Evinrude E-NATION, for those dedicated to water, power, fishing and fun


Is your Evinrude in tip-top working condition? This is your destination for maintenance tips, enhancements and answers to all your technical questions. All questions are welcome. We're happy to help. And if you’re an outboard expert, dive right in. We'd love to hear your tips as well!


by on ‎08-11-2011 04:17 - last edited on ‎08-15-2011 09:41 by

Competition to be the fastest on the water has occurred ever since an early caveman paddled his hollowed-out log alongside another.  Down through the ages man continued to be competitive whether using oars, sails, paddle-wheels, or propellers. That spirit lives on today with bass boats, offshore rigs, and other high-performance craft.


For years Evinrude and Johnson have produced high-powered models of certain recreational outboards. The “hopped up” engines came about due to the popularity of bass tournaments throughout the country. Participants in these weekly competitions wanted to arrive at their fishing spots quickly for more fishing time. Strict schedules required competitors to drive full-speed back to the dock in time for weigh-in.


Outboard manufactures soon realized that making a speedier motor within advertised horsepower limits would garner more sales. Tournament fisherman eagerly purchased these specialty motors to make their bass-boats go faster than their competitors. Early bass tournaments limited outboards to 150 HP giving rise to high-performance versions in that horsepower range. That limitation has since been removed so more powerful motors are commonly used. Model designations such as FastStrike, Venom, and Intruder are just some of the historical and colorful names used to define go-fast outboards. In 2000 Johnson called their special V-6s “High Output” engines and in 2003 Evinrude first used the initials “HO” to differentiate the performance models from their standard recreational outboards.


Today Evinrude applies the “HO” nomenclature to their high-performance motors or to make a distinction among certain outboard models. For example there are two separate engine designs generating 200hp. One model is a 2.6 liter 60° V-6 designed for lighter weight boats and the other is a larger 3.3 liter 90° V-6 developing more torque to get heavy boats up to speed quickly. Let’s review the 2012 offerings that are awarded the HO designation.


At the top of the list is the 250 HO. A special cylinder-block with a long-stroke crankshaft displaces more cubic inches and delivers greater torque than the recreational 3.3 liter 250 HP. Its 3.4 liter engine employs dual oil pumps for better durability during high-performance operation. An engine management system, patterned after the 300 HP, makes the 250HO stronger than its 250hp sibling. In keeping with the durability theme, the reliable 1.85:1 ratio M2 gearcase has six low-water pickup holes in the front of the bullet in addition to the replaceable inlet-screens for higher water pressure and better engine cooling.




The popular 225 HO has the same 3.3 liter engine block as the standard 225 HP but its engine management system is patterned off the 250 HP model. Like its powerful 250 HO brother, the 225 HO sports the 1.85:1 M2 gearcase with low-water pickups and replaceable inlet-screens.


As mentioned earlier, the 3.3 liter 200 HO designation sets it apart from the smaller 2.6 liter narrow-block 200hp. The 200 HO in a 20” shaft will initially offer the 1.86:1 L2 performance gearcase as most sport and bass boats use a 20” transom. Larger and heavier boats such as off-shore rigs normally have a 25” transom and that model 200 HO comes with the 1.85:1 M2 gearcase.


225 ho.jpg                     showroom_details_engine_ETEC_200_HO_blue.png


For mid-sized boats the 150 HO is a worthy choice. There are few differences between the standard and HO models because both have great power output but the 150 HO comes with the faster 1.86:1 L2 performance gearcase. Also the 150 HO is equipped with different motor mounts for better stability and handling on high-speed boats.


The 115 HO is a strong powerhouse in a small package. Its 1.7 liter V-4 engine design coupled with variable exhaust tuning and a formidable engine management system outperforms all others in its class. Ahead of the propeller is the 2:1 S2 model gearcase with a thru-bolted pinion gear for durability.


150 ho.jpg               showroom_details_engine_ETEC_115_HO_blue.png

Last but not least is the smallest engine in this roundup. The HO label is used to differentiate this specialty motor from future models with the same horsepower rating. The 15 HO is a detuned and “rugged-ized” 25hp that is intended to be used as an electric-start trolling motor for large walleye boats and off-shore rigs, and not necessarily as a portable outboard. Engine drivability systems such throttle-cam configuration and management software are optimized for continuous trolling operations. Reinforced stern-brackets keep the motor secured on the back of the boat while running in rough water or pounding seas. The special power-trim unit speeds up the travel time from full-up to full-down and vice-versa. This is advantageous when the fishing action becomes fast and furious.



The HO performance outboards have bold colorful graphics on the engine cover to set them apart from the ordinary motors and to increase eye-appeal. Due to heavy-duty tournament use and high-speed running that these engines are designed to encounter, certain models do not have the optional reduced-oil setting capability that the recreational motors have. A money-saving advantage of HO motors is their 87 octane gasoline recommendation unlike various competitors’ outboards that require more expensive 89 octane mid-grade or 92 octane premium fuels to develop their horsepower.




We have our pre-historic ancestors to thank for giving us our competitive spirit and we have the tournament trail and Evinrude to thank for giving us a family of quality performance-oriented outboard motors.


Talk to ya soon!






on ‎08-20-2011 09:06

Interesting reading there, looking forward to more tech talk. Smiley Happy

on ‎08-26-2011 04:13

Thank you for the kind words. Look for an upcoming article about changing your lower unit oil and future stories about how things are and how things work, plus new product introductions.