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Old 01-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #21
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Propane Fueled Outboards

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JD wrote:rwidman wrote:* It's hard to tell how much propane is left in the tank but with gasoline you can just unscrew the top and look.*
*Not so with the new fiberglass tanks.* They are transparent like a plastic water or holding tank is.**I think*they only come in one configuration @*5, 10 and 20 lbs**at present but if the demand for a*different size or shape would arise then I'm sure they would become available..

Still, you can't refill them and with a fiberglass tank, you can't just exchange it for a full one at the grocery store, gas station, or home center.* You would have to go to a place that refills them on site.

It's possible, I just don't see the point.

BTW: I weigh my metal tanks with a fish scale to see how much propane is left.

*


-- Edited by rwidman on Thursday 26th of January 2012 09:32:10 AM
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:52 AM   #22
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I think there might be a reason you don't see different shape propane containers. It's probably not practical to change the shape of the container. It may be possible to put multiple smaller containers into a larger package shape which would then appear to conform to someones idea of the perfect shape. I'll include that research in my grant proposal. It should gather another couple of million siphonable dollars.

And great idea, I forget who proposed it, (thank you, a Vice Chairmans job with golden parachute awaits you) but I'll add a solar charging panel to the reconfigured propane package. It will charge the lithium-unobtainium battery for the safety warning system which warns if the CO emmisions exceed some radically miniscule number.

Who said get rich quick schemes didn't work? Now if I could just find someone with a little start-up money..........
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:57 AM   #23
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

About 3 years ago ordered a fiberglass cylinder, when I went to have it filled I was informed that they are not legal to fill in Louisiana, and I was told that is so in several other states also. So if you are in the US best to check in your area, or wherever you may need to have one filled while travelling, beforehand. I had bought it from the local West Marine store, the first (and only) one they sold. They took it back and I bought an Aluminum one which is no problem to have filled here.
The state inspector told me there have been cases of the fiberglass (composite) tank top and bottom halves separating and exploding, I think that may be BS, but they were sticking to it. Being able to see the fuel level in the fiberglass tanks is a very nice feature.
I'm guessing one of our politicos has a steel tank factory somewhere.
Maybe That reg has changed I'll check.

Here is a link to an article by Parlatore re propane outboards
http://oceanlines.biz/2009/12/propan...tboard-part-2/
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:02 AM   #24
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

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...*Now if I could just find someone with a little start-up money..........
*I hear Doug and Baker have deeper pockets than they had a few weeks ago.** :idea:
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:02 AM   #25
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

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Steve wrote:The state inspector told me there have been cases of the fiberglass (composite) tank top and bottom halves separating and exploding, I think that may be BS, but they were sticking to it.
*Sounds like not enough Gumbo was offered to the correct person.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:16 AM   #26
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I don't think the little one pound bottles would be the primary way to fuel a propane outboard. I think you would replace your plastic jerry cans of gas with fiberglass propane tanks and just swap them out as they empty. No messy trying to pour gasoline from can to tank. Finding a place to refill the tanks when in port will be a little harder than finding a gas station but propane is sold world wide and a lot of people cruise the world with propane stoves. I would probably carry a one pound canister in the dinghy as a back up fuel supply. The one pound canisters can be refilled but they really aren't designed for it. The problem is that you need to vent gas from them as liquid propane goes in or you won't get a good fill. To vent them you need to pull on the stem in the little safety valve while the liquid is going in. The valve was not designed for this and it's not easy to do. If somebody thought there was a market for it and could get liability insurance, they could design a system for refilling small tanks at home.
Another possible problem with propane as a fuel is that it seems harder to start an engine on propane than gasoline. This statement comes from my own experience with just one engine so it may be wrong. I have a small generator that will run on gasoline or propane. I can hand start it on gasoline pretty easy but I have to use the electric start for propane. I have hand started it on propane but it's a lot of work. There's a thought, what if the engine could be run on either propane or gasoline? Any advantage to that?
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #27
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Propane Fueled Outboards

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HopCar wrote:
The problem is that you need to vent gas from them as liquid propane goes in or you won't get a good fill. To vent them you need to pull on the stem in the little safety valve while the liquid is going in. The valve was not designed for this and it's not easy to do. If somebody thought there was a market for it and could get liability insurance, they could design a system for refilling small tanks at home.


There's a thought, what if the engine could be run on either propane or gasoline? Any advantage to that?
http://www.harborfreight.com/propane...kit-45989.html

Harbor Freight has these propane refill adapters for around $20.* I keep one on the boat in case I need to refill a small bottle for my grill.* To refill, you place the small bottle in the fridge for an hour to drop its temperature.* Then connect the adapter to the 2 tanks, turn the large tank upside down, open the large tank valve.* In about a minute, the flow will stop (the pressures equalize), close the valve, turn tank upright and disconnect the adapter.*



http://www.propane-generators.com/type_2.html

Here's a company that sells bi-fuel (Gasoline & High Pressure Propane) conversion kits for small generators.**The model linked above*is designed for engines 13HP and higher.* The model for smaller engines does not accomodate engine idling and throttle use.* The adapter fits inline between the air cleaner and the carb.* They are common among the RV community on the popular Honda eu2000i.* It might be a good starting point to experiment with adapting for marine outboard use.*

*


-- Edited by FlyWright on Thursday 26th of January 2012 11:00:56 AM
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:13 AM   #28
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

Harbor Freight has these propane refill adapters for around $20.* I keep one on the boat in case I need to refill a small bottle for my grill.* To refill, you place the small bottle in the fridge for an hour to drop its temperature.* Then connect the adapter to the 2 tanks, turn the large tank upside down, open the large tank valve.* In about a minute, the flow will stop (the pressures equalize), close the valve, turn tank upright and disconnect the adapter.*

*

I have used one of these adapters for 20 years. It works very well.I normally freeze the small tanks for an hour then fill. After filling I set the bottles outside in the sun for about an hour and let them vent if they need to (they usually do).

*
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:07 AM   #29
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

Another consideration might be keeping the vaporizer/ regulator from freezing up. We have done tons of gasoline to LP conversions on forklift engines over the years and on a 50 HP engine you have to tap into the cooling system and flow coolant through the vap/Reg or it will freeze solid and stop working. I also remember seeing a small LP powered carry deck crane once that only used a short length of looped tubing with coolant inside to avoid freezing. I also repaired a hand operated floor scrubber used in a supermarket. It was an LP powered Honda engine, but the vap/ Reg had no coolant at all and it did fine. I assume the amount of fuel being vaporized was so small it was a non issue.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:45 AM   #30
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

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FF wrote:
For these reasons , as well as the non poisonous exhaust many RV's prefer propane noisemakers.

*I read that line from FF and it's been sitting in the back of my mind for a few days now. Because I spend 7 months a year in my RV,*I am part of a number of RV forums and almost never hear people talk about their propane generators. Not about how good they are, not about how bad they are, just don't talk about them.

So, I happened across a current thread on one RV forum asking about replacing a stolen genset with propane powered. 8 out of 8 responders said don't get propane power for a replacement generator. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/propa...as-113849.html

I personally have a diesel powered rv and wouldn't even consider going with anything but diesel genset, just like my boat, diesel main, diesel gen.

It's entirely possible that there are a bunch of propane generator owners that never have problems and never feel like posting about how well they work. I just don't know where they are.

*

Ken

*
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #31
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I think most propane generators are emergency stand by generators. The advantage in that situation is that the generator can sit unused for long periods of time and still start right up. Propane can be stored vitually forever without going bad. I have a bunch of propane stored for my huricane generator. I don't think the exhaust is non poisonous, just less so.
Ken, do you have a diesel outboard for your dinghy or are you forced to carry a second fuel for that purpose?
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:54 PM   #32
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I started this thread because I had heard that someone was coming out with a propane outboard. It is official. Here is a quote from the Miami Herald today:
Lehr Inc. a Southern California company known primarily as a maker of environmentally friendly lawn care equipment introduces the worlds first production propane-powered outboards in 2.5- and 5-horsepower models. You can check them out at Booth T-68 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/1...#storylink=cpy
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #33
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I took a look at them today. Looks like a pretty neat unit.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:08 PM   #34
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

I still haven't gotten over to the convention center but my guys tell me that the distributor asked us to put them in our booth. I've got to get over there and see these things.
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:09 AM   #35
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

"It was difficult to keep enough propane to run the generator and roof air for three day weekend. Now, our gas generator will drink from the 60 gallon engine fuel tank, so this is better for us regardless of any difference in fuel cost."

"I spent over $200 on propane for the last hurricane when the power was out for four of five days and had the hassle of hooking up portable propane tanks to keep it going. If you have a gas, and a gasoline engine on the mh, you are good for a long time. (25 gal propane vs 60 gal gasoline) "

So the propane use is higher and MH have larger gas tanks than far more costly propane tanks.

"Propane is by far the better choice-the benefits far outweigh the very small de rating, if you were able to see the inside of a propane engine side by side of a gas engine in the same application it would convince you also. "

Propane burns so much cleaner that the usual propane fueled engine will give close to diesel longevity .

And from our board,

"The advantage in that situation is that the generator can sit unused for long periods of time and still start right up. Propane can be stored vitually forever without going bad."

A real problem with outboards that have tanked fuel in a big tank and little use.

30 days of gasoline life is short for a cruising boat.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #36
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

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Ken, do you have a diesel outboard for your dinghy or are you forced to carry a second fuel for that purpose?
*I carry gasoline for the outboard, propane for the stove/oven, and diesel for the main propulsion, generator, heat, hot water.

I buy diesel once, sometimes twice a* year. Pull up to the dock, put the hose in and wait until full.

I buy gasoline once per year. I dump whatevers left to a pail to take home for the lawnmower while I'm still in the boathouse. Then, I fill the gasoline at the same time on the same dock, from a pump 5 feet from the diesel pump.

I use propane for cooking only. I use a tank every 2 years. I take my 7/8" wrench up to the flybridge, take the tank out, off the dock to the car, stop at some place that sells propane, go in get the guy, fill the tank, go in pay, take the now much heavier tank back to the boat, up on the bridge, connect, leak check, and I'm ready to go. Anyone ever see a propane hose on a fuel dock to make this part easier?

Now that's just my boating style. I cruise about 200 engine*hours per year in my 3 months of living on the boat each summer. I use the outboard engine when I'm going a fairly long ways to shore, the oars work pretty well for short trips. In the PNW most of the anchorage water is in the short trip range.

I see someone said that propane generators can sit for long periods unused. Do they have different generator ends? All the diesel and gasoline generator manufacturers I've seen recommend running every month to create heat to drive out any moisture from the generator.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:59 AM   #37
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

Hi Ken, I was the one who said "propane generators can sit for long periods unused". This comes from my emergency generator at home. I start it once a year at the begining of hurricane season. I also hook it to an electric heater (1500 watts) to put a load on it. It's stored in a garden shed with high humidity. So far (ten plus years) no problems. I have about 200 pounds of propane stored for it. The propane outboard won't be for every body. I'm thinking of getting the 2hp one to replace the electric trolling motor I use to power my Avon and my canoe. I switched to electric because I use it so infrequently that the gas engine I had wouldn't start when ever I wanted to use it. Propane is a lot cleaner to handle than gasoline as well.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:15 PM   #38
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

Ken

Got me.

I am that guy who has a propane gen on the RV and never posted anything about it.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #39
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

Today my guys at the boat show answered my original question, "Is there a maket for propane outboards?", they sold one. I got my first look at them today and I'm impressed. They won't replace gasoline outboards any time soon but they are pretty nice. I was worried that it would be hard to start, it wasn't. It fired off on my first pull. The engine was warm as they had been starting often so we'll see how hard a cold engine is to start. They said the 2.5hp would run about an hour on a 1lb. propane canister, the 5hp about half that. It was very easy to change canisters and very easy to hook it up to a larger tank. They are selling 10 lb fiberglass tanks to go with it. I passed on your suggestion to make a horizontal tank so it wouldn't be so easy to tip over. They thought it was a good idea and then as we talked they realized they could just make a mount for the vertical tank to lay on it's side. Normally this wouldn't work as you would get liquid propane out of the tank. That won't bother this engine as it can run on either liquid or gas propane. They showed me a prototype of a refillable 1 pound canister that will be inexpensive and easy to fill from a larger tank. No need to freeze the canister or pull the vent pin to get a full fill. Remember I said that I started the engine? Did I mention I was inside the convention center? You couldn't start any of the gasoline engines inside the convention center. I asked them about carbon monoxide. They said that propane puts out about 70% less than gasoline. I asked who made the engine for them assuming it was a converted gasoline engine. It's not. The octane rating of propane is about 110 so it can run at a much higher compression ratio than a gasoline engine. These engines were designed from the ground up for propane. They are buying the lower units from one of the big outboard makers. I spoke to the owner of the company about where he thought the market for propane outboards may go. He thinks that propane may become available at fuel docks as it costs very little to install the equipment. Company's that sell propane wholesale will install the equipment free. The retailer just has to provide electricity to the equipment. If propane becomes available at fuel docks, we may see bigger propane engines.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:57 AM   #40
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RE: Propane Fueled Outboards

"If propane becomes available at fuel docks, we may see bigger propane engines."


You bet , for 200 hours a year the lack of maint , compared to diesels, will make the fuel free.

Propane noisemakers , unfortuniatly , were designed mostly for gasoline , so the economy of the higher compression ratio wont be realized.

Of course propane reefers are common in RV's , and if fuel is easier to get aboard , the dead battery or noisemaker 8 hours a day for electric fridges wont be missed.
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