Just as it always, technology is taking on the problems boaters face in every aspect of enjoying their sport. And just when you think the latest gas-powered outboards have wrung every drop of power from a gallon of fuel, along comes a new way to tackle the problem.
Lehr Inc. has just introduced its latest development, a 9.9-horsepower propane-powered outboard. Following on the heels of the company’s 2.5- and 5-horsepower outboards, the 9.9 should provide more power with the same benefits of propane power: reduced fuel cost, no gasoline to spill and pollute surrounding waters, no ethanol- or other fuel-related issues, no priming or carburetor gum-up, and no winterizing. www.golehr.com
Torqeedo introduced an 80-horsepower electric outboard at the 2012 Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. That’s a big development since their previous largest outboard was comparable to a 9.9-horsepower gasoline outboard. Based in Germany, Torqeedo creates electric outboards using such technology as rare earth magnets, which provide magnetic fields some six times stronger than conventional hexaferrite magnets, and a radical electric-motor design that places the coils inside the rotor resulting in much higher torque, and more kinetic energy thanks to increased surface area on the magnet installation. The motors also replace sliding contacts or brushes with electronic circuits resulting in better torque at lower battery currents, as well as more efficient operation. www.torqeedo.com