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Otony

LPG outboard?

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I've noticed that Lehr has been making verious sizes of propane powered outboard for close to ten years now, but almost every review I've seen mentions high noise levels. Pros seem to be low emissions and zero issues with rubber parts in the carburation systems.

 

Now I see that Tohatsu has a 5hp propane outboard that weighs less than a similar Lehr, and it would seem they have the noise problem beat as well. Pricing is around $1450ish, so not crazy. Starting is supposed to be very easy, no priming at all. Claims for less wear and tear on the motor might be valid as well, I've seen such opinions regarding LPG motors before.

 

I've got a small 12ft aluminum boat that I use to take the kids out on a few local lakes. Right now I'm using an older 8hp Merc, plus a MinnKota trolling motor. Im more than content to just putt-putt around. If what Tohatsu claims is true, an 11lb pancake tank in a milk crate would more than take care of our needs for a days outing. 

 

Honestly, it would be a pleasure to not have to deal with a gas tank, gas cans, priming, etc. It's not a large boat, and my needs are pretty simple. If I sell the Merc I can offset quite a bit of the cost. Opinions?

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Getting gasoline is always easier than LPG.  You may get away with propane in an open boat, but generally propane is a no-no on boats because it sinks and collects low.

 

I don't know that I can say priming is such a hassle that its worth everything else.

 

You like your merc?  Don't fix whats not broken IMO.  Not for this.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

 When I considered a  small LPG outboard some 7-8 years ago, the  researched actual consumption rates were something like a 20# bottle /5-6hours.  I'm doubting that got a whole lot better. That gets expensive, inconvienient fast . Additionally, you can't just top off your fuel tank ( or even be sure how much you have in the tank without weighing it.) .  I ended up sticking with gas.

For about the same $ (maybe $200 more) you can buy a brand new Tohatsu built 5-6 hp 4 stroke from online dealers.  The gas outboard is cheap and easy to feed. 

Better yet, find a used one.

 

FWIW, I have a pair of 90's vintage Tohatsu built (Mercury and Nissan) 2strokes that start 1 or two pulls even after sitting for weeks/months. They will run all day on a gallon of fuel.

My  2015 Tohatsu 4 stroke starts the same and is even stingier on gas. I use a 3 gal tank about every 6-7 trips.

If you feed them  a little Seafoam with every fill-up they start/run as reliable as a hammer even after 6=8 months of storage.

 

 

Edited by WeeHooker

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18 mins ago, WeeHooker said:

 Additionally, you can't just top off your fuel tank ( or even be sure how much you have in the tank without weighing it.) . 

There's the money shot.

 

That's where I was going with gas is always easier than LP

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A few things that might be worthy to add.

 

Tohatsu “claims” an 11lb bottle of propane is good for 5 hours of WOT. The small lakes I frequent would make one bottle an all day affair.

 

It would be pretty easy to carry one or two of the small propane bottles meant for lanterns to get you home in the case of stupidity.

 

There are inexpensive gauges on the market to determine propane levels.

 

There are also expensive see-through bottles available to check propane levels.

 

You have never seen how small motors and I can do battle, be it lawn mowers, weed wackers, and generators. I’m just cursed in this regard.

 

And while propane sinks and collects low, I’m pretty darn sure that wouldn’t be much of an issue on my 12 foot, completely open Starcraft.

 

But then, I can completely understand the mistrust re: a new way of doing things. Maybe I will wait a few more years to see how these pan out.

 

 

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