by Steve Lague

Every now and then a new technology is introduced that is a game-changer for the industry.
For me, the new Evinrude G2 E-Tec outboard engine is going to force every competitor in the outboard engine market to sit up and take notice. Yes, it is more economical, more powerful and cleaner burning than its predecessor and while there may be many in the industry who are still marveling at the gains they have made in all of those areas you would be extremely disappointed if there had not been a noticeable improvement from one generation to the next. It is the subsidiary technology that Evinrude has built into this engine that is going to dramatically improve the lives of many boat owners.
Getting the engine trim right on an outboard is the single most important adjustment a skipper can make to improve the ride comfort, performance, fuel efficiency and safety of any boat, but particularly tinnies and catamarans. It is also something many skippers either don’t understand or choose to ignore. How many times have you been on a boat when the nose has dug in as you have come down a swell or the boat has suddenly turned right or left putting you side-on to the swell?
How many times have you felt like the boat was going to back-flip as you went over a swell or the nose bounced uncontrollably as you skipped along? All of these issues can be addressed by adjusting the trim of your engine.
Chivers White Pointer 23
Chivers White Pointer 33Now it is done for you. Evinrude has introduced a new auto-trim feature to its G2 engines it calls i-Trim that automatically trims the boat to its most optimum level in any conditions and at any speed. I had my first experience with the technology while testing a 7.1m plate aluminum Chivers White Pointer 710 that was fitted with a 225hp G2 Evinrude E-Tec last week. The day we were on the water there was a strong easterly breeze blowing that created a small, sharp chop across Cockburn Sound. They were the type of conditions that can make the ride uncomfortable and expose tinnies for their harsh ride.
Activating the auto trim function is easy, you simply pull the engine back to idle and put it into neutral, and it is activated. You do not need to touch the trim button again. To see how it works we ran with, side on to and into the swell and monitored how much the trim of the engine, which is shown on the trim gauge on the dash, was adjusted. It was quite surprising how much and often it changed. It seemed that with every steering input or swell that hit the boat the engine trim adjusted. If you were not watching the gauge you would not realise it was happening. You certainly cannot hear or see the engine moving.
After running with the swell at just over 40 km/h for a period of time, which had the engine trimmed up quite a bit, I put the White Pointer into a hard turn and locked it there so we kept doing circles. It is a maneuver that would normally cause the engine to cavitate but not with the G2, it simply pushed the engine fully down to ensure the propeller remained fully submerged in the water and powering the boat through the turn. As soon as we turned out and started picking up speed it was trimming up lifting the nose again to have us up an on the plane in a few seconds. Repeating the run with the trim in manual mode only highlighted how much, and often, the skipper would need to be adjusting the trim to get the boat riding the same.
This is one of those features many may knock as unnecessary at first and one they will never want to live without once they have experienced it.