Bella 512 Excel with Evinrude e-tec 90

11 Sep

Suddenly we own a boat! It´s a Finnish Bella 512 Excel for 2006, very well maintained – looks practically new.

Along with it came an Evinrude e-tec 90, which is quite a powerful engine for a boat this size. It does about 36 knots with its current prop, and speed at sea is quite intoxicating.


The hull is better than I feared – it has sufficient V-shape to run quite softly on the waves, about 22 degrees at the stern. The last boat I bought was back in 1985, when a 14´with 25PS was what one aspired to. That weighed 160 kgs, this one weighs about 550 plus the engine. So you need what – 40PS? – just to budge the additional weight. This weight gives the boat a very solid, grown-up feel, and it can certainly tackle choppy seas, but I miss the more agile, intelligent approach embodied by the Musling and its deep V-hull and water ballast.

So now I have to take responsibility for this new engine and find out all about maintenance. First out – oil! I know the e-tecs from before, and I like the technology  – light weight, simple maintenance and OK fuel economy is a good proposition. They are silent and don´t stink.

So mine runs on XD50 oil, which is really a standard TC-3W spec oil; you don´t have to stick with Evinrude. This oil is semisynthetic, and you match it to a setting in the e-tec brain: when running on XD50, it adds more oil to the engine than if you run … XD100! This is Evinrude´s fully synthetic oil, and if you run the engine on the XD100 setting, only that oil will do, since the amount of oil is reduced, giving reduced smoke – and oil consumption…  I may start by switching to XD100 to get the benefits of a cleaner burning oil, then maybe I will set it to the XD100-setting. Apparently you can go from XD50 to XD100, but not back, once the engine has “got used to” the better oil.

Then there is the prop. The boat came with a Ballistic 13 3/8 by 19″ gorgeous steel propeller. However, it is too big, so I have ordered an aluminium 13 3/4 by 15″ Quicksilver/Mercury that should take max revs from the current 4600 to over 5000, and make it run with lower stress at cruise and when laden.

Propeller update (updated)

I ended up with an Evinrude 13.5″ by 17″ aluminium, from The trial run was good in some ways – it is much smoother, and the boat has stopped pulling to the right, but max rpm rose only a bit – maybe to 4800, and max speed dropped from 64km/h to 62km/h on the GPS in my Galaxy SII. The Evinrude prop didn´t allow the engine to tilt out quite as much – when I tilt out the Ballistic, I can get about 5200 rpm, and this tilt-out probably allows the bow to lift a bit more. However, running like this there must be a lot of slippage, since the speed increase is small for a large increase in rpms. So, the bottom line is – going to a Black Max or Black Diamond. The part nos are QA2034X  (no! QA2208X)(Quicksilver) and the hub kit to go with it is called 835266Q1 1, and fits the V4-gearcase which seems to have had a long life, starting out way back, and now sitting on the e-tec 90, among others. The Mercury part no seems to be 48-77342A45. Update: wrong prop, right hub kit, from My bad. Anyone care for a QA2034X? 🙂

Update again: now the QA2208X has arrived, 15″ pitch, and revs have risen to at least 5500rpm (ahem). OK, so it´s on the light side, but that means the engine runs more freely when ploughing and half planing, and when fully laden, so I´ll stick with it.



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