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Author Topic:   Offshore: first time
rsgwynn1 posted 05-29-2002 07:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for rsgwynn1   Send Email to rsgwynn1  
My son and I ran the 1983 22 Revenge Outrage Cuddy offshore for the first time on Tuesday. Caught a limit of snapper, and the boat performed well (1989 Evinrude 225). Ran about 20 mph (nautical miles) going out in 3' seas, and about 25 coming back. My only problem is working the trim tabs--an option I'm unfamiliar with. Why do trim tabs have both "port up" and "starboard down," for example. Once we got inside the Sabine Pass jetties, I could trim the engine up and make 35 nmph. Any advice on this? The only other problem with the boat is anchor deployment--over the windshield to the bow--lucky to have a 25 yr. old to handle this. I went to the same spot Sunday with a friend in his 21' Mako and almost got jarred to death--rough-riding boat, in my opinion. Of course, he was running a little faster than I was. I love the Garmin GPSMAP 168, which has both fish finder and all the GPS goodies on it--really easy to get out and back.
Tin Man posted 05-30-2002 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tin Man  Send Email to Tin Man     
I had trim tabs with a couple of the boats I've had or run. On a new(to me) boat, I usually trim the motor first and then use the tabs for fine tuning. The motor gives you fore and aft attitude adjustment and the tabs give some fore and aft, but also gives port and starboard adjustment as well.

I think the port up/ starboard down is supposed to refer to adjusting the side of the boat refered to in the attitude refered to. To bring the port side of the boat up move the joystick in the direction of port side up or hit the switch in that direction. The first boat I had with tabs was wired so port up meant the trim tab on the port side would move up in effect allowing the port side to drop lower. Since that was what I learned, I still think about the tabs in what the tabs are doing and not the boat. The next boat I had with tabs, I rewired the switches to match what the tabs do. Probably better to learn it the right way.

I have also learned that running the tabs requires some patience. Decide what you want to do, bump the tab switch and wait at least 15 seconds before you readjust. The way I showed it to my kids was to get a small boat and have them push it from behind, them being the outboard motor.

I love running offshore in a smaller boat and in many ways prefer it. After years of running at speeds which are at my limit, I have finally started backing off on the throttle to speeds which are easier on the knees and back. A lot of the guys I know run as fast as they can stand it and then talk about the rough ride or pounding. Try the same boat in the same conditions a few mph slower and it makes a world of difference. I carry charts, handheld radio, handheld gps, cell phone and Tow/Boat US as backups.

When my son was younger and I had to run the boat and control the anchor, I ran the line through the bow cleat and controled it from the cleat next to the console. I kept the anchor in a milk carton next to the console. The anchor was deployed and retrieved from the side. I also got an anchor ball to help with the retieval. If you get used to it, you can move from spot to spot with out picking up all the line and chain. If you decide to go that route, carry a spare anchor and wear a sharp knife.

If you got any other questions let me know.

jimp posted 05-30-2002 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
rsgwynn1 -

Sounds like a successful first trip offshore.

Trim tabs. Several other additions to what Tin Man passed on. I use my controls "port bow down", "starboard bow down", etc to let me know what I want the boat to do. I'm not very concerned about what the tabs are actually doing. If a lard butt passenger moves from the port side to starboard side and I take on a starboard list, I want to correct it by making the port side come down, so I push the "port bow down" toggle. You can also toggle the opposite way and bring your starboard side up. Play with it, when out of the water, push a toggle and either observe what the tabs did (get out of the boat and look), or have somebody watch and report to you what they did. Starboard bow down means your port tab extends.

One caution on this is that if you keep on hitting the "down" toggles, you'll fully extend the tabs and the boat will take on entirely new trim and operating characteristics. After I use my tabs for an hour or so, I fully retract them (bring the bow all the way up) and start trimming again. I don't have a trim tab position indicator, so when I bring them all the way up, I know where they are. You can add large adjustments with your tilt-trip for the engine.

I know where my boat rides best, so I set my tilt-trim engine position, and then fine tune with the tabs. I also always fully retract my tabs at the end of the day as I don't like "things" hanging down off the boat when I trailer (Just one more target for a rock).

FYI. Nautical miles per hour = knots. 20 knots = 20 nautical miles per hour.


rsgwynn1 posted 05-30-2002 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
Thanks for the interesting replies. It looks like the trim tab thing is going to be a trial and error discovery. I was trying to adjust trim with the tabs only, the engine being tilted and trimmed all the way down. This caused me to plow into the water more than I needed to. My toggle switch for the tabs is down under the wheel, a rather awkward position. I bumped my lip hard on the wheel while trying to make one adjustment. The tip on handling the anchor amidships is a good one, one that I'll try next time out. Many thanks.
jimp posted 05-30-2002 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Now you got me confused with your ENGINE tilt angle. Is it all the way down? Doesn't that cause your bow to plow? Sounds like it. On my trim gauge, I'm always trimmed about 1/3 of the way up (when sitting at rest, the engine is slightly tilted up). I've always run Whalers with a slightly "bow up" attitude, goes back to my 13-ft Sport days in the '60s when the Whaler brochure said to set the engine up so you could get some air under the boat (not a lot, but not plowing). If your bow is already all the way down, the trim tabs won't really help that much (only make you plow more). Try your tilting your ENGINE a bit higher, then using the tabs.


jimp posted 05-30-2002 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Forgot to mention. See my photo, 44-3, on Cetacea pg 44 and JimH's comments. In the photo, you can see the main engine is tilted slightly up. Your hull and mine are similar, is this how your's looks?


rsgwynn1 posted 05-30-2002 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
Yes, I should have trimmed up about halfway with the t&t before messing with the trim tabs. I figured this out on the way home. Probably wasted a lot of gas the way I was running. I was taking my cue from my friend with the Mako, who runs his motor down all the way and uses the trim tabs for adjustment. Maybe this works with a Mako, but my boat runs much better with half trim. I'll check the photos. Thanks.
Tin Man posted 05-30-2002 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tin Man  Send Email to Tin Man     
jimp description is the correct way to go. Unfortunately, I learned the wrong way and used it for years before running a boat setup correctly. I agree with starting from the fully retracted position every so often. I have a friend who over runs his tabs from one end to the other and it drives me nuts. We go from a pronounced port list to a pronounced starboard list. We would be better off running without the tabs.

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