Contents of Report
- Boat Inspection
- The Stern
- The Helm
- The Side Decks
- The Bow
- Ground Tackle
- Evinrude’s E-TEC G2 140 HP 3-cylinder Engine
- Standard Features on the Tidewater 198 CC Adventure
- Options to Consider
Tidewater’s Adventure Series is designed with the fisherman in mind, but can be optioned out to be more family-friendly, if that is what is wanted. She is a versatile all-around boat designed to be sold on price. The concept of this boat is to open up boat ownership to people who might not otherwise feel they can afford to own a center console, and who don’t need all of the amenities and build quality that premium or even mid-range center consoles offer. Tidewater allows its customers to add options that they want and not have to pay for gear that they don’t want.
Tidewater calls their hull design EPH, standing for easy plane hull. All Tidewaters have a distinctive topside Carolina Flair. The flair is carried well aft and combines with Tidewaters “dry chine ride” to reduce spray and allow for a dry ride.
Tidewaters are built with composite construction and corrugated grid stringer vertebra (CGSV) unique to each hull. The foam-filled grid helps reduce noise and vibration while adding strength and also supporting internal structures like fuel tanks. The decks are cored, the hulls are foam filled, and there is what the builder calls a “Life Plus” warranty on the boats.
We tested the Tidewater 198 CC Adventure powered by Evinrude’s new 3-cylinder E-TEC G2 140-hp outboard. She has a LOA of 19’8” (5.99 m) and a beam of 8’4” (2.54 m). With an empty weight of 1,950 lbs. (884.5 kg), 52.5 gallons (199 L) of fuel and two people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 3,100 lbs. (1,406 kg).
With the Evinrude E-TEC G2 140-hp outboard powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 41.8 mph (67.3 kph) at 5500 rpm. Best economic cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 24.3 mph (39 kph). It was at that speed that the 4.2 gph (15.9 lph) fuel burn translated into 5.8 mpg (2.45 kpl) and a range of 291 statute miles (253 nmiles).
For acceleration, the Tidewater 198 CC Adventure got on plane in an average time of 4.2 seconds and went from zero to 20 mph in an average of 5.1 seconds and on to 30 mph in 8.7 seconds.
While we didn’t see challenging conditions in the harbor where we conducted our test, we ran the Tidewater through some wakes to show how she would handle choppy conditions, and she knocked down the spray and settled down quickly after each pass.
With the Evinrude iTrim system and internal steering, the Tidewater 198 CC Adventure gave us a responsive platform to handle our test conditions with ease, constantly adjusting to make for an exhilarating driving experience. These features are part of what Evinrude calls a “driver-centric experience” that helps elevate the enjoyment of driving.
Another way of putting it is that it takes the stress out of trimming the boat, which means the whole family can drive the boat.
Starting at the stern, the Evinrude outboard is mounted in the third hole, in a well that has its lowest point 12” (30.48 cm) above the waterline, and it’s designed to allow the Evinrude to tilt all the way out of the water – a full 81-degrees, more than any 4-stroke on the market. And because the rigging tube doesn’t move as the outboard turns, it can be shorter, cleaning up the stern even more.
The hatch in the deck just forward of the engine well provides access to bilge pumps and other systems, though we’d like to see less restrictive plates on the scuppers to either side.
Crew seating in the cockpit consists of jump seats that flip up to be 18” (45.72 cm) high backrests, and the seats are 18” (45.72 cm). We’d like to see grabrails that were convenient to both jump seats.
The cockpit measures 6’3” (190.5 cm) wide by 3’ (91.44 cm) fore and aft. It has a depth of 20 ¾” (52.7 cm) and optional cushion bolsters to either side measure 55” (139.7 cm) long and 4 ½” (11.43 cm) high.
A tubular-framed aluminum leaning post has a 35” (88.9 cm) high grabrail wrapping around it, with four rocket-launcher rod holders mounted aft.
A 38” (96.52 cm) wide seat that measures 15” (38.1 cm) fore and aft is upholstered with contrasting fabrics as part of the standard Sahara Interior.
The molded helm console is 36” (91.44 cm) wide and has a stainless steel wheel with steering knob on a tilt base offset to the port side. To starboard is the ignition with safety kill switch and lanyard, and then the Evinrude ICON II Premium EST single engine control binnacle.
The upper part of the helm has a switch panel to starboard to operate the boat’s electrical systems, and there’s a stereo control head above.
Evinrude’s round LCD displays use soft keys to display and control many of the outboard’s data and settings, such as iTrim, iSteer, and more. The helm panel is 15” (38.1 cm) high in front of the helm, with usable space for mounting electronics that are 13-½” (34.29 cm) wide.
The optional Bimini unfolds easily to provide welcome shade over the helm and console, but is unobtrusive when folded.
The Side Decks
There’s a 21” (53.34 cm) wide walkway to either side of the console to make it easy to get around when the bite is on or the kids want to crowd into the forward seating area.
The forward seating area starts with a forward-facing seat on the front of the console, measuring 30 ½” (77.47 cm) wide with an upholstered backrest affixed to the console top.
Two 50” (127 cm) long benches meet at the bow, where the gunwales serve as 10” (25.4 cm) high backrests, each with a 5” (12.7 cm) high bolster. There’s 30” (76.2 cm) of space between the seats at the aft end, and the gap is 12 ½” (31.75 cm) forward.
Both port and starboard bow benches have fold-out backrests that lock into position to allow comfortable, legs-up lounging. The backrest provides support 13” (33.02 cm) above the seat cushion. All cushions and bolsters are optional.
At the foredeck is a pull-up cleat on centerline, forward of the hatch with an anchor hanger and a 12” (30.48 cm) oval access to the rode locker below.
Evinrude’s E-TEC G2 140-HP 3-cylinder Engine
The all-new Evinrude E-TEC G2 140-hp 2-stroke, 3-cylinder engine weighs in at just 415 lbs. (188 kg). There aren’t many outboards in this horsepower range, and one is nearly 88 lbs. (40 kg) heavier while offering lower horsepower. Because so many features are packed into the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 140, it offers a great value than the other outboards that Tidewater offers. Tidewater also makes available 115 and 150-hp Evinrude engines.
Here is a summary of the major advantages of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines—
• No break-in period like 4-stroke engines
• Direct in-cylinder fuel injection – no 4-stroke engine has it
• More fuel-efficient than 4-stroke engines
• Lighter weight than most 4-stroke engines in class
• No scheduled dealer maintenance for 5 years/500 hours (4-stroke engines require dealer maintenance every 100 hours/1 year)
• Quieter than 4-stroke engines at best cruise
• 5-year anti-corrosion warranty – longer than all 4-stroke engines
• 5-year warranty – longer than most 4-stroke engines
• iTrim automatic trimming feature
• Auto-Winterization – no 4-stroke engine has it
• Lower emissions than any 4-stroke engine
• 95% less CO emissions than all 4-stroke engines
• 81-degree engine tilt – more than any 4-stroke engine
• Lower-cost power steering option than any 4-stroke brand
For all of these reasons and more, Tidewater is offering Evinrude engines as a compelling option on its 198 CC Adventure. To find out the details behind all of the above features, keep reading.
Direct Fuel Injection
At the heart of the new E-TEC G2 140-hp is Evinrude’s direct-injection fuel system. It is unlike any other system in class for two reasons: First, the injector is actually in the cylinder head and not in the intake manifold like it is in 4-stroke engines. Because of that position, the Evinrude employs a more robust injector that uses a magnet and coil to act on an electrical pulse sent by the EMM (Electronic Management Module) to deliver the correct amount of fuel at any given throttle setting, functioning with refinement similar to that of a stereo speaker, up to 100 times a second.
Second, at low RPM, only a small amount of fuel — like champagne bubbles, according to Evinrude — is injected into the smaller top section of the cylinder. This is called “stratified combustion,” which uses less fuel for more efficiency and cleaner operation. At high rpm, the engine switches to what’s known as homogeneous combustion and more fuel is injected into the whole cylinder, sooner, using the full bore and stroke to produce excellent mid- and high rpm-range torque and power.
Evinrude’s High Fuel-Efficiency
The result of all of the above, and much more, is an engine that Evinrude says is twice as fuel efficient under 1000 rpm, and from 15% to 50% more efficient up to wide open throttle.
On the face of it, this sounds like a wild claim, but in fact, it is borne out by Evinrude’s dyno tests on competitive engines using ICOMIA standards, which is the industry standard and has been agreed to by the engine manufacturers. This is why there are no howls of protest from other engine makers. They are getting the same results on their dynos, or nearly so.
Lowest Emissions of Any Outboard
The Evinrude E-TEC G2s have the lowest emissions of all outboard engines according to the EPA. They have a 3-star CARB ultra-low emission rating as well as EU RCD II compliance ratings. And because this is a 2-stroke, the emissions include the 2-stroke oil that is also burned in the combustion process.
Perhaps most importantly, the Evinrude engines emit 95% less carbon monoxide than 4-stroke engines – which are all above a lethal level.
Advanced Oil Lubrication System
There are other important features to the new Evinrude engine. One is the onboard oil reservoir, which holds 1.9 gallons (7 L).
Once the top cowling section is removed, the yellow oil-fill cap is visible on top of the engine. When the reservoir is filled, the oil supply will last for 50 to 60 hours of engine run-time, a whole season for most boaters, and usually it’s even longer for low-rev boats which spend about 60% of their time under 1000 rpm.
Oil is not mixed with the fuel. Instead, lubrication is its own completely separate system, sending a carefully metered amount of oil through clear tubes to bathe the cylinder walls in clean oil as needed. One clear tube feeds each cylinder and four clear tubes feed the bearings in the crank case.
The Evinrude engine never needs oil changes, and its oil is always clean, reducing the chance for cylinder wear.
The new Evinrude E-TEC G2 140-hp engine needs no break-in period — 4-stroke engines permit only limited revs for the first few hours.
A tiny amount of oil is burned in combustion, and because it is added to the exhaust, it’s included in the emissions of the outboard. On 4-stroke outboards, boat owners or dealers have to dispose of dirty crankcase oil that is not accounted for in the emissions.
The result is that the Evinrude outboards—already the lowest-emission outboard available—are even cleaner than the competition.
Under the removeable top cowling are the rigging connections for the fuel line, an external oil tank, the forward freshwater flush line, the Evinrude proprietary network connection controlling throttle and shift, the low-oil-level alert connection, and the NMEA 2000 connection to the boat’s systems to integrate with helm units from Simrad, Lowrance, Garmin, and Hummingbird.
Yet another feature of the Evinrude oiling system is automatic winterization. The engine can be readied for offseason storage with a tap of the Evinrude iTouch display or the BRP eLink smartphone app, while the engine is running, either hooked up to fresh water or at the launch ramp in fresh water. This means that owners can winterize their own engines without the cost and hassle of taking the engine back to the dealer.
Magneto Charging System
On the top of the engine under the black plastic cover, is a magneto, which uses simple coils and magnets under the flywheel instead of an alternator. It has fewer parts: there are no pulleys, belts, or brushes to wear out or break.
Fail/Safe Gear Case Lube System
Water in the lower-unit gearcase oil (water makes the lube oil turn white), shown draining above, is a major cause of engine failure. This happens most often for three reasons:
1) The oil level is low in the lower unit, allowing condensation to contaminate the oil,
2) A seal is compromised and water is slowly seeping onto the gear case and the lube oil is slowly weeping out,
3) The seal has been weakened by a wrapped fishing line, and the hot lube oil during hard use has expanded to fill the case and is blowing past the seal, letting water in.
Evinrude has solved those issues with a clever system: a lube oil reservoir is fastened high on the powerhead. Lube oil fills the gear case, backs up through a tube and half fills the clear expansion tank. When the gears are run hard and the lube oil heats up, it expands up the tube to the reservoir, so there is no internal pressure on the seal in the hub.
Further, Evinrude has placed a washer over the hub seal to protect it from wrapping. Evinrude uses an Ultra-HPF gear fluid, which can continue to lubricate even if it’s contaminated by up to 25 percent of its volume with water. It is this belt and the suspenders system that protects the G2’s gear case, something 4-stroke units do not have.
Regular Gas. The outboard runs on 87-octane fuel and has an internal fuel filter that also functions as a fuel-water separator.
Redesigned Lower Unit
The straight leading edge of the lower unit is designed to shed weeds. Anodes are placed prominently throughout, and the anti-ventilation plate has been shortened and positioned further aft to permit better water flow around the prop when at high speed and still stop ventilation in rough conditions. Evinrude tells us that in normal conditions this allows the boat to also stay on plane at lower speeds.
Features that make for easier operation by the driver are numerous and highlight Evinrude’s “driver-centric” approach, they include:
Internal Power Steering
Internal power steering is optional on the 140, but extremely low-cost. When the Evinrude E-TEC G2 140 is compared with competitors’ 4-stroke engine with power steering, the total price is about the same, or even slightly less for the Evinrude.
The power-steering pump is integrated into the the mounting bracket. This is a major advancement in outboard engine design, and makes installation and repower much easier and less costly. There are no external pumps to install, and no hoses to run through the transom – and of course no SeaStar bracket and rod in the outboard well.
Evinrude has provided repower buyers with the ability to use the new engines with other manufacturers’ pre-existing steering to keep costs down – that is, keep the old SeaStar system and buy the Evinrude engine without power steering. It can also be used with bolt-on external hydraulic steering.
Alternatively, cable steering can also be hooked up with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 140, still saving more money.
Dynamic Power Steering
In the many boats we’ve tested with Evinrude’s internal steering, the steering system was responsive and each turn of the wheel caused the boat to react immediately. The ICON touch screen system allows drivers to adjust the tensions or resistance on the steering at three different speed settings to get the “feel” they want. For example, low resistance at slow speeds, stronger resistance at high speed, and something inbetween at cruising speed.
Clean Transom Installation
A dual-access rigging tube is fixed to the mounting bracket, so it stays put, while allowing the engine to rotate independently, providing for a cleaner transom and less wear on the components that connect the engine to the boat. There are no primer bulbs or power-steering hoses going through it.
Evinrude included the iTrim automatic trim system in the E-TEC G2 140 outboards as standard, helping the boat perform the way it should even with a novice at the wheel. For many boaters, this is the most important feature of all. New boaters will love it because it eliminates an embarrassing learning curve. Finally members will like it because now they can operate the boat with the most complex aspect of running now on automatic.
The most important change made to the basic design of the 1.9 L E-TEC G2 140 is that the intake and butterfly valve faces aft instead of forward as it does on all 4-stroke engines. Sound from combustion exits through the incoming air and out the air intake and is directed aft – away from the traveling boat and the people in it.
Secondarily, the exhaust is routed through an internal muffler box on the port side and vents aft, when the boat is running at idle or low RPM. Above this RPM, the exhaust is directed down the outboard leg and through the propeller hub underwater. Thirdly, sound absorbing material is placed inside the cowling. Finally, there is just less noise being made in the first place, because the new E-TEC G2 140 is a 3-cylinder 1.9 L engine.
Our preliminary testing indicates that at best cruising speeds, the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 115 and 140 engines are from 2 to 6.5 decibels quieter than 4-stroke engines of similar horsepower.
Focused Anti-Vibration System
Engine vibration transmitted to the boat creates harmonics that is a second source of noise and mixes with the engine noise to make the total decibels heard even greater. To quell vibration on this three-cylinder engine, Evinrude starts the process in the crankshaft where counter weights are positioned on helical gears at each end to counter-balance the force of the pistons. This largely tames the vibration before it travels to the three points that connect the powerhead to the steering housing.
Four rubberized “Focused Motor Mounts” – two together at the top on the centerline, and one on each side of the helical steering gear casing – absorb the vibration and send it back to the powerhead. The result is, according to the engineers at Evinrude, that very little vibration is conducted to the transom of the vessel.
A boat’s harmonics amplify vibration which is why the same engine will seem to be quieter on one boat than another. The lower the vibration and its rate that is transmitted to the transom, the lower will be the noise coming from the boat. This is why comparing the sound levels from one boat to another, even on the same model, is problematic.
Another feature that’s been added, from top to bottom in the E-TEC G2 line, is that the engines are now available with a Johnson white exoskeleton. Side panels and accent trim is also available in a number of colors and custom painting is becoming a thriving.
All of that quick acceleration and top-end performance doesn’t mean anything if the engine doesn’t hold up in the marine environment. This all-new engine is ready for both fresh and salt water. The proof is that Evinrude has a 5-year anti-corrosion warranty – the longest in the outboard industry. Evinrude is backing up its claims with cash.
High-Powered Process. Currently, Evinrude is the only outboard maker that protects its water-exposed parts with a titanium oxide hydrostatic coating. The reason is that it is terribly expensive not only for the titanium and the manufacturing facility for the coatings, but also for the massive amount of electricity that it takes to transfer the oxide particles to the metal parts and get them to adhere to the aluminum through electrolysis.
In fact, Evinrude has to run a completely separate power supply to its Sturtevant, WI plant, to create the energy that it takes to get the titanium oxide to adhere to the aluminum parts. And then only from 10:30pm to 9am, when community power usage is at its lowest.
In addition, the engine blocks are cast from high-grade aluminum alloy and only stainless steel fasteners are used throughout for added corrosion protection. The layers of paint are also creating additional protection, and the sacrificial anodes on the G2’s lower unit are remarkably large.
Taken together, all of these processes and materials create the best corrosion protection on any outboard engine in the market.
Standard Features on the Tidewater 198 CC Adventure
• Sahara interior
• Rear jump seats
• Captain's chairs
• BayStar Plus steering
• LED cockpit lighting package
• Wiring cover (inside console)
• 5 pull-up cleats
• 3-step swim ladder
Options to Consider
• Cockpit bolster ($325)
• Bow bolsters ($227)
• Bow cushion ($292)
• Hinged bow backrest (pr) ($520)
• White cushion upgrade ($585)
• Performance reverse seat ($585)
• Leaning post w/ BR-AL ($978)
• Leaning post w/ BR-PC ($1,365)
• Removable backrest for leaning post ($260)
• Cooler Slide for LP ($292)
• Mooring cover with T-top ($884)
• Mooring cover without T-top ($617)
• Console curtain ($617)
• Bimini top ($650)
• T-top, canvas (AL) ($3,900)
• T-top, canvas (PC) ($4,420)
• Outrigger plate (canvas) ($445)
• T-top, fiberglass with outrigger plate ($5,005)
• T-top, fiberglass, with outrigger plate ($5,460)
• Hardtop bottom color ($422)
• T-top mister and fresh water (hardtop only) ($1,007)
• T-top life jacket net ($195)
• T-top gull wings ($650)
• Strataglass upgrade ($325)
• JL Stereo with four speakers ($890)
• Two JL 6.5” speakers (hardtop only) ($325)
• JL 8 channel amp ($715)
• JL 10” sub with amp ($910)
Steering and Gauges
• Tilt steering ($195)
• Black dash panel with digital gauges ($1,105)
• Edson steering wheel ($617.50)
• EPS steering ($2,600)
Mechanical and Electrical
• Battery wired to console ($228)
• Charger system 12-24V ($260)
• Dual battery switch ($195)
• Freshwater shower ($358)
• Raw water washdown ($228)
• Trim tabs ($618)
• Trim tab indicators ($325)
• Underwater lights ($455)
• Ocean LED sports lights ($1,105)
• Trolling motor plug ($130)
• Trolling motor 80# (Ulterra i-Pilot) ($3,120)
• Bow table ($325)
• Compass ($130)
• Rod holders ($39 ea)
• 4 fender cleats ($293)
• Yeti performance cooler ($455)
• Porta-Potti ($163)
• Ski tow – transom mounted (AL) ($1,300)
• Ski tow – transom mounted (PC) ($1,690)
• SS anchor roller ($293)
• Tackle box ($130)
The Tidewater 198 CC Adventure comes standard with the Evinrude E-TEC G2 115-hp engine, and the base price is a bit over $30,000. Pricing for the new Evinrude E-TEC G2 140-hp is not yet released. However, with a larger E-TEC G2 150-hp engine from Evinrude, sans trailer, the MSRP is $36,555.
The Tidewater 198 CC Adventure with its Evinrude E-TEC G2 140 outboard is an interesting package. She’s a basic yet versatile 20’ (6.09 m) center console with saltwater capabilities at an affordable price. Some of the options, which would be made standard on other boats, allow the owner to keep costs down.
We believe the all-new Evinrude E-TEC G2 140-hp engine is a solid value for the Tidewater. No other engines in class can boast of the light weight, fuel economy, low emissions, or driver-centric features these engines have. And, when it comes to operating costs, Evinrudes are unquestionably lower because there are no trips to the dealer for the break-in period, no costly annual/100 hour-scheduled maintenace as with 4-stroke engines. Evinrude’s first scheduled dealer maintenance is at 5 years or 500 hours, which ever comes first.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tidewater Boats 198 CC Adventure (2019-) is 41.8 mph (67.3 kph), burning 11.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 43.53 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tidewater Boats 198 CC Adventure (2019-) is 24.3 mph (39.1 kph), and the boat gets 5.8 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.47 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 291 miles (468.32 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 140-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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