Trim Tabs Worth the Investment?

By: Frank Lanier

QuestionI am interested in buying the Nauticus Smart Tabs for my 1998 Bayliner Trophy 2002 WA, with a 175 hp Johnson. All I can seem to find is that they will stop porpoising and improve holeshot. I do not have a problem with porpoising. My problem is when there is too much weight on one side or when the boat leans toward the wind. Yes, I could — and have — asked people to shift their position, but sometimes asking them to move because there is too much weight sounds offensive. Would these smart tabs help with the leveling, as with electric tabs? I use the boat on the waterways and the ocean off the North Carolina coast.

AnswerI don’t have a lot of experience with these units, but they are more effective for boats that are on a more or less even keel to begin with but need some help getting on plane quicker (and staying up at a lower speeds). They’re supposed to reduce bow wander by placing the bow down at slower speeds. In the grand scheme of boat ownership expenses, the cost is fairly minimal, and they may work OK, particularly for the leaning-into-the-wind issue. If you are going to be doing a lot of tweaking to level out the ride due to excessive weight on one side or the other, I think adjustable trim tabs would be much more effective, although more costly, than telling the passengers to simply shift position.


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