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Digital Tiller (2019-)

Brief Summary

The all-Digital Tiller from Evinrude is an accessory that works with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. outboard, built on the new 1.9-liter, 3-cylinder powerhead. With the benefit of digital controls, this tiller allows the outboard to be tuned to the helmsman’s preference for optimal performance and operational comfort.

Key Features

  • Large shift lever engages digital shift
  • Digital throttle with twist grip and adjustable resistance
  • Multifunction LED indicator light
  • Robust construction
  • NMEA 2000 connectivity
  • iTrim automatic trim adjust



Type of Engine
Number of Cylinders
Horse Power 400
Fuel Type N/A
Fuel Delivery
Shaft Length Options
Shift Throttle Control
Steering Control
Recommended Fuel
Alternator Output
CARB Rating
Engine Monitoring System

Captain's Report

Contents of Report


Evinrude’s robust digital tiller provides a surprising level of function in a package that seems simple.


The Evinrude Digital Tiller is an accessory add-on for the latest E-TEC G2 1.9-liter 3-cylinder 115 H.O. outboard. It takes the fundamental functions of the outboard and makes them readily accessible to the helmsman, while also letting boaters benefit from the outboard’s torque, acceleration, and efficient, clean, and quiet operation.

Boaters and fishermen who like the simplicity of a tiller-steered outboard will appreciate this unit’s straightforward design, which capitalizes on the digital systems to provide performance and precise control.


Many boaters learned to drive powerboats with a tiller, but this one is unlike anything they have experienced before.

Tiller Mounting

This new tiller mounts to the outboard steering arm in the midst of what Evinrude calls its “Dual Axis Rigging.” This is a clean rigging system, which means that all of the connections with the boat, including the fuel line and electronic cabling to the outboard’s Engine Management Module (EMM) Monitor, are contained in one single tube and enter the outboard at the rigging access point, which remains stationary through the outboard’s movements through the entire turning radius and trim and tilt radius.

This makes for a clean setup with the tiller, which is better for anyone who wants to keep the stern of the boat clean and tidy, particularly fishermen, who look to reduce tangles when trolling.


The tiller connects to the outboard at the steering arm, but benefiting from the clean design of the dual axis rigging.

The digital tiller mounts to the same point on the outboard that would be connected to the steering rod for an external steering system, such as a SeaStar steering system, or an anti-feedback cable system.


Because this engine does not use the internal Evinrude hydraulic steering system, which uses a helical, worm-gear-over-worm-gear system built in to the housing show above, the gears are eliminated out to reduce the weight of this outboard.


The friction bar that serves to resist the outboard’s movements and damp steering feedback is a proven system and Evinrude incorporated it, with a knob (indicated by a green arrow) that allows the user to adjust the tension.

Evinrude added in some features to allow the tiller’s position to be customized to the user’s preference. First the tiller can be mounted at an angle of plus or minus 20-degrees off of straight fore and aft. Since the seating position of the helmsman may be different from boat to boat, this is a key element to comfort for long hours of use.


The adjustment available, up to 20-degrees to either side of center, lets the user find a comfortable helm position.

The digital tiller can also be adjusted for tension on the hinge at its base, so a helmsman who prefers to stand up to drive, whether in close-quarters maneuvering or to improve the view while remaining in control, the tiller can be set to hold that position as desired.


The hinge at the base lets the helmsman keep the tiller in hand while maneuvering around the dock and reaching for lines.


The tiller can fold up and hold position…


…With a large knob at its base to set the tension of the hinge.


A knurled stop knob underneath the hinge makes it easy for the user to set the low point of the tiller position.

Running the Outboard with the Tiller

All controls for the outboard are digital, meaning there are no physical cables running from the shift lever to the engine transmission, nor is the twist throttle advance on the grip pulling a cable—it’s all fly-by-wire.

There’s a key ignition switch to turn the outboard on, located near the base hinge. The start button is located near the throttle grip.


This key is used to turn on the outboard, but to engage the start function…


…falls to this button placed next to the throttle.


A safety lanyard is well positioned to kill the engine should the helmsman fall out of the control position.

The outboard gears are shifted by a robust lever located atop the tiller, connected on the starboard side and the grip on the tiller allows the user to advance the throttle with a twist.

Trim and Tilt. A rocker on the tip of the tiller grip allows the trim and tilt to be controlled by the operator without letting go. The E-TEC G2 115 H.O. trim extends from a tucked-in minus 6-degrees to a positive 15-degrees when trimmed out.


The shift lever leaves little doubt of gear position, and has a robust feel, even though it is a digital control.


The indicator on the throttle grip points to a scale that shows the throttle level, including the acceptable start range and the limit of the reverse throttle.


The rocker turns with the grip, ensuring the control is always within reach, even as the hand position changes with the throttle level.

Control Adjustments

Since there are no physical cables from the shift lever or throttle, the tension and resistance to both of those controls can be set to user preference, there’s no limiting factor.


To set the resistance of the throttle grip, simply adjust the knob on the cuff at the base of the grip with a twist of the knob (indicated by the green arrow).


The shift-lever resistance is adjusted with the bolt located at its base (indicated by the green arrow).

Touch Troll

There’s another rocker switch, located atop the start-button housing, that allows control of the touch troll function, which advances or reduces the throttle in 50-rpm increments.


Though the “plus” is on the forward end of the rocker, walleye fishermen should remember that is how to increase the throttle, even in reverse.

The Touch Troll control has a safety feature built in: It will only increase or decrease the throttle setting by three jumps. To do more than that, the user must move the throttle advance itself, which resets the touch troll, allowing for three more rpm jumps.


The Touch Troll rocker is positioned to allow the helmsman to keep control of the boat while engaging the function, an effective feature for anglers in forward, or, as shown here, in reverse.

iTrim Automated Trim Adjustment – It’s Standard

Evinrude can also use the iTrim automated trim system, available on all E-TEC G2 outboards. The system is based in the EMM, which reads rpm and throttle inputs and tunes the engine position for optimal performance.


Evinrude’s iTrim constantly adjusted the trim of the Alumacraft Competitor 205 equipped with a tiller on the E-TEC 115 H.O. outboard to optimize performance.

Evinrude iTrim constantly repositions the outboard to place the propeller at the optimal angle, it reduces the resistance throughout the steering arc, while improving performance. Because it works at all engine speeds, from WOT down to idle, it reduces the steering resistance while trolling.

iTrim even works in reverse, something anglers who back-troll to target walleye will like—it’s one less thing to think about when the bite is on. And beginners will love it because now there is no struggle to find the best trim angle.


A picture is worth a thousand words: As one can see from the gearshift position, the outboard is in reverse, yet the helmsman has fingertip control as the boat backs down.

Status System

This digital tiller has a status-display feature, which uses a single LED display capable of showing three different colors as well as being on or flashing, to show seven different conditions.


If the LED is showing steady green, that means the outboard is ready to start.


The LED is bright enough to discern the color even in direct sunlight.

Flashing green indicates the engine won’t start because the throttle or shift are set outside of the safe operating range, or the safety lanyard is not affixed correctly.

Engine Operation Warnings

Steady red indicator means the engine is above safe operating temperature.


The new 1.9-liter Evinrude E-TEC G2 has a redesigned lower-unit gearcase with a 4.9” (12.44 cm) wide gear case instead of the more typical 5.25” (13.33 cm), which Evinrude say may be worth one mph at higher speeds. The pickups were moved forward and down for better cooling-water flow in shallow water.

Flashing red means the outboard may require the more service attention of a “check engine” light.

Oil Level Indicator

solid blue indicator means the engine oil level is running low and is time to refill before the next trip out. It should be noted that low oil on a two-stroke is similar to a low fuel level—the synthetic oil is burned in the combustion process, so it doesn’t indicate a leak or engine problem.


The Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. has a 1.9-gallon (7.19 L) onboard oil tank beneath the cowling on its starboard side, which will provide for 50 to 60 hours of runtime under normal operation.

When the indicator flashes blue, that means the engine is out of oil – but remember it has a 5-hour low-speed get-home feature.


Adding oil is quick and easy, since the fill is positioned under the yellow cap beneath the top panel of the cowling.

Self-Winterizing Mode

When the indicator alternatively flashes blue and green, then the outboard is in winterize mode. Evinrude outboards are the only ones on the market that can self-winterize, saving hundreds of dollars each year, and, even better, eliminating the hassle of a trip to the dealer.


Seven warning lights can be a lot to remember, so Evinrude mounted a legend to the underside of the tiller.


And if the helmsman falls overboard—with the safety lanyard attached—Evinrude provides an emergency restart clip in a handy spot so the crew can get the outboard running to pick him up.

More Data Display Options

If boaters have the space and inclination, Evinrude makes available their Nautilus 3.5 digital display to show engine data and activate functions. They’re round and so are designed to fit in a dashboard hole where a traditional gauge would go, and can be located anywhere convenient to the operator.


The Alumacraft Competitor 205 equipped with the tiller E-TEC G2 115 H.O. had a handy port console with a pair of Nautilus displays (indicated by the green arrows).

Soft keys along the bottom of the Nautilus display let it show engine rpm, speed, and water temperature. Fuel and oil levels, as well as miles per gallon, and many other data points.


Soft-key controls on the Nautilus allow control of many functions and customized display of data.

And boaters who prefer even more digital can display engine data on an Apple iOS or Android device, such as a smartphone or tablet with the addition of Evinrude E-Link. This device plugs into the outboard’s built-in NMEA 2000 network and shares the data over a Wi-Fi system to provide real-time data to a device anywhere on the boat.


E-Link can show real-time data from the engine on a mobile device, and even allow activation of systems such as iTrim.


Perhaps the most important aspect of all using this tiller has to do with the engine it operates. When sitting close the transom with a tiller at trolling speeds, a stern-wind can blow exhaust in the face of the operator. Not only does the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 H.O. have the lowest combined emissions of any outboard in its class, it also has the lowest CO emissions – below a lethal level. All other outboards produce higher CO emissions, which can more readily cause headaches, nausea, or worse.


Measurement of emissions is something Evinrude takes very seriously, and this graph indicates just how much lower the new E-TEC 115 H.O. is than the competitive engines. Remember it also has 10 percent greater horsepower, as a “high-output” engine is allowed under Society of Automative Engineers (SAE) rules.


This digital tiller accessory shows that Evinrude is ready and willing to compete in the midrange outboard market, and will use engineering and technology to continue to spread the gospel of its direct-in-the-cylinder injection system, while at the same time offering excellent torque and clean efficient operation throughout the rpm range.

But it’s accessories, like this all-digital tiller, the only one on the market, where the company sets itself apart by applying smart ideas to a seemingly simple concept to make it feature-rich. That insight and creativity shows a company that has invested in this segment.