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For those who're interested: My experience with the Evinrude ETEC after 3 years


DangerBoy
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I know most people on this forum run tournament boats so this probably won't be of much interest to them. For those here who run more standard runabouts, this may be of some interest.

 

I have owned and run outboards my entire life. I love them. The boat I had most of my life was a 1975 16' open bow Starcraft American (fibreglass) runabout with a stout and ready 1974 Johnson 2-stroke 115 that ran great for 40 years until the day I sold it and is still running great for the people who bought it. That boat was called Costa Lotta.

 

The boat I have now is a 2010 17'3" Glastron 180 GT open bow runabout powered by a 2010 Bombardier (BRP) Evinrude 150 HO ETEC which is a fuel injected 2 stroke. BRP does not publish the actual horsepower of the High Output versions of its motors but the 150 HO is rumoured to be about 165 HP. This boat has been christened Costa Lotta II in honour of her beloved predecessor.

 

The boat is used mainly for water skiing but also gets used for taking 20+ mile boat trips down the lake with any number of people aboard. We do a little kneeboarding behind it now and then as well. Often on picnic boat trips.

POWER/ACCELERATION

 

The real beauty of 2-strokes is their great power to weight ratio, low end torque and hole shot. Like her predecessor, the Costa Lotta II comes out of the hole like a scalded dog with the ETEC. I weigh about a buck 80, and the people I ski with range from about 170 - 215. We only give it half throttle when pulling out a slalom skier and the boat has you up and at speed in the blink of an eye so there's plenty of power to spare. Giving it much more than half throttle at the start would be overpowering to the skier. You might need to go to 3/4 throttle at the start for someone who's 240+ but not much more than that. I doubt there's a slalom skier around that ETEC couldn't yard out in a hurry with plenty of power to spare. I should note here that I'm not using any kind of "power prop". The propeller I use is correct for the boat in that I get exactly the top recommended RPM (5,800) and no more at full throttle, trimmed up and a light load.

 

I should also point out that being 2-strokes, the ETECs have way fewer moving parts and are way more compact when compared to their competitor's 4 stroke engines. Most 4-stroke outboads of comparable horsepower are much larger in size and weigh up to about 100 lbs more than my ETEC. They also have something like 135 more moving parts so there's a lot more things that can wear out in them. They also don't have as much low-end torque and acceleration a 2-Stroke does yet the ETEC has as low or lower emissions than any of them. To make a 2-stroke engine run so cleanly is really quite a remarkable feat of engineering.

 

FUEL ECONOMY

 

This is where the ETECs really shine. When we used to go out in the old boat for about an hour's skiing, me taking 2 or 3 long runs with rest stops and my friend taking 2 long runs with rest stops and often a good number of falls and perhaps others skiing as well, we would get close to using up one of those portable orange metal 5 imp gallon/6 US gallon tanks. With the ETEC we can get around 2.5 mornings worth of skiing on the exact same amount of fuel and that often includes us going 3 - 5 miles (one way) down the lake to find a calm place to ski (which we never used to do with the old boat). Keep in mind also, the Glastron is a foot longer, has a much wider beam and the overall weight of the Costa Lotta II is probably 500 lbs more than the old Costa Lotta. Even so, the ETEC is getting between 2 and 3 times the fuel economy that the old boat did when working hard pulling skiers. It's really quite astonishing. :)

 

Emissions

 

I believe that ETECs are the cleanest gas burning outboards made by anyone and this includes the 4 strokes which are so much bigger and heavier and have something like 135 more moving parts to them. There's certainly no comparison between the ETECs and the old carburetted 2-stroke outboards. There is never any smoke emitted from the ETEC and I've never seen any unburned hydrocarbon coming from the exhaust leaving a slick behind the boat. That was always a problem with the old outboards.

 

Reliability/Ease of Maintenance

 

When I got the boat in 2015 I think it had about 250 hours on it. I think it has maybe 350 hours on it now? I didn't check at the end of last season so I don't know for sure. At any rate, the only maintenance I've had to do was winterize it each year and change the gearcase oil just once at the end of the third year. I won't have to change the gear oil again until the end of the 2021 season. As for winterization, it only takes about a minute and the engine does it itself. All I have to do is start it in a certain way that tells the computer you want to winterize and it fogs the motor itself using it's own 2-Cycle motor oil injection system. No spray can of fogging oil required.

 

General Running

 

The engine starts first crack every time, no choke or warm up leaver required. It idles like a well tuned trolling motor, runs super smooth through all speeds and can make the boat go damn fast if you want it to. And if you like to do a little fishing, it's okay to troll with the ETECs; no kicker motor required. Trolling with the old-school large HP 2-strokes usually wasn't recommended and often resulted in the plugs getting fouled. Not a problem with the ETEC. I'm not sure but it might be the same case with a lot of the newer generation injected outboards.

 

In summary, the ETECs are fantastic in every respect. At least that's been my experience after 3 years. I recommend them highly to anyone who wants to have a clean running, versatile, dependable, powerful, smooth-running, powerful and low-maintenance power plant for their runabout/ski boat AND also get teriffic fuel economy. I couldn't be happier with my decision to buy an ETEC. :)

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Absolutely LOVE my ETEC 600 (130hp) in my Ski Doo Renegade...22-24mpg, absolutely no smoke on start up, uses virtually no oil (500 miles this season and used less than a half a tank of oil).

 

Looking to upgrade to the ACE 900 4 stroke for my next long track sled (will keep the ETEC).

 

Switched from Amzoil Interceptor to Klotz synthetic this year, would highly recommend it for your outboard if they make a marine version...

 

Have an older (2000) 100hp Mariner on my center console- it’s a great motor, maybe repower with an ETEC at some point.

 

BRP has their program together with those engines....

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Had a 1992 90hp Merc on a 16' Boston Whaler. Ran great but talk about smoke, rattle and shake. Replaced it with a 2014 90hp ETec on the same boat. Great motor!!! Doesn't quite have the same power as the old Merc but everything else is positive!!!
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