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The Durability of Evinrude Outboards

Why these outboard motors were chosen for the rigors of the Bermuda Challenge.

April 29, 2020
Evinrude 300 outboard
The 300 G2 E-Tec combines torque, durability and efficiency. Courtesy Evinrude

Nearly seven years have elapsed since Tyson Garvin and Chris Fertig set the current Bermuda Challenge record at 15 hours, 48 minutes in a 399 Skater V-bottom powered by twin 480 hp Cummins diesels and Arneson surface drives.

Now an eccentric team called Fish Mavericks—five guys from New Jersey and Virginbetter known for outrageous reality fishing videos—announced that it will mount an assault on the record this summer in a Prowler 36 catamaran.

Four Evinrude 300 G2 E-Tec outboards will power the 780-mile run. This will mark the debut of Evinrude in the New York-to-Bermuda race. Two of the 3.4L V-6 engines will bolt to each sponson.

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They will be stock outboards. “The same engines available to all boaters with no special modifications,” says Karl Sandstrom, global product marketing manager for BRP USA, Evinrude’s parent company.

Evinrude’s applications team is working with Prowler in setting up the engines. “Most likely we will use 30-inch shafts on the inside and 20-inch shafts on the outside,” Sandstrom says.

Introduced five years ago, the 300 G2 E-Tec is not new. Yet it does a lot of things exceptionally well, Sandstrom says. “The combination of torque, fuel efficiency and durability make these outboards the ideal choice,” he says.

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Torque on Demand

Conditions in the open Atlantic might not be conducive to maintaining a steady speed. “In order to beat the record by even the slimmest of margins, they need an average speed of at least 50 mph,” Sandstrom explains.

That means the team will need to be on and off the throttle a lot to maintain speed without beating up the boat and crew when they encounter big seas. “The engines maintain maximum torque at 4,000 to 6,000 rpm,” he explains. “Only Evinrude engines can do that, and it translates to excellent midrange throttle response, which is what they will need in rough water.”

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High-End Efficiency

Running at high speed for hundreds of miles can pose fuel issues. “This is where the Evinrude G2 outboards will shine again,” Sandstrom explains.

In designing the G2 motors, BRP used computational fluid dynamic software to optimize the direct-fuel-injector spray angle and the combustion process. As a result, the engines achieve 15 percent better overall fuel efficiency than the previous generation of E-Tecs, Sandstrom reveals.

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At high rpm, the difference grows. “At 4,000 rpm and above, G2s post almost 30 percent better fuel efficiency than any competitive brand of outboard,” Sandstrom reports.

The Prowler 36 comes standard with a 382-gallon fuel capacity, but Fish Mavericks plans to add a 450-gallon bladder tank that, with the 300 G2 E-Tec’s exemplary fuel efficiency, gives the Fish Mavericks crew a fighting chance when it comes to the necessary range.

Fewer Parts

Durability always plays a major role in this grueling race.

“If you break anything, you’re not going to set the record,” Sandstrom observes.

A big plus in favor of the Evinrude’s endurance lies in its two-stroke design that includes fewer moving parts. Unlike a four-stroke, there are no complicated valve trains to fail.

In addition, Evinrude uses pistons that are fabricated from a high-strength aluminum alloy developed by NASA. The material enables higher wear resistance and greater stability at high temperatures.

Because of the quad configuration, the 300s will be the hydraulic steering versions and use SeaStar Optimus power steering, Sandstrom says.

The Bermuda Challenge, established by Boating editor David Seidman in the 1990s, showcases advancements in recreational boats 40 feet or less (length overall) and engine technology. Boating magazine is the record keeper. Check in here and our social media channels for updates on the Fish Mavericks team scheduled attempt.

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