Reviewing The New Two-Stroke Evinrude E-TEC 60 H.O.

New Evinrude E-TEC 60 H.O.

The new E-TEC 60 H.O. model adds some brawn to the Evinrude mid-size outboard range. Intended to power pontoon and heavy fishing boats, the E-TEC 60 H.O. shares its three-cylinder, 1.3-liter powerhead with the E-TEC 75 and E-TEC 90 models, and offers a whopping 50 percent more displacement than the standard Evinrude E-TEC 60, which is a 863cc twin. De-tuned on the top end to about 65 HP, the E-TEC 60 H.O. can deliver the grunt you can only get with displacement; the torque to turn a prop with lots of blade area and lift a heavy boat on plane.

When you need to move out a boat loaded down with a family reunion, the new Evinrude E-TEC 60 H.O. is up to the task.

In this age of fuel injection and computer controls, retuning an engine is as easy as writing new software, making adjustments to spark curve, fuel delivery, and peak rpm. The E-TEC 60 H.O. is able to offer the bottom and mid-range power of a 90, but then signs off up top to stay in 60 HP spec and be legal on a transom rated for 60 HP. Evinrude offers this motor in either 20- or 25-inch lengths – the Mercury and Yamaha 60s are only offered for a 20-inch transom. Evinrude specs the gear ratio to match the length. The 20 has a 2.0:1 gear set while the 25 has a 2.25:1 gear, reflecting the notion that the longer motor will be on a heavier boat. As a bonus, there’s a hefty 2.36:1 ratio offered for either length that will turn a stump-puller prop.

The penalty for this added displacement is, or course, weight – H.O. might as well stand for “heavy outboard.” At 320 pounds (20-inch length) the E-TEC 60 H.O. weighs 80 pounds more than the 240-pound E-TEC 60, 73 pounds more than the Mercury FourStroke 60, and 71 pounds more than a Yamaha F60. The Mercury 60 and Yamaha 60 are both 1.0-liter four-cylinder four-strokes. Boat design will influence the impact of the added weight of the E-TEC 60 H.O. It may be negligible on a pontoon, and a fishing boat with maximal beam and thus buoyancy aft will carry this weight better than a narrow-beam boat. As the boat gets heavier, the weight of the motor as a percentage of total boat weight decreases, and the added performance of the E-TEC 60 H.O. could over-come any weight penalty.

We took a short demo ride on a 16’ 4” AlumaCraft Classic 165 powered by the E-TEC 60 H.O. This boat weighs 895 pounds without power and has a beam of 6’ 10”, so it’s not extraordinarily heavy or wide and was maybe not the best example for this motor. That said, the E-TEC handled a 19-pitch prop and pushed us to a top speed of 39 MPH, and popped us on plane in just 2.8 seconds. Mid-range fuel economy was outstanding; at 22.4 MPH we were just loafing along at 3500 RPM, getting 7.23 MPG and while consuming 3.1 GPH. I would expect that cruising performance to stay pretty constant with more passengers and gear on board.

The 16’ long AlumaCraft we ran the 60 H.O. on was a small load, for the big torque and power this two-stroke outboard delivers.

Drop the lever and the power starts right now. The E-TEC 60 H.O. makes a distinctly two-stroke sound that’s not as sewing-machine smooth as most of the new four-strokes we’ve run this season. The pay-back is the instant two-stroke throttle response you get with an Evinrude E-TEC. The Evinrude E-TEC 60 H.O. could be, as they say, the right tool for the job if you are running a heavy boat.