Adequate Power: Most primary power electric outboards (not trolling motors) have adequate power for electric only lakes, however, if just adequate is not acceptable you will need a Ray for power as well as many other reasons.
If you navigate general waters, you will want enough power to cruise, and backup power against wind and current. To cruise or otherwise enjoy activities that tax running time, you will need an efficient displacement boat. This type of boat requires about 1.25 HP per ton to achieve cruising speed (hull speed). So if your boat weighs 1.5 tons you will need 2 HP for cruising and at least double for safety or 4 HP.
Efficiency: Gives you better running time, requires less electricity and your batteries will last longer. Efficiency becomes more important on larger waters because it increases your range. Overall efficiency, including that of the motor, the drive mechanism, and the propeller is what is important.
The larger the propeller, the more efficient it is, at least at electric boat speeds---more efficient than Kort tubes on small propellers. Be skeptical of those that hype the efficiency of only one component such as the electric motor. Our field-wound G.E. motor is the most efficient of its type - 77-78% and it has toughness that permanent magnet, brushless motors don't have.
Our motor doesn't need current or temperature protection and is very reliable. If other components are of comparable efficiency, the outboard with the largest propeller is the most efficient. Our propeller has a 12.5" diameter. Also, large underwater-type motors will have significantly more drag in the water than top-water motors with only small gear cases underwater.
Convenience: We don't want to deter from your peace on the water, therefore we have made the Ray as convenient to operate as possible and designed it to keep you out of trouble. Be sure to look for these convenience features if you are considering other brands of electric outboards.
Single Lever Control of remote control models: Gives you a relaxed feeling of control and confidence - fun to operate. The lever on the console is held in the vertical (off) position by a detent. To go forward, push the lever forward; to increase speed, push it further forward. To reverse, pull the lever through the detent and to the rear; to increase speed, pull the lever further back. Operate the lever as slow or fast as you like. Reversing direction is always smooth and without delay. Compare this with motors that claim to have single lever control, even though a separate toggle switch must be operated after slowing or stopping the motor with a lever.
Tiller Twist Grip of tiller models: Gives you control of speed and smooth reversing with one hand. The Baltimore reservoir fishermen like our long tiller because they can sit in the rear fishing seat, hold the tiller in their left hand and have complete control without looking back at the motor. Contrast this with motors that have a lever mounted on the motor for speed and a toggle switch on the motor for forward and reverse - hard to reach and inconvenient.
Reversing: Check for smooth, immediate reversing with no delay before reversing. Delay can be unsafe because reversing is your brakes.
Trip Release: To prevent damage, the outboard must have a trip release or other mechanism that allows it to kick up if the lower unit hits something while underway, but holds the outboard down when in reverse.
Reliability: We sometimes say the Ray has become renowned among those that own one, and we know that its reliability has played a big part in this reputation. We also like to point out that all but four or five of all the outboards we have produced since 1974 are still in service.
Saltwater: Our outboard is reliable in saltwater.
Propeller: Our weedless propeller is guaranteed not to bend or break.