Thought I would take the opportunity to review my recent acquisition of a 5 hp Lehr.
Note that this unit did NOT come from HopCar!
A lot of thought and contemplation went into the engine. It was to go onto a Walker Bay Genisis 310 RIB
and I was concerned if 5 Hp was enough to get me to planning speed. I was also quite concerned with weight as the engine had to come off the tender
on a regular basis.
I bought the motor about a month ago from a local dealer when they had a special on but today was the first time trying it out. Initially I was quite concerned about how much plastic was on the engine. My last engine was a Honda
15 but a long time ago (maybe 15 years or more). I had no real reference to what other current
motors were using for materials (still don't). As weight was a concern, I eventually decided that plastic is good
15 was never removed from the boat so weight didn't matter back then.
First thing I found out was that the 'priming tool' talked about in an on-line manual was not included in my bits and pieces that came with the motor and I had nothing that was small enough to fit into the tiny hole. Luckily, it turned out that the effort required on the pull starter was incredibly low - I was used to having to work
on the pull start but this motor was incredibly easy to turn over. In no time at all I had the engine running. I had been told that the engine had been run-in by the dealer but there was a substantial 'fog' created which I assume was courtesy of an oil
fogging in the cylinder to avoid corrosion
. I suspect that the engine wasn't run in because it is unlikely the dealer would have gone to the effort of re-fogging the cylinder.
engine shut-down clip seems quite weak. I will want to make sure I have a spare handy.
dissipated after a minute and two of us went on the first jaunt - 475 lbs plus the RIB
and the engine. Nowhere near planing
I tried a solo trip - 250 lbs plus RIB plus engine - no go either. Pretty close though ... maybe if I had run wide open for a bit longer but I didn't want to stress the brand new engine.
Although I was half expecting the outcome, I was a bit disappointed. Secretly I was hoping that with just me on board I could get the boat to plane. I am still hoping that maybe after some run-in time and with a 10 lb cylinder (rather than the 1 lb can I as using) I may be able to plane the RIB.
I would have loved to run a 9.9 or even a 15 but the weight would have been a real PITA ....
I hate compromises
Coming back to the test run, there was one real annoying problem - the gear
shifting. The shifter is fairly tight and it is easy to overshoot the in-between neutral position but more importantly, there is a delay/reluctance to shift from forward to reverse and back. On a couple of occasions the engine was going in reverse even though the gear
shift was in the forward position. The result was the engine popping partially out of the water
. Only in reverse is the engine locked from flipping up - this is a good thing if you are going forward and get into low water ... the engine will lift
right up and you will save the prop.
I have not looked at this as far as repair is concerned as I am hoping that with a bit of time things will loosen up and the problem will go away. It is however a significant problem for now.
For those of you who want to make a Sunbrella cover for the engine - be advised that an actual propane tank screwed into the back of the engine is longer than the dummy plug
and if your cover is form fitting you will be rather disappointed when your cover doesn't fit well with a 1 lb tank installed.
Overall, I can report significant improvement in going from A to B with an outboard compared to rowing
I am definitively sitting on a fence and waffling back and forth about engine weight vs engine power. This tender
should really have a 15 Hp engine on it.
I hope this review helps others choose the right engine for their dink.