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Old 06-13-2018, 09:33 PM   #21
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I'd love to hear more about that !! Was it a home made conversion...did you do it or buy it....was it an entirely different motor, or was the Buick motor converted ??? Sounds very cool!!
Ben,
We saw it in the newspaper .. an add. At the time I drove trucks for a sizable machine shop/job shop. All of our trucks that wern’t diesel got converted to propane .. most “dual fuel”. That means one can switch from one to another while driving down (or up) the road.
PU trucks are best as the propane tanks are easily installed in the bed all the way fwd. My Buick had her tank in the trunk. It was a 73 LeSabre 2dr HT. Took up most of the trunk. This was in the later 80’s and it was very economical as I got most of my fuel at the bulk at a good price. I drove a lot (still do) and never needed over $100 to pay the monthly bill.

The propane injection/distributor (or whatever it’s called) sat on top of the 4brl carb that was standard on the Buick 350 engine. Through a solenoid the gasoline is shut off when the propane is turned on. Actual milage was about 5% less than gasoline but propane was about 25% cheaper. But usually propane varies quite a bit in price as time goes on.

A big advantage w propane is that the lube oil dosn’t get contaminated so oil lasts a very long time.

It costs about $1,500 to $2000. To convert a carb equipped gasoline engine and one needs the conversion parts. They are probably still available. PM me if you have that much interest and I’ll PM you about a book I have about propane conversions. One needs certain knowledge like how to set up the ignition timing changes. More advanced at low speeds and a bit retarded near the top end.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:23 PM   #22
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If I had my drouthers, it would be something like a 10 ft. AB with a bench seat, Euro console, and a 20 Honda. Great combo and about 350 lbs. according to the dealer. But right now, it’s an 8’10” Walker Bay rib that my Admiral needs to be able to handle. It’s like a wild horse with our 9.9 Merc on it. Need something tiny and manageable for her. But if we end up in the Islands, that will be the time for the bigger dinghy & engine.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:21 AM   #23
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"that my Admiral needs to be able to handle."

Some Admirals have no luck with outboards , and eventually feel "trapped" on the vessel.

A cheap 12v trolling motor will push as fast as most 4HP OB , faster than most can row, and can be operated by most anyone with little instruction.

If you like to anchor out , its something to think about.

A happy Admiral is a happy cruiser !
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:16 PM   #24
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Fred: I can’t deny that I’m contemplating exactly that. After Cardude reminded me of the many successes of trolling motors on smaller tenders, I checked prices of some trolling setups, batteries and a goid battery box with internal breaker. A single 40 lb thrust trolling motor with internal battery monitor is more than enough. Add two deep cycle batteries and a hard case, all under $500. Could even add a cheap solar charger. It would definitely please the lady!
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:26 PM   #25
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I guess it's true that some people never go very far in their dinghys, but to me why limit yourself?


After many years of Bahamas, Florida and some Caribbean cruising one of the most common errors I see people make is too small of a dinghy and too small of a motor. This especially applies to sailors, who seem to have an innate distaste for motors of any type and somehow feel that getting the smallest one possible limits their exposure to them and requires the least maintenance. So many times I've seen people in tiny dinks fighting the wind/waves/current just to get to a marginal bayside beach 1/4 mile away, poking along at 2 or 3 knots, everyone getting wet and miserable.



In the meantime, just a mile or two further is a great ocean side beach, beautiful coral heads teeming with fish and a bonefish flat. They've essentially crossed a big stretch of open water to an exotic place to just sit on the boat.


Buy the best tender you can afford with the biggest motor you can safely handle.

Many sailboats are simply not setup to handle a large dinghy and outboard. Most of the time, the safest place for a dinghy during passages is up on the foredeck. The less weight you have have to deal with the better.

I got the Torqeedo when I had the sailboat. We would tow the dinghy most of the time and the motor was easy to put on a mount on the pushpit. It worked great and I am using it on our current boat. Our current boat came with a Walker Bay Genesis Deluxe open RIB with a Honda 8hp outboard. It is a great outboard. However, it will not get that dink on a plane. If I am going to run the dink at displacement speed, I’d rather do it with the Torqeedo that has had not a lick of maintenance since we bought it.

Two ways to use a dink, go fast and far or short and slow. If all you need to do is go short and slow, then a big dink with a big motor is kind of silly. However, if you need/want to go fast and far, then the biggest dink and motor you can handle is good. In my cruising area, the dink is used primarily to go from boat to shore or cruise around a harbor or anchorage. Slow and short works. And the Torqeedo is ideal for that. It has plenty of range for that purpose.

Having said that, there are a few times when it would be nice to go fast and far. My wife would like that. I need to make her happy. So, in another year I may be in the market for a 10’ console RIB with a 20hp motor.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:35 PM   #26
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The propane injection/distributor (or whatever it’s called) sat on top of the 4brl carb that was standard on the Buick 350 engine. Through a solenoid the gasoline is shut off when the propane is turned on. Actual milage was about 5% less than gasoline but propane was about 25% cheaper. But usually propane varies quite a bit in price as time goes on.



A big advantage w propane is that the lube oil dosn’t get contaminated so oil lasts a very long time.

When I was a teenager my Dad bought a used 28’ motorhome. He wanted to use one for a 6 week family road trip, and rather than do the smart thing and spend the money to rent one, he was too cheap to do that so bought one for us to use, and then for the next 5-6 years he rented it out by the weekend or week. It saw lots of weekend use for snow skiing. I was the one that got to clean it up every time it came back.

It had two huge propane tanks slung lengthwise underneath. As you described, it had an electric switch that controlled a solenoid to the gasoline fuel tank and the propane tank. It ran well on propane but didn’t have as much power. Going up a really steep grade while loaded we would at times have to switch from propane to gasoline on the fly to maintain speed. The advantage my Dad saw was that Propane was cheaper, and you didn’t have to pay any road fuel taxes on it (if you bought it at the right place). It had a propane stove and fridge. We could drive that thing for days without stopping for fuel if we had full propane and gasoline.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:52 PM   #27
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Fred: I can’t deny that I’m contemplating exactly that. After Cardude reminded me of the many successes of trolling motors on smaller tenders, I checked prices of some trolling setups, batteries and a goid battery box with internal breaker. A single 40 lb thrust trolling motor with internal battery monitor is more than enough. Add two deep cycle batteries and a hard case, all under $500. Could even add a cheap solar charger. It would definitely please the lady!
Cap'n Larry.

Look up Newport trolling motors on Amazon. (Hint: use the link on my website to get there)
I was impressed.

The thing is, we are in Florida and will pay sales tax if ordering via Amazon. So once you have the price call the company direct and negotiate. They shipped mine for the same price as Amazon had listed.

The inner guts have stainless connections.


My friend Edwin took mine apart and shortened the shaft. Shaft is thick walled fiberglass.
The trolling motor is silent so sliding along a shoreline bird watching is fun.

Side Note: 15 pounds thrust equals one horsepower. These are not fast, especially in a heavily loaded dinghy. I consider it a fair weather option. That said, if the weather is bad I'm going to stay aboard Seaweed and relax until it gets better. I won't be in a dinghy.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:06 PM   #28
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Nuce tip, Cap’n Janice. Checking them out right now.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:16 PM   #29
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When I was a teenager my Dad bought a used 28’ motorhome. He wanted to use one for a 6 week family road trip, and rather than do the smart thing and spend the money to rent one, he was too cheap to do that so bought one for us to use, and then for the next 5-6 years he rented it out by the weekend or week. It saw lots of weekend use for snow skiing. I was the one that got to clean it up every time it came back.

It had two huge propane tanks slung lengthwise underneath. As you described, it had an electric switch that controlled a solenoid to the gasoline fuel tank and the propane tank. It ran well on propane but didn’t have as much power. Going up a really steep grade while loaded we would at times have to switch from propane to gasoline on the fly to maintain speed. The advantage my Dad saw was that Propane was cheaper, and you didn’t have to pay any road fuel taxes on it (if you bought it at the right place). It had a propane stove and fridge. We could drive that thing for days without stopping for fuel if we had full propane and gasoline.
Dave,
Wonderful response re propane. I didn’t notice less power with the Buick but it wasn’t an underpowered vehicle either. Getting the ignition timing is somewhat important. As with milage propane engines make less power (less than 5%) but all the trucks at the workplace I mentioned seemed to have the normal amount of power. One was a 2ton Ford truck.
Interesting story.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:18 PM   #30
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Janice,
Interesting “15lbs thrust = 1hp”
Most of the electric OB motors have really poor propellers.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:26 AM   #31
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"Interesting “15lbs thrust = 1hp”"

I always used the rule of thumb 20 lbs for 1 hp so a 40 lb thrust trolling motor would be similar to a 4 hp has engine at about half throttle.

An odyssey battery is perfect for most trolling motors.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:17 AM   #32
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I have been very happy with my Torqeedo. I have no need to go farther than the range of the Torqeedo (I have two batteries so the range is over 10 miles). Even if I ran out of power, my dinghy has oars AND rows so nicely that I seldom use the motor. I also have a sailing rig if I need to go farther. I can charge the batteries on the boat from solar with no problems. So far (10 years) I have had zero problems with the Torqeedo and have not gotten a bad batch of electrons yet. It starts right up every time.


If I was living aboard and wanted a large fast tender, I would just hang a Talaria 29R on davits. Needless to say if I was living aboard I would upsize my boat a bit.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:19 AM   #33
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Driving along a road in Chattanooga, TN I came upon this house. Nobody was home so I borrowed its warp drive. My tender really flys now.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:41 PM   #34
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Have had several small dingy engines over the years including a 2009 Honda purchased new and used on my southern boat. Last 4 years on my western boat I’ve had a Yamaha 2.5 and must say that it is far superior to my Honda in ease of starting, low noise level, overall feeling of quality and with its neutral gear, it’s never a “point and shoot” start as my Honda often is.
Couldn’t be happier with the Yamaha.
Extremely easy on fuel as well.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:34 PM   #35
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Have had several small dingy engines over the years including a 2009 Honda purchased new and used on my southern boat. Last 4 years on my western boat I’ve had a Yamaha 2.5 and must say that it is far superior to my Honda in ease of starting, low noise level, overall feeling of quality and with its neutral gear, it’s never a “point and shoot” start as my Honda often is.
Couldn’t be happier with the Yamaha.
Extremely easy on fuel as well.
Interesting. I thought all the modern Honda 2 HP air-cooled 4-strokes had a centrifugal clutch on the prop to allow the engine to idle without the prop turning. As the throttle is increased above idle, the prop engages smoothly to accelerate.

Must have been an option.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:32 PM   #36
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Janice,
Interesting “15lbs thrust = 1hp”
Most of the electric OB motors have really poor propellers.
I read that many many years ago... quite frankly it may indeed be the 20hp FF stated. I have read 15 multiple times however that source may indeed be just one person. Thomas Sowell in one of his books speaks about statistics and original sources. At some point I'd love to see two boats (one trolling motor and and equivalent gasoline outboard) put to the test.

J.

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"Interesting “15lbs thrust = 1hp”"

I always used the rule of thumb 20 lbs for 1 hp so a 40 lb thrust trolling motor would be similar to a 4 hp has engine at about half throttle.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:59 PM   #37
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I checked prices of some trolling setups, batteries and a goid battery box with internal breaker. A single 40 lb thrust trolling motor with internal battery monitor is more than enough. Add two deep cycle batteries and a hard case, all under $500. Could even add a cheap solar charger. It would definitely please the lady!
Two more things I forgot. You definitely need a breaker/fuse of some sort. I had one burn up on me -- melted the wires from the battery nearly to the unit. That was many years ago and since then I've used inline fuses. (The mini- version sold on Amazon for about $10)

AND, I have a small solar panel on the bow of Algae. It's about 8" x 18" and is essentially worthless. It is inadequate and won't recharge my battery even over several days. The mat (flexible panel) will keep up with the anchor light on Algae.

I met a fellow back in Pensacola with a 35-watt solar panel mounted above his trolling motor on the aft end of his aluminum boat. He said it did keep up with the short run to and from the dinghy dock from the anchorage. He worked ashore and did not use the dinghy except for the short runs to the dock. As I recall in 3 days of cloudy rain he'd have to recharge the battery he was using.

For charging Algae, I installed a 12-volt cigarette lighter into the transom. Waterproof cover. I have a pair of alligator clips from a battery charger that was by the Green Store (aka boatyard dumpster). I clipped the wire off at the charger and wired in a male cigarette lighter at the end.

I do not charge the dinghy so much as bring her battery up to the level of the battery bank aboard Seaweed. As I go into absorption charge by early afternoon thanks to those wonderful two extra solar panels, Algae is fully charged each afternoon.

Good luck Larry, and thank you.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:08 PM   #38
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Interesting. I thought all the modern Honda 2 HP air-cooled 4-strokes had a centrifugal clutch on the prop to allow the engine to idle without the prop turning. As the throttle is increased above idle, the prop engages smoothly to accelerate.

Must have been an option.

You are correct about the clutch....
Simply that to start it often required the throttle turned up enough that when it did start...it was moving!
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:10 PM   #39
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One additional thing to think about, but probably not applicable to most since your down south, is that up here in the north, starting little propane engine like the leer in the cold is sometimes problematic.

In the early and late season, when we get cold snaps, if you see someone rowing to the dock with an engine on the back of the dinghy, 90% of time it’s a propane engine.
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