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Torqeedo Travel 503, NEW 603, 1003 & 1103

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Product Description

Torqeedo 1003 action

19 Nov 2020: TORQEEDO NEWS!! The direct-drive 1103 will continue unchanged into 2021 – although we are told the price is likely to increase at least 5% (£90 or so). But there will also be a new downrated 600W version available, called the 603, with a new lighter weight (floating) 500Wh battery. The price will be less than an 1103 but we don’t know how much yet. We’d advise you DON’T BUY a 503 or 1003 (the older designs) without at least being aware they’re about to be discontinued. We will update this page as we find out more about the new 603.

Torqeedo arguably started the electric outboard revolution, and make some the most advanced small portable outboards in the world. We think they’re excellent but we do also know and understand their limitations; this page is not the usual re-quoted manufacturer blurb you’ll find elsewhere. And there is no point trying to hide the fact that Torqeedo no longer have this market to themselves; if you have not already seen it please also read our Epropulsion Spirit motor page.

Both manufacturers make 1kW electric outboards with lithium battery packs where you’d expect to find the fuel tank. They are roughly equivalent (saying equal is misleading), in terms of what they achieve on the water, to 3hp petrol outboards. But much easier to use, quieter, cleaner and easier to store. The advantages are so significant that it’s now difficult to think of a reason to buy a small petrol motor.

As of November 2020 we are still the only significant UK Dealer to stock and sell both Torqeedo and Epropulsion… and we are number one in the UK for both brands. There are many similarities between the two, and some important differences. We’ve used the three main models – Torqeedo 1003 & 1103, Epropulsion Spirit – and it’s only by stocking both brands we believe we can listen to you and recommend the one that will suit you best (rather than being a single brand dealer and forced to try and sell you that one).

Let’s look first at the Torqeedo 1103 (and new 603) highlights:
High Power, 1100W for the 1103, and 600W for the (new-in-2021) 603 Apart from the Epropulsions, almost all other portable electric outboards are classed as “trolling motors”.
VERY EASY to Use.Twist and go; no messing with a choke, pulling starting cord, or spilling petrol, etc.
– No Carburettor to “gum up” when stored. (Probably the most common problems with small petrol outboards.)
– LIGHTWEIGHT. Total assembled weight for the new 603 is approx 15kg, 17kg for the 1103. Both dismantle quickly into 3 pieces, the heaviest (being the main shaft/motor assembly) of which is 11kg. The old 503/1003 were acutally a bit lighter, but now discontinued and had other disadvantages.
IP67 Waterproof, so even if you submerse them (up to 1m) they still work. Yes we’ve tried it. Brilliant for use on small boats!
Built-in GPS & Digital Display, showing battery charge state, speed, range and power draw.
QUIET! Where the Epropulsion Spirit is very quiet, the 1103 at 33db is roughly equivalent to a human whisper (effectively silent in water). We assume the new 603 will be the same. The old 503/1003 motors had quite a distinctive loud “whine”, this is a thing of the past with 603/1103 models.
Integral Battery, much like the fuel tank on a small petrol outboard.

And second our TORQEEDO 503, 603 1003 and 1103 PRICES (November 2020):
– Torqeedo 1103CS (std shaft), 915Wh battery £1869 £1675 £1635 BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL IN STOCK UK and specification unchanged for 2021, although we are told price is likely to go up 5%, ie £90 or so. If you know you want one, but not yet, you can pay a £500 deposit now (option at top of page) to reserve an 1103 for when you do want it (eg March 2021), at the current price. (Including B-F special price if ordered by 2300 Monday 30 Nov)
– NEW 2021 Torqeedo 603S, 500Wh battery £price tbc.  (Our best guess is somewhere around the £1500 mark). So far as we can tell it’s a downrated 1103 with a smaller battery, and will replace the 503 and 1003 once those models have sold out.
Torqeedo 1003S (std shaft), 532Wh battery £1449  Torqeedo say “not currently available” (as it’s discontinued we think this means no more ever)
– Torqeedo 1003CS, 915Wh battery £1699 £1500 
about to be discontinued, we can still get you one, it will take approx 5-7 working days
– Torqeedo 503S, 320Wh battery £1249 £1125 about to be discontinued , we can still get you one, it will take approx 5-7 working days
– CHANGE TO LONG SHAFT on any of the above motors £50 (extra) usually in stock but call/email to check

NOTE ON AVAILABILITY (Nov 2020): Torqeedo motors have been difficult to get hold of throughout 2020, demand has exceeded manufacturing capacity. As above, we currently have 1103CS – and most accessories – in stock, but not the 503 or 1003 as these are about to be discontinued (we can order in for you). We do not guarantee it but most orders to most UK destinations go out on a next working day service if in stock and ordered by 1200 (delivery on accessories is free if ordered at same time as motor).

* See notes on specification changes lower down page. These are quite significant, and because we have fast turnover all our current stock was delivered Oct 2020 or more recently! If you’re considering purchase elsewhere simply ask for the manufacturing date. If you see a better price for the same product – ie current model, current battery of same capacity – please call us and we’ll see what we can do. The battery size is often a cause of confusion, but if you want the higher capacity versions they will be more expensive. For example at Southampton Boat Show last year a Torqeedo 1003 was being offered by one dealer with a 320Wh battery (normally only supplied with smaller motors); thus the “headline price” was very low but we’re not sure everyone was being made aware that with the 320Wh battery the run time on full power was less than 20 minutes!

CUSTOMERS OUTSIDE UK: We welcome enquiries from overseas but please be aware that international shipping of lithium batteries is difficult and expensive – we are happy to quote but shipping cost will depend on where you live. (As of Sept 2020, about £120 to most of France, Germany, Holland, which – with the cost savings due to our rather weak Pound! – may still be worthwhile…)

Also note, if you are thinking about “taking a Torqeedo with you” that lithium batteries of this size absolutely cannot be flown in passenger baggage (neither in hold nor as carry-on). 

Torqueedo engine in action on the water

If you contact us you will be able to speak to somebody who has actually used a Torqeedo on the water, and can give genuine, useful (realistic!) advice about battery life, range, and whether your particular boat is suited to electric drive. If you are told the battery lasts 10 hours and the motor is directly equal to a 5hp petrol put the phone down – they either don’t understand the product or are lying!

We usually have stock: come and see an 1103, or the rival Epropulsion Spirit, talk about them, touch them, and so on – then make a decision and take one away the same day if you want to! Contact us to arrange a time/date:
Mobile – 07768 600595
Tel – 0800 999 2535 (FREE from UK landlines)
Email – nestawayboats@yahoo.com

IMPORTANT NOTE: CHANGES TO THE TORQEEDO 1003
Note 19 Nov 2020: 1003 (and smaller sister 503) models are about to be discontinued…. direct-drive 1103 (introduced 2019) continues unchanged into 2021
The following information is retained for reference should you be looking at purchasing a second hand 1003 for example:
(1) From mid-2015 the Torqeedo 1003 has been supplied with a battery that charges much faster, with the standard mains charger supplied. This is a really significant improvement: for the 532Wh battery it’s halved the charging time to 7hrs instead of 14. (And the newest 915Wh battery takes about 10hrs with this charger.)
(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 whilst on the move. It’s a very simple, innocuous looking thing but cannot be retro-fitted to older batteries.
(3) October 2016 – you can now buy the new high capacity battery (915Wh, vs standard battery 532Wh) packaged with the 1003 (standard with the 1103). Previously it was only (officially) available as an extra, ie you had to buy the high capacity battery as an extra. Order ref for the 1003 with 932Wh battery is 1003CS (or L for long shaft).

There have been many other changes over the years to the 1003: increased battery capacity, improved software, and a beefed-up transom clamp design. If you are looking at a “secondhand Torqeedo bargain on ebay”, bear these differences in mind – and in particular find out when it was made and which battery it has! If say it’s a 2013 520Wh battery then yes, it should still work fine, but by now (in 2019) it will only have about 400Wh capacity – because (like all batteries) they “lose” roughly 4% a year – and it will be the older, slower charging, variety.

New Torqeedo 1103 C

THE NEW-IN-2019 1103C

Blink slightly and you’ll miss the difference in the name – and it looks very similar too – but beneath the skin the new 1103 is quite different to the 1003, the big ones being:
(1) The new 1103 has a direct-drive brushless DC motor (more like, dare we say it, the Epropulsion!), whereas the (about-to-be discontinued) 1003 had a faster-spinning AC motor with a reduction gearbox. The 1103 is therefore much quieter, with more instantaneous throttle response. On the water you can say it’s silent, the noise of the water splashing on the hull as we drove forward was louder than the motor! We are also told the software on the 1103 is less prone to being “over-protective” than the 1003, probably because it doesn’t have a gearbox to protect, and from our experience this season there are far fewer (almost zero) incidences of throwing up errors for no apparent reason.
(2) It’s an 1100W motor rather than a 1000W motor (10% more power).
(3) It’s a bit heavier (about 2kg) and the bulb (motor housing at bottom of leg) is physically longer
(4) It has a new design, stronger, clamp/tilt bracket, presumably to cope with the increase in power and weight
(5) The shear pin is now really a drive pin, we’ve never heard of an 1103 drive pin breaking. The 503 & 1003 had much weaker shear pins to protect the gearbox (or as one customer put it “they appear to be made of cheese!”).

We placed a forward order for 1103C motors as soon as we heard about them and were amongst if not the first to have them in the UK. As with previous Torqeedo new product releases they have been extremely popular and sell out almost as soon as they come in! If you know you want one, even if it’s not for a month or two, it’s worth getting yourself on the list to make sure one is available when you do want it. There is currently a £500 deposit option (top of page) to reserve one at the 2020 price, for delivery when you want it in 2021.

The new-for-2021 603 we believe to be essentially a downrated version of the 1103 (so the same physical size and weight for the leg part), with a brand new design of battery which is rated at 500Wh and weighs just 4.2kg. So the total assembled weight is less than the 1103 (15kg vs 17kg), but the battery capacity (and therefore run time at a given power output) is 45% less.

POWER COMPARISON: TORQEEDO vs PETROL

Torqueedo Travel 1003
Torqueedo Travel 1003

We have often heard of people being told the (now discontinued) 1003 is equal to a 3hp petrol outboard (and the 503 to 1.5hp). We consider that to be slightly misleading if you take it literally, as a 3hp petrol motor will get many small, lightly loaded craft of the right hull form “on the plane”, and a Torqeedo 1003 won’t. The propeller supplied is not even designed for that sort of speed (it’s rated 9kmph at 790W, or about 5.5 knots flat out). Where the Torqeedos excel is pushing surprisingly heavy loads (when the 3hp petrol wouldn’t get you on the plane anyway) at up-to-displacement speeds. They’re more than happy pushing a 9ft inflatable dinghy with 4 people in it at about 5 knots, for example.

So we’d happily say the Torqeedo 1003 and 1103 are equivalent to a 3hp petrol outboard, for the way most people use them most of the time, but not equal.

The acceleration up to those displacement speeds is also impressive, as electric motors (unlike petrol ones) generate full torque from very low revs. So the Torqeedo outboards have lots of low to mid-range push, but not the whizzy top end of a petrol. Unlike “trolling motors” they will be genuinely useful as a main propulsion unit – just not for anything much over 5 knots (10kmph).

The newer 1103 is 10% more powerful than the 1003 but Torqeedo’s specification and our own trials on several dinghies do not suggest any great increase in speed, which would make sense. 100W is important at the bottom end, whereas 100W more when you have 1000W already doesn’t make all that much difference (10% more power might equate to a 2.5% increase in speed, barely measurable). But we’d guess it’s more able to get heavier loads to speed more quickly, and indeed we’ve had an 1103 pushing a two-tonne yacht along surprisingly effectively, up to speeds of about 4.5 knots. It also has a different propeller, beefed up internally with a much stronger shear/drive pin.

The brand new 2021 603 is rated at 600W output and Torqeedo say it’s equivalent to a 2hp petrol motor.

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BATTERY LIFE (range)

Close up of motor on a RIB

The lithium battery supplied with the Torqeedo 1103 is 916 Wh. Watt hours are the lowest common denominator of battery capacity; “amp hours” really does not tell you much without the voltage. But if you prefer it in amp hours then it’s 31 amp hours at 29.6 volts. Lithium battery amp hours are all usable (unlike the 50% or so for lead acid batteries) so if you want to compare it to a “car battery” it is roughly equivalent to the usable capacity of a 150Ah 12V lead acid battery.

In use you should get approx 50 minutes running the 1103 flat-out.

BUT, in most typical small boat applications, half-power or 500W on the 1103 isn’t much slower than full power – and then it should last approx 1hr 50mins. 500W on a typical 9ft dinghy is somewhere around 4.5 knots. Whilst that is not enough for everybody it is enough for a lot of users, if you think about how you actually use it.

Most users therefore find the Torqeedo 1103 has  a realistic range of 8-10 nautical miles, if they’re happy with 4 to 4.5 knots. Slow down to 3.5 knots and the range skyrockets, as power used increases/decreases by the cube of speed. At 2 knots the range is meant to be huge, but we’ve never had the patience to find out!

The new 603 has a 500Wh battery with different internal architecture, weighing just 4kg (and floats!). If we go with 500W again, then it will last an hour. The range at the same speed will be 55% of that you could achieve with the 1103’s larger battery.

As “range anxiety” is usually the main worry for those new to electric power, the digital display is very reassuring. Range is inversely related to speed, so if you have further to go than currently indicated, simply slow down until the range increases to the required distance. As a further precaution an alarm sounds as you pass below 30% capacity, with the display flashing a recommendation to slow down. Because they are lithium manganese based, the full capacity can be used without detriment to the battery lifetime (unlike lead acid batteries, which dislike being discharged more than 40-50%).

For spare batteries and parts see Torqeedo Accessories.

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CHARGING

Man carrying torqeedo in storage bags

A mains charger is included in the price of the Torqeedo 603/1103; for the 916Wh capacity battery supplied with the 1103 it will take approx 10 hours to recharge from flat. And about 5 hours for the 500Wh battery (the charging rate is the same, but the capacity less). As standard the mains charger comes with Euro and USA plugs; you will need a UK adapter.

It is also possible to charge direct from a 12volt source such as your car or boat battery – eg while you’re driving to your yacht, or overnight at a camp site. A 12V lead is not included but is available as an option. 12V charging is about half the speed of the mains charger.

For the technically (and/or battery charge conservation)-minded, the “DC to DC” charging lead is more energy efficient than converting 12volts DC to 240volt AC – via an inverter – then back to DC again via the mains charging lead (which is nonetheless another possibility, and faster).

The 12volt lead also potentially provides a cheaper (than buying a second Torqeedo battery) “range extending system”, because the Torqeedo battery has separate charge and discharge circuits – it can do both at the same time. For example we’ve had an 18ft dayboat with a Torqeedo 1003S in the outboard well, and a fairly large (110 amp hour) 12volt battery where the fuel tank would normally go. With the two connected you slow the rate of discharge from the Torqeedo battery when in operation, and charge up the Torqeedo battery when sailing or stopped (or operating at very slow speeds).

If charging speed is important to you the Epropulsion batteries can be charged more quickly on both mains and 12V, and there is an ultra fast mains option.

For charging options and spares see Torqeedo Accessories.

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THEY’RE WATERPROOF…

Close up of torqeedo on boat

Perfect for use on a dayboat or dinghy – even if you capsize whilst sailing the motor will still work afterwards, to get you home (when you’re cold and and wet and have had enough!). And with the 4-6kg (depending on model) battery taken off (which can then be stored anywhere convenient) what’s left is lighter than any petrol outboard on the market today (about 9kg for the 1003, 11kg for the new 603 & 1103), so will have less effect on your boat’s fore/aft trim.

Lifiting motor from water

HANDLING / STORAGE

woman carrying outboards parts

All Torqeedo Travel motors (1103, 603 and the older 1003/503) have an easy-to-remove battery and tiller, making handling much easier.  The 1003S with 532Wh battery weighs approx 30-lb (14kg) in total, of which 10-lb (5kg) is the battery, so you only ever need to manhandle 20-lb (9kg) at once. The higher capacity 916Wh battery is about 1kg heavier, and the motor/shaft assembly of the new 1103/603 is about 2kg heavier than the 1003 (11kg ex battery).

Also, unlike (four stroke) petrol motors, you don’t have to worry about laying them down on one side, or getting them wet, which makes storage straightforward.

Plus the relative silence, ease of use, lack of pollution, not spilling petrol everywhere…

Torqeedo offer a set of bags for storing and carrying your 503/1003 or 603/1103 motor. Well in fact two bags, one for the motor and one for the battery – so if you have two batteries there’s a nice protective bag to keep the spare in whilst underway. Very well made and proving very popular.

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torqeedo-travel-26-5760x3840

1. Integrated GPS/information system: provides precise real-time information on battery charge status, remaining range at current speed, speed over ground and power consumption.
2. Improved mechanical stability, ruggedness and suitability for salt water use.
3. 20% higher power and approx. 10% higher efficiency, noiseless design.
4. Corrosion-free design, does not require a sacrificial anode
5. Auto-kickup feature in case of grounding
6. 532 or 916Wh battery capacity
7. Can be solar-charged during operation.
8. Audible alarm at 30% battery charge
9. Fully waterproof design, IP67 (submersible one hour, up to one metre deep without any harm).

SHAFT SIZE

The Torqeedo 1103,1003 and 503 motors are/were available in two shaft lengths, Standard or Long. The new 603 will only to be offered in S shaft to start with at least.

The conventional measurement is from the bottom of the top of the clamp (ie where it sits on the transom) to the cavitation plate. As Torqeedos do not have a cavitation plate there is no direct equivalent, but approximately:
– Standard shaft Torqeedo motors equate to a petrol outboard with an 18″ (450mm) shaft (nearly as deep as some long shaft motors)
– Long shafts equate to a petrol outboard with a 23″ (575mm) shaft

PRECISE DIMENSIONS are available as pdf downloads here:
Torqeedo 1103 measurements (so far as we know the new 603 is identical in size, but battery is lighter)
– Torqeedo 1003 measurements (the 503 is identical in size with a lighter battery)

The reason the Torqeedo shafts are a little longer than “normal” is that the propellers have a larger diameter than those on petrol outboards, and to work most efficiently a propeller needs to operate in non-turbulent water (ie well below the surface and ideally below the boat’s hull). A larger propeller has to sit deeper, to be immersed.

(The propeller has a diameter of 292mm (approx 12″), so if a cavitation plate were fitted it would need to be at least 175mm (7″) above centre of propeller. Our shaft length equivalent figures are based on that.)

On the rival Epropulsion Spirit there are three shaft sizes; they also offer an “XS” (Extra Short) which suits most small inflatable dinghies fine and means you don’t have to tilt it up as early when coming into land on a slipway or beach.

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WHICH MODEL – Torqeedo Travel 503/1003 or 603/1103?

We are happy to supply a 503 at our price £1125, which comes with a 320Wh battery… it may be that is all you need, but please at least be aware that this model is about to be discontinued (bet the other websites didn’t tell you that!). Sales were slow long before its death was announced, we think because of the small capacity battery (by today’s standards). And it is the older gearbox design, which is fine in itself, but the newer direct-drive models are quieter, more robust and less prone to over-protective software errors.

The “standard” 1003 with 532Wh battery is currently not available from Germany – we assume because they’re not making more of this model, as it too is about to be discontinued. And we don’t have any either, so that one is largely irrelevant!

The 1003C at our price £1500 with 916Wh battery (70% more battery capacity than the standard 1003, nearly three times as much as the 503), we can still get, and our price is £1500 (quite a chunky discount). But do be aware it’s about to be discontinued, like the 503 it’s a gearbox model with the same disadvantages.

The 1103 at our price £1675 is in our opinion worth the extra money. It is Torqeedo’s newest design and has a direct drive motor with the 916Wh battery. It is more expensive than the 503 or 1003C but has several advantages and as people become more aware of these we believe the 1103 is also likely to retain a greater proportion of its price on the secondhand market (ie depreciate less).

The new 603 has the same motor design as the 1103, but with less power output and a smaller 500Wh battery. We don’t know the pricing yet, so can’t say yet if we think it’s a worthwhile option.

Talk to Us!

You may have noticed there is a lot of information on our site that you won’t find elsewhere. That’s because we are long-term fans of the about-to-be-discontinued Torqeedo 1003 (RIP!), and fast-becoming even greater fans of the new 1103. We use electric outboards a lot ourselves, of choice. We understand these motors and we also understand they don’t suit everybody. We are happy to discuss the Torqeedo motors (and your particular application) with you by email or over the phone, and have real-world experience of electric propulsion installed on a very wide range of boats.

ELECTRIC OUTBOARD HOT NEWS… As of November 2020 we are still – to the best of our knowledge – the only significant UK Torqeedo Dealer who has stuck their neck out to stock the rival Epropulsion Spirit 1kW electric outboards as well. In fact it’s recently been confirmed that we are the UK No.1 Dealer for both brands. There are many similarities between the two, but also some important differences. We have seen and tried both, quite extensively, and it’s only by stocking both we believe we can listen to what you want and recommend the one that will suit you better (rather than being a single brand dealer and forced to try and sell you that one). The new-in-2019 Torqeedo 1103C made the competition even more intense, as it has a brushless DC, gearbox-free design (more like the Epropulsion than the Torqeedo 1003). The new Torqeedo 603 is likely to be a very good product in some applications, if the price is low enough to justify the reduced battery capacity.

Contact our "Torqeedo Man" Ian on:

Send us a message online now by clicking Contact Us
Email – nestawayboats@yahoo.com
Mobile – 07768 600595
Landline 0800 99 925 35 (free from landlines and most UK mobiles)

Torqeedo 1003 action 2

Additional Information

Product Category

Electric Outboards

Power

Motor

Price

£1,000 – £2,000

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