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Old 25-10-2012, 00:49   #16
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Minaret, I think that after the 9.5 they are talking about a 20 hp.
Dulcesuenos, It takes a little more propane to produce a given horsepower than gasoline.
Propane is cheaper than gasoline so even though it takes more, it should be cheaper to operate than a gasoline engine. The 5HP Lehr should run about ten hours at wide open throttle on a 20 pound tank. I'm going to get a ten pound fiberglass tank.
I am intrigued by these as well. I got a bit toasted on a different forum because of the danger of accumulated propane in the dinghy when I suggested running a 10# tank in the bow of our 9ft hard shell to help fore/aft balance. Run the hose in a conduit to protect from abrasion. Never the less, my Kevlar suit got flame tested.

I get the risk, any suggestions?
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Old 25-10-2012, 00:55   #17
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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I am intrigued by these as well. I got a bit toasted on a different forum by suggesting running a 10# tank because of the danger of accumulated propane in the dinghy.

I was thinking of putting it the bow of our 9ft hard shell to help fore/aft balance. Run the hose in a conduit to protect from abrasion. Never the less, my Kevlar suit got flame tested.

I get the risk, any suggestions?

I really don't think it's worse than gas, in some cases it might be safer. What's more dangerous in a dinghy, a bilge full of gasoline or a bilge full of propane? The propane will disperse quickly, the gas will not. Either one would probably require a similar source of ignition. And if it is ignited, the propane will probably flash off, since theres no containment. The tank or hose might turn into a flamethrower or explode, but I doubt it would be as bad as a similar sized gas explosion/fire. Certainly it would go out much quicker and present less of a fire risk to those trying to put it out or any other nearby boats, etc. Plus the tank has a valve on it, if you hole the hose somehow you just close the valve before ignition. I won't hesitate to buy if they come out with a 15 or 20 myself. You must have been on SA, they just like to flame people (pun intended) over there...
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:12   #18
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

I agree with Minaret. I don't think propane is any more dangerous than gasoline. Did the guys on the other forum not own gasoline powered boat engines?
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:25   #19
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

You could even install a solenoid to shut it off with a switch instead of a valve, just like on a propane oven.
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:28   #20
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

For stateside cruising this could work nicely. Once you leave the states, It would potentially become a headache, finding propane. If you are a meticulous planner, it might be fine. But I imagine the scenario when you are almost out of propane, and find out that while you can get gas at the station down the street, the propane guy only comes to town twice a month. This is a common scenario in the Bahamas, we found.

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Old 25-10-2012, 09:39   #21
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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For stateside cruising this could work nicely. Once you leave the states, It would potentially become a headache, finding propane. If you are a meticulous planner, it might be fine. But I imagine the scenario when you are almost out of propane, and find out that while you can get gas at the station down the street, the propane guy only comes to town twice a month. This is a common scenario in the Bahamas, we found.

Chris

This is why I think it's a better option for larger boats. I would have no problem with 4 20# tanks mounted on my stern rail either side. I also have a sailing/rowing dinghy as well as a RIB and an inflatable, and some kayaks. It's not like I won't be able to get ashore if I run out.
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:48   #22
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A bigger concern I would have is quality. No offense but if this outboard is built to the same standards as most chinese generators, scooters, motorcycles, atvs etc. They just do not hold up compared to named brand units made in japan or the US etc. We were in the Paintball business for a long time and Tippman came out with a propane powered marker and it was a flop for several reasons.
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:56   #23
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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A bigger concern I would have is quality. No offense but if this outboard is built to the same standards as most chinese generators, scooters, motorcycles, atvs etc. They just do not hold up compared to named brand units made in japan or the US etc. We were in the Paintball business for a long time and Tippman came out with a propane powered marker and it was a flop for several reasons.


A whole lot of reasons. Didn't the ATF want to regulate it as a firearm because a flammable substance was ignited as the propellant? In any case, I don't see the relationship between powering a motor with propane, something which has been done for a long time, and propelling a projectile with it. And many of the named brand units DESIGNED in Japan or elsewhere are actually built in China now. A great many.
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Old 25-10-2012, 09:56   #24
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

I just ran the number for the UK -- the cost of a propane refill for a 13kg cylinder (smaller ones are much more expensive per kg) is 25.49 pounds. One kg of propane has the equivalent energy to 1.47 liters of petrol (gasoline). So the cost of propane in petrol equivalent is 1.37 per liter, nearly $10 per gallon, so about the same ridiculous price we pay for petrol.

So I don't see a big advantage in a propane outboard. Downside: heavier, more awkward storage tank, fewer places to refuel, tiny installed base so harder to get parts and service. Upside: no gummed up carbs. Fuel is slightly lighter (kg per unit of energy). Maybe better engine wear characteristics, but my outboards last forever anyway.

Don't see any compelling reason to use a relatively exotic technology, myself.

I did the same analysis for propane for heat. It seems that I am MUCH better off heating with diesel fuel, than with propane. I pay a lot less for a liter of diesel fuel, than I do for a liter of petrol (about 80p or $1.25 when I buy it tax free, and with my big tank, I usually can time it to buy it tax free). And a liter of diesel fuel has a good bit more energy than a liter of petrol. That makes me feel better using the stuff for heating and generating electricity.
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Old 25-10-2012, 10:00   #25
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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I just ran the number for the UK -- the cost of a propane refill for a 13kg cylinder (smaller ones are much more expensive per kg) is 25.49 pounds. One kg of propane has the equivalent energy to 1.47 liters of petrol (gasoline). So the cost of propane in petrol equivalent is 1.37 per liter, nearly $10 per gallon, so about the same ridiculous price we pay for petrol.

So I don't see a big advantage in a propane outboard. Downside: heavier, more awkward storage tank, fewer places to refuel, tiny installed base so harder to get parts and service. Upside: no gummed up carbs. Fuel is slightly lighter (kg per unit of energy). Maybe better engine wear characteristics, but my outboards last forever anyway.

Don't see any compelling reason to use a relatively exotic technology, myself.

Perhaps in the UK you use less ethanol in the gas? Here in the US 10% ethanol is the standard. It eats the end of the float valve right up. I for one am tired of rebuilding carbs. And the good habit of pulling the fuel line and running the carb dry just makes starting that much more time consuming. I think having an outboard that reliably starts on the first pull every single time is worth it.
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Old 25-10-2012, 10:05   #26
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

Only time will tell about the quality. The one I played with looked pretty good and I plan to buy one. They had assembly problems with the first batch but they made everybody happy. I think they are really trying to put out a quality product.
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Old 25-10-2012, 10:09   #27
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

For the record, Lehr is based out of LA. A link to their site-


LEHR - Environmentally Friendly Technology


I would feel pretty good about the eco friendly nature of the fuel too. Very low emissions. We have all seen those smoky exhaust bubbles coming up, we have all spilled fuel in the dink. I'd be very happy never to have to mess with gas again.
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Old 25-10-2012, 10:16   #28
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

My best friend, Tarten owner, saw the 2.5 hp Lehr engine at the boat show">Annapolis boat show and ended up buying it. Took deliver this past weekend and we picked it up at the West store in Rock Hall. Went on a 3 day sailing weekend and we both loved it!

Always started on the second pull, light weight and good acceleration. Used it about 6 times getting back and forth to the shore and on Monday even used it to do some crabbing- we're still on the original canister.

So far so good, he does plan on getting a 7 or 10lb fiber tank.
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Old 25-10-2012, 10:50   #29
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

That makes sense. Now all I need is a larger boat.... Having a sailing rig sure gives you options beyond rowing!

Chris


Quote:
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This is why I think it's a better option for larger boats. I would have no problem with 4 20# tanks mounted on my stern rail either side. I also have a sailing/rowing dinghy as well as a RIB and an inflatable, and some kayaks. It's not like I won't be able to get ashore if I run out.
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Old 25-10-2012, 15:18   #30
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A whole lot of reasons. Didn't the ATF want to regulate it as a firearm because a flammable substance was ignited as the propellant? In any case, I don't see the relationship between powering a motor with propane, something which has been done for a long time, and propelling a projectile with it. And many of the named brand units DESIGNED in Japan or elsewhere are actually built in China now. A great many.

My biggest point was the reliability issue. Its funny ask anyone who sells the chinese knockoff atvs, scooters etc,, and they say the same things you have said. As well as "Honda etc etc" patents expired so its identical,, they are all made in china etc etc now" and yet they all suck... no offense. The true test will be like everything else, how long they last. And the marker had constant ignition , velocity, and tank thread issues. Two pf which could cause real problems with the outboard.
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