Propane Dinghy Motor?

I don’t know what people expect from a dinghy. When I cruise it is the main way to explore and get around. Sometimes we go many miles. One trip to the backcountry Everglades we ran over 40 miles in it maybe more idk.
Last year the trip to the keys I had times were I was 5 or 6 miles from the big boat. A good dinghy is so important!
If you're puttering around with a propane, electric, or so small a motor that you can't get on plain and get somewhere just get a kayak. Lot less trouble and maintenance. Just my opinion from many years of cruising and 3 different dinghy builds to get it right.

Hey! I got a kayak. Works good, last long!
 
I had a five HP Lehr for a couple years. It was a love/hate relationship. I loved the fact that I could use propane canisters and did not have to deal with gas, stabilizer, oil, etc. and it fit in my transom locker.

The thing started up and ran well. I did use reusable canisters and they worked well for me. No, it didn’t get me up on plane, but that wasn’t my purpose. I just wanted about to get the dogs into shore so they could poop.

The reason I hated it was because I could never get it to idle at a reasonable speed without stalling or being a safety hazard. It would run great, but, if the idle was too low, as I slowed to approach a swim platform, or a dock, it would stall. When I increase the idle speed, even when I throttled back on approach, it would be too fast. And when I took it out of gear, it would then stall. It was maddening. I love the concept. I love the idea of not having to deal with gasoline. There’s no reason they shouldn’t work, forklifts run on propane all day without a problem. But Lehr’s weren’t the solution.

Ultimately, my solution was a lot more expensive: getting a hydraulic swim platform. The engine, the gas, the dinghy, all stay on the platform now. No fuss, no muss. I run an 8HP two-stroke, so I still can’t completely get up on plane, but it moves a hell of a lot faster than my 5HP propane engine did.
 
Propane is the Most expensive cost of fuel you can buy energy wise for a boat short of nuclear energy power. Not talking about the engine just the fuel to run the engine!
I don’t think anyone chooses their dinghy motor based on cost of energy.
 
I can say I agree with @kevin27 in that if you use your boat and cruise with it, a dinghy is such an asset. Being able to explore the area with a dink is the best. Not to mention getting pup to and from shore. Nothing like a sunset cruise and your favorite beverage with a nice cigar. As for powering it I would get a diesel outboard if they had one for a dinghy. Hate gas engines (in boats), but they are a necessary evil in this case, would never even think of propane for anything other then the bbq on the boat.
 
I had a five HP Lehr for a couple years. It was a love/hate relationship. I loved the fact that I could use propane canisters and did not have to deal with gas, stabilizer, oil, etc. and it fit in my transom locker.

The thing started up and ran well. I did use reusable canisters and they worked well for me. No, it didn’t get me up on plane, but that wasn’t my purpose. I just wanted about to get the dogs into shore so they could poop.

The reason I hated it was because I could never get it to idle at a reasonable speed without stalling or being a safety hazard. It would run great, but, if the idle was too low, as I slowed to approach a swim platform, or a dock, it would stall. When I increase the idle speed, even when I throttled back on approach, it would be too fast. And when I took it out of gear, it would then stall. It was maddening. I love the concept. I love the idea of not having to deal with gasoline. There’s no reason they shouldn’t work, forklifts run on propane all day without a problem. But Lehr’s weren’t the solution.

Ultimately, my solution was a lot more expensive: getting a hydraulic swim platform. The engine, the gas, the dinghy, all stay on the platform now. No fuss, no muss. I run an 8HP two-stroke, so I still can’t completely get up on plane, but it moves a hell of a lot faster than my 5HP propane engine did.
I experienced the same problem with idle stall. On the phone with Lehr and new carburetor parts--no joy. Took to the closest repair shop --no results. Finally Lehr sent me to Scandia Marine (now out of business) and they had a guy really fix it(I think it was a whole new Carburetor), no problems since, just change NK spark plug every 2 or 3 years.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
113,090
Messages
1,425,726
Members
61,014
Latest member
mgurga370
Back
Top