Trim Tabs-Optimize your performance
Why trim tabs?
Planing boats normally achieve their best possible running attitude at or near full speed and lightly loaded. As the boat slows from maximum speed it will begin to settle at the stern or "squat". And weight can vary extremes by adding passengers, fuel, and gear. Uneven weight distribution makes the boat harder to handle, difficult to get up on plane, and usually results in some listing to port or starboard. Large and small boats benefit from trim tabs for the same reasons — they get the boat out of the hole and on plane quickly, they correct for uneven weight distribution (although the skipper should strive for even weight distribution always), improve speed, safety, and overall boat performance. A common complaint is "I only have two speeds — trolling and full throttle." With trim tabs a boat can often perform better at intermediate speeds while staying on plane.
The Benefits of Adding Trim Tabs
- Performance — Trim tabs increase speed, reduce pounding, some may correct listing (although the proper method to correct listing is by proper weight distribution), eliminate porpoising.
- Efficiency — Reduce fuel consumption, reduce engine laboring, and eliminate squatting.
- Safety — Improve visibility, reduce wake size, improve handling, and reduce hull stress.
How They Work and What They Do
Trim tabs usually consist of two adjustable stainless steel planes mounted at the transom of the boat. Controlled by a hydraulic power unit, the tabs can move up and down when activated by the boater. They provide lift to compensate for changes in speed, weight distribution, and water conditions. When they are deflected downward, the water force on the trim tab creates upward pressure, raising the stern and reducing hull resistance. The surface area of the tab, the angle of deflection, and the speed of the boat all contribute to greater lift.
Burnt Lake Motorsports are experts on the different types of trim tabs for purchase, or installation. Give them a call today for more information on how to get optimal performance from your boat.