I end up testing a lot of pontoon boats for boats.com, and though they aren’t exactly my own personal cup of tea, they do have a lot of redeeming features. In fact, if I had a house on a protected bay or lake, there’d probably be a pontoon in my personal fleet. Occasionally, I run across rocket-fast high-performance pontoons, which boast triple tubes and monster powerplants. Recently, during a day of shooting video boat reviews I stepped aboard an Aqua Patio 25—to discover it was powered by a pre-production model of one of the new Evinrude G2 outboards.
Back in June I first mentioned the new G2 to FishGame readers (New Outboard Engine Breaks the Mold) but at that point in time, I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to really let loose and play with one. I did, however, give you all the technical details, development history, and specifics about the engines themselves. I won’t re-hash all that stuff now since you can go back and read the old blog if you want, and instead, will focus today on the real-world experience.
First, the bad: yes, two strokes still are a bit louder and cause more vibrations than comparably-sized four-strokes. And every now and again I got a whiff of exhaust, which almost never happens with modern four-strokes in good condition. The other down-side I encountered was an aggravating shifter, which beeps every time you go into and out of gear. I suppose this feature was developed with good intentions, so you knew for sure when you shifted. IMHO it’s very annoying, and truth be told, if you don’t know when a 200-hp outboard goes into or out of gear, you’re just not paying enough attention.
Now, for the good: Acceleration is, plain and simple, kick-ass. Hold on tight when you nail the throttle and warn your passengers to do the same, because pushing that throttle produces a neck-snapping hole shot. Both the top-end speeds and fuel economy that I observed were noticeably better than manufacturer-supplied numbers for a four-stroke competitor. I don’t want to quote the numbers directly and draw a firm comparison because the boats were loaded differently and run by different people in different conditions, but suffice it to say that the G2 posted better numbers across the board. And it was easy to get those numbers, because the gauges that go along with these engines display fuel flow right at the helm.
The bottom line? Whether a G2 is going to be the best pick for you is a call only you can make. But for guys who prioritize up-sides like red-hot acceleration, awesome fuel economy and two-stroke performance above sound and vibration levels, there’s a good chance the answer will be yes.