Technology tends to run downhill, and that’s what’s going on at Evinrude, which has applied some of its E-Tec G2 V-6 outboard engine design features to an all-new 1.9-liter three-cylinder platform for the just-released Evinrude E-Tec 115 HO, 140 and 150 models.
The Evinrude G2 V-6 engines all feature integrated steering and trim/tilt controlled by a hydraulic helix, with digital controls, an onboard oil reservoir, removable cowl side panels attached to a fixed exoskeleton, and, of course, the E-Tec direct-injection two-stroke engine design. Some of that G2 goodness makes it down to the new 1.9-liter platform, and some does not. E-Tec remains in place, optimized to produce a uniform dispersion of very fine fuel droplets that encourage efficient and complete combustion. E-Tec requires that oil be injected into the crankcase, and a 1.9-gallon reservoir positioned under the powerhead holds more than enough for a typical season of use, according to Evinrude. New on the 1.9-liter powerhead is a pair of balance gears to cancel vibration. New only for the Evinrude 150 model is the Rotax Adjustable Valve Exhaust (RAVE), a two-position exhaust port that broadens the power band for that model.
The 1.9-liter G2 models have a conventional midsection with a hydraulic trim ram, rather than the helix device, and a standard steering pivot with a steering arm that will accept cable or hydraulic steering input, or external aftermarket power steering. However, there’s an optional helix power-steering device that fits into the steering tube and significantly reduces effort. The new cowl looks like the V-6 G2 cowl, but in fact does not have the removable side panels. A snap-off panel on the top covers the oil fill, but the cowl itself is a two-piece design secured with 13 screws, so it’s not going to come off while the boat is bobbing in the water. It is very effective at damping noise; there’s no more “tick, tick, tick” sound of the injector pumps.
The Evinrude 115 HO makes about 126 hp, competitive with the 2.1-liter Mercury 115 Pro XS and 1.8-liter Yamaha VF115 V-Max SHO—Evinrude claims a 33 percent advantage in midrange torque—but the Evinrude weighs about 30 pounds more than the 359-pound Mercury. At 397 pounds, the Evinrude 150 will be the lightweight at that rating, 58 pounds lighter than the Mercury 150 FourStroke and 88 pounds lighter than the Yamaha F150CA—pretty significant on smaller, lighter boats.
The Evinrude 115 HO felt great on an 18-foot-8-inch, 1,400-pound Blazer 1900 Bay. With four people aboard, the 115 HO popped us right on plane and displayed that strong midrange punch, and because this boat puts everyone close to the outboard, it was easy to note both the quiet operation and outstanding vibration isolation of this new Evinrude outboard.
A New Digital Tiller
A tiller control is available for the 1.9-liter Evinrude 115 HO and 140 models, and it has silky-smooth digital throttle and shifting. An LED indicates neutral, low oil and other warnings. The tiller has 20 degrees of adjustment port to starboard, and an easy-to-use height-stop adjustment to match almost any boat, seat placement, or even a standing operator. Unfortunately, the optional power-steering system is not available (yet) with the tiller.