Jet boat trim tabs
Does anyone have any experience on how well if at all do trim tabs work on a OB 20' Jet boat?
windshield style boat, 60" bottom width.
I installed trim tabs on my 18' Almar Jetstream in 1986, a couple of days after its first shakedown cruise in Seward. They make a huge difference in the chop by allowing you to push the bow down as much as you need to. Trim tabs also come in very handy for heavy hauling material or moose camps and meat. Load the boat how you need to and use the tabs to level yourself out. In my opinion trim tabs are a wise investment.
Thanks Gary, was your Almar IB or OB?
Inboard jet-351 ford-hamilton 773 3 stage jet. With all that weight in the rear, the trim tabs were really needed. I think the tabs are about 8"x2' and alot of trim can be gotten out of just a little adjustment. Trips into the Sound would be a whole lot rougher with out them.
Worth it for me...
I've got a 20' Sportsman Hewes with 200 inboard optimax and they make the ride a lot smoother. I don't use them a whole lot on the rivers but do a lot in PWS. You will lose a little in speed and fuel efficiency but with my optimax it's minimal, and well worth the better ride in my opinion. Mine are electric which I really like, but spendy, I don't know that I would have bought them but I ended up getting them free + installation down at compeau's over a "ahem" disagreement with a salesman when I bought my boat. That being said Compeau treated me right and gave me store credit which bought the tabs...ANYWAY, I recommend them. I just saw some manual tabs in cabelas that were MUCH less, want to say 130-160 range, if you're looking for a cheaper route. I wouldn't like not being able to adjust myself but I bet they'd still do really well in the chop/leveling out your boat. pm me if you have any questions, take it easy.
I will add a little input on the other side. I put a set of bennett hydraulic trim tabs on my 22 ft inboard jet and they performed as designed but I found them of little value. Yes they would smooth out the ride in the chop at the expense of fuel efficiency - Not a good trade with today's fuel prices. I could not carry any more load at the same rpms than before the tabs while remaining on step. I was not able to put heavier loads on step any faster than without the tabs. Fortunately I found some one that just had to have a set and sold them. For my particular application they were not worth the expense and added weight.
Cost vs Benifits
Raven I would tend to agree. It would just be another thing to rip off your boat while you are running "skinny" water. I have power trim on my Evinrude and I find I can only trim so much until the boat starts to porpoise, then I have to back off a little. Would trim tabs prevent this?
Originally Posted by rambling raven
Originally Posted by AKBassking
Yes pushing the nose into the chop does reduce your fuel efficiency, but that is the cost for a better ride and easier on your equipment. I didn't mean to imply that you could carry a heavier load. Sometimes you just can't get things moved in the boat to get on step properly(ie. to heavy to the rear). The tabs help the boat nose over and not wallow or struggle to get on step. The weight issue is minimal less then 25 pounds, the costs are significant I will agree.
If you are porpoising you are over trimmed. So using the tabs would be counter productive.
The "Skinny" water solution is to mount the tabs a little higher then is recommended which keeps them out of the way when in the full upright position.
Tabs for a trimmable O/B would be of little benefit. The O/B gives the range to drop the front to break the chop or lift the front to cruise. If you were struggling to get on step or finding it hard to maintain step then tabs might help.
The tabs would benefit I/B jet's the most as most run a fixed nozzle. The tabs do provide a port to starboard leveling when running with the Father-in-Law and his 250 quart cooler full of cold stuff or if your running solo.
Hamilton nozzles are a few degrees different top to bottom and can be turned over. If you find that your boat tends to plow you can turn the nozzle over and pick the front up(and a few more mph. Could get a porpise at top end). Or if you run bow high (like I do) you could reverse it or add trim tabs to push the nose over to break chop. I wish I could find a trimmable nozzle for my Hamilton. Then I wouldn't need tabs.
My 2 cents
I haved tabs on my 21' Customweld and they are a must have item. Load controll and a decrease in planing speed are great. Definately helps calm the chop when you need to. I have not had any issues with the Bennett tabs that I have. Definately a performance enhancer. I have heard all the arguements of just being something to rip off, but I have been up on the sandbar like everyone else and had no issues. Just run them full up and pull like normal. I have a hamilton 212 pump for reference and have no issues when in reverse.
I can see where you folks with inboards would need them.