dorienc: Bob, I am thinking Torqeedo 503, what are your thoughts?
I am in a canal with a lift in Florida, so I only need a tenth of a mile exit and entrance to get to the bay and a draw bridge once in a while.
anyone else with experience using Torqeedo (especially 503)?
I have the 1003. I think the 503 would be enough power for it, but since it weighs about the same (28.4 vs 29.5# because of the heavier battery in the 1003) and isn't much cheaper than the 1003, I got the 1003. The 1003 will easily exceed 6 knots, I'm pretty sure I've seen it register 10 knots at full throttle. And the 1003 has a lot longer range. Ordinarily I don't even come close to draining it, but you never know when you might be miles from home and have the wind die. Nice to have the legs then.
I like the instant on feature, as compared to tugging on a rope and hoping a gas engine starts. It doesn't tip up and stay level, I had to add a strap to hold it flat, because of the heavy battery. So when I tip it out of the water to sail, it does take a few seconds and some coordination to hold the tiller flat, grab the straps and fasten them around the tiller. But I imagine there would be a similar problem with a gas engine.