Reviews the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.


evinrude_250ho_model-engine-thumbEvinrude E-TEC 250 H.O.
The 2013 Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. got its H.O. designation for being “high output.” We thought that may have been just talk, but our tests show differently. We ran it on the back of three different pontoon boats ranging in weight from 3,566 lbs (1,618 kg) to 5,548 lbs (2,517 kg) and they all performed within 2.3 mph and ¼ gph of each other at WOT with varying loads. It looks like the “H.O.” really means what it says. Possibly more important, is the fact that the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. engine has some upgraded components from the standard 250.


Key Features

  • High Performance Gearcase Every 250 H.O. engine features Evinrude’s advance lightning gearcase.
  • H.O. SERIES Evinrude E-TEC High Output Outboards push them as far as they can go – or the industry recommends. Each engine is tuned for extra power and speed.
  • No Maintenance for 3 years / 300 hours No inspections or adjustments, no changing gearcase lube, no spring tune-ups.
  • Fewer parts 195 fewer than a four-stroke. No valves, belts, camshafts or pulleys to adjust or replace.
  • No oil changes A four-stroke gets one every six months or 100 hours – 60 if you’re doing heavy trolling.
  • 3-year, 300-hour spark plugs Advanced iridium plugs – featuring a longer, more efficient spark.
  • Auto storage The engine fogs itself automatically in minutes, with no trip to the dealer. So easy, you can do it any time.
  • Instant throttle response Not just select points. The key is that every revolution is a power stroke. That means twice the power strokes of a four stroke.
  • Less fuel The engine management system makes more than 8 million calculations per second. You get the precise amount of fuel you need at any given rpm.

Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. Captain’s Report

Mission Statement

The mission of the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. is to provide a high-torque 2-stroke engine that can handle heavy loads and provide the power needed for fast hole shots for all kinds of boating activities. Further, it has most of the features that boaters are coming to expect from today’s technology.




Evinrude E-TEC engines from BRP bring cutting-edge technology to boaters, which translates into more time on the water and less time in the shop.


Distinguishing Features

• 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 which have a shorter scheduled maintenance regiment.

No break-in required. The computer controlled engine knows how many hours are on it, and automatically doubles the oil distribution to the cylinders for the break-in period. Once an appropriate amount of hours have been put on the engine, the oil distribution reverts to normal levels. The consumer takes no action.

No crankcase oil to change. The days of mixing oil and fuel and two-stroke engines are long gone. With an Evinrude E-TEC, just fill an oil tank and let the engine draw on it as needed.

Auto winterization.- To winterize, an Evinrude E-TEC fogs itself automatically with a simple key sequence in just minutes with no trip to the dealer. Boaters in the northern latitudes will especially appreciate this because when there is a winter warm spell, the engine can be used in a heart beat, then be easily re-winterized again.

Fewer parts.- There are 195 fewer parts in the Evinrude E-TEC 2-stroke 250-hp engine than are found on a four-stroke. There are no valves, belts, camshafts or pulleys to adjust and replace. Fewer parts mean less friction and fewer things to go wrong.




The fuel injectors not only meter the amount of fuel going to the engine, they also add pressure so there’s no need for a separate fuel pump. This system is one of the most important things that set Evinrude outboard engines apart from all the others. 


High Output Features

The H.O. engines come with stainless steel props ventilated at the hub for improved performance. Just behind the prop is a performance gear case that is able to withstand more abuse than the standard gear case. The motor mounts are more heavy-duty, as well. And finally, the E.M.M. or Engine Management Module has been remapped for better performance. Does it work? Let’s go over the performance figures and see.


Performance Numbers

For performance we tested the 250 H.O. on three different pontoon boats all having very different handling and operational characteristics. Most significant is the difference in their weights with the heaviest having a test weight of 5,548 lbs (2,517 kg), the middle boat having a test weight of 4,023 lbs (1,825 kg), and the lightest weighing 3,566 lbs (1,618 kg).

WOT Speeds. The heaviest reached top speed of 5750 rpm and 42.9 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 25.45 gph The middleweight toon reached a top speed of 5800 rpm and 45.2 mph.. At that speed fuel burn was 25.7 gph. The lightest reached a top speed of 5750 rpm and 44.8 mph and fuel burn stayed at 25.7 gph — all within 2.3 mph of each other and 1/4 gallon per hour.




Complete test data for Avalon Ambassador 27. Strapped to a Avalon Ambassador 27, the Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. reached a top speed of 5750 rpm and 42.9 mph. That gave us a fuel burn of 25.45 gph for range of 76 miles.


Best Cruise Speeds. For best cruise the heaviest came in at 3000 rpm and 17.8 mph with a fuel burn of 6.75 gph. The middleweight also came in at 3000 rpm and 18.6 mph with a fuel burn of 6.91 gph. The lightest bumped up to 3500 rpm and 22.3 mph with a fuel burn of 8.56 gph. The “best cruise” spread was within 4.5 mph of each other and 1.81 gph.

In other words this powerful workhorse seems to perform just as well regardless of the loads put on it. The Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. seems to be a strong engine with a lot to give. With the ranges shown above, buyers of tri-toons within the weight limits shown above should be able to expect performance within these parameters for most boats.



The charging system is under this flywheel and requires no belts or tension adjustment.


The Sound of an Evinrude

Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines make a very distinct sound, and a lot of engineering goes into generating that sound. The upper and lower shrouds work together to form soundproofing based on the needs of the horsepower and the output of the power head. Instead of having air and sound flow directly into, and out of the enclosed engine, BRP engineered a complex route, and by bending the sound waves are able to produce that trademark Evinrude sound.

Take for example the upper shroud. Air travels in from the back of the shroud and makes and 90-degree bend to travel down, and then up again. This brings air in, but restricts the sound from getting out which produces a quieter engine. It also prevents water from entering the engine shroud.

The lower exhaust port is in the shape of a “V” causing the exiting sound to make a series of 180-degree bends which again, serve to tune the sound. It’s a small feature to be sure, but one that makes the Evinrude E-TEC produce a very distinctive sound as the boat flies across the water.


Evinrude E-TEC Features

The anti-ventilation plate measures 20.5” x 7” and I was surprised to see that there was no trim tab hanging underneath. Probably because in our application, it was connected to hydraulic steering so there was no feedback for the tab to counter torque. (Once you’ve gone to hydraulic steering, you never want to go back. But I digress.)

I love the engine mounted trim switch, and even though that’s not a new or even 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.

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. Thank you, Evinrude.


Well Grounded Design

In addition to using Iridium spark plugs which provide a longer and more efficient spark, 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.




Spark plug wires are covered with a metallic shroud to reduce emissions noise to the electronics.


The ignition system includes two major components. The injectors are electronically controlled and distribute precise amounts of fuel into the cylinders for better performance and better fuel economy whether idling for extended periods or operating at cruise or max speeds. They work by pulsating, much like a stereo speaker to provide exact fuel amounts based on the throttle setting. The “IDI” or fast rise inductive ignition works in conjunction with the injectors to provide better economy and smoother running engines. They also cause the spark plugs to ignite longer rather than more often, greatly extending the life of the plugs.


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The Fast Rise Induction System directs the spark plugs to fire longer giving better economy and longer life to the plugs.


Oil Injection System

With an Evinrude E-TEC, boaters simply fill in oil reservoir and let the engine manage its own oil supply. This is particularly important during the break-in period as mentioned above. 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 past, the oil distribution reverts to its normal levels all without the operator having to take any action.

Additionally, because the system puts precise amounts of oil where it needs to be and when it needs to be, the Evinrude E-TEC burns significantly less oil.



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


Engine Management Module

The EMM or Engine Management Module is basically the brain of the Evinrude E-TEC system. It controls the oil distribution system, which in turn gives you the no break-in period feature that we’ve just discussed. Also, should the engine inadvertently run completely out of oil, the EMM will kick into a fail-safe mode allowing only a reduced power setting for up to five hours in order to get home.

Further, the EMM controls the electronic fuel injectors for precise fuel measurements and is also the connection point for the electronic helm gauges and easy diagnostic connections.


Automatic Winterization. Work the throttle twice with the key on and the EMM will add a minute and a half of fogging to the cylinders, winterizing your engine. And this can be done at any time. In other words, when a stretch of warm weather occurs in the winter, boaters can fire up their winterized Evinrude E-TEC engine and get right back on the water, and then re-winterized it upon returning.


More Savings of Both Time and Money. There are LED lights located on the side of the EMM. These indicator lights work in conjunction with a label at the top of the EMM to diagnose the engine in both the start up and running configurations. Being able to diagnose problems at home is a significant improvement as boaters don’t have to go to a dealer to pay an hourly charge just to hook up a component to tell them what they now already know.




The EMM or Engine Management Module works in conjunction with the ignition system and oil distribution system to provide smooth and maintenance-free operation. This is also where the connection points are for the digital Evinrude ICON gauges. It’s also what allows an Evinrude E-TEC outboard engine to go three years or 300 hours with no dealer scheduled maintenance.




LED indicators are correlated to this guide on the top of the EMM to allow the owner to diagnose engine problems at home.


Charging System

At the top of the engine is a flywheel with magnets underneath. Beneath the magnets are coils of wire. As the magnets pass over the coils they generate electricity. (This is sometimes called a magneto.) In this manner an Evinrude E-TEC generates 133 Amps of electricity, 50 Amps dedicated to charging the batteries alone. It’s the highest output charging system in its class. More importantly, this is done without belts or pulleys.

And 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.



The Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. is an easy-to-operate engine. It uses a system called Evinrude ICON. A digital throttle control sends a signal to an electronic servo that is in turn connected to the shift and throttle linkages. The result is a gentle control for both shift and speed. This is a great feature as it eliminates cable stretch or linkage problems affecting the control travel.

The digital world that this engine lives in also comes into play with the Evinrude I-Command gauges — they’re multifunction and totally customizable. We had three separate ones that were showing dual bits of info that we set them up for. One had engine oil temp and pressure, another showed rpm and gph, and another showed mph and mpg. I like that these are customizable as different operators like to have different choices on what they want to have displayed at a glance.


Fuel Protection

Evinrude E-TEC engines have one of the easiest to change filters in the industry. They come with a 10 micron fuel filter/water separator that simply unscrews much like an oil filter. This is a significant advantage for boaters that tend to be plagued with bad fuel.




The 10 micron fuel filter/water separator is easily replaceable in the field.


Corrosion Protection

While nothing can eliminate corrosion in metal parts when combined with warm salt water, BRP has gotten on the stick to slow it to a crawl in its Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines so that it takes a longer time to show itself, according to company engineers. (We have yet to test this aspect of the Evinrude engines.)

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 BRP owns this 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. It 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, sacrificial anodes (zincs) are added and their job is specifically to deteriorate before any other metal components.



When buying an outboard motor there are some things that everyone should want –

*Fuel efficiency
*Enough power for the job
*Low maintenance costs
*Good warranty

Because the Evinrude E-TEC has 195 fewer parts than a conventional four-stroke outboard there are many fewer things to go wrong which goes a long way towards addressing the issues of reliability and longevity. BRP offers a three-year, factory backed warranty on all Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines.

Taken together, all of that makes a strong statement in itself.



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