Eastward Boats employs Evinrude engine for Florida expedition

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An Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboard powered the boat.

An Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboard powered the boat.

Eastward Boats and Evinrude teamed up for an expedition around the bottom half of Florida.

The purpose was to show the diversity of fishing and cruising that the state has to offer.

An Eastward Coastal 2200, powered by an Evinrude E-TEC G2 200, began the 500-mile trip in Port St. Lucie, traveling across Lake Okeechobee, down the West Coast in the Gulf of Mexico and through the Everglades. The journey continued up through the Florida Keys and north into the Atlantic Ocean before returning to the original launch site.

The Eastward Coastal 2200 was chosen because it is small enough to run in shallow areas and big enough to handle open water.

“The Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboard was chosen for its efficiency and ability to stretch the fuel range,” Eastward Boats president Dave East said in a statement.

East was one of two crewmembers on the boat for the trip.

“I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to go from LaBelle to Fort Myers, a trip of 150 miles, and only burned 32 gallons of fuel, or 4.86 miles to the gallon,” East said.

During a rougher run from Port of the Islands in the Everglades to Islamorada, the engine burned 17.4 gallons of gas. “That’s well over 100 miles at 5.75 mpg,” East added. “You can talk about the two-stroke, four-stroke controversy all you want, but numbers don’t lie. To make that long of a run on that little amount of fuel totally changes your boating experience.”

Coverage of the expedition was scheduled to air on the Pursuit Channel and the Trophy Taker Outdoors’ “Travel by Boat” miniseries. Coverage began Sept. 9 on the Pursuit Channel.