Highfield 280AL and Torqeedo 603 for sale

I’m selling almost brand new Highfield 10-foot RIB and Torqeedo Travel 603 electric motor. We used them this summer as a temporary tender while waiting for our actual tender. We paid $2,406.24 ($1,884.00 for the boat + $223.71 in sales tax + $298.53 for shipping) for the Highfield and $2,415.91 (including sales tax) for the Torqeedo. I’m asking $1,800 for the Highfield and $1,500 for the Torqeedo. Luckily, Torqeedo was running a promotion at the time I bought it so I got the $230 carrying bags, which are surprisingly nice, for free, so a buyer gets them for free too! I’ll sell them separately or together for $3,000. Email me at troy.hakala@gmail.com if you’re interested.

History

I bought both of these as a temporary tender for the summer. I ordered a jet tender before our new boat arrived but, as is common these days, it was to take several months to get here. We had trips on the boat planned where we’d be anchoring so we needed a tender right away. Our Williams tender finally (!) arrived so we don’t need this Highfield tender or the Torqeedo motor anymore.

I bought the Highfield 280AL from Defender.com on July 11th and received it on July 15, 2022. I bought the Torqeedo Travel 603 motor from Fisheries Supply on July 11, 2022. Both were brand new, of course.

We used them on four trips in Puget Sound this summer to carry us back and forth to docks and to drop and and pick up crab pots several times. I don’t have much more to say about the boat than that, it floats and does what it’s supposed to do. It’s a Highfield, which is a good and popular brand. It does have the aluminum floor option, which is nice.

The Torqeedo, however, is exceptional. If you don’t know what a Torqeedo is, it’s an electric motor. That was a big attraction to me for obvious reasons so I looked into Torqeedo and ePropulsion motors. They’re comparable brands, but the engineer in me likes that the Torqeedo is German-made and, admittedly, that was the deciding factor for me when I bought it over its competitors. Torqeedo has also been in business longer and is the market leader.

I had read and watched good reviews about both, most notably how quiet they are. I didn’t understand why everyone mentioned that in reviews until I used it myself. Likewise, you may be wondering why I’m mentioning it. It really is quiet, as in no sound at all. Everyone who heard it (or didn’t hear it) commented on how quiet it is. It really is amazing that when it’s idle you don’t hear anything, you assume it’s off, and when you twist the throttle you just start moving and all you hear is the sound of the boat moving through the water. It is a very pleasant experience, especially in quiet mornings where you hear the birds instead of the rumble of a gas engine disturbing the sounds of nature. To me, this is the best thing about it.

The only downside to it is that it doesn’t go fast. It pushed this Highfield at 3.5 knots, 4.5 knots if wind and current are with you and you’re only carrying one or two people, and down to 2.5 knots with 4+ people on board. It’s fast enough to be a tender, of course, but isn’t going to thrill you, get you a long way away quickly or pull anyone on skis or tubes. Electric motors cost about twice as much per horsepower to purchase than a gas engine. It’s the equivalent of a 2hp motor, and you can get a good 2hp gas motor for $1000 or maybe a little more, so it’s still not as cost-effective to use electric power for boats. But it’ll never be more viable unless people who are able to and are willing to support these companies today. Not buying gas will eventually pay for the extra up-front cost, of course.

It also doesn’t have the other hassles of gas engines:

  1. You don’t need to carry a gas tank on board and worry about the hazards of that — gas is more flammable and dangerous than diesel on a boat
  2. You don’t need to fill it up when you fill up your big boat
  3. There is practically zero maintenance on the motor. No oil, no spark plugs, etc.

It charges quickly and lasts a long time, more if you go slower and less if you go faster. The display on it makes it very clear how much more time you have (in minutes) on the battery and you can see how much different speeds affect that time, something a gas engine doesn’t give you. As typical of boats, it takes much more energy to go just a bit faster, so staying at 2.5-3 knots is much better than trying to get 3.5 knots out of it and the display makes that very clear so you don’t have to worry about running out. We cruised at 2.5-3 knots all the time and the battery lasted plenty long, 1.5 hours or so of actual use on a charge. When it’s low, we’d take it off and plug it into the charger in the crew cabin and it’d be fully charged the next time we needed it.

Our son did run into shallow water with it in Poulsbo’s harbor and chopped up the propeller a bit on the gravel (it’s plastic). It still works fine but a new propeller costs $100, which isn’t terribly expensive for a propeller.

Defender.com order confirmation for Highfield tender: