OK. I put this in the category of failed experiments. I am sure trim tabs are great, but not on this dinghy. I think the problem is that they are too close to the tubes and outboard. Not enough room on the little transom.
Now that we are all caught up with what has been going on, I want to close the loop on a few recent posts …
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We installed trim tabs on our dinghy earlier this year. Since then, we’ve used it for short trips and a few longer cruises. Do I think it is an improvement? I don’t know. It is a nice stable ride and it planes easily. But, the trim tabs sort of turn a sporty car into a station wagon. And it is slower. We lose about 4 knots of speed. And I like speed in a dinghy.
Trim tabs promise to (this is from the box) …
- Plane at lower speeds
- Improve fuel efficiency
- Reduce pounding
- Improve your hole shot
- Eliminate porpoising
- Reduce engine laboring
- Eliminate chine walking
All I am hoping is that I’ll get the stern up a bit at slower speeds. Much of the engine is in the water at slower speeds with just one in the boat, unless I sit as forward as I can. Getting up on plane easier would be helpful. With just one in the dinghy, the bow points up quite a bit. It takes some effort to get up on plane. Faster is always good too. ‘Cause that’s fun.
What I ended up with is Bennett SLT6 self leveling trim tabs. These are designed for boats 10′-14’. Ours is right in the middle at 12 feet. There may be other makers, but these are the only ones I could find that would fit our dinghy. These trim tabs came from Defender.com. I’d been holding off on this for a while due to cost. Defender lowered the price $50 recently (or at least since the last time I checked). It was close enough to what I thought was a reasonable price. I was also feeling kind hearted toward our little boat after the last blog post.