Fuel Efficiency Put to the Test


Fuel Efficiency Put to the Test


Dave East, president of Eastward Boats, recently took on the challenging expedition to complete a loop around the entire bottom half of Florida. Using an Eastward Coastal 2200, the mission was designed to show the incredible diversity of fishing and cruising that the state has to offer. The two-man crew attempted to see how many different species of fish they could catch along the 500-mile route while fishing inshore, offshore and in freshwater – all out of the same boat. The trip began on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, in Port St. Lucie. The team, along with a camera boat, traveled across the state through Lake Okeechobee, down the west coast in the Gulf of Mexico and through the Everglades. The journey continued up through the Keys and north along the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, returning to the original launch site.

“Choosing the right boat and equipment for the trip was imperative to make sure we were able to handle the diverse conditions that we knew we would encounter,” said East. “The Eastward Coastal 2200 is a boat that bridges the gap between a bay boat and an offshore center console, so it can navigate rough open-water as well as the shallow flats. The Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.P. outboard was chosen for its efficiency and ability to stretch the fuel range.”

The computer controlled, direct injection two-stroke fuel delivery system allows the engine to burn fuel more efficiently. Thanks to this technology, Evinrude E-TEC G2 models deliver up to 30% more torque, up to 15% better fuel efficiency, and up to 75% fewer total regulated emissions compared to leading four-stroke outboard engines.

“I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to go from LaBelle to Fort Meyers, a trip of 150 miles, and only burned 32 gallons of fuel, or 4.86 miles to the gallon,” continued East. “The roughest day we had, we made it from the Port of the Islands in the Everglades, all the way around the back side of the Everglades, cutting through the back country, to Islamorada on 17.4 gallons of fuel with a 200 HP Evinrude E-TEC G2 engine. That’s well over 100 miles at 5.75 mpg. 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.”

When outfitting the boat, many other equipment choices were made, the first of which was which electronics to install given the fact that most of the route included navigating unfamiliar waters that were out of reliable cell phone coverage. Paper charts were used for trip planning, but while underway, an accurate fix of the boat’s position was best obtained using a chart plotter and GPS. To get the biggest bang for the buck, in the space allocated on the console, East installed a Raymarine a9. The unit’s touch screen uses pinch-to-zoom and allowed him to swipe through all the required functions. An all-in-one unit, the a9 has a built-in, 10Hz GPS for fast satellite acquisition and accurate chart plotting.

The Raymarine, Ray50 VHF radio with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) integrated with the GPS, was also used for the expedition. Its compact size took up very little dash space yet, and the unit offered 25 watts of power, DSC, and a large easy-to-read display. The ability to send a distress signal, with the touch of a button, is a feature that East hoped he’d never have to use but was pleased to have.

During the journey, the team produced a video that covered the route, destinations, where the crew stayed, fish they caught and the beautiful scenery encountered. The video also detailed provisions, trip preparations, how the boat was outfitted, fishing information, accommodations, fuel stops and more, so that anyone looking to make the same trip, or replicate any leg, has access to all the information they need.

East has been a boat manufacturer for over 23 years. Starting out, hands-on, in his own shop and eventually expanding to one of the largest boat manufacturers in the class and category that he was building, in the industry. Semi-retiring, he accepted a position for over four years as boating editor for a major outdoor publication and hosted a boating television series where he was able to test hundreds of boats from the majority of manufacturers in the industry. East returned to boat manufacturing with a unique perspective – an in-depth knowledge of boat building combined with the results of his personal, hands-on testing of over 300 boats. Eastward boats are a culmination of that experience and offer a combination of the very best quality of construction, ride, and function.


To view the six-part video, please visit: eastwardboats.com/bass_and_bays_012.htm

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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestle.com


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