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Old 13-08-2012, 08:00   #1
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Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

Though I'm still oogy about having propane IN the boat, the idea of having propane handle a generator (Yamaha) and outboard (see Lehr link), and of course the rail grill seems pretty enticing. The engines top out at 5 hp, at least for now, but having no gasoline on board and the eventual issues with sticky carbs, safety, bad fuel, having to fetch an additional fuel, etc., are turning my head. Any overlooked issues other than availability in some spots?


Lehr Propane-Powered Outboard | Sailing World
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Old 13-08-2012, 22:18   #2
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

Dunno about the genny, but the minute they come out with a 15 horse propane outboard I'm buying one...
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Old 13-08-2012, 22:57   #3
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

My first thought, is its going to be a pain when you cooking and run out of propane. Second thought is your looking at more then the standard 20# cylinder to run everything. There just is not that many dock side propane fill stations either..

The one pound propane cylinders will cost more then the equivalent gasoline. Oh you can get an adapter to fill them from a 20# cylinder too, but that's a lot O messing around for a pound of propane.

The 20# cylinder sort of makes sense, until you have to find a propane fill station (thinking cruising here btw) Where gas is available everywhere. propane, your walking a bit to get the tank filled.

A gallon of gas has about 36% more energy / BTU's then a gallon of propane.

When you factor in the energy in the fuel the price of propane is about the same as gas. Propane is less expensive per gallon, but there's less energy in it too, so thats about a wash..

Propane does burn cleaner so thats a plus.
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Old 14-08-2012, 08:57   #4
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

I'd prefer not to carry gasoline on my boat but I do because up until now that was the only way to power a small outboard. Unfortunately Lehr had problems with the first batch of engines they sold. They made all of the initial customers happy by either replacing their engines or refunding their money. I'm a dealer for them and I can't get them now. I think they will be re-releasing them later this year. I think it's a first class company, they just rushed to get the engines on the market at this years Miami International Boat Show.

My hurricane generator runs on propane. I love it as it can sit for a year or more and starts right up.

I think marinas will start selling in propane pretty soon. It's not a big investment and will give them another source of profit.
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Old 14-08-2012, 09:09   #5
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

For a small outboard your choices are not good. There aren't any powerful electrics, and you need lots of batteries, and a good generator. Or a liquid highly flammable fuel, that smells bad, and can explode. Propane comes in small handy cylinders, that when one goes empty just screw on another one.

If they solve the other problems I'm in.
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Old 14-08-2012, 09:15   #6
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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I'd prefer not to carry gasoline on my boat but I do because up until now that was the only way to power a small outboard. Unfortunately Lehr had problems with the first batch of engines they sold. They made all of the initial customers happy by either replacing their engines or refunding their money. I'm a dealer for them and I can't get them now. I think they will be re-releasing them later this year. I think it's a first class company, they just rushed to get the engines on the market at this years Miami International Boat Show.

My hurricane generator runs on propane. I love it as it can sit for a year or more and starts right up.

I think marinas will start selling in propane pretty soon. It's not a big investment and will give them another source of profit.

Fisheries Supply has been selling them like hot cakes for some time now. They have a whole bunch of them on the floor right now. They don't seem to be having any trouble getting them. Heard nothing but good so far, what was the problem your clients experienced?
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Old 14-08-2012, 09:18   #7
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

I keep looking at the 5hp model, especially after the float on my OB carb stuck again this weekend, but still can't get past what a pain it was in several locations to get propane.
No problem for weekends in the US or anywhere else for that matter, but when out cruising it's just not ideal.
Besides that, when cruising I never had a lick of trouble with the OB, the problems have only happened now that it's not in use everyday.
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Old 14-08-2012, 20:24   #8
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

Minaret, Our customers had problems with bad assembly. Things were loose, leaked or needed adjustment. We only sold a few of them before problems showed up. The distributor asked us not to sell any more and took back the ones we had in stock. I'll have to check to see if anything has changed. The ones we sold were from the first container to hit the US.
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Old 15-08-2012, 15:41   #9
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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Minaret, Our customers had problems with bad assembly. Things were loose, leaked or needed adjustment. We only sold a few of them before problems showed up. The distributor asked us not to sell any more and took back the ones we had in stock. I'll have to check to see if anything has changed. The ones we sold were from the first container to hit the US.


Thanks! Sounds like typical rush for the show all right..
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Old 23-10-2012, 22:17   #10
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

This weekend I got to play with a Lehr Propane Outboard. I loved it. I took it out of the box, put oil in it, screwed in a canister and it fired on the second pull. After that it was one pull starts the rest of the day. I think they've got it right!
Lehr will have a booth at the Ft. Lauderdale show if you want to get a chance to look at them.
A 9.5 hp version should be available by the new year.
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Old 23-10-2012, 22:52   #11
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

I talked to the Lehr guys at the Annapolis Boat Show a few weeks ago. I thought he said they were getting ready to come out with a 9.9 very soon. West Marine is suppose to be selling them. He also said that if you didn't want to use the 1 pound cans of propane, you could plug in a 20# can. I really like the idea of propane outboard, no worry about bad gasoline, no worry about carrying gasoline. Now, if only the boat would hold 4 of those 20# cans.
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Old 23-10-2012, 23:03   #12
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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This weekend I got to play with a Lehr Propane Outboard. I loved it. I took it out of the box, put oil in it, screwed in a canister and it fired on the second pull. After that it was one pull starts the rest of the day. I think they've got it right!
Lehr will have a booth at the Ft. Lauderdale show if you want to get a chance to look at them.
A 9.5 hp version should be available by the new year.

Good to hear. Do you know if they are planning any larger models soon?
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Old 24-10-2012, 05:34   #13
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Is the propane consumption comparable to gasoline consumption?
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Old 24-10-2012, 09:10   #14
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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.
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Old 24-10-2012, 09:12   #15
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Re: Anyone Gone All Propane - Outboard , Generator ?

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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.


Thanks! A 20 would be awesome.
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