Are Trim Tabs worthwhile? – What you should know

Article by Boat Accessories Australia

Many boat owners ask the question about whether it’s worth the time and money adding trim tabs to their boat. They incorrectly believe trim tabs are only needed on cruisers and large boats though the reality is they make an even bigger difference on smaller boats.

The weight in your boat, weather and water conditions means every boat trip is different. With trim tabs fitted, adverse conditions can be overcome and the lift of your boat increased to help maintain the optimum cruising position.

How Trim Tabs Work

The trim tabs give the boat an additional lift which helps to decrease your boat’s weight while making the boat easier to control and provides a more comfortable ride. The increased lift reduces stress and resistance on the boat’s hull.

The installation of trim tabs is quite easy. If you can use a drill, you can just attach trim tabs according to the installation instructions and you are ready to increase your boat performance.

Benefits of Trim Tabs

With the right size tabs, your boat can benefit from all of the following:

Helps to maintain your boat’s position
Improved control of your boat in all water conditions.
Decrease time in transition mode between displacement and planing
Reduced hull stress, wake and pounding
Reduce settling at stern (squatting) as speed decreases from maximum
Reduce listing and the need for occupants to balance boat
Improved safety
More comfortable ride with less pounding
Increased speed and handling
Improved visibility in the water
Reduced wake
Eliminate porpoising
Decreasing throttle for improved fuel consumption.
Maintaining Your Trim Tabs

After installing trim tabs on your boat, it is important you maintain them in good condition for optimal performance. If you use your boat often there is the possibility of wear and tear and a need to replace your trim tabs periodically.

Tips for maintaining your trim tabs:

Read the owner’s manual for maintenance instructions
Clean and check the electrical connection regularly
Paint your trim tabs with anti-fouling paint to prevent marine growth
Check your trim tab system’s fluid level regularly
Keep the surface of your trim tabs clean
Fix any problems you might experience
Trim Tab Sizing

Trim tab kits come in a range of sizes so it is important that you buy the right size tab for your boat. If the tab is too small, you will need more deflection in order to create the desired lift. The largest trim tab that will fit comfortably on your transom will be the most efficient. You should choose at least one inch of trim tab per foot of boat length.

With improved fuel consumption and less stress on your boat’s hull and motor, trim tabs have the ability to pay for themselves on a boat that is used often. Not only do trim tabs provide potential cost savings but they also make a boat more enjoyable to handle and ride.

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