Marine technical editor Fox Morgan tries out the new TEMO electric outboard, an unconventional option from France…
It was on a grey day following one of the biggest storms of February that I met David Ellis from Marine Components International at my local yacht club on Southampton Water, with a shiny new dinghy and a 2hp-equivalent TEMO electric outboard for testing.
After we assembled the inflatable boat, which took about 10 minutes, the stick-like outboard was pulled out of its nicely constructed bag and offered up to the dinghy transom. The outboard bracket can be permanently bolted onto your transom, or they make a detachable bracket for use on different dinghies.
This TEMO unlike any conventional outboard, electric or petrol, that we’ve seen before and attaches like a dinghy paddle. The metal rod passes through a pivot point and then with a screw bobbin on the top. Simple, quick and very easy.
How we tested the TEMO electric outboard
We launched from a slipway, clipped the magnetic kill toggle into the slot, the power lights are on and we reversed away. Yes, this thing can reverse at the touch of a button with the same power as forward.
The length of the shaft out the back of your dinghy increases the overall length of your boat by about a metre or so, and that pivot point for steering does require a bit of familiarisation. But after about 20 minutes of practice, I was getting the hang of it.
Article continues below…
The electric motor is either sealed in an underwater casing, or housed above the waterline under a cowling, as in…
Self-confessed fair weather sailors Jim and Libby Earle share their take on the TEMO 450 electric outboard, recently purchased and…
The tiller handle extends to balance the propeller in the water at just the right depth and to give a comfortable position to steer with. The shorter the handle the heavier the steering, but the prop sinks deeper.
I learned to ferry glide sideways like a pro in minutes: spinning on the spot and manoeuvring in tight spaces takes more practice when the outboard has to duck under the sponson.
I guess an additional good test would be on a round tail dinghy to see if this makes spinning around a little bit easier. The TEMO electric outboard whirs away moderately quietly with very little vibration, giving a good forward thrust and stops immediately the trigger is released.
If you let go of the tiller handle the outboard just pivots and the whole things waits, silently, in the vertical position. I did test the float (an optional extra) by detaching the outboard from the dinghy and dropping it into the water. And yes, it does float!
They say it’s equivalent of a 2hp, but the design of it makes it hard to compare to anything conventionally driven. I like the low-profile design, the speed of mounting and dismounting, the ease of carrying and stowing and the speed it charges.
Read PBO readers Jim and Libby Earle’s long-term review of their TEMO 450 electric outboard.
Why not subscribe today?
This feature appeared in the June 2022 edition of Practical Boat Owner. For more articles like this, including DIY, money-saving advice, great boat projects, expert tips and ways to improve your boat’s performance, take out a magazine subscription to Britain’s best-selling boating magazine.
Subscribe, or make a gift for someone else, and you’ll always save at least 30% compared to newsstand prices.
See the latest PBO subscription deals on magazinesdirect.com