The purchase of our sailboat did not include a dinghy. We actually anchored out at the islands a couple of times sans dinghy, and one time with our dinghy sans outboard (that’s right, rowing to shore). We grabbed an ok dinghy for $200 (which we will probably replace before going to Mexico). But first, we needed an outboard for trips around the California coast, the Channel Islands, and Catalina.
Traditional outboard engines require oil and gas, and normal engine things. All of that is kind of a hassle, messy, and can be volatile. We were really drawn to Lehr Propane Outboards for their easy maintenance, cleanliness, and environmental friendliness. They run off of a simple 16.4 ounce propane canister, but you can use a fitting to attach a larger canister if you choose. The canisters are inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to store.
It was kind of a no brainer. We picked up our 2.5 hp Lehr Propane outboard at Beacon Marine in Ventura (because they had the best price) for $950. The 2.5 hp model weighs only 37 pounds, so I can lower it from it’s mount down to Jeff in the dinghy somewhat gracefully. It’s small enough that if we needed to store it in the cabin or in a lazarette, we could. It also would not leak gas or oil all over the place, which is a major selling point for me.
Soon after seeing us put around the harbor with our purring new outboard, our buddy boating friends on Cantamar picked up one for themselves. So trendy!
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