Parsun’s electrified punch
  |  First Published: October 2011

Electric motors are so widely used these days it’s rare to see a serious fishing craft without one, either bow- or stern-mounted.

The new Parsun, the powerful 2.9kW 4ETL (4hp) is manufactured in China by one of that country’s most experienced manufacturers of generators and electric pumps.

In many respects the engine looks quite similar to a conventional petrol-powered engine with the exception of a pair of rocker switches on the cowl front for on/off and forward/reverse operation.

There’s also a heavy-duty Anderson clip electrical connection to deliver power to the unit.

Powered by 48 volts, the Parsun 4ETL is a tiller-steer engine with a twist-grip throttle similar to the one we are accustomed to on a conventional outboard.

To turn on the engine for use, the skipper simply flicks the switch. To select forward or reverse gear, another switch is activated.


With the power switched on, a twist on the throttle has the engine working quite briskly.

When one looks at efficiency of electric motors, the bow-mount models rely on their ability to drag a craft forward. The powerful Parsun 4 ETL takes another tack, relying on its sheer grunt to push a small boat. And it does it very well, from what I’ve seen of it.

I recently spent time with angler Ricky Simmons conducting on-water tests of a Parsun 4 ETL fitted to the transom of his 3m tinny, which is also fitted with a conventional bow-mount electric.

Having tried out both units during our time in search of bass (three for Ricky, nil for Wayne), the Parsun really shone.

Performance of this nature requires some serious battery power; in this case four conventional deep-cycle glass-mat 12-volt batteries connected to provide the 48-volt power source for the big Parsun.

Ricky’s tinny was also set up with a single 12v battery for the bow-mount electric so there was a considerable weight of batteries aboard plus two adults and fishing tackle.

Engine weight is around 30kg.


Performance was quite exceptional. With the powerful Parson on full throttle, the hand-held GPS unit recorded 5 knots with the standard 7.5” x 7” aluminium propeller.

It was very impressive but, as Ricky pointed out, less speed required less battery drain so we throttled back to around 3 knots and enjoyed the run down the dam.

The Parsun is equipped with a meter atop the cowling which indicates how the battery voltage is holding up.

Because the DC motor under the cowling is water-cooled, there’s a small telltale jet of water at the rear of the cowling while under way.

My limited trial of the motor certainly impressed me and the Parsun electric will no doubt impress competition anglers on electric-only waters with its potential.

These engines are designated for fresh or saltwater use and come with a two-year limited warranty.

Cost of the 4 ETL is $4440. For more information phone Island Inflatables on 02 9532 0002, visit www.islandinflatables.com.au or email electric@ islandinflatables.com.au.

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