The ultimate 10hp outboard engine group test

We pit six of the best 10hp outboard engines on the market against each other for our latest group test

Lehr 9.9hp propane outboard engineLehr 9.9hp propane outboard

  • Price: £2,250
  • Top speed: 13.5 knots
  • 0-top speed: 17 seconds
  • Noise (idle/cruise/top): 66/80/92dB(A)
  • Weight: 39.8kg
  • Warranty: 3 years
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Lehr’s propane powered outboards are gaining traction in the market with their promise of low emissions and cleaner refuelling.

Its twin cylinders have a total capacity of 212cc, delivering 7.2kW (9.9hp) at 5,500rpm. A pressurised gas line connects it to an external 6kg cylinder, and long and short shafts are available along with an optional electric start.

Lehr 9.9hp propane outboard engine - runningBuild quality: 3/5

Some of the new engine brands we’ve seen on the market have questionable quality but this one seems well put together, with slick styling and good quality components.

It has a useful three-year warranty but still falls short of the five years offered by some manufacturers.

Performance: 2/5

There seems to be a slight loss of power when using propane fuel as despite its 9.9hp power rating the Lehr struggled to match the speed or acceleration of its petrol rivals.

It topped out at a rather disappointing 13.5 knots and took 18 seconds to get there. It did however get the boat on to the plane easily enough.

Lehr 9.9hp propane outboard engine - cowling offRefinement: 2/5

It wasn’t unbearably noisy but the volume levels were certainly higher than the others across all three yardsticks. At idle we recorded 66dB, compared to 60dB or less for the Honda, Suzuki, Tohatsu and Yamaha.

At a steady cruising speed the gap narrowed to just 1db louder than the Tohatsu and Mariner at 80dB (but still considerably noisier than the Honda and Yamaha) and at full revs it was exactly in line with them.

Ease of use: 3/5

There’s no choke or primer pump to contend with so starting is easy. The gears are mounted at the front of the engine rather than on the tiller but at least the action is smooth.

It’s bang in the middle for weight at 39.8kg and the handholds are well located for carrying. The key benefit is the reduced risk of petrol spillage both when refuelling and when storing the engine and fuel.

Lehr 9.9hp propane outboard engine - gear shiftVerdict: 3/5

We’re really starting to warm to the Lehr range of engines. They’re not quite there with refinement or performance yet, but if you like the idea of a more environmentally friendly engine with clean emissions and no faffing about with messy petrol cans then it’s a tempting proposition.

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