The 5-horsepower, propane-powered Lehr weighs about 10 pounds less than gas outboards in the same horsepower range.

New Options in Small Outboards

Gasoline is still king, but electric and LPG engines find a niche.

Propulsion has long been lingering high on the list of priorities for our trailerable test boat, the Catalina 22 Li’l Spitfire. Our first instinct was to go used. We scoured the Internet for a rugged two-stroke like the old Johnson 9.9-horsepower Sailmaster (with electric start) that we loved (and hated) back in the 1980s, but each one was broken or missing a rare part. Although there are still plenty of aficionados who enjoy resurrecting these old engines—Lee Roy Wisner has a website dedicated to the motors, www.leeroysramblings.com—a disheartening glance at our calendar showed no time for messing about with and old blue-smoker. We poked around for a newer motor.

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