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Thread: getting used to running outboards

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default getting used to running outboards

    Been boating for 20+ years, all inboards prior to the new boat. Still trying to get the hang of these twin 150 Yamaha outboards on the 24 sea sport. Curious how you guys work trim on the motor and trim tabs. Out of the hole I have trim tabs bow down, and engines trimmed down. Once on step I bring the engines up, until I see a jump in the RPM's. Advice from my buddy that has experience with outboards. My question is, at what point do you use the trim tabs to raise/lower the bow vs. engines. Or do you?

    From 4k to 5k rpm I see about the same 2mpg efficiency. After 5k MPG drops considerably. at 4k I'm doing 30mph at around 15gph, at 5k I'm doing 40mph with 20gph.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Unless your bow rides exceptionally high on cruise, I would stay away from the trim tabs (ie. keep them up most or all of the way) while on cruise. I think that most use them for leveling if you have a load that is tilting you port or starboard. If you cannot get enough trim out of your motors say to bust through some chop, then you might use them.

    Do you come up on step quickly without the tabs down? If you have a good hole shot without the tabs, you might put them just a little down and try it to see if you get on step faster.

    Try different settings on your motor trim to see what setting it likes to come out of the hole the quickest. It is good to get on step quickly so that you can see what is in front of you - the bigger the boat the more that is true.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I agree with Bullelkklr. In general, I only use trim tabs for levelling port/starboard, otherwise they are both all the way up.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. I never use my tabs to get on step. Heck most of the time I even leave my motor close to the trim that I cruise at. It pretty much jumps right on step all the time. However, it the water is pretty crappy, I'll either trim down the motors or use the tabs a bit to push the bow into the water more and smooth out the ride.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    On my little searunner I set the trim at about 3 on the guage and let the RPM's get up to about 4K then I start trimming up as she comes up on step. I usually run at about 4 on the trim guage. I never start out of the hole with the motor all of the way down.

  6. #6

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    Had the pleasure to ride and sometimes run some bigger outboard boats going far offshore into the gulf stream for blue water fish on the east coast. General rule of thumb for those guys is to use the tabs to adjust attitude for sea state, including both list and bow lift. If you don't need them, don't use them. Outboard trim adjustment was for efficiency, with our without the tabs at work. Their theory was that if you were using outboard trim rather the tabs to adjust attitude, you could can get a lot more "bounding" in seas, porpoising in worst cases. The guys run their boats up onto step, then play with the tabs a little if they think it will help the ride, then play with outboard trim while watching the speed and tach. They usually run 80-120 miles one way, and the little fiddly adjustments can add up to big differences in spine compression as well as fuel consumption.

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    I'm with the rest, I only use the tabs to even out a list.......when I have messed with it, even one tab can significantly reduce speed with the resistance, so I just tell the wife to sit on the other side However, if you are ever very heavy, a little tab work can really help.

    As far as your burn rate, the mileage curve definitley falls to the expensive side after 4400 rpms on these otherwise miserly 4 stroke big outboards. My 225 on a 2284 raider goes rom 8.5 gph at 3900 to 19.5 at 6000 rpms, and nearly 15-16 at 5000+.....all for little gain in speed for the price. My sweet spot is at 4200 at around 26 knots....burn at 9-10 gph.

  8. #8
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    great advice. The boat has absolutely no issue getting on step. It happens right now. I just got used to using trim tabs on my old boat vs. using the outdrive. Will play with the trim on the motors more and leave the tabs at the fully retracted most of the time. My hesitancy for using the trim on the motors was the trim indicator on both motors was broken, replaced the broken tabs last night.
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  9. #9
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    Another thing to check is motor height. Ken at prop god's hav


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    Ken at Prop Gods has good info on getting your motors to right height. You should be able to see your cavitation plate when on step. I trim my motor for best cruise speed then use my tabs for sea conditions if needed


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