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Old 03-12-2007, 07:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Richmond, KY
Posts: 50
Default trim tabs vs. hydrofoils/planing plates

I've read all the messages about trim tabs. What kind of comparison can be made between them and the bolt-on plates for hydrofoil stabilizers or planing plates? Do the two items accomplish the same thing?

People around here don't seem to use trim tabs, but a lot have the plates. My assumption is that the plates help for a quicker hole-shot and get your skier/wakeboarder up quicker. Most boaters around here are going to the lakes for that purpose alone. But do the plates relate into any better of a ride like the trim tabs.

I've only got an 18', so the ride will always be rough in big water, but will trim tabs help the problem enough to justify the cost and labor/time? I don't want to spend in order to gain minimal results.

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Old 03-12-2007, 10:55 PM   #2

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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Everett Wa
Posts: 4,681
Default trim tabs

the thing with the trim tabs is that it levels out the boat while on if your load on the boat is lopsided...your can trim it out and get a better ride...if it's choppy the tabs allow you to bow down and more or less plow thru the waves....beleive me it helps... :shock:

the thing I've heard by alot of guys at the shop or prop shop is that the wings on the drive put alot of strain on the cavetation plates and sometimes will actually break the dissimilar metal issue that weakens the cav. plate over time....yet...some people have run them for yrs without problems.....

I have trim tabs on my 2700 ..I know it's a larger boat..but it will give a better level ride when the water gets goofy out here...sometimes the wind will hit us at the side and the tabs help counter that too....
if it were me...I'd opt for trim tabs.....
hope this helps....

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Old 03-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Springfield Virginia
Posts: 142
Default Tabs

I purchased my 2100SC in 2004 and from day one kept wondering whether to tab or not to tab. I finally went the Lenco route last year, and I can tell you that they made a terrific difference. Even on a smaller boat, you will appreciate the difference.

Here are some things to keep in mind. First, hydrodynamics being what they are a small amount makes a huge difference. You do not need very much deflection below the plane of the hull, I found it is actually more important to be able to get the tab up than it is to put the tab down. Second, there is a sacrifice not often mentioned. You lose turning radius even with the tabs in the up position since the boat will not roll in turns the way the hull and power were originally designed. For me I don't pull skiiers a lot. A greater turn radius is fine by me given that the ride in a slight chop is much improved, comfort outweighs turning radius.

Finally, in my case the boat speed increased with the addition of tabs, also the plane speed dropped from 19 to 14 knots, another benefit. The actual installation was an easy do-it-yourself but do yourself a favor mark and remark with a grease pencil.

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Old 03-14-2007, 05:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lake Texoma
Posts: 6

About 40% of the damages to lower unit housings are caused by the bolt on plates according to the two boat shops I hang around at.

The Bennett trim tab people have an excellent site covering the advantages of tabs, and I can attest to thier excellent customer service department.

Best $ I found was at Boater Ed dot com.

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