June 3, 2021

Should You Get Trim Tabs On Your Boat?

Trim Tabs on Boats

If you are new to buying a boat or have been an avid boat owner for years, the question of whether to install trim tabs on your vessel or not should be an important thought. Trim tabs are metal plates that are placed on the back of the boat near the engine. There is one installed on the starboard side and on the port side of the vessel.  How do they work? What are the benefits? How much do they cost to purchase and install? Here is a quick guide to trim tabs, breaking down all your questions!

(Source: BoatUS)

The Purpose of Trim Tabs

When a boat is cruising at high speeds you will notice the hull will lift out of the water. If you have the majority of the weight on a boat at the front of it, this places great strain on the engine and rudder. Trim tabs when installed on a vessel will adjust the running angle and improve the overall performance. They correct the uneven weight distribution aboard allowing for a more smooth riding experience cruising at top speeds. If you are someone who takes passengers out on the water a lot this may be an installation you should look into. 

(Source: Boating Magazine)

Benefits of Trim Tabs

The overall performance of the boat is a major benefit of trim tabs as they facilitate faster speeds, reduce the angle of the hull, and correct listing. Listing is the degree to which the boat leans to the port or starboard side which can be more severe depending on the weight distribution aboard. They also correct the impact of bounce on the boat as you cruise along choppy water conditions. 

Efficiency is improved because the engine is exerting less energy due to the trim tabs aiding in decreasing the pressure from various conditions. Fuel consumption is reduced as the boat does not have to work as hard to propel forward at high speeds. Trim tabs directly eliminate the degree of squat the boat does when moving fast. This means there is less room between the bottom of the boat and the floor of the ocean in shallow areas. 

Last but not least, it facilitates a safer experience cruising on a vessel because it allows for more control and improves visibility on the water. All while reducing the wake produced and limiting the stress on the hull of the boat. 

Cost of Trim Tabs and Installation

For a set of two trim tabs they can range anywhere from $100 to $900, depending on whether you are looking to get electric or hydraulic trim tabs. The difference between the two is the way they are powered and operated. If you are interested in installing the trim tabs yourself you will save a good chunk of money to put towards another project on your boat. On the other hand the average quote from a specialist will be about $300 to install electric ones and $400 for hydraulic ones.

(Source: Wholesale Marine)


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