I’ve always been a small boat person. You know the type, puddling around with a 25-40hp motor on the back of a 12-14 foot tinnie.
With my heritage in the snag filled waterways around Lake Mulwala in NSW and the sand filled estuaries of Victoria and later Central Queensland, small and light were always top considerations when it came to boats and motors.
To meet these demands the development team at Evinrude E-Tec has finally released their 25hp and 30hp E-Tec outboards.
The development in smaller outboards has been staggering lately with outboard manufacturers concentrating on ergonomics, design and the all important pollution outputs and fuel consumption. This has led to a wealth of choices when it comes to this smaller horse power market and E-Tec’s offering will be one that boaters and anglers may find just right for them.
Both the 25hp and 30hp E-Tec use the same design principles as the larger E-Tecs on the market. But there are subtle and important differences that had to be made to the larger range so that everything could still fit in the smaller units.
For starters the EMC unit is significantly smaller. At about two thirds the size of the original EMC, this little unit is the brains of the outboard controlling just about everything in the engine. This smaller unit though does not lack for punching power as it holds just as much technology as the original unit.
Of course there are plenty of technological breakthroughs with the smaller units and some include a dual exhaust system (in one unit) that can have the outboard running with a shorter exhaust or a longer exhaust to suit conditions, revs and requirements. This doesn’t sound like much, but it provides extra power at the right time meaning fuel use is minimised while power is increased.
The new tiller handle is a classic example of the effort now made by outboard manufacturers to ergonomically design hardware that is used every time by the operator. The new tiller design provides thumb controlled trim and tilt at the end of the twist grip. The actual trim and tilt switch rotates with the throttle and this is ideal when you need to trim up or down for that perfect ride. One thing I did notice with the trim switch is that it operates opposite from what I expected. If you push your thumb up, the motor goes down. This is a little interesting at first, but you quickly get used to it and it doesn’t stay a problem for long. Overall I love this feature.
The shift handle has been positioned more forward on the tiller and this allows easier access to forward, neutral and reverse. I still used two hands to change gears – one on the throttle and one on the gear shift handle, but in use it felt like it was in the right position.
There is also a very clever piece of electronic wizardry included in the tiller handle. Just to the rear of the throttle is a little button with plus and minus printed on it. This little button allows you to bump the revs up or down 50rpm with a simple tap in the direction you want to go. Daniel Tillack and I had a ball with this button in the 6 knot zones and for those who troll a lot, this button will revolutionise your fishing. You can basically use this feature from idle up to about 2000rpm and once set, just steer your craft and alter your speed without the need to adjust the throttle. It’s brilliant.
Other features of the tiller handle include push button electric start and the ability to adjust the tiller in three vertical and three horizontal positions to perfectly place the tiller for use on your boat. These tiller positions mean the 30hp and 25hp E-Tec will comfortably sit on just about any tinnie on the market.
Both the 25hp and 30hp have a number of options available. You can buy one of these outboards with manual tilt, power tilt and trim, rope or electric start and 15” or 20” shaft length, or almost any combination of these features. This is a fantastic customer service as it means your choice of outboard set up can be catered for. The dry weights range from about 66kg through to about 80kg, so they are relatively light for their output.
Like all E-Tec products the new small horse power range has a three year, non-declining warranty and service-free period. They meet all of the most stringent emission standards, being rated 3 Star in the OEDA voluntary emissions scale in Australia. These little donks also produce an amazing 56 amps of total output at the alternator meaning your starter batteries will always be in a fit shape when you need them.
The new smaller E-tecs will start filtering into the dealers in early 2009. If you are thinking of updating your existing rig or looking to buy your first, then throw the smaller horse power E-Tecs into the mix. They are a very classy product with lots of pluses for users and the environment. Talk to your nearest Evinrude E-Tec dealer for more information on the new outboards or log onto www.brp.com.Reads: 2956