Marine News from the Great Lakes

Environmentally-Conscious Engine Choice

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2019
By: Jordan Balbresky

As boaters, we are inherently connected to the world around us. The feel of the sun and wind on our skin leads to a deeper awareness of the tides, currents, weather, wind direction and intensity, all of which have a great impact on our time on the water.

It is this connection that makes boaters the perfect stewards of the natural world. Our enjoyment of time spent on the water, whether wakeboarding, cruising, fishing, or sailing is directly impacted by the quality of the air, water, and sea life of the lakes we call our playground. It is what makes boaters instrumental in driving conservation efforts, and in many ways leading by example, to those who don’t see the impact of litter or pollution as often or as directly.

With that in mind, there are a number of ways that we can help make a difference, beyond the yearly beach cleanups or using reusable fabric shopping bags for our onboard necessities. Take for example our on-the-water propulsion. For the most part, we burn fossil fuels to propel our vessels, whether we use diesel or gasoline. Even when we use wind power to get around, many sailboats still have an auxiliary engine for emergencies and low speed maneuvering in tight quarters. Without the salt of our coastal cousins, and with typically shorter seasons, engines on the Great Lakes tend to last a lot longer, meaning that you may be able to get years or even decades of solid performance from your engine. This is great for minimizing the cost of boating, but older technology may not be the most efficient or environmentally friendly.

Evinrude E-TEC G2 Engines

The latest in engine technology is being designed with not only performance, but impact on the environment, in mind. When it comes to outboard engines, one manufacturer stands above the others in its approach to environmental stewardship – Evinrude. The full line-up of Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines is CARB Three Star rated, which is even more strict than EPA guidelines and they are by all measures the cleanest combustion outboard engines in the world today. In fact, E-TEC G2 engines produce 75% less emissions than comparable four-strokes. They are also globally compliant with all standards – which means the engines that they sell in the U.S. are the exact same engines that they sell in countries that have much more flexible environmental regulations.

The Evinrude range was recently expanded to include models from 115 H.O., 140HP and 150HP through 300HP, which means there is an efficient E-TEC G2 engine for almost any budget or size vessel. Delivering refined running quality and quiet operation, Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines are designed to enhance the complete boating experience. With more torque and greater fuel efficiency at lower RPMs than comparable four-stroke engines, E-TEC G2 models give boaters extended cruising capabilities and more power when it’s needed. In addition to thrilling performance, all E-TEC G2 engines have the most user-friendly ownership experience, with no break-in period, no dealer-scheduled maintenance for five-years or 500 hours, five-year factory backed service coverage and no engine oil changes – ever!

Evinrude now packs next-generation technology such as digital shift and throttle, the iTrim automatic trim control system, digital instrumentation, custom color panels, and optional iSteer dynamic power steering into all of their E-TEC G2 outboards. In addition, the 115 H.O. and 140 models will be available with premium controls and gauges, as well as a tiller option that features touch troll and trim switches, LED’s for basic diagnostics, and an NMEA 2000 connection for integration with external gauges and accessories.

PropEle Electric Boat Motors’ EP Carry

For those that are looking for tender propulsion with zero emissions, PropEle Electric Boat Motors offers the innovative EP Carry motor system. Designed specifically for dinghies, tenders, small rowing, and other craft under 13 feet and 600 pounds, the EP Carry product line delivers ship-to-shore simplicity and quiet electric power with unique, patented features for easy control, comfort, and safety.

Weighing in at only 14 pounds, EP Carry is sold complete with a seven-pound buoyant battery pack – making it the lightest electric motor system on the market and compact enough to easily handle and lift by hand. This lightweight system, combined with advanced ergonomics, allows for simple and fast set-up and operation, all from a seated position. The motor clamps onto a transom or motor mount and sets up in less than a minute. With a pull on the tiller arm to lift the prop, boaters can beach their dinghy, eliminating the challenges of traditional outboards that require reaching back or latching with a second hand. All controls including reverse gear are within reach at the end of the longest tiller arm of any outboard motor.

Environmental impact may not be the first thing you think of when buying an engine, but as a boater, it should be in the back of your mind. Every little thing we can do now to help preserve the integrity of the natural world, is one more way to ensure that you and generations to come can continue to enjoy the lakes we love.


About Jordan Balbresky

A former public relations practitioner serving the high-tech and consumer electronics industries, Jordan Balbresky returned to the agency world following a decade of hands-on marine experience. Living in the Caribbean and working in all aspects of the marine industry — from boat building, restoration and maintenance, to charter captain and delivery crew of sailing and motor yachts — Balbresky has a first-hand understanding of the outdoor and maritime markets. Fully immersing himself in the industry, he is a licensed scuba instructor, as well as master mariner and has lived on-board a custom-built schooner while skippering charters on boats of all sizes in the US Virgin Islands.

This article first appeared in the Summer Issue (Jul/Aug) 2019 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.


tags: Engines, Environmental Impact

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