itself -- West is careful about such things. The Lehr seems very interesting though I'm not sure any 'civilians' are using them yet. I haven't even heard of loaners for writers yet, but I'm going to ask.

I did find the company site:

and also an informative blog entry by Dieter Loibner:

Posted by: Ben in reply to Rick Gard at April 13, 2012 1:31 PM | Reply


just a short addendum regarding the 3-bladed prop:
Had the first run on our daysailer (20ft) last weekend. The 1003 runs really good with it, first noticeable effect: Better, faster response with low power (docking)! Second effect: Under full load the engine always reaches maximum power and the boat runs a little faster than before (4.5kn -> 4.9kn). With the two-bladed prop the engine was limited at a certain rpm (1200rpm, following the technical data) at maximum boat-speed but it didn't reach maximum electric power then. Now it runs at power-limit while accelerating and while running with the slightly higher topspeed.


Posted by: Frank in reply to Frank at May 1, 2012 4:31 PM | Reply

Need to replace shear pin.
Cannot get nut off. It seems to turn the whole motor and will not loosen. Help!

Posted by: david lambrix at May 20, 2012 8:08 PM | Reply

Hi David,

a guy from Torqeedo with whom i had an interesting talk at the "Boot" fair in Duesseldorf in january proposed the following procedure. I never tried it, so i'm talking like the blind man about colors!
Connect the battery and a controller (tiller)to the motor and power on the controller. Running the motor at low speed and returning to stop makes the motor stall (electrically braked) for a few moments. Use this time to loosen the nut.

From normal use i know this brake effect, when setting power to zero while driving the prop stops for, lets say one second, and then it commences revolving as it is driven by the water flow.

Again, I never used it for loosening the nut and I'd definetely wear working gloves....
If you use a ratchet with a 17mm socket-wrench and you let run the prop counterclockwise it shouldn't be too dangerous.
On the other hand... why not running the motor clockwise and loosen the nut with motorpower ;-)

Be careful!


Posted by: Frank in reply to david lambrix at May 24, 2012 5:38 PM | Reply

hi from germanay. i have a travel 1003 with the 3-bladed 503-prop, remote steering and throttle an 7 batteries on a small home made catamaran (made of extruded polystyrene coated with epoxy, you can put it on the roof of a car). with one person 13 km/h (7 knots). after a appr. 3 minutes the motor is lowing down to round about 750 watts (redlined by temperature). often e45 error (when quick changes of speed or direction). with 500 watts 9 km/h (5 knots). the boats name is "air floß one" (floß is the german word for a raft)

you can watch this on youtube:

Tom Sawyer

Posted by: Tom Sawyer at June 6, 2012 8:14 AM | Reply

Torqueedo travel 1003 has a lot of issues. I own one and I'm having to send it back. Constant E-30 (cables lose) error.

Posted by: Mike Cannonie in reply to Brad at June 14, 2012 9:27 PM | Reply

Sorry to say that my 1003 is again making "bad bearing" type noises at high RPM (I thought it had somehow gone away over the winter). It's working fine otherwise, though, and I'm reluctant to send it in for repair because I just love using it in the harbor every day.

Posted by: Ben at June 15, 2012 10:21 AM | Reply

In March I tried the 1003 on a dinghy while in Fla. Decided the plastic connectors were trouble looking for a home - I am an old industrial electronics guy and I know trouble when it looks at me...
Also got the E45 when having to reverse suddenly for a boat that came shooting out of a slip... Except even after multiple disconnect and reconnect cycles the unit refused to start... Wound up having to pull ourselves along the docks to get back - a long trip... Had to put a four hour charge on the battery (it was 67% when it faulted) before it would agree to start up... Decided it was not ready for the big time yet...

Posted by: dennis o'connor at June 15, 2012 2:36 PM | Reply

Looking for follow up on the bearing issue described. I am using a 1003 which has developed a rasping/grinding sound at high RPM. It also frequently has the E45 error.

Can you comment on whether you had your 1003 serviced and the experience?

Did you have a diagnosis for the grinding sound?

Posted by: Bill Kitchens in reply to Ben at June 21, 2012 6:26 AM | Reply

Three weeks in to my Maine cruise, I had no issues until yesterday's "E42" charging error message. Unless this is rapidly resolved by Sven ( I have already had a go-round with the original battery, which arrived unable to be charged), I will have to make a strong "do not buy if you need a reliable motor for cruising " note on this thing!

Posted by: Anonymous at July 8, 2012 9:13 AM | Reply

Well, no answer yet via email. Phone just rings.

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Anonymous at July 9, 2012 1:16 PM | Reply

Update on my 1003 Torqueedo so far this year...

I stored the battery with a full charge last fall and found out I should have stored it at 50% charge. So far this year have been unable to get better than 86% charge on the battery but it seems to last long enough that it hasn't been an issue.

The motor made a low "growling" noise the first few times I ran it in the spring but since then the noise has gone away and it's been running fine.

No errors yet this year however I make sure I let the motor come to a complete stop before reversing. The extra pause seems to help. No issues with the connectors, etc...

Still loving it!

Posted by: Moxieskipper at July 9, 2012 2:20 PM | Reply

Does anyone use a Torqeedo Travel 1003S on their canoe?
Is it too top heavy, can the battery be kept on the floor to lower the center of gravity?
My canoe is 17ft 6ins long, any advice would be much appreciated.

Posted by: George at July 21, 2012 5:56 PM | Reply

We just purchased a new Torqeedo Travel 1003L for our Freedom 21, replacing the Mercury 2-stroke 8hp outboard that came with the boat. Just mounted the motor for the first time on Friday 7/27/12, so nothing to report yet but will post here as we acquire experience with it.

Next project is complete overhaul of the boat's electrical system so we have lights; there's already a solar panel for battery charge on the boat so I'm planning to follow Timb42's lead and build a charging cable to be able to run the Torqeedo off the house battery.

Posted by: SamuelS at July 29, 2012 11:28 AM | Reply

I purchased my Travel 503S about 18 months ago and my experience with it is so-so.

Of course, I love the cleanness of the concept - no gas to carry on my sailboat. Recharge from my inboard inverter etc...

But too many issues:
- 4 months after purchase - we had to replace the control board in the tiller. We were told that the board was damaged by plugging the tiller-battery cable prior the battery-motor cable. It was not mentioned at that time - and even when you know - does not show a robust design (you have to train any newbie on your board for it...). Torqeedo USA is nicely responsive but the servicing was delegated to a connecticut company - and it took a full month to get the tilled back. I had to pay for the shipping of the tiller to the retailer.
- 16 month later - an another issue - when the battery LED starts blinking forever even once disconnected and displays always reports 99% charge when turning up the engine... until you end up totally discharging it. Condition reappears after recharge.
- Then a little later the tiller shows E41 when turning up at the tiller, engine not working and battery stops charging... waiting from Torqeedo answers on this.
- Corrosions: In two parts:
* The two nuts on the trimming bolts. I can not believe it but does not look like stainless steel...
* Some galling on one of the transom bracket screw. I originally failed to rinse the engine the first few months - but still has been rinsing as much as possible since then (hard to do when cruising at anchor with 20 Gallons of fresh water for cooking and consumption...).

I still love the concept but still a few annoying issues... I would wait until service (US), reliability (electronics) and true marine protection are addressed...

Posted by: Georges at August 13, 2012 4:54 PM | Reply

Sorry to hear about your problems, Georges. As mentioned earlier, the 1003 hasn't been perfect for me either. My issue is a high rpm "bad bearing" type noise and vibration, but it only happens if I crank the motor up to about 300 watts consumption and shortly thereafter I get an E45 error code, which seems reasonable as "E45 is a safety feature which shuts off the motor if it tries to consume too much power." But the 1003 didn't make that noise or generate that code when it was new in early 2011.

However, I'm still in love with the darn thing. I drive it around Camden Harbor as in the top photo almost every day, and enjoy its quietness and precise control every time. I don't need the high RPM at all, and I'm reluctant to lose use of it while it's being repaired. And, by the way, I've almost never rinsed it with fresh water and I always leave the motor in the down position. (I'm determined to test it long term in a realistic way, and that's how we have to use outboards around here.)

Posted by: Ben at August 14, 2012 8:42 AM | Reply

I had a 1003 a few months last season. I loved it and did not have any reliability problems. I used it on a J-80 sailboat 26 ft approx 1.5 ton, just to go in and out of the dock. You could easily get the boat to 3.5-4 knots and I typically got back to the dock with over 60% capacity left (after 1.5 - 2 miles). The problems was at the end of the season when we get a lot of seaweed in the channels here. The motor was just not working well in those conditions. The two-bladed prop seemed to catch more weed and loose too much of its efficiency, that in combination with keel and rudder in the seaweed actually got us stuck at times or only able to run at about 1 knot. Had to frequently stop and clear the propeller. Anyone else with same experience? Would it help changing to the 3-bladed propeller? To me it seems as it would not get tangled in as badly as the original 2-blade? Had to change to a 4hp gas 4-stroke with a 3-blade aluminum prop and have no problems in the weed this season. I miss the clean no hassle electric... But I don't miss getting stuck! Any suggestions. Light weight motor important to be able to easily store away when racing.

Posted by: Peter at September 6, 2012 4:56 PM | Reply


Thanks so much for your very informative post. I have the 1003 L on my J/80 sailboat (also 26 ft.)

I'd just like to add a comment about range when dealing with currents. I dealt with this when trying to return to the marina at maximum ebb tide, facing a 3mph current (and strong headwind). In these conditions, the best range is actually at a higher power setting. Ignoring the headwind (which is too difficult to calculate), the best range when facing 2-3.5 mph opposing current is actually around 650 watts. And the range is MUCH shorter!

I mistakenly used too little power for too long, making barely any headway, but made it back to the slip with 20% of battery remaining. Next time I face these conditions, I'll sail in a bit closer before dropping the sails, and use a higher power setting.

Thanks again.

Posted by: David Wenstrup in reply to timb429 at September 17, 2012 9:17 AM | Reply

A quick followup regarding the issue with E41 standalone, battery not charging and incorrect charge display on the Traveler 503S.
Torqeedo USA replaced free of charge the battery, as well as graciously my tiller enclosure which suffered a bit at the beginning of the season - taking care of the hazmat back and forth shipping for the battery.
I do not know what was the issue, but the engine works fine now. So although it was still a pain for this year cruising, Torqeedo did the right thing and you can count on them for helping you out.
I still like the cleaness of the concept (no oil, no gas), charge on your inboard battery concept... and will continue giving it a chance.

I got the same issue than Franck regarding the tilt bracket: I will upgrade as well.
I have the same issue than Adam regarding cross-threading of engine battery connector... An upgrade would be lovely there too.

Posted by: Georges in reply to Ben at September 22, 2012 4:35 PM | Reply

Hi there I am located in Peru and also have problems with a brand new 1003 ( less the 2 hours use) and has the bearing sound like noise at over 3.5 speed.... has any found out how to solve this ( E 45 ) being in Peru I am quite far away from USA tech shoop.

Posted by: Emilio in reply to Bill Kitchens at November 1, 2012 7:16 PM | Reply

As far as e47 goes, i emailed the service center and they said it can be a surge of current maybe a jammed propeller or if the problem isnt that simple probably a short in the wiring in which case you will have to take the engine into the nearest service station and let them do a check up.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: Dillon at December 28, 2012 10:36 PM | Reply

Have you ever tried a torqueedo on your cat?

Posted by: David Mozingo in reply to Peter at January 3, 2013 1:22 AM | Reply

Hi David

I own a PDQ 36 catamaran that weighs in at 5 tons ready to cruise. As I mentioned very early in this thread, I have researched using a pair of Cruise 4.0
Torqeedos in the place of my present Yamaha High Thrust 8's. I am very disappointed to report that the Torqeedo solution doesn't quite meet my needs. They may work for a much lighter cat that won't be going off shore, such as a Reynolds 33, a Stiletto 30, or something similar.

The Devil is in the details. The Yamahas on my PDQ are quite refined prime movers; They will push her into a 30 knot headwind with waves fast enough to steer, or in a dead calm at 5.7 knots burning a total of one gallon an hour. The Cat carries 30 gallons of fuel in a safely vented inboard tank, and as many as 6 jerry cans (5.3 gallons) can be stored in another well ventilated area, without blocking pedestrian traffic. That is 60+ hours of getting somewhere when sailing isn't going to work. That's 350 NM, or enough to get from the Bahamas to the Virgins in average conditions.

To accomplish the same, a pair of Torqeedo 4.0 Cruises would require a prohibitively large solar array and an agonizingly expensive pile of batteries, or an 8kw generator and fuel, most likely diesel. Since there are no diesel outboards suitable for a good third cruise dinghy, you will still be carrying gas.

At this point we have exceded the limits of weight, convenience of use, and budget.

Two High thrust 8's cost about $4800 to $5600 installed. They will run 2500 hours with good care, and burn 2500 to 3500 gallons of gasoline to move the boat 22,000 nautical miles, never putting more than 550# on the boat worst case.

Two Cruise 4.0's will add perhaps 180#. Not bad. But they will need an 8kw generator, fuel tank, cooling water and exhaust system, heavy cables, and no less than 4 batteries, totalling (in my case) 1200# of permanently installed weight, at a cost of $17,000 installed, less the engines, which cost $4000 apiece. It might be possible to keep this combination running for 7,000 hours, but I doubt that this is a practical expectation.

Bottom line: the cost of electric propulsion on a cruising cat cannot be justified by the end results, and ends up weighing far more per cruising mile.

But it would be wonderful to ghost past a 70' downwind sled in a zephyr barely adequate to ripple the sails, sipping a cup of tea. You should ask that twenty man crew if they all share the same toothbrush....

Posted by: Sandy Daugherty in reply to David Mozingo at January 3, 2013 12:20 PM | Reply

Thank you for the detailed answer. I hear you. My thoughts are very similar. My boat probably needs more power as well. I think about the times I am headed into a strong wind and a strong current. Maybe you know the East bound passage South of Normans Cay Bahamas? One of my favorite places on earth. Maybe wishfull thinking for another option. I have sail drives and 20hp yanmars. They are old & a little under powered. Soon to be rebuilds? The idea of pulling outdrives on outboards or electric out of the water at dockside, is also appealing. Less prop barnacles and drag when sailing.

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Sandy Daugherty at January 4, 2013 4:19 PM | Reply

I loved my Torqeedo 1003 until is broke down.

Less than 2 months after buying it new, the e45 error appeared. I could still use it, but only at 1/2 throttle. Then it got worse and worse.

I sent it in to be fixed under the warranty ... and Torqeedo have gone silent.

Torqeedo seems to be still in its infancy, which is a shame, because it is a great concept.

If I had my time again ... I would not have purchased one.

Buyer beware!

Posted by: Troy Smith at January 18, 2013 12:03 AM | Reply

RE: torqeedo 1003
I have a 16.5 sailboat I let the motor tilt back into the water as I enter the harbour. Twice when I was coming in under sail I let the motor down and the propellor turned fast with the forward movement under sail. The motor with this fast movement of the propellor turned off with error 45 displayed. I am 56 and sail alone it is not always easy to sail a boat into a marina slip on a windy day , but i expect to see error 45 and this moter to turn off on windy (whitecap) day.

Posted by: roger in reply to dennis o'connor at February 3, 2013 5:25 PM | Reply

Roger: I've had a Torqueedo travel 1003 for two years. I am retired and fish with it all the time. It's an over engineered and troublesome motor. You need to get two batteries as it gives an E 45 error all the time for no apparent reason. The manual says to go recharge the batteries ( neat trick when in the lake or up a river). The real fix is to swap the battery. This can crate a safety hazard because sometimes when you really need the motor to get you out of an area ( for example big waves breaking on a shore), bam E -45.

It has other issues but if you can factor in the additional cost of a $600 extra battery, it might be OK. As for me, I'm going gas when this one is out of warranty and breaks. I got the extended waranty from West marine and I'm on my third unit. I'm retired and fish several times a week. I'm sure these wont wear out if they are just garaged.

Posted by: Mike Cannonie in reply to Brad at July 4, 2013 2:49 PM | Reply

The 2012 model Torqueedo 1003 should be an in harbour tendor motor . It could also be used in flat water near a lee shore but it should be stated that it is unsafe in wave conditions because it will cut off with with the E 45 error. It will cut off when you need it. It is unsafe. It is possible the newer models have improved this problem roger

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Mike Cannonie at July 4, 2013 8:36 PM | Reply

I too have been using a Torqeedo 1003 for two years and it's never failed me.

However, from nearly the beginning it often made a bad sounding whine at high RPMs and if I pushed it further it would conk out with an E45 overload error message (as mentioned above in an early comment). But it always started again immediately after rebooting the power.

Despite that issue, I've always had more confidence that the Torqeedo would get me where I wanted to go than I ever have had in a small gasoline outboard. But then again I seemed to have very poor luck with small outboards.

The whine seemed to go away at one point but then got worse this spring. It still didn't really affect my normal lower RPM use but then I managed to drop the battery on the tiller, breaking the waterproof window over the LCD.

It still kept running for weeks with water between cover and LCD but I sent it in for servicing when I got back to Maine. It turns out that early-build 1003's sometimes had their permanent motor magnets get loose. Torqeedo has redesigned this part and replaces broken ones free even in motors out of their warranty period.

I think the fixed 1003 will be at my house when I get back to Maine tonight, and I'm looking forward to using it again. I suspect it may run better than ever, even if I goose it.

Posted by: Ben at July 5, 2013 3:31 AM | Reply

Read about a nice lock option here:


Still waiting till that E45 issue gets resolved, seems like just a few lines of code, anybody know a way to get in there and "fix" it?
(after your warranty expires..)

Posted by: John K at July 5, 2013 1:01 PM | Reply

Hi John,

What exactly is your E45 issue and what does Torqeedo say about it?

Posted by: Ben in reply to John K at July 5, 2013 2:16 PM | Reply

The issue I guess, is that I will not buy one until the E45 reports have stopped because somebody finally decided to fix it.
Don't care who.....

Posted by: John K in reply to Ben at July 5, 2013 3:05 PM | Reply

On Friday, with the lanyard attached to my shirt, I leaned forward too much, the lanyward magnet came out and the motor stopped.

I put the lanyard back (without first throttling back to zero), the motor whirred for a small fraction of a second, and E45.

I plugged and unplugged the cables a couple of times, no cigar.

We had to row the Zodiac back to the boat. Not easy against 15 knots of wind and a couple of knots of current.

Posted by: Xavier Itzmann at July 8, 2013 7:49 AM | Reply

I will attempt to find out more about problems like yours, Xavier. It seems odd because I could generate E45 errors at will due to the high RPM magnet problem on the 1003 I just sent in for servicing (recent comment above), but the motor always started right up again after I used the power button to shut it down and power up again. I never fiddled with cables and never had to row.

So is my experience normal, or are problems like yours and Mike Cannonie's common?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Xavier Itzmann at July 8, 2013 8:37 AM | Reply

I'm starting my second season with a Torqeedo 1003L, purchased new in 2012, on my Freedom 21 sailboat (roughly 2100 lbs. displacement). I had one instance of E45 shutdown last September while docking in 20-knot winds. Trigger appeared to be my switching from forward (low speed) to reverse (near max speed) without stopping at the intermediate detent (panic move due to inexperience). I was able to reset the motor using the power button on the controller, without having to resort to disassembling the power connections.

Since that incident I've been careful to stop at the detent between forward and reverse, and to be deliberate in motor speed selection. No further E45 events so far. Usage since the September incident has been limited but did include motor-sailing about 10 miles last October from our mooring in Cundy's Harbor, ME to winter berth in South Harpswell (Pott's Harbor); the last couple of miles under motor alone for which I swapped to my spare battery. For the trip back this June we had more favorable winds so did most of the trip under sail, motoring only to maneuver out of Pott's Harbor and into Ridley Cove at either end of the trip (about two miles under motor all told including much-needed docking practice with several forward-reverse changes at the start of the trip).

Posted by: SamuelS in reply to Ben at July 8, 2013 9:21 AM | Reply

I've had one for a couple of years now and have not had issues since getting it repaired / reprogrammed (previous posts). The E45 is meant to shut the motor down if the prop gets caught up on something which is determined by some algorithm of too much sudden change in the torque/speed. This is meant to keep the motor from burning out and/or the prop from getting completely destroyed. The setting was too sensitive apparently and torqueedo re-programmed mine (free)to a new setting presumably with a higher threshold. Going from zero to full throttle too quickly used to set it off (which is what Xavier did with lanyard). The reprogramming, coupled with knowledge of what was causing the code, has prevented any further E45 issues with mine. It used to take several disconnects + reconnects to get it to function again sometimes, which was very frustrating, but it always did come back and I never had to paddle.
The only issue I have now is that of range vs speed (even with home-made battery extension). It can't push my Macgregor26 fast enough for long enough; 2 or 3 mph gets to be a drag sometimes on longer motoring, low/no-wind conditions. This prevents me from taking certain trips across the lake (Kerr) for fear of a potential 10-hour 200-watt pace. This is something I knew/expected going into it.

Posted by: tb420 at July 8, 2013 9:48 AM | Reply

E45 comments from Sven Kirchhoff, Service Manager at Torqeedo USA:

"The error code E45 means that the battery is complaining that the motor is pulling too much power. To protect the system, the battery will turn the system off and displays the error code E45.
There are different causes of this “overcurrent”:

1. If a user gets something stuck in the propeller (such as a rope) or hits an object, the motor will try to still spin forward but needs a lot of power and the battery shuts off.

2. If a customer changed from very fast forward to reverse or vice versa, the motor will try to follow your command and might overshoot that power limit as well. We realized that this happened sometimes with some bigger boats and adjusted that limit to make the motor “less sensitive” with a software upgrade.

3. A mechanical defect of a component inside the lower motor unit can cause the E45 as well where this defect causes a short sometimes and triggers the E45. Sometimes that comes with a grinding noise (that’s what happened with your motor).

If the customer cannot reset the error at all (we usually recommend to spin the propeller by hand for at least 2 revolutions when the motor is turned off and turn it on again), then it must be an internal defect such as a short of the circuit board in the lower unit, maybe water was able to get in the lower motor housing.

Sometimes it can take a little bit until the error code inside the battery resets itself. If you plug the charger into the battery, that is a “stronger” reset and can reset more error codes than just by powering it off and on again. However, most of the times you are able to reset by turning it off and on.

Posted by: Ben at July 8, 2013 12:20 PM | Reply

Thanks for the follow up, that would be nice to have in their manual exactly as written here.

Posted by: John K at July 8, 2013 1:39 PM | Reply

I am having same problem as is another friend of mine. I am trying to contact torqeedo for fix?

Posted by: Robert Gardner in reply to Mike Cannonie at July 8, 2013 8:07 PM | Reply

Please be specific about your problem, Robert; which model Torqeedo, what kind of boat, what sea conditions, what happens?

Also, if you're in the USA, did you try?:

Torqeedo North America
171 Erick Street, Unit A - 1
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
815 444 8806
[email protected]

Plus, there are about a dozen Torqeedo service centers in the U.S.; did you try any of these?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Robert Gardner at July 8, 2013 8:19 PM | Reply

I have a Torqueedo Travel 1003 S/L
I use it on Picnic Cat 14 foot sailboat
I get error messages
I have done everything, It will not go away. I even bought a new batery from Defender and hooked it up...still the same error massae E45
How do you reset this error message
many thanks

Posted by: Renee Delaplaine at August 3, 2013 10:04 AM | Reply

Have you talked to Torqeedo customer service, Renee?

There are some specific Torqeedo notes about E45 error causes in a July 8 comment not far above this one.
For instance, it may be that you have something binding on your propeller shaft where you can't see it and the motor is trying to protect itself by shutting down under extreme load.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Renee Delaplaine at August 3, 2013 1:37 PM | Reply

Do you use an electric motor on your Cat?
How is that working for you?
Saw your post on Torqueedo site.

Posted by: David in reply to Peter at August 4, 2013 10:53 AM | Reply

As a point of interest if the shear pin needs replacing the shaft rotates while trying to loosen locknut . To prevent this drill a 4mm hole in the body of the propeller 17mm from face of prop and central to the spindle .
Then screw a large self tapping screw into the hole until it gives enough friction to unlock the nut.

Posted by: Ian Petrie at January 11, 2014 4:38 PM | Reply

Thanks, Ian. That sounds effective but I'd like to hear how other people have done it. Do I recall that you can carefully use the motor torque against the socket wrench on the locknut?

Also, I recently wrote up last season's 1003 testing:

Posted by: Ben at January 11, 2014 4:56 PM | Reply

We have used the motor torque to undo the prop nut and it works very well using a 17mm socket on a ratchet. No sprained wrists nor damaged fingers!

John (in North Wales)

Posted by: John in reply to Frank at August 10, 2014 9:42 AM | Reply

I have a 2003 1003s that I bought young used on ebay. Fresh water use only until I bought it to run my Marshall 18' Sanderling Cat boat, 1800 lbs. I have been using it all summer and I love it. Never got an error message but I do understand the causes so I try not to let it happen. My only complaint is that the kick up lock keeps bending in and then allows the motor to drop down a bit. It then drags in the water. I have bent it back out and now it has weakened, soon it will break. I seems it is too lightly built. Time for the old wood stick solution I used on my ancient Evinrude. Has anyone else had this problem?

Posted by: Jack at September 4, 2014 2:51 PM | Reply

I recently bought one of these motors (with a sailboat I purchased). The concept is good, but I got an error message soon after starting to use it. Called Torqeedo and they told me I'd have to send it back to CT to get it fixed (blown fuse). Round trip this will cost me $400. Which doesn't cover the cost to fix it. This is wild - I'm selling it if anyone wants to buy it - I live in NY. For $200 extra, I can have a .second-hand 6hp engine that I can get fixed when I have a problem. As I said, great concept, but in practice, if you ever have a problem, you're in for a big cash outlay just to ship it. Also, what if you're out cruising and one of these errors occurs? You'd have to buy a new engine - you don't always have months to wait to get your engine fixed.

As an aside, has anyone worked trying to fix a fuse on this engine? I've searched high and low and can't find any information on how to do it. I can't figure it out when looking at the engine (another bonus, by trying to fix it on my own, I know I've voided any culpability on Torqeedo's part). Any help would be appreciated.

Posted by: Matt at September 9, 2014 6:43 PM | Reply

How much do you want for it? Reply in private email to davidfay999 at

Posted by: davidfay in reply to Matt at September 13, 2014 8:11 AM | Reply

Wow ,this is very sad, I was just getting ready to buy one of the 503L for my fpb ,I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens with the next generation of motors ?

Posted by: Carl Marchione at October 19, 2014 8:34 AM | Reply

What's so sad, Carl? Do you know any marine product that someone hasn't had problems with? In fact, I had small issue with this Torqeedo, documented here...

... but it's been working perfectly since the repair and I've just been using it the last couple of days to commute to a dinghy dock a half mile away. I still love it!

Posted by: Ben in reply to Carl Marchione at October 19, 2014 9:41 PM | Reply

Used our new Torqeedo T1003 for the first time this weekend in Catalina and it passed all tests with flying colors. We're running it on a 10' inflatable floor dingy so there is no real stress on the available power. We did discover that it's a real conversation starter on the dingy dock.

Have you had any experience with the Emarine solar panel mentioned in the other thread?

At least on paper it looks like a good solution to keeping the battery up and ready. At 60 watts it should run the motor as well. I see that Torqeedo claims a 2.2 knot continues run speed with their 45 watt panel but it's considerably larger and more expensive than the Emarine unit.

Posted by: bobc at October 28, 2014 12:48 PM | Reply

Hi Guys, have the 1003 and have tried hooking up 80w solar panel (actually 2 x 40watts hooked up in series) which puts out about 40v at about 2.8w. on an average day. However when I plug it into the battery I do not get any charging light. The tiller display also does not show any charging status at all.
Just a note, I plugged in the AC Adapter charger that came with it and while the red charging light blinks the information display on the tiller does not show any charging info.
When I am running the motor and have the AC adapter plugged in (I have a portable AC battery / inverter combo) the red charging light turns off. Also in charging info is displayed on the tiller info panel.
In fact I have never seen the charging indicator show up on the LED display panel on the tiller. (I know its there as it shows up when you first power on.)
Is this normal or is there something wrong with my battery. The battery still charges normally with the AC adapter.

Posted by: Larry at January 12, 2015 1:18 AM | Reply

I'm still using the Torqeedo Travel 1003 a lot and still loving it. But I'm glad to see that Minn Kota will soon offer EO 1/2 and 1 hp electric outboards retailing at $800 and $900 respectively:

The 1003 claims 3hp equivalency, but an EO 1 might push a tender around pretty well.

Incidentally, info about neat TorqTrac monitoring app add on here:

Posted by: Ben at July 8, 2015 4:36 PM | Reply

Update after 2.5 years of use:

1. 18 months ago we got a 2nd battery. This way, range anxiety is a thing of the past and on the very rare occasions we lock the motor (E45 or E31) and are unable to unlock by disconnecting/connecting, etc., we switch batteries and off we go.

2. The propeller now has a small chip. I'll have to get a new one, because the rep at a boat show 6 months ago told me prop vibration causes a bunch of consequential problems. I understand why Torqeedo uses plastic propellers, but it weakens the product as a whole too much.

3. We got one of the nifty high-speed chargers as a courtesy.

4. We still want to get the 12v voltage charger, and wish they made one for 24v.

5. We use the gasoline engine so sporadically now that fuel aging has become an issue.

6. We've never had a warranty claim or anything like that. Product works as advertised (other than the rare E31/E45 lockup).

Economically, this motor does not make sense. As a cruising sailboat with no davits, the ability to remove/stow away the engine is a small and much enjoyed luxury.

Posted by: Itzmann at July 15, 2015 9:34 PM | Reply

Your last commend about running the motor in the correct direction was just what I was looking for. The nut came right off and a couple gentle taps on the prop and it came off too. It is going to take longer to get the sheer pin than perform the repair. I am going to buy two.

Posted by: Mark in reply to Frank at August 7, 2015 5:18 PM | Reply

After about 6 hrs my 1003 needs $680 repair to pylon magnet bell. I am out of warrenty and am asking Torpeedo service to help me. Understand there has been a problem with this part and it looks like it should have been recalled.

Posted by: Bob Gardner at October 14, 2015 7:13 PM | Reply

Yike, Bob! There was a problem with magnets getting loose in early production models, which I described above in a July, 2013 comment. It didn't stop my motor but did cause high RPM noise and sometimes a shut down. Torqeedo was fixing it for free then, and my 1003 has been running very well since. I'm just ending long season #5 and may send it in for a precautionary seal replacement, but the lower unit is in salt water almost all the time.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Bob Gardner at October 15, 2015 9:37 AM | Reply

With your interest in Electric propulsion you might be interested in the Solar Splash Competition ( "SOLAR SPLASH is the World Championship of intercollegiate Solar/Electric boating."

Posted by: Anonymous at November 12, 2015 9:18 AM | Reply

Hi Carlos, I have a J80 in Australia and sick of my mercury petrol 5 hp.
What Torqeedo product would you recommend the 1003 Long Shaft ??
Thanks David.

Posted by: David in reply to carlos martinez at November 22, 2015 3:25 AM | Reply


I have a J80, and you definitely need the long shaft.


Posted by: David Wenstrup at November 22, 2015 7:56 AM | Reply

RE: Changes to the TORQEEDO 1003 in 2015 forward
1. From mid-2015 the Torqeedo 1003 has a battery that charges much faster, as standard. This is a really significant improvement: it’s halved the charging time to 7hrs instead of 14. This makes the optional "fast charger" accessory pointless, as this fast charge rate is now standard.
2. The 2015-onward model also ships with a USB adapter which means you can use the Torqeedo battery as a supply for your phone, camera, navigation light, etc while on the move. It’s a very simple, innocuous looking thing but cannot be retro-fitted to older batteries.
3. In Jan 2016, Torqeedo announced a 915Wh spare battery option - it ships with a standard 532 Wh battery. Same size case, slightly heavier.
4. In 2015 forward, a 12V charger accessory is offered, so you plug is directly into your car "cigar lighter" outlet. Charge time (dead to full) is about 11 hrs. You can also charge while the motor is running, to increase range, if you have a 12V battery on board using this connector.
5. A folding solar charger, half the price of the old roll up version, slightly more powerful (50W). Waterproof, like the motor and battery.
In short, some good tweaks to address range and recharge issues.

Posted by: Malcom at May 3, 2016 3:45 PM | Reply

2015 Torqeedo 1003. Rhodes 22 sailboat, 3000 lbs. Cambridge MD (across Bay from Annapolis)

I assume I've sheared a shear pin per below. I've searched for anyone selling shear pins and found none. West Marine and others will sell prop with shear pin.

1) Does below problem sound like a shear pin problem?
2) Does anyone sell just shear pins (and washers) in the states?
Thanks of any help/

I mistakenly had my retractable rudder in partially up position backing up and rudder and prop made contact for a few seconds. I don't think prop ever stopped completely. It seemed to be working ok and got me out of slip in reverse. I switched to forward, moved to slow forward, saw 1.7 knots, moved to higher speed, heard increase in motor noise but no increase in speed. Turned off and sailed. Later when tried to motor in to marina, speed of boat went lower and lower till finally 0.6 knots no matter where put throttle. Barely made it to entrance dock. Prop seems ok. I held boat hook against prop, turned on engine, engine noises but easy to keep prob from turning.

Posted by: Brooks Bridges at May 12, 2016 9:56 PM | Reply

Brooks, that definitely sounds like the shear pin. When we had the T1003 in 2010 it was easy to find the shear pin kits...we brought a bunch with us on our Pacific crossing.

However, like you I now can't find anyone who is selling just the shear pin online. I would contact Torpedo directly to find out either a) where you can get them (buy extra!); or b) what the spec is so you can source them from McMaster-Carr or the like.

Good luck,


Posted by: Adam in reply to Brooks Bridges at May 12, 2016 10:06 PM | Reply

Thanks, Adam! It does seem odd that Torqeedo shear pins are hard to find even though the company is quite present in the USA.

Defender carries a lot of the motors and some spares...

...but I don't see shear pins. (I've never broken one myself, but that is what they're meant to do.)

Here's US headquarters info:

Torqeedo, Inc
171 Erick Street, Unit A-1
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Phone 1-815-444-8806

Posted by: Ben at May 13, 2016 7:03 AM | Reply

RE: Shear pin (found Torqeedo calls them drive pins also).

Thanks for your inputs Ben and Adam.

I was a bit down yesterday so whining instead of thinking. I had also tripped on something and broken boat tiller - turned out to be a bit rotten at rudder head. Not a great launch day. Went home, had a scotch and some dinner; came back and wife and I sailed/paddled/motored to slip.

Talked to a friend this morning who thought it was definitely a shear pin. Said take it out and bring it over - he has a collection for low horsepower engines.

Brought home - without battery and motor tiller so couldn't loosen nut because it just turned shaft. Hauled out my favorite new toy - battery powered Dewalt impact driver which took nut right off. Dug out two pieces of shear pin. I'll take it to friend tomorrow and hope he has right size. If not, then I'll try outboard motor place.

Does anyone know if it has some special characteristics? It looks like a normal . shear pin.

I'm assuming right diameter and length is all I need. My plan is to do this and if I hit something and it tears up prop just buy a new one ($87 from West Marine including shear pin). I may go forever before this happens. Maybe buy a spare and keep on boat.

Does anyone know torque for prop nut?

Posted by: Brooks Bridges in reply to Ben at May 13, 2016 7:17 PM | Reply

Brooks, according to the manual the prop lock nut is self-locking, so you only need to make it hand tight when reinstalling the prop.

Posted by: Adam at May 13, 2016 8:12 PM | Reply

Ah, RTFM. Thanks Adam

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Adam at May 14, 2016 11:30 AM | Reply

I've long preferred a hard dinghy and oars but recent back problems may have put paid to rowing for me - at least into a chop and/or head wind so I think a Torqeedo is the answer.
I have two questions - should I buy from West Marine so I can also buy their extended warranty (an extra $150 or so for another 2 years) and is the "Torq Trac" bluetooth transmitter and app combo worth getting?
I know Ben enjoyed having the Torq Trac but is it actually worth extra money - either buying it directly or buying from a dealer who will include it "free"?

Posted by: Patrick W at May 25, 2016 8:30 PM | Reply

Hi Patrick. I'm hesitant to give this sort of advice as we're all different, but if it were me I might get the extended warranty but not the Torq Trac. The latter is neat but certainly not necessary (and I thought Torqueedo would simply incorporate Bluetooth into the tiller by now).

I haven't done well with extended warranties myself, but the West Plus plan seems worth further exploration...

...especially if you're going to use the Torqeedo a lot in saltwater. While I think that early 1003 problems documented in this thread -- E45 error shut downs and the high RPM noise I reported in August 2012 -- have been redesigned away, I think it's still possible lose a lower seal or have the tiller electronics fail.

On the other hand, the Defender discount almost equals a new tiller, I think:|215570|1794283|1794310&id=2840552

Posted by: Ben in reply to Patrick W at May 26, 2016 10:20 AM | Reply

More on repairs and parts costs in 2013:

I have had zero problems with the 1003 since and still haven't had the seal checked...but maybe it's time ;-)

Posted by: Ben at May 26, 2016 10:30 AM | Reply

Thanks Ben,

I'm certainly leaning towards the West Plus Plan - partly because of the hassle and cost of shipping the motor or battery back to Torqeedo if there is a warranty issue. The local West is 2 miles away and they will handle it. Neither Defender nor any of the local stockist seem to offer any sort of extended warranty. I'm not in a big rush so may wait and see if there is a promotion of some sort - even if it is is only triple points.

I already had the impression that the Torq Trac was something nice to have but by no means essential - nice to have that confirmed.

I know you have a long shaft on your Fatty Knees but I'm not sure why that is desirable - I may use mine on our Dyer but as we have a slip not a mooring I think that too has to go and that we will end up with a roll up inflatable for which I assumed we should get a short shaft. Is there something I'm missing? Does that big prop with no cavitation plate mean that a long shaft is the smart way to go even on a small dinghy?

Posted by: Anonymous at May 26, 2016 11:58 AM | Reply

Sorry about that Ben - the above comment was clearly mine. I thought I was signed in though.

Posted by: Patrick W at May 26, 2016 1:54 PM | Reply

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