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Old 27-11-2015, 11:01   #16
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Bought a Torqueedo 1003 last year and it ius working out great. Dont have to carry gas and the motor is light enough for the admiral to handle (we got rid of our 9.9 outboard was way to heavy. The battery has enough charge for going ashore back and forth all weekend as long as you keep it under 75%. I recharge it when I'm back at the marina I did buy the fast charger as opposed to the standard charger. All in all very pleased with the purchase
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:06   #17
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Chuck, Great minds think alike.


"Concerns for a cruiser would be the limited range of the electric, ability to recharge the batteries and availability of propane in your cruising area."


"I think the other concern with a propane OB is when out cruising the availability of propane."


Luckily it's pretty easy to carry plenty of propane. It's also a little safer than gasoline in that it explodes in a narrower range of air mixtures than gasoline. More important is that it dissipates faster than gasoline when you spill it. Treat it like you would gasoline and you will be fine.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:54   #18
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

I have had, 2 Evinrudes, 2 Johnsons, 2 Mercurys and a Honda outboard over 30 years of part-time cruising, 2 months a year and 10 years of more than 6 months a year in 3 different countries.

Power between 1 1/2 to 45 HP. Mostly 9.9 to 15 hp powering sailboats and/or dinghies.

Only once did I have a problem I could not fix.

I was told that the gas tank had fresh gas and as it turned out it also had old leftover gas with water.
Carb needed to be professionally cleaned out.

Small gas outboards are extremely reliable given proper maintenance.
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Old 27-11-2015, 11:58   #19
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Here's a couple of electric options besides Torqeedo.
Ray Electric Outboard most powerful, durable, not plastic underwater trolling motor. We don't troll, we motor. Made in the U.S.A. two year warrenty!
Electric Boats, Motor Yachts, Launches, Electric Powered Boats
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Old 27-11-2015, 12:42   #20
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

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Originally Posted by NahanniV View Post
The person I spoke with was not so optomistic.
I've experienced a similar attitude gently discouraging me from purchasing a Lehr. Seemed odd. I'll speculate that it has more to do with low profit margins on the units or some such financial motive than the quality of the product. I'm still trying to decide between electric and propane. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Electric is quieter, lighter, but more expensive up front for comparable power. Propane is essentially proven technology (internal combustion engine) with huge range at full power, not smelly, but is heavy and just as loud as gas.

Anyone else made the choice lately, and how is it working out?
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Old 27-11-2015, 13:57   #21
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

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Rustic, these are the guys who make propane outboards.
LEHR | Life Energy for the Human Race | An Environmentally Friendly Technologies Company
It's not just a converted gasoline outboard. It was designed from the start to be propane fueled. Propane has an octane of about 110 so it can be run at higher compression ratios than gasoline.
Well, I'll be a pickled monkey.

I'd never heard of them. My LP tank in my car is about twice the size of the petrol tank and won't go as far. But gas is half the. Out of petrol.

So how far can I go on LP compared to petrol that's the big question to me. I have a Mercury 5hp with an inbuilt tank on the top. I can't see a push in cylinder going very far or as far as petrol.
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:03   #22
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Eat least the Elco looks like a modern proper engine. Those Ray models are just plain ugly. I'd rather row than have them on my tender
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Old 27-11-2015, 14:07   #23
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

I bought a Lehr 5 HP in early 2014. I had spent $500 over the previous two years trying to keep my Yamaha 4HP, 4 stoke running. The previous 10 years it ran fine and I ran it out of fuel each fall a when I winterized my boat. I did experience some early starting problems with my Lehr, but Hopcar, through this forum) showed me how to bled the air out of the line each time I put in or connected a small propane tank. I,drilled a hole in my cowling and now bleed it in a couple of seconds with a paper clip. Not one problem with starting after this great piece of advice.

You can buy the small propane cans at just about any Walgreens or Walmart and they are not expensive. I bought two 4 ft, 4 inch diameter PVC pipes from Lowes, put an end cap on one end and a clean-out with a screw fitting on the other and it will hold 4 of the cans for each pipe. 8 of these little cans will run me about 8 hours at 1/2 power. My dinghy goes 4 knots at 1/2 or full power, so I just run as low as I can to get the speed there.

There are a few things I would change about how the small cans attach, but this motor has been 100% reliable. Not so for my Yamaha with this new crap gas - even running non- ethanol with Stabil, I had problems with the carburetor.

I would highly recommend the Lehr.


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Old 27-11-2015, 19:41   #24
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Rustic, the Lehr engines seem to burn about a quart of propane per hour for each 2.5 hp they put out. Remember you usually don't run an engine at full power continuously. I usually run my 2.5 from an 11 pound tank and save the one pound bottle to use as a backup. On my current tank fill I've got one eight hour fishing trip and an few hours just poking around. The tank is still more than half full.
I worked the Lehr booth at a boat show a couple of years ago with a really nice Australian. He owned a company that sold automotive propane conversions. He was there talking to Lehr about becoming the Australian distributor.
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Old 27-11-2015, 20:13   #25
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Without wishing to ruffle feathers, for a full time cruiser, going to out of the way places in third world areas, the idea of using anything but a 2 cycle o/b for dinghy power seems risky. The newer 2 strokes are extremely reliable, reasonably economical, easy to repair if needed utilizing skills commonly available world wide, not sensitive to abuse and in general representative of a very mature technology. Fuel is available nearly everywhere there are people and does not require any special treatment or adapters.

For local cruising in familiar waters, or for just coming and going to a mooring, sure, other technologies have some positive features. But for the 'utility vehicle' aspect of a dinghy in full time cruising, I believe in my Yamaha 2 stroke!

Jim
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Old 27-11-2015, 21:10   #26
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

I, for one, have taken the leap of faith. I've got a Lehr 15, two composite horizontal 7+ gallon forklift truck fuel tanks, all mounted on an AB VS 10'6" fiberglass RIB. I had some initial problems with the motor, since it was one of the first (I'm an early adopter of new technologies). The problems were corrected by the company at no cost, and now I love this machine. Fuel costs under $2 per gallon, at a local supplier of propane for commercial vehicles. People are blown away at the quietness and dependability of the engine. I am planning a series of loop passages between San Diego, Hawaii and the PNW next year, followed by a second loop the following year beginning with a three month stay in the Marquesas. I'm looking forward to giving the motor a full test. I'll be carrying a third forklift tank of propane, as well as the propane tanks I carry for the galley stove and barbecue. I'll also be checking out the performance with LPG and butane mixes. LP powered fork lifts are apparently used in French Polynesia, so I'm not too worried.
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Old 28-11-2015, 21:39   #27
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

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I, for one, have taken the leap of faith. I've got a Lehr 15, two composite horizontal 7+ gallon forklift truck fuel tanks, all mounted on an AB VS 10'6" fiberglass RIB. I had some initial problems with the motor, since it was one of the first (I'm an early adopter of new technologies). The problems were corrected by the company at no cost, and now I love this machine. Fuel costs under $2 per gallon, at a local supplier of propane for commercial vehicles. People are blown away at the quietness and dependability of the engine. I am planning a series of loop passages between San Diego, Hawaii and the PNW next year, followed by a second loop the following year beginning with a three month stay in the Marquesas. I'm looking forward to giving the motor a full test. I'll be carrying a third forklift tank of propane, as well as the propane tanks I carry for the galley stove and barbecue. I'll also be checking out the performance with LPG and butane mixes. LP powered fork lifts are apparently used in French Polynesia, so I'm not too worried.

Hi Roy

Marquesas that's great.

We recently paid $60 for a 20lb tank fill. Since then we are filling our own at something like $30 for a 20lb tank. We did meet some folks using a propane OB here and they said they didn't see any major issues with the French Polynesian Butane. Be interesting to hear your comments once you get out cruising. Best of Luck

Chuck
Hiva Oa, Marquesas



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Old 28-11-2015, 21:57   #28
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Re: Electric vs Propane Outboard

Thanks, Chuck. I miss seeing you around San Diego Bay. Maybe I'll be able to catch up with you one of these days. I'll be interested to see how much cheaper LPG costs in the larger ports where it has broad use in the dock areas. Thank you for your insights. Fair winds and following seas, oh, and fresh baguettes!
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