Evinrude - E-TEC 150 H.O.

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Captain's Report

Mission Statement

The mission of the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. is to be a workhorse providing high-performance, competitive fuel economy, and very low maintenance over the lifetime of the engine. Further, the 150 H.O. is designed to provide high-torque that can handle heavily-loaded boats in both saltwater and freshwater applications across a wide range of boat types.

The 150 H.O. is specifically designed for bass boats and applications where higher speeds are desired. Evinrude's Lightning gearcase is hydrodynamically designed to maximize performance and provide years of service.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. is the lightest 150-hp outboard engine on the planet at 418 lbs. (190 kgs.).

The Major Advantages of 2-Stroke Outboards

Brief Back Story. In 2003 Evinrude introduced the revolutionary Evinrude E-TEC series of outboard engines which brought 2-stroke technology into the 21st century and allowed its engines to go toe-to-toe with the best 4-stroke engines on the market.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. engines have been popular in pontoon boat applications because of their high-torque.

Greater Power. Because a 2-stroke engine fires at the top of every stroke it can theoretically have twice the power of an identical 4-stroke engine, which fires at the top of every other stroke. The engineers at Evinrude tell us that this causality gives the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. from 14% to 23% more torque than 4-stroke engines of the same horsepower. The 150 H.O. has --

1) Greater power than a 4-stroke

2) Faster acceleration than a 4-stroke

3) Greater low and mid-range torque than a 4-stroke

Fewer Parts. 2-stroke engines have fewer moving parts than 4-stroke engines because they have no belts, cams, valves, valve springs, valve lifters, push rods or lots of other parts that are required to make a 4-stroke engine run. In the case of the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. that means about 195 fewer parts than most 4-stroke engines. It has--

1) Less weight than all other 150-hp engines

2) Less friction than 4-stroke engines

3) Fewer parts to break than 4-stroke engines

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Twin engine applications for offshore boats in the mid-20' range provides speeds in the high 40s or faster depending on size and weight.

How the Difference Pays Off

At the Low End. The result of these two important advantages of 2-stroke outboards is that it gives them greater torque at the low end which means faster acceleration, quick hole-shot times, more power to lift heavy loads or beginning skiers out of the water quicker, lower bow rise on acceleration, and the ability to get a loaded boat on plane faster.

Mid-Range and Higher. In the mid-speed ranges, 2-stroke outboards develop higher horsepower at lower rpms than a 4-stroke and therefore have greater and faster response to the throttle.

Distinguishing Features of the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

This is one of the secrets of the success of the Evinrude E-TEC series of engines. It is the fuel injector that pulses thousands of times a second to provide just the right amount of fuel to each cylinder.

Special Injectors. Evinrude E-TEC engines use an injector system that is very much like a stereo speaker in that it vibrates thousands of times a second to atomize precise amounts of fuel as directed by the Engine Management Module (EMM). No other outboard brand uses this highly-regarded system. Each pulse of the injector can inject as little as two champagne bubbles into the engine.

Lightest 150-hp Outboard. At 418 lbs. (190 kgs.) the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. is lighter than any other 150-hp outboard on the market, including both 4-stroke and all other 2-stroke engines. Less weight means faster times to plane, less bow rise, more fuel efficiency, higher speeds, and greater range.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The starter motor of the 150 H.O. engages with authority to start the engine immediately without grinding.

Easy, Quick Starts Every Time. Because Evinrude uses exclusive Fast Rise Inductive ignition, it provides instant starting through extremely fast spark generation. This isn’t the only benefit though, also giving extremely low emissions through complete fuel burn, incredible low fuel consumption at idle and low rpms.

No Break-In Period. Because Evinrude uses boron-nitrate cylinder boring, has pistons made of a space-age alloy called Nasa-loy, and because the EMM knows the engine is new and automatically calls for extra oil lubrication, there is no engine "break-in" period required as is necessary with most other engines on the market. It knows when its properly broken in, seamless to the user, thus eliminating the worry of following a manufacturer's specific break-in instructions.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Evinrude E-TEC engines are high-tech, using the latest alloys and some of the most imaginative systems in the field. Here we see a piston made of Nasa-loy alloy.

Fail-Safe Engine Protection. Again because of the space-age materials used in the pistons and cylinder walls and because of Evinrude's lubrication system, in the event of a lack of oil, the engine automatically reduces power and can be run for 5 hours without damage.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The round magneto is just under the EMM box with the yellow labels. It is a simple device that is nearly indestructible unlike alternators which have diodes that can over heat and quickly fail if something goes wrong in the circuit to the battery.

Magneto for Highest AMP Output. Evinrude uses a maintenance free magneto charging system instead of a belt-driven brush type alternator to generate electrical power for the engine and boat. Belts can break and brushes can wear out and leave a boat stranded. The 150 H.O. generates 133 amps, more than any other 150-hp engine on the market by nearly twice. 133 amps means all the navigation systems, depth finders, fishfinders, and stereo and speaker systems wanted can be run, and the owner never has to worry about running out of power.

No Crankcase Oil to Change. The days of mixing oil and fuel and 2-stroke engines are long gone. With an Evinrude E-TEC, just fill the oil tank and let the engine draw on it as needed. Clean, fresh oil is used to lubricate providing the least wear possible in any engine… anywhere.

This compares with a 4-stroke outboard's oil which is getting dirtier every hour it's used. That's why it and should have its oil changed every 100 hours, or more often, if long periods slow speed use or wide open throttle.

Lower Emissions. The Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. has received a three star rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) which administers the toughest emission standards in the world. No other brand has lower emissions.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Fluid checks have been placed in easy-to-reach places on the side of the engine.

No Dealer Scheduled Maintenance for Three Years or 300 Hours. This is an important feature for Evinrude E-TEC engines and it can be worth quite a bit of money as compared with some engines including 4-strokes that require 6 months or 100 hour maintenance.

Automatic Winterization. To winterize, the Evinrude E-TEC fogs itself automatically with a simple throttle/ key stroke sequence which the owner can execute in just minutes. There is no expensive dealer winterization required.

Engine winterization by a dealer can be a major expense for the owner of a 4-stroke engine and shorten your boating season. If nice days appear in the middle of winter, the Evinrude engine can be immediately be put to work, then re-fogged later.

3-Year, 300-hour Spark Plugs. Evinrude uses advanced iridium spark plugs which can handle a longer spark and have a longer life.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Checking the automotive-type fuse the magneto is simple and convenient.

High Output Features

The 150 H.O. engine comes with a high-performance lightning gear case that is hydrodynamically designed and able to handle higher engine height settings than can standard engines. The H.O.'s motor mounts are more heavy-duty, as well. And finally, the E.M.M. or Engine Management Module has been remapped for maximum performance.

Fast Bass. We have not tested the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. in a bass boat but the techs at Evinrude have. We have seen two of their tests of 18' bass boats that weighed about 1,500 lbs. (681.8 kgs.) dry, swinging 14.5"X24" props that recorded WOT speeds between 62.6 and 63.4 mph. Best cruises in these boats was from 25.3 to 25.7 mph, getting from 4.1 to 5.4 mpg.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The oil distribution system measures precise amounts of oil into the cylinder sleeves relieving the operator of having to mix oil and the fuel.

"Pin Point" Oil Injection System

Evinrude calls it's oil lubrication system the "Pin Point" oiling system because it uses many pin-point placed oil injection locations to meter oil to needed areas. The EMM decides how much oil needs to be passed along and when, burning significantly less oil.

Fill and Forget. With an Evinrude E-TEC, boaters simply fill an oil reservoir and let the engine manage its own oil supply. This is particularly important during the break-in period. The Evinrude E-TEC engine management system automatically provides additional amounts of oil to the cylinder sleeves during the break-in period.

Once the proper break-in period has passed, the oil distribution (which is controlled by the all-knowing EMM) reverts to its normal levels all without the operator having to take any action.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The EMM is the black box of the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. Note the rubber hoses going in and out of the box to carry coolant to make sure the unit does not over heat.

Engine Management Module (aka the Black Box)

The EMM or Engine Management Module is basically the brain of the Evinrude E-TEC system. It controls the oil distribution system, fuel management, spark timing, engine diagnostics, fail-safe over-heating intervention, as well as remembering virtually everything that the engine has done or was done to it.

Talking Back. The EMM transmits monitoring and diagnostic information to the gauges at the helm. All of this electronic thinking creates heat which is why Evinrude runs cool water through the EMM to keep it at appropriate temperatures for trouble-free operation and long life.

Charging System

At the top of the engine is a flywheel with magnets attached to it. Beneath the magnets are coils of wire. As the magnets pass over the coils they generate electricity. (This is sometimes called a magneto.) It is a tried-and-true system that has been around for over 100 years, and is so low-tech, that it has become high-tech because it is so trouble free and powerful.

In this manner an Evinrude E-TEC generates 133 amps of electricity, 50 amps dedicated to charging the batteries alone. More importantly, this is done without power-robbing belts, pulleys, or delicate diodes.

More Power To You. With 50 amps dedicated to the batteries alone, boaters are able to operate a significant amount of electronics at the helm without worry. Additionally, if the batteries go bad the engine will still run completely free of any connection to the batteries. As long as the engine can be started, it will run on its own.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The 10 micron fuel filter/water separator is easily replaceable in the field -- without making a mess.

Water-In-Fuel Alarm

Water-in-fuel was always a slight problem but with the advent of ethanol, water is now an even bigger concern. The 150's fuel filter is also a water separator, and if water does get into the system, a signal alerts the operator to the need for a filter change.

Tidy Filter. The fuel filter deserves a mention. First it’s mounted with the screw-on end of the unit facing up. Some engines have filters facing down or horizontal for some reason, and when unscrewed, they dump fuel all over the place. The Evinrude system keeps everything nice and tidy and is easily removeable without major component removal.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

A 4-step process protects the exposed lower unit from saltwater corrosion to a large degree. There is 16" from the bottom of the skeg to the anti-cavitation plate.

Anti-Corrosion Treatment

Evinrude outboards are specifically designed to fend-off saltwater corrosion. The company's engineers tell us that their anti-corrosion approach is a four-part process--

1. A Lyfinite treatment – this is a trademarked process and Evinrude owns the trademark. It puts the first protective coating on the metal components.

2. EDP – Electro Deposition Paint – this is based on the fundamental physics principle that opposites attract. The metal parts are charged with direct current and then immersed in a bath that has oppositely charged paint particles in it. This allows every corner, crack, and crevice to have a continuous even coating over the entire surface of the part.

3. Primer is then added.

4. Finally the finish coat.

In addition, easily accessible and visually inspected sacrificial anodes (zincs) are added and their job is specifically to deteriorate before any other metal components. Obviously the engine should be flushed with freshwater after every use – although it does completely drain as the motor is lowered.

Practical Details

Trim Switch. There is an engine-mounted trim switch, and even though that’s not a new or even a unique feature, this one has a limiting switch that prevents the cowling from coming into contact with a splash-well or high transom. Plus, it’s adjustable by the end user with no tools. And while the engine is tilted up, the attached trailer bracket can be lowered to take the load off the hydraulics while trailering.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

There is a spare fuse clipped just above the fuse connection.

A Fuse in Hand Is Worth…The main electrical harness is conveniently located and for once someone got the brilliant idea to mount a spare fuse right at the harness connection.

Well Grounded Design. In addition to using Iridium spark plugs Evinrude E-TEC spark plug wires are covered with a metallic shroud with the wires leading to a common ground. In this manner, ignition noise is prevented from reaching the electronics at the helm, a pivotal consideration for reducing noise in high-end fishfinders.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Here are the key numbers from our test of the 150 H.O. on a 25' tri-toon that weighed 4,000 lbs. (1,818 kgs.)

Performance -- Pontoon Boat

We have tested the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. on a 25' (7.62 m) tri-toon that has a test weight of 4,000 lbs. (1,818 kgs.). This is an ideal application for the 150 H.O. because tri-toons are typically used for towing watersports as well as for cruising. The key test number for towing was 4.9 seconds to plane and 5.2 seconds from 0 to 20 mph.

Top speed for the toon was 37.2 mph. While best cruise was 13.4 mph getting 4.18 miles per gallon, we suspect that most people will run this boat from 17.3 knots to 21.9 knots. When cruising a lake in the evening with a crowd aboard at just under 5 mph, she burns .6 gallons per hour. Below are the actual test numbers.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Test results for the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. on a 25' tri-toon with a test weight of 4,000 lbs.

Appropriate Applications for the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

The Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. has a broad range of applications from boats as small as 17' in a single engine configuration to, perhaps, 18-20' flats boat applications.

Bass boats in the 17' to 20' range are candidates for the 150 H.O. which should take them fast to the mid to upper 50s or low 60s, depending on the weight of the boat, prop geometry and size.

Multi-Species Boats are typically lighter and WOT speeds in the high 50s can be expected for boats weighing something on the order of 1,500 lbs. (681.8 kgs.), or high 40s for slightly heavier boats.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Small bass boats are an ideal platform to be powered by the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Pontoon boats up to about 3,000-lbs. are good candidates for the 150 H.O. to drive them in the mid to higher 30-mph range if they are tri-toons. Lighter toons will have a WOT in the low 40s. Remember that twin-toon pontoon boats are harder to push. Those wishing to tow skiers or wake boarders should opt for a tri-toon.

Bay Boats, Flats Boats and Skiffs are all ideal candidates for the 150 H.O. because of their low draft and light weight. Remember that the 150 H.O. comes only in a 20" shaft length. Depending on the usual factors, boaters can expect speeds from the high 40s to as much as the low 60s. Best cruise will be in the high 20s to the low-30s, where the boats should get from about 5.5 to 6.6 mpg, or slightly better, based on data that we have seen.

Inflatables, RIBs, and Yacht Tenders are categories of boat where the Evinrude 2-stroke low-end torque and light-weight can make a winning combination. Yacht owners are weight conscious and their captains will like the low maintenance of the 150 H.O. Best of all, inflatables should not have the extremely high and annoying bow rise that often occurs with heavy, low-torque-at-the-low-end 4-strokes.

Dual Consoles and Sportboats that are 19' or smaller usually have the shallow draft and weight characteristics that are appropriate for the 20' shaft 150 H.O. Water skiers and wakeboarders will appreciate the quick hole-shot times. Once again, low weight and high-torque at the low-end pay off in lower bow rise.

Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.

Evinrude has designed an engine cowling and air-intake system designed to reduce noise and it seems to be effective.

How About 2-Stroke Noise?

It is no secret that 2-stroke engines are a bit louder than most 4-stroke engines, and the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. is no exception. Because the 2-stroke engines have twice as many power strokes, they of course create more noise, but nowhere near twice as much. We studied 12 of our tests that were of both 4-stroke and 2-stroke outboards and discovered what we already knew -- the 4-stroke engines averaged slightly fewer dbA numbers than the average of all of the 2-strokes, including Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. We did not have a large enough sample to come to any more conclusions than that, although our limited data looked favorably on the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O.'s noise-abatement.


Evinrude has a standard 3-year warranty, which is “non-declining.” That means that the engine value, and the value of its parts, are not reduced by the number of hours used if there is a warranty issue. During certain limited-time promotions we have seen Evinrude’s warranty period be even longer than three years.


That one important product detail – fewer parts -- cascades into a whole series of advantages for the Evinrude E-TEC 150 H.O. engine as enumerated above. However, for us the big take-aways are two things: 1) More power and torque at the low end; and 2) Lower maintenance costs both short term and long term.