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Alumacraft Competitor 205 (2019-)

w/ Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. Tiller



Brief Summary

The AlumaCraft Competitor 205 is an aluminum multi-species fishing boat powered in this test by Evinrude’s new 3-cylinder mid-range E-TEC G2 115 H.O. with the digital tiller handle.

Key Features

  • Dual aerated livewells with timers
  • Infinity PRV-315 AM/FM Bluetooth radio
  • 13 gal. insulated cooler
  • Driver's seat slider
  • Bow dry storage
  • Starboard rod storage for up to 10'
  • 12/24 volt trolling systems

Test Results

RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG STAT. MILE NM dBa
650 3.2 2.8 0.2 16 13.9 648 563.5 69
1000 4.9 4.2 0.5 10.8 9.4 437 379.6 71
1500 6.9 6 0.8 8.6 7.4 347 301.5 74
2000 8.1 7 2 4.1 3.5 164 142.6 83
2500 17.5 15.2 2.5 7 6.1 283 245.8 84
3000 23.3 20.2 3.4 6.9 6 281 244.4 87
3500 28.5 24.7 4.6 6.2 5.4 250 217.8 88
4000 32.8 28.5 5.6 5.8 5.1 237 206 92
4500 38.1 33.1 7.7 4.9 4.3 200 174.3 97
5000 40.1 34.9 8.8 4.6 4 185 160.5 99
5100 41 35.7 9.4 4.4 3.8 177 153.6 100

Specifications

Length Overall 20' 6''
6.25 m
Beam 96''
2.44 m
Dry Weight 1,616 lbs.
733 kg
Tested Weight 2,707 lbs.
1,046 kg
Deadrise/Transom 17-deg.
Weight Capacity 2,450 lbs.
1,111 kg
Fuel Capacity 45 gal.
170 L
Total Weight 2,707 lbs.
1,046 kg

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 3.9 sec.
0 to 30 6.1 sec.
Ratio 2.08:1
Props RX3 17 pitch
Load 2 persons, full fuel load, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 83 deg., 85 humid; wind: 10-17 mph; seas: 1-2

Engine Options

Tested Engine Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. Tiller

Captain's Report

By Capt. Peter D’Anjou

Evinrude 3 Cylinder

Evinrude’s new 3-cylinder 115 HO G2 E-TEC was fit with a an innovative new tiller arm to give the AlumaCraft Competitor 205 mid-range power in a more traditional small boat configuration.

Mission

Alumacraft

AlumaCraft’s motto is Family, Fishing, Forever. They claim their boats are designed and built by fishing enthusiasts for fishing enthusiasts.

All AlumaCraft aluminum boats are considered fishing boats, whether they are family-oriented or directed at professional anglers. The Competitor 205 is a multi-species fishing boat, the newest and largest at 20’6”, of the Competitor line.

Distinguishing Features

  •  Single piece aluminum bottom 2XB hull

Major Features 

  • All-aluminum construction
  • Tiller steering
  • High-output 3-cylinder Evinrude outboard
  • Twin aerated livewells with timers and lights
  • AlumaTrac rail attachment system
  • Infinity PRV-315 AM/FM Bluetooth radio
  • Trolling system
  • 8-person (2,450 lbs.) capacity

Alumacraft overview

The tiller-steered version of the Competitor 205 has an offset helm chair and instrument dash aft on the port side. The “dropped deck” insert or cockpit design was first introduced by Alumacraft in the 1950s.

A trend in the recreational marine market for some time has been for a large corporation to own multiple marine manufacturers, for example, Brunswick Corporation’s ownership of boat manufacturers like Boston Whaler and engine manufacturer Mercury. Similarly, Bombardier Recreational Products or (BRP) owns Evinrude and several boat builders, of which AlumaCraft is one.

The major difference with BRP is that they don’t require that all the subsidiaries’ equipment be on the boat. Yes, you can buy It is possible to buy an AlumaCraft with a different brand engine, or none at all, but BRP and Evinrude make the argument compelling enough that you a boater shouldn’t want to (more on this later). 

Tiller

The fly-by-wire tiller was introduced with Evinrude’s new 3-cylinder lineup of engines from 115 to 150-hp. It was designed to give higher horsepower options to smaller craft.

The fact that Evinrude designed the new 3-cylinder 115-hp High-Output mid-range engine with a tiller option specifically for boats like the Alumacraft Competitor 205 speaks to synergy and focus on what the customer wants. 

Alumacraft, which started building aluminum boats after WWII, is focused on freshwater recreational fishing boats. They produce 16 lines of fishing boats - the Competitor line has four sizes: 16.5’ (5.03 m), 17.5’ (5.33 m), 18.5’ (5.64 m), and the largest and newest Competitor model, the 205 at 20’6” (6.25 m). Each size has three configurations: The Sport, which is a dual console with a steering wheel; the CS, a single console on the side amidships with a steering wheel; and the standard Competitor 205 which is a tiller-steered boat. All are built on the same 2XB hull. 

Deadrise

Deadrise at the transom (green arrows) has an impact on a boat’s handling capability. Generally, rougher waters call for more deadrise with a tradeoff in speed. Unfortunately, Deep-V has become more of a marketing term and isn’t always the most desirable hull form, particularly in protected waters. 

While Alumacraft calls the Competitor 205 hull design a Deep-V, the deadrise of only 17-degrees at the transom does not qualify for this designation by BoatTEST’s subjective standards of a minimum of 20-degrees. However, 17-degrees in a freshwater boat is aggressive and still qualifies it for a V-designation, just not a Deep-V design in our book.

Performance 

Max speed

The Competitor 205 reached a top speed of 41.0 mph and exhibited a dry ride with full-length spray rails at the chine casting aside any water.

The Numbers. It’s not every day that we see a 115-hp outboard operated by a tiller so let’s start with the performance. The Competitor 205 measures 20’6” (6.25 m) long with an 8’ (2.44 m) beam. Empty weight is listed at 1,616 lbs. (733 kg). With two people, 45 gallons (170 L) of fuel and test equipment on board, we had an estimated test weight of 2,707 lbs. (1,228 kg).

Our test boat was powered by a single E-TEC G2 115 H.O. tiller outboard turning a 14.5” x 17” (36.83 cm x 43.18 cm) RX3 stainless-steel propeller. The prop is one of two new series of wheels (the RX4 is the other) designed for the new E-TEC motors. 

Shifter

The shifter is on top of the tiller arm and within easy reach of the helmsman, not back on the motor as in most applications.

Maintaining a firm grip on the tiller handle, we wound up the motor to 5100 rpm, hitting a top speed of 41.0 mph (66.0 kph). Best cruise came at 2500 rpm where we recorded 17.5 mph (28.1 kph) and a fuel burn of 2.5 gph (9.5 lph). That translated to 7.0 mpg (2.97 kph) and a range of 283 statute miles (455 km) while holding 10 percent of the boat’s 45-gallon (170.34.-liter) fuel capacity in reserve.

Acceleration 

Take off

Twisting the throttle wide open resulted in a modest initial bow rise on the Competitor 205. The boat normally rides with most of the forefoot out of the water when at speed.

In acceleration tests, the Competitor 205 took advantage of the E-TEC G2 115 H.O.’s torque, planing, and running through 20 mph (32 kph) in 3.9 seconds and eclipsing 30 mph (48 kph) in 6.1 seconds.

Time-to-plane:     3.9 seconds

0 to 20 mph:        3.9 seconds

0 to 30 mph:        6.1 seconds

We tested the Competitor 205 in light chop.

The Motor and Tiller 

Evinrude G2 E-TEC

Evinrude’s G2 E-TEC features are now available in the mid-range 3-cylinder lineup from the 115-hp HO to the 140 and 150-hp.

We promised a little closer examination of the new engine and why it is a compelling reason to match with Alumacraft’s Competitor 205, or any other boat for that matter. 

Tiller

Evinrude released their new tiller with the announcement of the mid-range 3-cylinder motors. The 115’s all-digital tiller is full fly-by-wire, which means no cables are required for rigging.  

Inside tiller

Several new innovations over previous tiller designs are incorporated with the Evinrude tiller, including electric (key) start and the green indicator light alerting the operator to engine status.

The key is hidden beneath a protective cover because it’s really only used at the beginning and end of a trip. 

Start/Stop

The start-stop button for the engine is located on the tiller arm and indicated by the pointing finger, while the red safety lanyard is opposite.

 

Verticle Lever

A vertical lever smoothly shifts the motor in and out of gear. 

Engine status

When the engine status light is green, the motor is running properly. 

Light Statuses

If the light flashes, there’s a legend on the underside of the tiller that explains the cause. 

Rocker switch

A rocker switch lets the operator adjust the motor in 50-rpm increments to set the trolling speed exactly where one wants. 

Twist grip

The twist grip has a throttle set screw and a tilt control by the operator’s thumb to set the height of the tiller independent of the engine tilt.

When the motor is trimmed, the tiller tilts independently to keep the driver in a comfortable operating position. 

Angle tiller

The angle of the tiller arm to the motor is adjustable.

The tiller is at a slight angle when the motor is in a straight position. It’s designed with a 20-degree offset to port or starboard to make the operator more comfortable when running the motor.  

Steering resist

The star-shaped thumbscrew lets the driver adjust the steering resistance.

Motor

Now let’s overview some of the other attributes of this 115-hp high-output motor. The 2020 Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. is the first 1.9-liter (113.1 cu. in.) inline 3-cylinder aluminum-block two-stroke outboard. 

H.O engine

The high-output Evinrude 115-hp actually generates nearly 126-hp as allowed by SAE. The 25’ (7.62 m) shaft version weighs in at 409 lbs. (186 kg).

When comparing the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. to other 115-hp engines from other manufacturers we find it to have: 

  • More torque
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Lower emissions

Crankshaft

A two-stroke makes power on every stroke of the crankshaft. Compared with comparable horsepower 4-strokes, Evinrude claims 30% more peak torque.

The E-TEC G2 115 H.O. also has Evinrude’s exclusive direct fuel injection. The injector is in the cylinder, not on top of the intake manifold, hence the term direct-injection.

The engine’s brain, or EMM, controls the fuel and air delivery. With the computer-controlled EFI, the E-TEC G2 115 H.O. can idle down slow enough for back-trolling, which is a technique used when fishing for various species. This is important because it eliminates the need for a smaller kicker motor, saving the angler money. 

Fuel flow

The Evinrude 115 hp H.O. runs on regular 87 octane gas. It sips less gas at WOT than the competition. Evinrude also says the new series of motors are the most fuel-efficient in class. 

exhaust Emissions

The Evinrude 115 has the lowest emissions in class.

In addition to delivering superior torque and better fuel efficiency, the engine is 3-Star certified for the California Air Emissions Board and legal to run in Europe.  

Boat Inspection 

Freeboard

Wide and stable with a generous freeboard, the Competitor 205 remains ready to fish.

Plateform

Anglers can walk around the entire boat on the casting platform or install a seat in various positions.

Bow

Starting in the bow, there are sockets for three seats and plenty of space for fishing. The seats easily click in place and have contoured wraparound support to keep anglers comfortable when the fish are on the bite.

Foredeck

The raised triangular foredeck is shown with the base that is pre-wired for the optional trolling motor base above. The boat comes prewired for an optional trolling motor.

In the base of the foredeck, there’s glovebox style storage, a courtesy light and a 12-volt plug. Forward, the boat comes with a base plate for optional trolling motor. The boat comes pre-rigged for the motor. 

Seat

Here we get a look at the gunwale height throughout the Competitor 205. It provides a secure feeling when underway or fishing. 

Storage

Storage and lots of it is a theme carried throughout the Competitor 205.

Forward storage lockers open on gas struts and the hatches are reinforced on the underside. Twist and pull latches lock for security.  

Lockable rod storage

Lockable rod storage is a standard feature of the Competitor 205. A pull-up panel below the rods reveals storage for the trolling motor batteries.

The central rod locker has space for four 9’4” (2.84 m) long rods. The ends for the rod butts are oversized and oval-shaped to accommodate spinning rods. The hatch opens on twin gas struts and has double reinforcements on the underside. 

livewells

The forward livewells flank the center rod locker.

The 22-gallon (83 L) aerated livewells drain and have slots for dividers. 

Working our way aft, and stepping down into the cockpit, an in-deck hatch opens to a storage compartment with a removable plastic tub that has dividers for Plano tackle boxes.  

Livewell pump

With the tub removed, there’s access to the livewell pump below. 

Cockpit

There are sockets for three seats in the forward cockpit area. Speakers for the AM/FM radio are on the front face of the cockpit. Notice the various grab handles throughout the Competitor 205. 

Helm dash

The helm dash has storage drawers below and a foldaway optional fishfinder on a bracket that stows in the locker behind it. 

Stern. Aft to port in the cockpit, the helm station has accessory switches, twin Evinrude digital gauges and the AM/FM stereo alongside. The multifunction instruments provide all pertinent performance data.

Two drawers pull out from the base of the helm dash, but we’d like to see them on rollers so they function more smoothly. When the electronics clamp isn’t needed, it stores in the outboard port locker. 

Port side cooler

On the port side of the cockpit, there’s a 13-gallon (49 L) insulated draining cooler (left) and open storage to the right. 

Addition storage

Additional storage on the starboard side can hold rods up to 10' (3.04 m) long. 

The starboard rod storage space also has a rack for securing long items, such as the anchor light. 

Charging system

The 50-amp magneto charging system in the Evinrude 115 is enough to keep all the house batteries charged. 

A hatch in the aft starboard corner opens to reveal the batteries. To port, there’s space for two more batteries, but with the E-TEC G2 115 HO, they are not needed because its magneto charging system produces 50 amps of power.

Bait well

Between the engine well and the cockpit, there is a baitwell on the left and a 45-gallon (170.34 L) aerated livewell to its right. Closing the covers creates a pathway across the boat. 

Reboarding ladder

The reboarding ladder peeks over the engine well. To its right is a livewell control, the gas cap, and a folding cleat.

On the transom to port, the four-step ladder extends 31” (.79 m) beneath the surface, which meets ABYC guidelines. 

Construction  

Alumacraft Hull

Alumacraft evolved out of the airplane industry of WWII, so it has plenty of experience with aluminum construction. The 2XB hull starts with a single piece bottom plate of 5052 marine-grade aluminum.

The 2XB hull was introduced by Alumacraft in 1996 and has been the company’s hull construction standard ever since. 

Twin plate transom

The 2XB hull is twin plated from the bow to the transom. The company claims this is twice as thick as the competition’s boats, dramatically reducing sound and vibration. 

Foam

Alumacraft injects flotation foam into the hulls to exceed USCG regulations. 

Spray rails

Full-length spray rails ensure a dry ride. 

No wood

The storage compartments on Alumacraft boats, like this livewell, are all aluminum construction (no wood). 

Tank tested

Each boat is factory tank-tested prior to painting. 

Boats are painted in the same basecoat/clearcoat process and colors used by major auto makers. This allows the repair of scratches without repainting the entire boat. Matching touch-up paint can be found at most auto repair outlets. 

Rivets

A seamless bottom with oversized rivets allows the company to use fewer rivets in the construction process. 

With the goal of fewer rivets penetrating the hull, the opposite is true inside the boat where AlumaCraft installs larger ribs, with more rivets, spaced closer together to provide a rigid infrastructure.

Equipment Discussion

Hull color

Three hull colors with eight accent colors are available on the Alumacraft Competitor 205. The hull pictured above is black with wine pearl accent. 

AlumaCraft lists the boat and trailer with no engine for $24,455.  Several engines are available. 

  • Honda 115-hp (+ $11,591)
  • Suzuki 115-hp (+ $10,085)
  • Evinrude 115-hp HO (+ $11,208)
  • Evinrude 150 hp HO (+ $15,365)

The boat is rated to handle up to a 200-hp engine. 

There are 43 fishfinder electronics options and 19 trolling motor options (including no TM) available with the Alumacraft Competitor 205. The boat is prewired for 12/24/36-volt trolling motors. The available Minn Kota trolling motor lineup ranges from $1,138 to $3,681, not including mounts, in added cost. 

Trailer 

Trailer

The Alumacraft Competitor 205 comes standard with a trailer.

The standard trailer that comes with the 205 is a dual axle, steel trailer with 4,000 lbs. capacity and has 14” aluminum wheels, metal fenders, disc brakes, a swing tongue, spare tire, tie down straps, load guides, and LED lights. There are 13 other trailer options available. 

Price  

The boat is sold with a standard trailer and the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. outboard at $36,479. 

Optional Equipment  

  • Captain’s chair (air ride upgrade) ($686)
  • Snap-in carpet (grey or tan) ($345)
  • Snap-in marine mat (grey or tan) ($745)
  • Bow cargo nets (P/S) 8 x 55” ($81)
  • Speaker upgrade (two – 225 W Infinity speakers) ($93)
  • Travel cover ($723)
  • Evinrude 9.9-hp kicker (electric start) ($3,880)
  • AlumaTrac rail accessories (rod holders, etc…) (various prices)

Observations

running

Alumacraft’s Competitor 205 follows up on the success of the smaller Competitor lineup, with more space, more storage, and now more engine. More is better.

We like this boat’s layout over the Sport or CS models from a pure fishing standpoint because one can walk completely around the boat’s casting platform unhindered.

The Alumacraft Competitor 205 is a straightforward multi-species fishing boat that has everything anglers need for a successful day on the water and the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. tiller will only heighten the experience.


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Currently no test results