I saw the new Evinrude E-Tec outboards at the boat show. OMC, who used to make Evinrude, went bankrupt and was bought by Bombardier, who re-engineered the whole Evinrude/Johnson line. These new E-Tec motors sound like a good thing; much lighter than any similar sized four-stroke. The 90 hp E-Tec weighs 305 lbs (I think a 90 hp Honda is around 400 lbs). Emmisions that are as low or lower than some four-strokes (legal in any lake in Nevada or California where other two-stokes are banned). They meet or exceed CARB 3-star emissions (whatever that is). Fuel economy that rivals four-stokes. And they are very quiet. No scheduled dealer maintenance for three years (or 300 hrs of use).
I like everything about four-strokes except for the extra weight, and my boat is already stern heavy enough with my 70 hp two-stoke and 8 hp Honda kicker. I am thinking about upgrading to 90 hp, and this new Evinrude E-Tec sounds like what I need. Anyone have one of these new motors, and how do you like it so far? Does it live up to all of the claims made by Bombardier?
John, I think Evinrude/Bombardier do make smaller kicker motors, but not with the new E-Tec technology. I picked up a 29-page brochure, and in the E-Tec line they have 40, 50, and 60 hp, two cyclinder in-line motors, and 75 and 90 hp three cyclinder in-line motors.
The brochure also shows a line of "direct injection" motors (V-4s and V-6s), from 100 hp to 250 hp. Other than size, I am not sure what the difference is between the E-Tec series and the Direct Injection series. The direct injection motors are also advertized to be quiet, fuel efficient, smoke free, etc., however they have a CARB 2-star emission rating, compared to the E-Tec series, which have a CARB 3-star rating. I wonder how these emissions ratings compare to the four-stroke Hondas and Yamahas?
The 2003 Honda brochure I picked up the other day says all Honda 4's have a California Air Resource Board (CARB) rating of 3 stars. Honda calls them VTEC.
The 2004 Yamaha brochure lists the Midranges and Protables, basically everything under 115 HP at 3 stars but the big boys 150 - 300HP are 2 star.
Seems like everyone has a leg up on the 2006 requirements for emmissions.
I have a '96(non-FICHT) Evinrude OceanPro 2-cycle and was thinking about upgrading at some point. The E-tecs sound like really good motors. All the benefits of 4-stroke with the lower weight of 2-cycle. This is the first product designed and built by Bombardier, so it should be good. But I'll wait to make my final judgement though. I want to see how they hold up over time.....
The "direct injection" motors are what they used to call "FICHT" motors. They had some serious problems in the '97-99 models(while owned by OMC). I personally think that's why they changed the name. Bombardier redesign some things and worked out most of the bugs(this is all from research I've done on the web and locally). I'd still stay away from them though. One of the service guys at Staff Jennings(a Evinrude dealer) said they don't even want to work on FICHT motors anymore. Too expensive and hard to keep running well.
I remember hearing a lot of bad things about those Evinrude Ficht engines, in fact, I think the Ficht engine is what caused OMC/Evinrude to go bankrupt. Bombardier is a totally different company, however, and they say they have totally re-engineered the Evinrude/Johnson line to meet their standards. These new E-tecs sound like best of both worlds; light weight like a two-stroke, with lots of speed and torqe, but quiet, fuel efficient and reliable like four-strokes. I hope someone who has one will post a report. I would buy one now but since my 1991 Evinrude is still running good, I can't justify it yet.