Trim Tab Kits
Trim tabs are a great feature to add to most hulls because the benefits include a comfortable ride, increased performance and safety. Using trim tabs is simple and once mastered it will become second nature and all while sitting behind the wheel. Trim tabs are a natural fit for fast nimble planning hulls although slower boats can also reap the benefits of tabs. Trim tab kits are available that do not require any power such as from ‘Smart Tabs®
’ that manufacture a trim tab kit that does not require a power pack or electricity to operate and are made of a composite material of different colors or the SLT tabs from ‘Bennett Marine®’. These trim tabs are preset before launching and the actuator uses an internal spring to move the tab.
An alternate option is either a hydraulic or an all-electric driven actuator. The trim tabs are manufactured in different styles and sizes for the different vessel types and for the sophisticated there is the option for an automated trim tab kit such as the ‘Auto Trim Pro’ from ‘Bennet Marine®’ or the ‘Auto Gluide®’ from ‘Lenco Marine Inc®’. The leading manufacturers are ‘Bennett Marine®’ and ‘Lenco Marine Inc®’. ‘Bennett Marine®’ manufacture the non-powered trim tab kit, a hydraulic trim tab kit
and an all-electric trim tab kit whilst ‘Lenco Marine Inc®
’ only offer all-electric trim tab kits and kits available to retrofit from one ‘Bennett Marine®
’ to a ‘Lenco Marine Inc®’ system.
Trim Tab Parts
Trim tab components
are robust in construction and provide hours of trouble-free service but like all mechanical systems there is always the possibility of failure. Spare parts are available for both the ‘Bennett Marine®’ and ‘Lenco Marine Inc®’ systems
Trim Motors and Pumps
Trim tab motors and pumps are not the same as trim motors
. They do however perform a similar function but the major difference is that trim tabs pumps provide hydraulic power to the trim tab cylinders attached to the trim tabs. Trim motors and pumps provide hydraulic power to raise and lower the outdrive or outboard engine. Adjusting the trim of the drive unit does not produce the same results as trim tabs especially if the boat is loaded unevenly, the resulting list can easily be corrected by adjusting the trim tabs to compensate.
Trim Tab Maintenance
Trim tabs and actuators are mounted externally to the vessel and at standstill are immersed in water. In salt water it is important to protect the components from electrolysis and marine growth. Attaching sacrificial anodes
manufactured by Canada Metal® on the trim tabs can reducing the effects of electrolysis. A feature not required for the ‘Smart Tabs’® composite trim tab.
Marine growth on the trim tabs will reduce their performance. Most trim tabs are manufactured from stainless steel and paint does not adhere well to stainless steel therefore regular anti-fouling paints do not perform well on the trim tabs except on the actuators where the paints usually perform well. Applying the product PROPSPEED®
to the trim tabs performs exceptionally well in mitigating marine growth while maintaining performance.