Mercury Marine introduced a 5-hp propane 4-stroke outboard, the company’s first engine to run on the alternative fuel.
“We selected 5 hp because it offers the strongest value proposition for our customers and was identified to be the largest segment for this technology,” Jim Hergert, Mercury’s category manager of outboards 60 hp and lower, told Trade Only Today.
Hergert said “propane is best suited for small outboards, considering convenience, portability and run time capability when run on standard propane tanks 20 pounds and less. A standard 20-pound propane tank gives you approximately 10 hours of run time at full throttle and much more during variable throttle intervals.”
Asked if there will be larger propane-burning engines from Mercury, Hergert said, “I am not able to comment publicly on future product development activities within our company. The value proposition starts to erode on products over 15 hp because multiple fuel tanks are needed to run a full day.”
The new outboard has a 7.5-cubic-inch (123cc) displacement and weighs 59.5 pounds. It runs on the same propane used with backyard grills. In a statement, Mercury said the engine produces 30 percent lower emissions than a gasoline engine.
For sailboats, a Sail Power version comes in 20- and 25-inch shaft lengths. Additional features include a 12-volt, 4-amp/50-watt alternator charging system and reverse-thrust exhaust relief.