Trim tabs are essential for maintaining the proper plane or balance of a boat. When I was doing some research on that, I’ve found some information about the trim tab failures. So I’ve decided to write a helpful post on it.
There are only a few reasons(physical reasons, not technical) why trim tabs fail, and the reasons are.
Trim tabs on a boat fail due to corrosion of the rivets on hinges and relay on the hydraulic press fail due to seawater and corrosion. Some times actuators may leak, causing the whole hydraulic pump or electric motor to rust and stop working. These are the physical reasons for a trim tab failure.
Mostly these are the causes for the trim tab failure, and no one found a proper solution for this. We can prevent this by using simple tricks.
Preventing trim tab failure on a boat
If you got any technical problems you can’t fix them on your own, you need to replace them or repair them by taking them to the shop. Other than that, you can prevent the trim tab failure by doing some basic steps. And you can do that within 5 or 10 min.
To prevent trim tab failure on a boat, the best thing you can do is to check them regularly after coming from boating and clean them properly by using anti-rust spray (or silicone spray). Clean the trim tabs with fresh water after the ride. So, they will last long.
The main reason for the trim tab’s failure is due to the water(corrosion). Due to the normal water or saltwater, the rivets and the hinges will corrode.
To prevent failure after every ride, clean the trim tabs properly and apply some silicone spray(or any other anti-rust spray). Silicone spray will act as a lubricant protecting the trim tab hinges and rivets.
Technical problems would be the trim tab switch problem or hydraulic problems, etc.
Fixing trim tab failure on a boat
If you got any problem related to a technical one, then you better replace them. If you got any physical problem it may like corrosion, you can fix them by
We can fix the trim tabs physical problems by replacing the old rivets with new rivets and changing the hinge of the trim tab. Whenever you came from boating, clean the trim tab hinges, motor, and hydraulic press with anti-rust solution liquid. So that you can prevent failure to some extent.
Using trim tabs on a boat
The trim tabs are adjustable stainless steel planes mounted at the transom end of a boat used for leveling the boat. These are essential for getting the bat in-plane quickly. Not only that, if you are driving a boat and two of your friends came and sat on the port side of a boat, then the boat will tilt in that direction. To compensate that as well, we can use the trim tabs.
The leveling can be done in two ways
- For getting the boat into the plane you need to use both the trim tabs. If there are uneven weights on either side, then you need to adjust any one side.
- By adjusting only one trim tab(which side is heaver that side only) (If your friend is sitting on the port side of a boat, then we will press the port side trim tab button. Now the port side trim tab will move down and elevates the port side of a boat by the boater choice.
- By adjusting both the sides of the trim tabs. (If your friend is sitting on the port side of a boat, then we will adjust both the tabs.)
If you want to travel fast on a boat. The bow side of the boat should be in the water, not in the air. If the bow side of the boat is in the air then, we can’t move fastly. To adjust that, we need to move the trim tabs down. Which will create upward pressure, and the bow will come down.
Mostly, all the time trim tabs will stay inside the water. So they will get corroded or actuator leak can happen and that’s the reason why trim tabs fail to work. If the actuator leaks(either on electric or hydraulic), the water will be sucked inside. In this case, the hydraulic pump or the electric motor itself will rust and stop working. So, you should check regularly and fix the rusted rivets on time to prevent the failure of the trim tab.
Check this video for more info about the trim tab failure
Selecting the right size trim tabs for a boat
You can select the right trim tab size by following some rules.
Many things will affect to find the perfect trim tab size for your boat. It depends on many factors like boat size, transom space availability, boat type, weight distribution, and engine configuration.
You should consider many factors to determine the perfect trim tab size and type for “faster” boats. Check properly when your selecting trim tabs for performance applications. The faster boats require small ones and the slower boats require larger ones.
Here are some examples of the trim tab size
|boat size||trim tab size|
|4.5-5.8 m||30 x 23 cm|
|5.8-7.3 m||46 x 23 cm|
|6.0-7.0 m||25 x 30 cm|
|6.7-8.3 m||46 x 30 cm|
Check this page for the full results of the perfect trim tab size for your boat click here (don’t worry, it will open in new tab).
Selecting the right trim tab type to your boat
There are only a few types in trim tabs, which makes it easy to select one for your boat.
There are two types of trim tabs for a boat, Hydraulic trim tabs, and electric trim tabs. Both of them are used for leveling the boat in the water.
Working of hydraulic trim tabs on a boat
Hydraulic trim tabs are controlled by hydraulic cylinders. A hydraulic pump is placed inside the boat, which will provide pressure to operate the trim tabs up or down.
When the power button of a hydraulic trim tab is pressed, the power is sent to the relays. The relays are connected to the electric motor, which has a hydraulic pump. Then with the help of the hydraulic pump, the fluid is pushed in one way or another way, which moves the trim tabs up or down.
The drawback of the trim tab is, The hydraulic trim tabs don’t have an automatic withdrawal feature, which automatically pulls off the trim tabs when the main switch is turned off.
The automatic withdrawal feature is helpful when you are pulling off the boat from the water. The trim tabs will be sticking outwards at the transom end of a boat. You may get hurt if you walk near them without seeing them on the way.
Pros and cons of a boat hydraulic trim tabs on a boat
|1. Performance||1. Oil leaks|
|2. Speed||2. Expensive while replacing|
|3. Reduces pounding||3. Corrodes due to water|
|4. Safety||4. older technology|
|5. Some individual components are not expensive to replace||5. automatic withdrawal feature is not there|
Working of electric trim tabs on a boat
Electric trim tabs are controlled by electric actuators. By sending power to actuators the trim tabs move up and down. Electric trim tabs work fastly and respond quickly. Electric trim tabs are easy to install.
Electric trim tabs can be moved up or down by reversing the polarity of the electricity(power) sent through it. If we reverse the polarity, it will move up else it will move down.
Electric trim tabs have an automatic withdrawal feature, which automatically pulls off the trim tabs when the main switch is turned off. The automatic withdrawal feature is helpful when you are pulling off the boat from the water. The trim tabs will be sticking outwards at the transom end of a boat. You may get hurt if you walk near them without seeing them on the way.
Pros and cons of a boat electric trim tabs
|1. automatic withdrawal feature is there||1. Expensive to replace|
|2. Not expensive for installing||2. less warranty period|
|3. New technology||3. Corrodes due to water|
|4. work’s fastly and responds quickly|
|5. easy to install|
Mounting a trim tab on a boat
How many types of boat trim tab mountings are there on a boat?
There are two types of trim tab mountings on a boat. Standard Transom Mount and Bottom Mount. Only their placing positions are different in the boat, rest everything is the same (working and usage).
Standard Transom Mount
- The most common style is hinge style and it fits the boat’s transom and this mounting style is used for all the boats.
- For this, we need to fix two pieces on the transom side, one for each side of the transom.
- Bottom Mount Trim Tabs are only used under the transom end of the boat.
- And these tabs need to be especially ordered.
- The hinge will be pre-attached to the trim tab plane.
So, some of the best rim tabs are Bennett marine trim tabs. Some of the advantages of the Bennett trim tabs are listed below.
- Get on plane faster
- Improve your fuel efficiency
- Reduce pounding and engine laboring
- Eliminate porpoising and chine walking
- Durable spring-action system
Check the price of the product on the amazon click here (don’t worry, it will open in new tab). This is an excellent product available in the market right now.
1. Which trim tabs are the best hydraulic or electric trim tabs?
Both of them are good if you want new technology, easy for installation, work’s fastly, and responds quickly, then go for electric trim tabs. If you want old and strong technology, then go for hydraulic trim tabs(it is expensive for installing and to replace).
2. Which trim tabs size is best for your boat?
Many things will affect to find the perfect trim tab size. It depends on many factors like boat size, transom space availability, boat type, weight distribution, and engine configuration.