*Update 2020: the engine has been running trouble-free since 2013. Hours/year in the low range. Starter relay changed this year, apart from that only routine maintenance. *
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 good, it has sufficient V-shape to run quite softly on the waves, about 22 degrees at the stern. The boat has 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 430 and its deep V-hull and water ballast. But that´s a different kind of boat! My son has one.
The e-tec was filled with XD50 oil, which is really a standard TC-3W spec oil; you don´t have to stick with Evinrude´s. 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 have switched 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.
I have been running XD100 for some years now ( 2018 ) and that works fine; the setting is still XD50, so it smells more than it needs to.
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.
After a bit of to and fro, trying out a 17″ Evinrude, the engine now mounts a QA2208X from Quicksilver, with a 15″ pitch. The hub kit to go with it is called 835266Q1 1, and fits the Evinrude V4-gearcase which seems to have had a long life, starting out way back, and now sitting on the e-tec 90, among others.
Revs have risen to at least 5500rpm. OK, so it´s on the light side, but that means the engine runs more freely and accelerates harder, so I´ll stick with it. I tend to change propellers a lot …