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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:05 pm 
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tomthouse wrote:
Great write up and excellent comments.

Just as a point of interest or review, Googling availability and cost, the ultralight 403 runs from about $1,799 to $1,899.
It runs for an hour or two or there abouts on a charge and will go in that time 10 maybe 20 miles.

Add batteries / solar and add run time, range and cost, but no smell and almost silent and light-weight.

Batteries run about $600 each.

A Honda costs about $800-$900 or maybe $1,000 and runs as long as you feed the fuel tank, but on a tank it will go around 50 miles.

A gallon lasts all day and extra gas costs around $2.20/gallon.

It's great that there are choices.


The price of the 403 is currently $1,614 at Defender Marine, one of the best online suppliers of marine products. You have to put the item in the cart to see this price. Other 403 online dealers are close to this price and you also usually need to put it in the cart to see the actual price.

The price of the batteries is currently $524 for the 320 Watt Hour battery and $612 for the 533 Watt Hour battery. Again at Defender Marine.

At 3 to 3.5 mph the 403 will run over 5 hours on the 320 Watt Hour battery and about 10 hours on the 533 Watt Hour battery. That's motor only, no sail or pedals. The range and speed increase significantly when you add even slight wind and/or pedal power which is usually the case. I've never been able to deplete both batteries in a day, in fact I usually need to use only the larger battery for the entire day unless there is no wind and I feel like going faster than 4.5 mph much of the time.


Last edited by pro10is on Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:42 am 
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Update:
The Torqeedo 1417-00 915 Watt Hour battery is now available from Defender Marine for $787. This is the most powerful battery you can get for the 403 Ultralight and could power the motor for an entire day at extended speeds. This is the lowest price I've seen for this battery.

Image

http://http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|215570|1825671|1794311&id=3661046


Last edited by pro10is on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:36 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
All really nice stuff but so far beyond anything I can possibly afford.
Now I'm kind of holding out for the Bixby, I will likely buy a pair of them, and use them both on my Island (the boat is kinda big, and I will likely need to make custom props)I will also likely get the hand held option for diving, one for me and one for wife.
Supposedly they will start production in March, I can wait.
FE


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:20 am 
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For saltwater and cheaper outboard solution for PA owners. Here's an option:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qszPgv-AZH0

The speed you get from an outboard is what you need in times of emergency.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:03 pm 
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Yea I came to that conclusion a while back, I currently have twin Honda 2.3 motors on my TI, the whole works cost less than a Torqeedo setup, and the Honda's are by a wide margin the most expensive outboards out there. My range is currently around 150 to 200 miles (I always carry at least 2 1/2 to 3 gallons of fuel on board, just in case I get blown out to sea, the second motor is for redundency, in case one fails, and because the TI is a really big boat a single motor is a little short on hp, another reason for having two, in addition having two balances the boat out.
I use ethanol free RV gas, a 5 gallon can lasts me about 6 months.
Someday I'm hoping to replace with electrics, just not today.
FE


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:57 pm 
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fusioneng wrote:
All really nice stuff but so far beyond anything I can possibly afford. ...FE

The Torqeedo system may seem expensive at first but when you consider what ordinary people spend on other boats and motors it's, in comparison, dirt cheap. The cost of an entry level 120HP outboard motor alone is around $10,000. I sail past all kinds of boats every day owned by ordinary middle class people that cost upwards of $20,000 to $90,000 and much more. It's amazing what people who aren't wealthy will pay to get out on the water. When other boaters stop to look at my rig at the boat ramp, they often ask how much I've spent on it total. When I answer they usually reply, "That's all?"

As boaters of all types go, we probably spend close to the least for our type of boats and gear. The only things cheaper would be an ordinary kayak, row boat, canoe, or a dingy.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:25 pm 
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I need to keep my expense less than 8,000.00. More than that becomes questionable. Here's a nice boat for additional 4000.00. A much more better investment. Kayak is a plastic boat that easily cracks. Goodbye 6000.00.

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/boa/5798750189.html

You need to spend about 2500.00 to enjoy the Torqeedo as you will need a backup battery. And you're stuck to Torqeedo on maintenance unlike the outboard. I just hope another company in the US starts competing with Torqeedo. I'm sure price will be less than 1000.00.

So to me if you have a lot of money to burn then don't buy Torqeedo, buy a real boat.. Otherwise stay with Outboard and spend more time exercising with mirage drive. That's the main reason why we decided to buy Hobie in the first place.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:12 pm 
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Yaknsee wrote:
I need to keep my expense less than 8,000.00. More than that becomes questionable. Here's a nice boat for additional 4000.00. A much more better investment. Kayak is a plastic boat that easily cracks. Goodbye 6000.00.

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/boa/5798750189.html

You need to spend about 2500.00 to enjoy the Torqeedo as you will need a backup battery. And you're stuck to Torqeedo on maintenance unlike the outboard. I just hope another company in the US starts competing with Torqeedo. I'm sure price will be less than 1000.00.

So to me if you have a lot of money to burn then don't buy Torqeedo, buy a real boat.. Otherwise stay with Outboard and spend more time exercising with mirage drive. That's the main reason why we decided to buy Hobie in the first place.

For me the Torqeedo tremendously improved the enjoyment of my TI and was worth every penny and then some. And for me an outboard would not have accomplished that.

To each his own.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:51 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Good points, this bring back memories of our real boat, boy what a money pit that was, it was a 24ft sea ray (around $70k), we were paying $400/month for dry storage at marine max. Seemed like everything associated with maint was very expensive to the tune of several thousand a yr, (always something, Florida and salt water is very hard on boats), which is nothing compared to what my brother in law spends on his 24ft larson, he is on his third engine (around $13k ea), and his second stern drive.
This was when marine gas was around $4 bucks a gallon and filling up the 80 gallon tank required a brinks truck every weekend. Those are the realities of owning a real boat in SWFL and the keys. We then got into kayaking and quickly realized the keys are huge and you can't really do much in the barren sand surrounding everything and are restricted to a few hundred yards from shore and at the most being able to cover 3-5 miles at 2-3mph. As avid divers, this time period really sucked for us, however we really got hooked on kayak sailing. Then in 2010 we bought our first TI and that changed everything, however we found out the hard way sailing in open ocean off key west is extremely dangerous, and got in serious trouble several times with a stock TI, the stock boat just didn't have the needed performance to get back to the tiny spec called key west. We got tired of waiting for the promised jib, so we ended up hardening the boat and adding a bunch of additional sails ourselves, and added motors mostly for offshore safety. The boat now has the performance we need to actually get somewhere in decent time. If you have 5-10 miles to go, getting there at 2-3 mph is for the birds (just not worth going out in the hot florida sun to travel for hrs at 2-3mph, just sayin).
We are pretty happy with what we have, fits our needs and area well.
Everyone has different circumstances, I way prefer traveling at 10-15 mph cruise speed with a couple hundred mile range.
FE


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Location: Jaco, Costa Rica
I agree about the boat, especially if you have access to free or reasonable cost launch sites. Here in Costa Rica, we don't. In fact, I've never seen a public access here on the Pacific coast. So now you have a problem, if you want to avoid costly slip fees, getting your boat in and out of the water. Also if you place your boat in a shoddy mooring location, here in Costa Rica, you definitely risk being robbed.
Thus the TI, motor and all. It goes where I go. Agree about the range and cost of an outboard motor. It's still number 1 by a long shot. But I can definitely understand the benefit of a quieter Torqeedo and don't fault someone for choosing it.

I don't see the argument between the Torqeedo, outboard and boat. $1500 isn't going to defer me from a Ti/Torqeedo to a boat to a TI/outboard. If your going to get a boat over either TI combinations, I can understand that, if you have reasonable launch sites.

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Costa Rica Kayak Guide
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Tandem Island- 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:07 am 
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fusioneng wrote:
...Everyone has different circumstances, I way prefer traveling at 10-15 mph cruise speed with a couple hundred mile range.FE

This is boarding on misleading. It takes you not one, but two gas outboards running at higher rpms to reach those speeds. By your own admission your mods push things to utter extremes. Very, very, few people here would ever do many of the modifications you do. You do some very interesting things, but they are of limited practical interest to most people. To even suggest that the TI can run at a 10-15 mph cruise speed for a couple hundred miles is well beyond practicality for the majority of people here since it requires radical modifications, not to mention the difficulty of trying to control two outboard motors at once, and the added weight and noise. The Torqeedo 403 Ultralight on the other hand can be very easily installed by anyone without any special skills and requires an absolute minimum of modifications to the TI. It is also extremely simple, quiet, pollution free, and practical to operate in comparison to a single gas outboard, never mind two. So please, let's stay real.

We all previously knew that it is possible to power a TI with a gas outboard, and we knew the advantages and disadvantages. The goal of this detailed Torqeedo review was to present the 403 Ultralight as a viable alternative to using an outboard motor for people who want another choice because, like me, they may have ruled out or did not prefer an outboard for whatever reasons.

So now people have more facts about this motor and can make up their own minds about what they wish to use if they're looking at practically powering a TI or AI.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:13 am 
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Quote:
915 Watt Hour battery is now available from Defender Marine for $875. This is the most powerful battery you can get for the 403 Ultralight and could power the motor for an entire day at extended speeds


hopefully all the numbers here are accurate. FYI, an electric motor that uses 403 watts ("extended speeds") will go through 915 watt * hours of battery in 2.27 hours.

FE, what is the fastest speed you have actually measured with the dual Honda's - no current, no wind? You mentioned that you changed to props to something with higher pitch and this wont allow the outboard to get up to its rated rpm so they also will not get up to the rated HP (with a gas outboard, you need the rate of those explosions to be as high as possible to achieve rated power). With the 2.5 hp Suzuki mounted in the back and one person running the TI from the rear seat, you get up to 7.5 to 8 mph (Stringy also is getting about that same speed - I have some video of that I need to edit and post).

So even though FE has two outboards, each starts off with less HP than the Suzuki (2.3 for the Honda vs 2.5 for the Suzuki) and the HP of the Honda's was further reduced by going to a prop not matched to the application. Every time I see that high speeds posted, I always wonder if that is some calculated theoretical speed.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:41 am 
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walt wrote:
Quote:
915 Watt Hour battery is now available from Defender Marine for $875. This is the most powerful battery you can get for the 403 Ultralight and could power the motor for an entire day at extended speeds


hopefully all the numbers here are accurate. FYI, an electric motor that uses 403 watts ("extended speeds") will go through 915 watt * hours of battery in 2.27 hours.

FE, what is the fastest speed you have actually measured with the dual Honda's - no current, no wind? You mentioned that you changed to props to something with higher pitch and this wont allow the outboard to get up to its rated rpm so they also will not get up to the rated HP (with a gas outboard, you need the rate of those explosions to be as high as possible to achieve rated power). With the 2.5 hp Suzuki mounted in the back and one person running the TI from the rear seat, you get up to 7.5 to 8 mph (Stringy also is getting about that same speed - I have some video of that I need to edit and post).

So even though FE has two outboards, each starts off with less HP than the Suzuki (2.3 for the Honda vs 2.5 for the Suzuki) and the HP of the Honda's was further reduced by going to a prop not matched to the application. Every time I see that high speeds posted, I always wonder if that is some calculated theoretical speed.

I can't speak for anyone else's figures but everything I've posted here on the 403 is actual, accurate, observed empirical data and not just theoretical. I've stated several times that you can't judge the Torqeedo's range solely on theoretical electrical calculations because in my experience it readily surpassed those. I almost didn't purchase this motor based on other's theoretical calculations and this is one of the primary reasons I posted this review. There is more misinformation about the Torqeedo 403 than useful information, mostly from people who don't own one. I felt that this needed to be balanced with real observed data from someone who actually owns, uses, and tests the motor in actual, typical conditions on an actual, typical Hobie TI.

Extended speeds for the 403 is anything over 4 mph (motor alone) as I've stated earlier. Maximum speed is about 6 mph with my average loaded TI. I can go all day with my 533 Watt Hour battery, never mind one with 915 Watt hours. When I say all day I'm referring to a typical day's outing which is about 15 to 35 miles over 5 to 10 hours for me. This typically includes some use of the motor alone in no wind, some sailing in light to moderate winds with or without the motor, some use of the mirage drive with or without the motor, and even some rest time. It obviously does not mean running the motor non-stop exclusively at full speed for an entire day, let's be reasonable. That is certainly not the typical use of a Hobie TI. I've been very clear about this before. We're discussing the use of a Hobie TI and AI here, not a powerboat. The TI and AI are dual to tri-powered boats and that is the usage we obviously should be discussing.

I've also clearly stated more than once in this thread that if maximum sustained speed at a maximum range is your primary concern, then the 403 was not meant for you. It has many, many, many advantages over an outboard, but this is not one of them. So please let's not continue to beat that dead horse. If you need to go as fast as possible for as long as possible then buy an outboard, or two, or three. If you want almost every other advantage, then buy the 403. This is why the 403 is such a good match with the Hobie TI or AI. It does not assume you need to go very fast and very far. If someone really needs to go fast for long distances then you would probably be better off with a boat more suited to that.

For my use of the Hobie TI, which is day sailing on a very large body of fresh water, in all types of conditions but the most severe, the 403 is, in my opinion, clearly, and I mean clearly, better than a gasoline outboard for this type of use. See my full review here for the reasons why. I typically travel 15 to 35 miles per outing in winds ranging from 0 - 25 mph and waves ranging from 0 - 4 feet. If this sounds anything like your type of use, then carefully consider the 403. For ocean off shore use in more extreme conditions, or for more than 30 miles per outing it could still work, but an outboard would probably be better suited, especially if you need to cover large distances as quickly as possible or need to use motor power exclusively hours and hours on end for the entire day.

So pick the right motor for your purposes but please don't try to rule out one or the other for everyone here based solely upon your own requirements or preconceptions, or for uses other than the what's typical and expected for a Hobie TI or AI.

If anyone has already ruled out the 403 for your specific use and wishes to discuss the use and application of gas outboards exclusively, then please start a gas outboard thread.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:51 am 
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Quote:
When I say all day I'm referring to a typical day's outing which is about 15 to 35 miles over 5 to 10 hours for me. This typically includes some use of the motor alone in no wind, some sailing in light to moderate winds with or without the motor, some use of the mirage drive with or without the motor, and even some rest time. It obviously does not mean running the motor non-stop exclusively at full speed for an entire day, let's be reasonable.


In the sailboat world, amp * hours is often used for battery capacity and when good brand lead acid batteries are new, the amp hour capacity listed is fairly accurate. I think you said the Torqueedo spec is not accurate because you said you think it is exceeded and that is somewhat surprising to me. Exactly why amp hour is often used for those typically 12 volt systems vs. watt hour may have something to do with the amp hours you put in to a battery is about the same as the amp hours you can take out. Its a simple way to account for battery loss since charging voltage is always higher than discharge voltage. Either the amp hours or the watt hours total capacity and remaining capacity is useful to know as it tells you how much energy you have available and its usually fairly accurate for new batteries.

The 6 mph you get from the 403 electric motor is very impressive. The Torqueedo will tell you what watts are being used at any time, may I ask what power use is displayed when you are hitting 6 mph?

Really great write up here and useful to anyone considering this option. But the one thing that I personally would want to know is what is the range of those battery packs at either full speed or at partial speed and I think that is missing here since all your data has a mix of sailing and pedaling. Its a little hard for me to believe the watt hour vs watts over time used is way off from what the manufacture lists but I just cant tell since there is no data given with a controlled experiment (no wind, no pedaling, no current, constant speed, how long does the battery last).

Anyhow, I dont want at all to take away from your great thread on the electric motor option... I am definitely impressed by getting a 6 mph peak speed and it sounds like (I cant really tell because of mix of motor, pedaling and sailing) that the range is good.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:14 am 
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walt wrote:
Quote:
When I say all day I'm referring to a typical day's outing which is about 15 to 35 miles over 5 to 10 hours for me. This typically includes some use of the motor alone in no wind, some sailing in light to moderate winds with or without the motor, some use of the mirage drive with or without the motor, and even some rest time. It obviously does not mean running the motor non-stop exclusively at full speed for an entire day, let's be reasonable.


In the sailboat world, amp * hours is often used for battery capacity and when good brand lead acid batteries are new, the amp hour capacity listed is fairly accurate. I think you said the Torqueedo spec is not accurate because you said you think it is exceeded and that is somewhat surprising to me. Exactly why amp hour is often used for those typically 12 volt systems vs. watt hour may have something to do with the amp hours you put in to a battery is about the same as the amp hours you can take out. Its a simple way to account for battery loss since charging voltage is always higher than discharge voltage. Either the amp hours or the watt hours total capacity and remaining capacity is useful to know as it tells you how much energy you have available and its usually fairly accurate for new batteries.

The 6 mph you get from the 401 electric motor is very impressive. The Torqueedo will tell you how what watts are being used at any time, may I ask what power use is displayed when you are hitting 6 mph?

Really great write up here and useful to anyone considering this option. But the one thing that I personally would want to know is what is the range of those battery packs at either full speed or at partial speed and I think that is missing here since all your data has a mix of sailing and pedaling. Its a little hard for me to believe the watt hour vs watts used is way off from what the manufacture lists but I just cant tell since there is no data given with a controlled experiment (no wind, no pedaling, no current, constant speed, how long does the battery last).

Anyhow, I dont want at all to take away from your great thread on the electric motor option... I am definitely impressed by getting a 6 mph peak speed and it sounds like (I cant really tell because of mix of motor, pedaling and sailing) that the range is good.

I've been an electrical, electro-mechanical, and software engineer for over 40 years so I know exactly what amp-hours and watt-hours are and all the calculations necessary for determining the amount of power achievable from any type of battery. To answer your question directly, the ranges specified by Torqeedo for the 403 and motor appear to me to be reasonable and accurate, if not a bit conservative. They are published on the Torqeedo web site and in the motor specs for all to see. However Torqeedo only publishes specs for the 320 watt-hour battery because that is the only battery they officially recommend for the 403. To get the range specs for the 533 and 915 watt-hour batteries, you would simply need to extend and recalculate the figures yourself.

However, and I can't emphasize this enough, in practical operation of the 403 motor on the Hobie TI in typical conditions, those figures are purely academic and are of very little use. In all the many times I've used the motor I've never set the motor to full throttle with the sail lowered and the mirage drive out and cruised nonstop until the battery was exhausted. That is simply not the intended use of this motor on this particular boat. Rather it was my intent to publish data on how the motor performs in actual, typical use on an actual, typical TI. I felt that this information would be of far more interest to the readers of this forum and this specific thread. The TI and AI are dual to tri-powered boats and the motor is only one provider of power, so in real use the motor is able to provide more than enough power and range for it's real and intended purpose.

That said, it is possible and realistic to use the motor at full throttle when you wish to go as fast as possible, just not for very long periods of time if you're concerned about maximizing range. For example, at the end of the day if I see on the display that I have 3 miles of power remaining at full throttle and the boat ramp is about 3 miles away I know I can cruise at full throttle the entire way there with no help from the sail or pedals. The display is always there accurately calculating range at speed in real time to help you maximize the use of the motor. If you don't own this motor you have no idea how cool and useful that is.

Even on days where there was zero wind and I was too lazy or hot to pedal I've successfully used the 403 motor as the sole source of power for hours and miles on end. For this purpose it's best to cruise at about 3 to 4.5 mph to maximize range. Please reread my review and additional posts here and you'll see I have included motor only ranges at nominal speeds, so I don't why you say that information is missing. I specifically did not include ranges at full throttle only because this is not a realistic use of this motor and I did not test for this. Because of the physics of pushing a hull though water, the relationship of power to speed is not linear. Therefore if you continually try to push the boat as fast as possible at full throttle for long periods of time you will drain the battery much quicker. At full or near full throttle I estimate you will get only about 7 to 8 miles out of the 533 watt-hour battery, far less than the near 30 mile range you could get at about 3 to 4.5 mph. If I remember correctly the display read about 240 watts at full throttle but I will need to verify that because I'm not certain, so please don't quote me on that or start calculating more theoretical figures. The point you should take away from this is that you have the ability to very accurately control your range based upon how much power you wish to use at any given time. In realistic use you won't go full throttle all the time but you can when you wish to as long as you keep an eye on the display to ensure you have the remaining range you require. This is very simple to do and allows you to accurately tailor the use of the motor in real time.

Running motor only is used only when there is zero wind. Usually there is at least a slight breeze. If you add just a bit of wind or pedal power you can go significantly faster and father and that's the realistic, typical use of the Hobie TI and AI, and that's how this motor option should be fairly evaluated. If your particular usage is non-typical and you need significantly higher power, speed, or range using only the motor as a source of power, then that's fine, but please don't devalue this motor option based upon non-typical usage. For typical use on a Hobie TI or AI, to extend it from a dual-powered boat to a tri-powered boat, the 403 Ultralight is an excellent choice with many advantages over an outboard.


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