Long tests: Interlux Pacifica Plus and Torqeedo Travel 1003

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

16 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    PS Torqeedo’s magnetic “ignition key” doesn’t stand up to a lot of sun, as seen in the next to last photo, but I learned that any strong magnet works.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    PPS If you click on the top photo to make it big, you will see what a poor idea it was to use ablative anti-fouling paint on a stainless rudder that’s regularly in the wash of a 28×28 five-bladed prop driven by a 450hp engine. I probably should have used the same Pettit Zinc Barnacle Barrier that did pretty well over 18 months on the prop itself:
    but I’m interested in alternatives for both…
    Also, no blame to the Interlux Pacifica Plus for all those barnacles under the keel. I know the exact location of the bump in the southern New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway where I left that paint 😉

  3. xavier Itzmann says:

    We’ve learned to live with our Travel 1003.
    Essentially, treat the throttle as if it is a nuclear bomb: very gingerly. You can engage it, but slowly. You can floor it, but very progressively. You can reverse it, but gradually. Anything else, and be ready to face the E-demons: the thing locks up and must be rebooted.
    I’ve looked into getting a Li-Ion or similar small/lightweight 12V batt to provide up to 50 watts of power/recharge _during_ use of the 1003, like some Aussies do, but at circa $350 when it is all said and done, am rather considering just biting the bullet and getting a second Torqeedo-brand battery for $700.
    In addition to the Travel 1003, we have a brand new Tohatsu in the lazarette since almost a year ago. We’ve never used it yet. Ethanol, oil, weight, refueling, who has time for that? Eventually we’ll need its power or range, and that’s why it’s there, but I dread the day.
    So the electric is just an easier package, but it is heavy on the wallet and requires deliberation when in use.

  4. Orin Guidry says:

    Where did you moor in fresh water in South Carolina?

  5. Richard C says:

    What paint did you use on the rudder? With the bottom looking so good the rudder has a lot of growth. I wonder if the rudder sees more turbulence and allows the ablative paint to bleed off more quickly then the paint on the bottom.
    The prop on Gizmo looks fine. I used the same Pettit #1792 from a spray can and experienced the same performance, which is very acceptable in my opinion. I think the only alternative worth a try, at great cost, is PropSpeed, http://www.propspeedusa.com. Some people in the boat yard love it and some did not have success with it. I’m told the application of PropSpeed is very tricky and may be the reason for some failures.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Orin, my boat spend last winter (Nov. thru March) at Osprey Marina near Myrtle Beach, SC. If you look on the Transient page here, you’ll see that they describe themselves a freshwater marina and the location is a man-made basin near the upper reaches of the Waccamaw River (which is used as the ICW):
    It’s a bit mysterious as there are tides at the marina, and I didn’t taste test or swim in the water (it’s very brown) but I did observe the fairly rapid death and disappearance of waterline weed that looked something like the photos at top when I arrived.
    Then a new kind of slime grew on the boat (which also got covered with incredibly sticky yellow pine pollen). The freshwater fouling died when I got in salty water again; in fact, the bottom paint looked really good by the time I got back to Camden in early May. (But I still sometimes find clots of the pollen stuck to things.)
    All in all, the salinity change was a neat bonus on top of what is already a well managed, super safe, and reasonably priced marina. It may also account for the fact that all my Zincs survived the 18 months, though some were close. Incidentally, the heavy mussel growth seen on the underwater lights and aft zinc must have happened this fall; otherwise I would have stiff brushed it off.
    Richard, I tried Pacifica Plus on the rudder in May 2012 because I didn’t have enough zinc spray. I think it’s fine to use on any metal (because it contains no metal) but it obviously couldn’t handle the prop wash.

  7. Mark Pellerin says:

    We had horrible success with Pacifica on a sailboat in MD. In fact, oysters grew all over it like it was a most wonderful host. The paint came from Interlux as a gift because the previous coating of Micron 66 had “cornflaked” in low salinity water of that weather freaky year, 2010 ?, where a lot of rain had fallen on NY and VT and then watershed’d its way down and into the Chesapeake. I wondered if the paint gifted had been from a previous formula because on another boat and one painted more recently, the results are better. With the oyster’d boat, we were told that the boat “needed more use”. That’s a great command but sometimes not practical. Never-mind, the failure prompted a move to Petitt and to their heaviest copper offering, a paint that PS recommends. The proof is that it was clean/clean at this week’s haulout. This same customer bought a Torqueedo at the Boat Show year before last and loves it so much .. it’s kept under lock, key and glass cover. I’ve used it once, and have to row out to the mooring !

  8. Adam says:

    I’d love to see a long term test of an ultrasonic anti-fouling system like this one:
    http://www.westcoastultrasonics.com . I’ve been pondering this option every time I haulout my boat and have to paint.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Adam, my friend Charlie Doane has been testing ultrasonic anti-fouling on his aluminum sloop Lunacy for about three years. I think this is latest post on Wavetrain:
    Charlie has also tried several copper-free paints (none of which made him happy) during this same period. Plus he’s using the single frequency UltraSonic brand while you referenced the Soanar brand which works at multiple frequencies.
    Also, PYI has just started distributing the Sonihull multi-frequency anti-fouling system:

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Neat that eMarine has a small solar panel for charging Torqeedo batteries and also a 12v charging cord, both reasonably priced, I think: http://goo.gl/ktA78l

  11. Erik says:

    Looks like a reasonable item, surely a desirable thing. I will say that $26 is a bit steep for the 2.5 mm plug. When I wired one to the 12 v panel on my boat, I think a pair of the 2.5 plugs cost about $3. That’s retail, in a radio shack in Maine. Sure, the cable is one piece and more water resistant, but really, I don’t think that I’d consider leaving the battery unit exposed to water when charging. Ever. The panels are quite nice.

  12. Andy Chase says:

    Ben: I’ve been using a Torqeedo Travel 1003 since 2013 on my 27 foot sloop (2400 lbs.). Very easily driven hull, and I can get about 6 miles if I go easy on the throttle. I only use the motor when it’s flat calm, otherwise I sail. Thus I had to have a 2nd battery to have some reserve when cruising, and I had to find a place to plug in overnight once in a while.

    Two years ago I decided to go solar, but the Torqeedo solar panel was very expensive and much too big for my boat. You need 50 watts to charge their 24 volt battery directly. But then I saw that you could get a cable from them to charge from a 12 volt marine battery. And I could get a 40 watt solar panel, that was small enough for my aft deck and much cheaper, and would charge the 12V battery. Now I keep one Torqeedo battery plugged into the 12V battery in the laz, which is being trickle charged constantly by the solar panel. When the motor battery gets low I swap them, and since the 12V battery is constantly full it will charge the spare battery to about 80% in just a couple of hours. This allows me to motor for most of a day if I should need it.

    It all fits in my small lazarette, and worked flawlessly for my 6-month season last summer.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Thanks, Andy, this is good info that may be useful to some Torqeedo outboard owners, including me.

      But aren’t you also the guy who learned that a 1003 is buoyant enough that if you drop one off the stern in a bit of a tidal current, it may wander off to parts unknown? 😉

      • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

        Andy replied via email:


        Yup. It sank, but then wandered off. It’ll probably turn up in Camden.

        But that was only half of it. After replacing it (with a used one), last spring when Bob V. launched her he turned too sharp pulling her out of the TravelLift and broke that one off. He had a diver fetch it the next morning and when they opened it up (a week later) there was salt water and corrosion inside.
        Now that was an older motor, but I had just (a month earlier) had it factory serviced and re-sealed, and they saw no evidence of any corrosion then. So Bob had to buy me a new pylon. He was pretty grumpy about it, but he did it.

        Moral of that story…when they say it’s waterproof to IP67 (1 meter for 30 min.), they mean it. (And I do have a leash on it finally…and it’s less than one meter long.)

        I have several reservations about these motors, but I’ve got it, and it means I don’t have any oil or gas on board, very little noise, I can lift it with one hand, and it runs reliably. I think my first battery (2013) will probably give out in a year or two, so that means it costs me about $100/year, although the motor was expensive.

        My reservations they claim are getting fixed in a new model coming soon. The Tilt-Lock mechanism breaks in less than one season. The plastic threads on both the tiller connection and the power connection cross-thread and strip very easily, and the lock-down lever (for reverse) requires you to be an acrobat if you’re not in a dinghy.

        The US big guy for the company did respond to my complaints on these items and claims they are working on it.

  13. William says:

    Tiller handle Torqeedo 1003 shutting motor down sending error message 23. I solved this problem by taking tiller handle apart drying out electrical circuit board and spraying w40 on the 3 contacts buttons. setup,cal, and start. Rust had formed on buttons after water had gotten in through clear plastic multifunctional display.

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