Electric Pod Drives for Boats and Sail Drive

Electric Pod Drives for Boats and Sail Drive

E-Drive motors are a go-to choice for sailboats thanks to their multipurpose functionality and suitability for various boats and sailing yachts. The advantages of flange and saildrive motors are silence, convenience, and simplicity. They require minimum maintenance, are easy to install and are suitable for personal, as well as commercial use.

In this article we'll discuss different types of electric pod drive and sail drive motors, their key features and distinctions, as well as some installation basics. 

Table of Content:

  • Electric Pod Motors for sailboats

  • Saildrives

  • Power & Speed

  • Special Features

  • Hydrogeneration Technology

  • Common Technical Characteristics

  • Installation and Safety

Electric Pod Motors for Sailboats

An electric pod motor is a propulsion solution powered by the battery onboard that is widely used to move boats and ships. It uses an impeller that powers the boat through the water against it. Particular models of pod motors can push up to 40 tons and possibly more. This technology was first used on German E-boats during World War II. 

Today, pod drive motors' popularity is growing as electric boat and motor technologies develop. The model range constantly expands and evolves, making electric pod engines easier to maintain and install.

In recent years, electric pod motors have been gaining popularity among professionals and in the outdoor activities community. Pod motors allow the yacht to move with less noise and maneuver relatively quickly, even with lowered sails. However, electric pod motors all share a common disadvantage - they can't be controlled directly. 

Electric Pod Motors for Sailboats


Electric saildrive systems are widely used for the majority of boats, just like pod drives. But their most significant difference lies in their controls. Whereas a pod motor can't alter the speed and steers the boat in the direction set by the hand-held rudder, a saildrive is connected directly to the rudder. Specific models of sale drives even can spin. Just like electric pod motors, saildrives are popular among sailors, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts. Check out ThrustMe if you're looking for reliability, purposeful design and accessibility.

Electric saildrive

Power & Speed

When it comes to power, both pod drive motors and sail drives don't go beyond their standard limits. Pod and sail drive motors typically don't exceed the 110 kW mark, which is about 145 hp. Still, they possess some quality horsepower due to the positioning of the propeller and motor itself. 

With speed characteristics, it gets a little tricky. In this case, speed entirely depends on the boat's weight. For example, a 12kw motor can be suitable for a 12-ton boat and still work efficiently. Nevertheless, speed is not the central piece when choosing a pod of a saildrive. They are noiseless, comfortable, and practically maintenance-free.

Special Features

  • Some pod drives support remote control, using the fixed throttle with a steering wheel on board.

  • The motor is mounted directly on the boat's hull, and the batteries inside the vessel connect to the battery pack via a lead-through to the hull.

ePropulsion Hydrogeneration Technology

Electric Pod Motors' Hydrogen Generation Technology taps into natural energy and converts it into power that can be stored and used again. This innovative technology drastically extends battery life, while being energy efficient and eco-friendly. Using hydrogen might be a significant step toward for boat engines to become a self-sufficient mode of transport.

So what exactly is ePropulsion hydrogeneration? During hydrogeneration, water passively spins the propeller on a boat's motor. Propeller generates electricity through electromagnetic induction, which is stored in a battery bank, ready to be used in no time.

If you're in the market for an electric pod motor, consider ePropulsion's model range. They're easy to install and maintain, making them a practical addition to any sailboat.

Common Technical Characteristics

Most electric motor batteries range from 12 to 96 in volts and from 0.5kw to 20 in kW, having a broad spectrum of admissible Amps values.

The output starts at < 2hp and increases up to 40 and even better horsepower rates for electric motors.

The weight of electric motors generally ranges from 10 to 100 kg. Nevertheless, some 30-50 kg motors can handle weights up to 10 tons.

Some saildrive motors available on the market can provide steering that works by a permanent magnet principle. The motor itself with the propeller sticks to the bottom of the boat's hull and operates remotely. 

Some electric pod motors and saildrives provide alternative connection methods between the steering system of a motor with the sail and the possibility of constant monitoring and managing the directions with gadgets.

You can find motor models that rotate the propeller up to 180 degrees, making them a perfect choice for those who want extra maneuver flexibility.

If you are in search of a perfect propulsion system for your boat with a custom approach and flexible configuration, take a look at OceanVolt.

How to Install Electric Pod Drive Motors

Assembly of electric pod drive motors is more complex compared to an outboard, and it'll be much safer to perform under a professional's supervision. You'll need to get your electric boat out of the water, which may require a crane or other specialized equipment. Existing holes and bases can usually be reused. 

It is essential to make sure the fuselage openings are well sealed. The cost of installing pod motors is lesser than that of a saildrive, since you need only a few smaller holes for attaching to the fuselage, and one big spot for cable entry. We wouldn't recommend installing saildrives unless you have done it before or have done thorough research.

Make sure to follow the instructions in the manual book and take your measures precisely. Contact the Crabzz shop for more answers on this topic!