Review: Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard

By: Andrew Norton, Photography by: Andrew Norton

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Who needs more than two cylinders in a 60 when it comes to the Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard?

Review: Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard
The BRP Evinrude E-TEC 60 is an efficient outboard engine with great holeshot.

Back in the seventies and eighties, outboard motors with big twins were all the rage. There were the Johnson 55, Suzuki DT60C and Tohatsu even had a 70. All three had two carbies that were easy to balance and though none of these were designed for extended trolling periods they did a great job of powering hulls to five metres.

Way back in ’83 my first project boat was a 5.2m Stejcraft runabout powered by a DT60C. At the time it was pretty sophisticated with variable-ratio oil injection and way easy to use because straight petrol could be used in the fuel tank. Topping up the oil tank was just like checking sump oil in a car. With two adults aboard the Stejcraft ran out to 32kts. Not bad for a 60 on a hull this big.

In the mid-nineties Outboard Marine Corporation’s Graham Henniker described to me the concept of a big twin having direct fuel injection to not only reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions but also eliminate high vibration levels the carbie engines had when trolling. When Bombardier Recreational Products took over OMC in 2001, it ran with the concept because it could use the same pistons in the E-TEC 40 to 60 range as it did in the three-cylinder 75 and 90, V4 115 to 130hp and V6 150 to 200hp models. Parts commonality sure saves on manufacturing costs.

 

E-TEC OUTBOARD

The Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard motor develops 60.3hp at 5750rpm with a Wide Open Throttle range of 5500 to 6000rpm. The 863cc loopcharged powerhead has single-stage direct injection, where fuel only is injected into the combustion chambers giving the 60 an OEDA 3-star emissions rating, whereas at best the carbie engines were 1-star. The massive 91mm cylinder bore and short 66mm stroke allow this engine to run at or near WOT for extended periods without damaging the powerhead. The dry weight is 109kg.

Because the engine management system on the Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard motor is powered by an under-flywheel alternator, it can be rope-started should the starter battery be flat, just like the carbie engines could be. This also means a massive starter battery is not needed as is the case with Orbital DFI engines (Mercury and Tohatsu). The voltage regulated alternator pumps out 75amp with 25 dedicated to battery charging.

The oil injection ratios on the  Evinrude E-TEC 60vary between 60:1 at WOT down to 300:1 when trolling and Evinrude XD50 oil should be used when extended trolling periods are anticipated. Otherwise stick with XD100. Either standard (91) or premium (95) unleaded can be used but never 98 as this fuel will literally wash lubricating oil from the cylinder walls leading to dry bores.

In line with Bombardier’s 300 hours/three years no-servicing concept (only for freshwater), the 60 has a massive gearcase with 2.67:1 gear ratio, straight from the old Johnson 55 commercial outboard. The huge amount of oil in the box can absorb some water seepage over the three years without the gears being damaged, but in tiller-steer models the prop torque steer coming out of the hole is so intense operators will simply end up with one arm longer than the other.

Powerhead access is tight but the lower cowl can be separated to reach all of the engine. For saltwater operation the gear oil should be changed and propshaft greased annually. The recreational usage warranty is five years.

 

PERFORMANCE ON THE WATER

Mounted on a 4.8m Stacer 469 Easy Rider bowrider and swinging a 15in pitch stainless steel SST prop the review Evinrude E-TEC 60 easily handled our 830kg total including two adults. It started instantly hot or cold with no oil smoke appearing, only a slight oil smell when backing upwind. Vibration levels were way lower than the old twin-cylinder carbie engines but higher than the three-cylinder carbie competition giving my flab a shakeup – always good to know an outboard can provide some health benefits. The vibration rapidly diminished upwards of 1000rpm.

Once warmed up the Evinrude E-TEC 60 outboard motor got us out of the hole quickly and reached WOT in about 10 seconds with no prop ventilation through tight turns at 4000rpm. After my arm lengthening experiences of the tiller-steer E-TEC 40 and 50, the remote non-feedback steering was a pleasure to use. At WOT the 60 was slightly noisier than the four-stroke sixties but not enough to worsen my tinnitus.

 

THE VERDICT

Bombardier has done a great job of creating a 60 that’s reminiscent of the old carbie engines but without the clouds of oil smoke or wrestling with a shaking steering wheel. It’s fuel efficient, has great holeshot and with a bit of TLC should provide years of enjoyable boating.

As of January 2014 the remote control longshaft Evinrude E-TEC 60 price was 10,500 with a spare SST propeller for $800. Thanks In Tune Marine, Long Jetty, NSW, phone (02) 4333 3444, for such a well-prepared review engine.  

 

BRP EVINRUDE E-TEC 60 SPECIFICATIONS

TYPE Inline two-cylinder direct injection two-stroke outboard motor

RATED HP 60 at 5750rpm

DISPLACEMENT 863cc

BORE x STROKE 91 x 66mm

WEIGHT 109kg (dry)

 

EVINRUDE E-TEC 60 PERFORMANCE

Single Evinrude E-TEC 60 two-stroke outboard motor. Average of two-way runs using onboard fuel-flow gear and hand-held Lowrance GPS, calm water.

RPM SPEED FUEL BURN
650rpm (trolling) 2.3kts 0.6lt/h
3100rpm (planing) 11.6kts 6.1lt/h
4000rpm (cruise) 18.4kts 7.9lt/h
5800rpm (WOT) 28.9kts 19.4lt/h

 

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See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #449, February / March 2014. Why not subscribe today.

 


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