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Thread: LEHR propane fueled outboard

  1. #1
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    Default LEHR propane fueled outboard

    I saw a link to this at another small boat website and like it.

    It runs on the small propane canisters or you can hook it up to a larger tank.

    Has anyone actually seen one in action? The price of about $1600 for the 5 horse, 4 stroke, seems about right, I think.

    Pros and cons?

    http://www.golehr.com/marine.php
    John
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    They've been discussed here if you do a search.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    For someone who only uses a motor under ten hours per year, the self-contained tank of a fuel without the shelf life issue of todays's gasoline could make sense.

    For heavier users, It's hard to make the case. The cost of the disposable bottles is six times that of bulk propane or gasoline. The larger pressurized propane tanks are much more of a pain than today's plastic portable gasoline tanks. Fewer places to fill them, heavier and needing touchy piping. I'd argue that he non-pressurized gasoline tanks are safer.

    I use maybe 10 gallons of gasoline per season and it's quite convenient to lug 3 gallon tanks like this aboard.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 05-13-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    I've been wondering when there would be a decent propane outboard on the market. I already have one of the lightweight propane tanks.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Here is one of the threads on this outboard. I like them.

    The small 1lb disposable propane cylinders don't need to be disposable. They can be refilled by anyone with an interest to do so.
    Nosce te ipsum

  6. #6
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    I think as a tender to a cruiser already fitted with propane they make loads of sense. As a primary boat's propulsion, I keep thinking about having to secure a BBQ bottle, versus a gas tank I can just lie on the sole. That, and having no where to fuel up on the water, whereas you can get gasoline everywhere.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    My neighbor has an 18 ft. Victoria sailboat with a 3 hp Yamaha outboard that rarely gets used. She is not mechanically inclined at all, so everytime she tries to use the outboard is won't start due to the carb being gunked up. She takes it to the shop and gets a $200 bill to get it running again. After several years she has gotten real tired of this proceedure so she went to West Marine to order a Lehr 2.5 hp propane unit because the carb. fouling supposedly doesn't happen with propane and a 1 pound bottle will last her an entire season. They were out of stock and no idea when they would be available. Apparently they are selling well. I'm hoping she can find one as I'd love to see/try it out.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Bump.

    They have a long shaft 5 hp now. Several negative reviews of the engine in general. Some dated.

    I have a great spot on my Sea Pearl in the rear cockpit that would hold a 5lb propane tank. No venting problems.

    Two questions:

    First, has anyone taken the plunge? Some firsthand experience would be great.

    Second, does anyone have anything good to say regarding West Marine customer service? It would be great to hear that they are responsive and helpful. Even if I have to pay a premium for the product. I note that the return policy excludes motors.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Relevant to this, links to a refillable small propane bottle were just posted in another thread:

    The Flame King, available from different sources like REI or Walmart and others:
    https://www.rei.com/product/113711/f...efill-kit-1-lb
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/1-lb-Refi...mpty/933355397
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...25#post5470725

    Alex

  10. #10
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    We've had the smallest one for several years and like it. We were having the same issue with ethanol gunking up our previous small outboard. Even running it dry and dumping the small amount of fuel in the 3 gallon tank into the car (to burn it before a month went by) didn't take care of the carburetor problem, at least reliably enough to not be concerned about.

    My only complaint about the Lehr now is that connecting the small canisters is awkward and my big hands don't do very well snaking it into its spot. That might not be an issue with the 5 hp motors? Our motor (used) came with the separate larger tank and hose, which attaches easily to a receptacle on the front of the engine down low on the cowl. Much easier and of course will run much longer. And not having to winterize the motor helps.

    We haven't had any issues requiring repair or service, and there's the question about who can do that locally or regionally.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I missed this. Great to have an alternative!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    There are a lot more Tohatsu dealers than there are Lehr dealers.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Interesting -- and only $100 more than the equivalent gas outboard!

    https://onlineoutboards.com/tohatsu-...otor-4954.html
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    I don't know how it compares to the Lehr, but that Tohatsu weighs 60 pounds. That's too heavy for me to use on my side mount bracket. Just too much to heft. If one has a fixed bracket then the propane makes great sense and weight wouldn't be an issue.

    Jeff

  16. #16
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Darn. The motor most use is the Honda long shaft. Under 30 lbs. The Lehr is around 52 lbs.

    Jeff- do you have a Pearl? When you say side mount bracket do you mean hung off the side of the rudder?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Here is one of the threads on this outboard. I like them.

    The small 1lb disposable propane cylinders don't need to be disposable. They can be refilled by anyone with an interest to do so.
    It is done all the time, but that does not make it advisable. Some threads bring up examples of bulging 1lb tanks that were accidentally overfilled. http://www.walleyecentral.com/forums...p/t-28958.html

    Disposable tanks are made with lighter gage steel than refillable tanks and don't have overfill protection devices. They can not take as many pressure cycles as a refillable tank. How many is too many? Do you want to find out? So which is the better cliche, 'it's your funeral' or 'you're playing with fire'?
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  18. #18
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Darn. The motor most use is the Honda long shaft. Under 30 lbs. The Lehr is around 52 lbs.

    Jeff- do you have a Pearl? When you say side mount bracket do you mean hung off the side of the rudder?
    I think the OP wants 5 hp. FWIW the 2.3 hp Honda weighs 30 but the Honda long shaft 5 hp weighs 60.

    Last edited by rbgarr; 02-18-2018 at 09:10 AM.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    No personal experience with a propane outboard but they should be ideal for boats with inboard motor wells. Nobody seems to post about cockpit fumes with inboard wells but it is a consideration.

    Other than the optional charging system (not available on smaller engines) is there a reason you want 5 hp for a Sea Pearl? In my opinion 5 hp is major overrkill on that design. A 3.5 hp (40+lb) single cyl Tohatsu will motor it easily at speed in strong headwinds and bigger chop than you want to be out in. I bought a 5 hp Nissan (Tohatsu) about 10 yrs ago and it has been suburb. It sits on the shore and has full time saltwater exposure at my house. Always starts on the 1st or 2nd pull. Needed a water pump impeller after a couple yrs but nothing else. As a result of that I bought a new 4 hp Tohatsu in 2015 for a 1800lb x 20' Vivacity (which is a draggy slug compared to the Sea Pearl)...from a 9.9 OMC Sailmaster which ran hull speed at only 1/3 power in 25 kt headwinds and 2' chop.

    I looked at the small air cooled Honda and didn't care for the large air openings or the clutch drive. It gets rough here and small boat transoms get sloshed up to the bottom of the powerhead every now and then. My old JW Johnsons get the spark plugs wet from just normal splash but their cowls are totally open at the bottom. Anyway that was my main beef with the little Honda for my applications. I will add that Honda is far from the most used small outboard in Florida...Nissan/Tohatsu outboards are probably 100 to every 1 Honda on small craft.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Agreed. The real (only) goall for me was to have a long shaft propane outboard. Smaller would be fine. This boat is easy to row.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: LEHR propane fueled outboard

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Darn. The motor most use is the Honda long shaft. Under 30 lbs. The Lehr is around 52 lbs.

    Jeff- do you have a Pearl? When you say side mount bracket do you mean hung off the side of the rudder?

    No, I don't have a Pearl. I have a Somes Sound 12 1/2. A small keeled sailboat that's similar to the H-12. This is my motor mount:

    mount.jpg

    It hangs off the side of the cockpit on a fixed plate. It is only installed when I use the motor.

    My comment was primarily that a 50 pound motor would be way too heavy for me to handle. I can certainly lift 50 pounds, but it would put a real strain on this old body when held over the side. Especially if the water was rough at all. I use a much lighter weight Torqeedo that can come apart easily.

    I also have a 2 hp Honda, about 30 pounds. That I can handle. I don't use it much because of the gas.

    Jeff

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