Lehr Propane Outboard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Zuzana Prochazka   

You probably already have a gasoline powered outboard and you’ve seen the electric versions that are nice but expensive. Now there’s a third option – propane. That’s right, if you have a diesel as your main engine, and you don’t want to carry gas for the tender, you can get a propane-powered outboard that is a cleaner and arguably safer solution aboard.

The Lehr propane-powered outboard is an award-winning design that runs on 16-ounce bottles which you screw directly into the outboard like you do with your onboard gas grill. You can also hook it up to a larger remote propane tank that you put in the dinghy with you. Propane is a clean fuel with zero evaporative emissions, virtually no particulate emissions and no messy gas or oil to drip into the water. Propane prices are lower than gasoline and aren’t nearly as volatile so you’re likely to save at the pump too.

The new outboards are currently available in 2.5 hp and 5.0 hp models with short or long shafts. The engines have a traditional manual pull start and the 5 hp model has forward, neutral and reverse while the 2.5 hp has forward and neutral so you just turn the engine around to go backwards. Weight depends on the model and ranges from 38 to 53 pounds. A gallon of propane can power the 5 hp outboard for up to two hours and the 2.5 hp model for up to four hours, depending on speed and sea state.

Outboards aren’t Lehr’s first venture into propane-powered equipment. CEO, Bernardo Herzer, started with lawn mowers and scooters before coming up with an outboard that isn’t just a conversion engine but is actually designed and optimized to burn propane. The Lehr engines come with a 3-year limited warranty. Pricing for the 2.5 hp model starts at $1,200 and goes up to $1995 for the 5 hp long shaft. A 20 hp version is in the works.