Propane dinghy engine - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 50 Old 08-09-2012 Thread Starter
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Propane dinghy engine

Just walked into West Marine this afternoon, clutching my skinny wallet tightly to my chest, and saw, to my surprise a propane powered dinghy engine. A 5 horsepower.

When I got back to the boat, I looked it up on the internet - there are 2 of them available - 2.5 hp and 5 hp. Company that makes them is Lehr and they are touting them as environmentally friendly, safer, and more efficient than gas powered. They say you don't have to winterize them and there's never any fuel clogging.

Sounds pretty good to me - but I remain skeptical - too good to be true is, well, usually not true. And during this Presidential campaign season, almost everything we hear seems to be lies, so we grow to expect it.

SO - my question: Has anybody on SailNet tried one yet? Or know of anyone who has? I'd love to hear a user review of one of these things.

Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry


"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry


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post #2 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

Sears is selling a weedwhacker that uses the short squatty disposable tanks, seems like a good option for a seldom used piece of equipment. With the mandatory use of ethanol clean Lp might be a good option.
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post #3 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

There was a thread on here a few months back where they saw them demoed at a boat show. They really were impressed. If I find the post, I will link it.
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post #4 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

I actually bought the 5hp long shaft for my C28 Columbia. Unfortunately I have to change my adapter plate to mount it properly. I should be able to give you some feed back in the next couple of weeks.
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post #5 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

Very interesting. Wonder what kind of mileage you can get out of a 20# tank? If they made a 9.9 hp long shaft, I'd certainly would take a serious look at one of these, especially considering the ethanol part of the equation nowadays. I worry about my little 9.9.

Edited. Vartok our replies crossed in cyberspace. Please do let us know. Thanks.

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post #6 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

Well

Sears was on it in 2009 and you sure will not see them in the store anymore

If you seek out reviews

My husband and I bought the trimmer last summer and I would not recommend it to anyone. It is the hardest starting trimmer we have ever owned. My husband has read the manual about 20 times and it will still not start on the 10th or even 30th try. There are no hose leaks according to my husband. If anyone has a magic wand please let us know. Otherwise it was a wast of $239.00.


Pros: Easy to Handle, Powerful ... Cons: Difficult to Start I bought this trimmer for grass and some moderately heavy brush around our property. I have the straight detachable shaft version. So far, I have gone through two carburetors and one engine. Lehr provides too much oil and the instructions tell you to dump all the oil into the crankcase. The dip stick has a high and low mark. Well, you should only put about 2.5oz in and the level on the dipstick should be between the high and low marks. Putting too much oil in causes it to plug up the carburetor. Lehr sent me a new one and I installed it...no issues until one day, I was using an aftermarket edging attachment made by Poulan. Apparently the engine over-reved and one of the valves broke (Lehr doesn't make its own edging attachment). Lehr sent me a new engine. After knowing what I know about the oil issue, something else is now causing the carburetor to stall the engine. Throttle cable and idle screw are adjusted properly[...]The technology just isn't there yet. The propane powered engine has a lot of power and does an excellent job....when it runs...but it is just way too touchy.


The reviews are mixed and its hard to find one past 2010

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post #7 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

Great info. Thanks.

Buy yourself a Stihl weedeater. Did that a month ago, after watching a Craftsman die. Best one I've ever owned and it starts right up. Use ethanol treatment and be sure to have the 50:1 gas/oil mixture and you won't be sorry. Getting their small chainsaw next.

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post #8 of 50 Old 08-09-2012
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

We've been curious about these engines since they debuted at our ship's store. (Store manager is a pretty knowledgeable guy, so if he's willing to carry them, I think they may be worthy of consideration.) Will be anxious to hear Vartok's experiences.


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post #9 of 50 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

Hate to revive a dead thread...but a 9.9 HP propane outboard now exists from this company. I'm wondering if anyones tried it out!

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Last edited by night0wl; 06-25-2013 at 07:16 PM.
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post #10 of 50 Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Propane dinghy engine

they are on my wish list... at least the 5hp is.

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