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Old 12-12-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Trim Tabs

Still trying to make a decision; Bennett's, Lenco's, Volvo QL's. Lots of proponents of each, and each has it's pros and cons, but I'm avoiding the "who's is better" debate and focusing on sizing and functionality instead.

Boat is an '04 2400 SC3; 8'6" beam, with a single Mag 350 and B3 drive. At 24', and reading the sizing charts for each manufacturer, it appears that two different size tabs are suggested. For instance:
  • Bennett suggests their 18X9 tabs for a 19'-24' boat OR their 24X9 tabs for a 22'-27' boat (24" tabs seem HUGE for a 24' boat)
  • Lenco says their 12X9 tabs for a 16'-25' boat OR their 18X9 for a 22'-30' boat.
  • Volvo checks in with their QL300's for a 19'-24' boat OR their QL450's for a 22'-27' boat.

Interesting to note that Bennett says the smallest tab to use is 18X9 but Lenco says the smallest is 12X9 - significantly smaller than Bennett. I understand that a larger tab will provide more lift, but there must also be a down side to having more tab in the water. It appears that I could get by with using each companys smallest suggested tab.

Another question; either Volvo or Lenco suggests that their tabs won't be damaged when backing off the throttle. Something about Bennett tabs having a tendancy to fold under in that scenario. Is that a real issue with Bennetts when running at 45 and having to get out of the throttle real fast for some reason?

Finally, controls. Of the three, Volvo's pictogram control pad is - far and away, the most intuitive. But Bennett has their Automatic Tab Control which, on paper, sounds like the hot ticket to me because my tub has a bit of a list to starboard - even without me at the helm (which is one of the reasons I want to install tabs in the first place), and it seems the ATC will deal with that on it's own.

Anyone here using Bennett's ATC?

Really appreciate everyone's feed back.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trim Tabs

well...Tabs..now this is a fun subject....to me there isn't much of an argument about what to get....I've only used bennett trim tabs on 3 boats......aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ....I've had the ATC on 2 boats now....first off the 18x9's will work just fine on the 24 size boats...larger is always better cuz that helps get the boat up on plane faster but also requires less down angle to level the boat.....
atc..I've installed it on 2 boats now..for 250 bucks..it's really worth it on nice days..on crappy days like we get here...sometimes it's just better to set em...and leave em...then bump them as you need it when things change ...
atc worked great on my 2700scr...on the 340 we have now..it's kinda slow to react...might be cuz I have the smaller tabs and may need to get the larger planes.....but that's just cuz I got used to the 2700 and the way it reacted to that size boat..

now as for backing down quickly....and folding the plane down...never happened on the boats I've owned...one day on the 2400 ..we were haulin arse and cruising right along...wife went down to the head while we were going...I was comfortable cuz we'd been in this area before but I missed a red bouy marking a shallow area...(one of our first trips in the boat)....forgot to look at the tide chart and my depth gauge went 41', 14', 0'......!!!!...I grabbed a fist full of throttle and yanked it back...almost tossed the wife into the bulkhead and off the toilet!!!...we had run soft aground on a sandbar....chewed the prop up some...sand blasted the drive..but other than that.......no damage to the hull...tabs..or anything else......

so..I wouldn't worry bout the backing down thing...I think what they mean is back washing onto the tabs might drop them..they are hydraulic but will snap back into position...

just my experience with bennett...and their customer service can't be beat...I had trouble understanding thier wiring diagram...gave them a call...they walked me thru it....then when I got my atc kit...the pigtails were waaaay too short to install on the 2700....I gave them a call and told them that I extended them to install it...the next kit for my 340 had the pigtails lengthened 18" per my comments......

Bennett trim tabs really support thier products...
as for the others...I can't answer anything for them but have been really happy with the bennett trim tabs.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trim Tabs

Great feedback SP, much appreciated.

Per Lenco's website: "Hydraulic Trim Tabs are known to drift or pull under when backing down". My logical mind can see how that could potentially happen but, in the real world, I have no idea if it's a common problem.

Of the 3 brands I listed I'm not married to any of them - they all have a loyal following and, from what I've read, fine customer service and warranties (except for Volvo which only offers a 1 year warrenty on their tabs).

Regarding the ATC. Unfortunately Bennett's web site is a little thin as to how exactly it works. Does it remember it's setting from, say, the previous day? Does it have to be reset each time the engine is shut down? Does the ATC replace the rocker switches or does the ATC have to have the EIC rockers installed also?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trim Tabs

the atc system includes a cpu...relay unit...and control pad...when the atc system is activated for the first time...you basically set zero trim..meaning to tell the computer that this is the angle you want to maintain...once that is set ..the cpu remembers that setting no matter how many times you turn it on/off...once you activate the system..it will hold that angle with the tabs and you will see little yellow lights flashing either up or down to move the tabs.....at anytime you manually hit the a tab control.....the cpu disconnects the control and turns itself off...note...all you have to do is hit the on button again and your good to go...
you can set zero angle at anytime during your trip...so...say your underway..get the boat all trimmed..then set zero angle...the cpu remembers that setting and then as you reactivate the system...it will use that reference as zero and the boat will stay in trim...

you do need the entire system including rockers for the system to work...so..if your starting from zero..then you will need the entire hydraulic's system installed....
that's how the system works....very ingenious....there are 2 or 3 accelerators built into the circuit card of the cpu.....

it's fairly easy to install....just have to make sure all connections are installed properly or the system won't activate or work right....

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Old 12-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trim Tabs

I have the Bennett tabs on my 2900 and I've set them once. Have had absolutely no problem at all. I always manually adjust the tabs until I'm up on the plane then I just switch to auto and forget them. The only thing I would say regarding the trim indicators is that they seem to be more of a distraction than anything else.
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