Propane-powered outboard

Outboard designs up to 14'

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graham mackay
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Location: Heriot Bay, BC, Canada

Propane-powered outboard

Postby graham mackay » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:16 am

Hi folks,
Does anyone have info/experience re Lehr propane outboards? Seems to me that with appropriate safe storage of the propane container they would make a lot of sense.
Graham

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Propane-powered outboard

Postby Bill Edmundson » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:27 am

Graham

I saw them and they seem like a good choice for a small open boat or dingy. I would just put the cylinders in a milk crate for an open boat. I would still use a milk crate for a dingy. But, build storage on the mother ship to properly store the milk crate.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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graham mackay
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:32 pm
Location: Heriot Bay, BC, Canada

Re: Propane-powered outboard

Postby graham mackay » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:50 pm

Thanks Bill, my thought is that on my G-L Hercules I would mount the tank [fiberglass by the way] on the swim platform I intend having.
Graham

jcallends
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Re: Propane-powered outboard

Postby jcallends » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:00 am

The biggest drawback to using propane and similar liquefied gases is that they are heavier, in their gaseous state, than air. Because of this there is always a possibility of the gas collecting below deck and becoming a fire/explosion hazard. This is the same hazard that exists with gasoline. Prudent storage of your fuel and routing of supply lines is a must regardless of the fuel used. In a smaller boat I would certainly look at storing the fuel outside the transom as is commonly done with portable gasoline containers.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Propane-powered outboard

Postby Bill Edmundson » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:28 am

There are requirements for onboard storage lockers. These include ventilation, valves, pressure regulators and lines...

These little outboards are designed so that the cylinders are screwed directly into the engine. So, all you are storing is the cylinders. There may be an option of a line to a tank. But, still you would only be storing the tanks.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
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HopCar
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Re: Propane-powered outboard

Postby HopCar » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:11 am

I now own two Lehr propane engines. I've owned a 2.5 for a couple of years now and I just bought a 15 hp Lehr to go on my just completed 14 foot Glen-L Skiff.

Propane is no more dangerous than gasoline and in fact a good argument can be made that it is safer. Propane vapor is actually less dense than gasoline vapor so it will dissipate faster than gasoline fumes. It is also very slightly less flammable than gasoline fumes. I just treat it like I would gasoline and I feel quite safe.

I ran the skiff for the first time today. It hit 19.5 mph with 465 pounds of people aboard. The Lehr engine started very easy and ran smooth and quiet. It has an electric start with a very small lithium battery under the hood.

As a rule of thumb you can figure each 2.5 horsepower the engine puts out, it will burn one pound of propane per hour. Those one pound canisters are an expensive way to run them. I run my 2.5 Lehr on an 11 pound fiberglass tank and keep a one pound canister aboard as a back up supply.
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