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  #21  
Old 02-23-2012
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I do not understand how in any way it would be more fuel efficient than gas as propane is approx. 30% less efficient. Running 50 hrs on 5 gal. under a load is a little far fetched. 1 lb canister of propane is roughly 1 qt of gasoline (4.23 lb propane = 1 gal of petro). Can't see a 5hp running very long on 1 lb of propane, should be about 30% less run time on a qt of gas.

Again, IMNSHO the ability to carry a 20lb fiberglass propane tank to run outboard, grill, stove, and a small generator is a big plus, especially by a cruising trailer sailor that enjoys small boats and camping in them and/or on shore--hey, I know someone just like that
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  #22  
Old 02-23-2012
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Having owned several pieces of equipment that were powered with propane and after several long discussions with propane dealers I can confidently say that like Zeta says above propane is less efficient than gasoline. The dealers all told me to count on at least a 15% decrease in mileage and horsepower. We had some identical trucks so making side by side comparisons was easy; the propane trucks had noticeably less power and couldn't finish a long shift on the fuel they carried even though they had larger capacity fuel tanks than the gas versions. That, coupled with the hassle of fueling and very hard starting in cold weather made us give up on propane. The engines tended to last forever though and the oil was still clean when it was time to change it. I would think that an outboard run on propane would work OK if you don't mind having a big propane tank in the boat and never end up somewhere needing fuel that doesn't carry propane. Reliability is more important to me than anything else in an outboard so I would want to know what engine it actually is (who made it) before being converted to propane.
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Old 02-23-2012
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It appears a gallon of propane only has 73% as much energy as a gallon of gasoline, so milage should suffer:
Fuel Energy Content and Unit Conversion Tables

Also, as temperature drops, the propane cannot change state from liquid to solid as rapidly, so you may not get enough propane vapor to your engine and output would drop- the change of state is dependent on temperature and the surface area of the liquid in the propane tank- more surface area and higher the temp, the faster the liquid propane goes to vapor propane, which is what you need to burn in the engine.
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Old 02-23-2012
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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Also, as temperature drops, the propane cannot change state from liquid to solid as rapidly, so you may not get enough propane vapor to your engine and output would drop- the change of state is dependent on temperature and the surface area of the liquid in the propane tank- more surface area and higher the temp, the faster the liquid propane goes to vapor propane, which is what you need to burn in the engine.
It goes from liquid to gas, not solid. Also this is not an issue for an outboard since they rarely get used in winter.

If there is a savings in cost it is because propane is cheaper than gasoline so even tho it has less energy and your mileage will suffer, you still come out ahead because it's 50% the cost of gasoline.

Propane is a fantastic alternative to gasoline for 4 stroke outboards, just don't use the 1 lbs disposable bottles.
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Old 02-23-2012
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Originally Posted by AllThumbs View Post
It goes from liquid to gas, not solid. Also this is not an issue for an outboard since they rarely get used in winter.

If there is a savings in cost it is because propane is cheaper than gasoline so even tho it has less energy and your mileage will suffer, you still come out ahead because it's 50% the cost of gasoline.

Propane is a fantastic alternative to gasoline for 4 stroke outboards, just don't use the 1 lbs disposable bottles.
Solid was typo. Not sure if propane is 50% the cost of gas- looks to be about the same price,
http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_dcus_nus_w.htm
and if you by in small quantities like 5 gallons from a hardware store, it can cost a lot more than gas.
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Old 02-23-2012
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Anything that uses the 1 lbs bottles as fuel is NOT environmentally friendly. The bottles are disposable, which means they go in a land fill if you are lucky.
Agreed, same here in the States. Coleman tried a recycling initiative several years ago and was relatively unsuccessful with it.

I won't comment on the legality or safety concerns of refilling these canisters (or the wisdom for that matter), but it can be done quite easily. The adapter is pretty cheap and can be purchased from Amazon or HF. You can Google "refill disposable propane cylinders" and find all the information one could ask for on the topic.

I'm not endorsing this practice, so hold the vitriol. Just pointing it out in case someone wants to be nominated for a Darwin Award. Gases, metal and pressure are not a great combination if handled improperly.

If you're curious as why the one pounders are considered non-refillable, read more here:

http://www.gizmology.net/dot39.htm

Last edited by Tanley; 02-23-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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  #27  
Old 02-23-2012
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Seems like it's cheaper in Canada. Energy Sector: Energy Sources

If you look at Toronto, Ontario, it's very close to half the price. It's probably because our Gasoline is a lot higher than yours.
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  #28  
Old 02-23-2012
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I've used the HF adapter with no problems for the past year. We use the 1lbers for lanterns and grills when camping and occasionally here at the house. As to how safe the process is that would be up to the user to decide but like any other flamable material you don't want any sparks...but that's a no brainer
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Old 02-23-2012
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It seems like a waste of time to build these things......some of the new 4 strokes are very clean and efficient. a 5 gallon gas tank is cheaper and easier to use that a 5 gallon propane tank...are these engines quieter than gas?....what I think what would be green and cool would be a electric that would use the battery pack like the cordless tools ....battery goes dead swap one out and recharge it...and a solar charger would make it sweet and easy to use....also I am a newbie to sailnet ...this is cool and you folks ROCK.....thanks....
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  #30  
Old 02-23-2012
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The only problem with re-using the 1# cylinders is that they are designed to be used and tossed. They can rust out internally, which would be a nasty surprise. And the "seal" is just a rubber ball in the neck, also not meant for great wear resistance or durability.

I'd have no qualms with re-using them--with care and with limited expectations. And the brass screw caps for them (sold in rv and cmaping stores) of course make the danger of a leaking valve much less.
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