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Author Topic:   Outrage 22: Jack Plate, Trim Tabs
MattW posted 12-08-2003 11:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for MattW   Send Email to MattW  
[Editor's Note: This article was initially posted to the POST-CLASSIC forum, but has been moved here to the PERFORMANCE forum--jimh.]

I'm considering the addition of trim tabs and jack plate on 1992 Outrage 22. Boat has a Merc 225 EFI. Seems like the tabs would greatly stabilize the ride (much needed) and jackplate should get me through the shallower water. I rode aboard an Outrage 25 with trim tabs and jack plate this summer and the owner indicated that both made a tremendous difference. Any thoughts or first hand experience with this would be appreciated.

kingfish posted 12-08-2003 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I've had Lenco 12x12 tabs on my Outrage 22 for three years, and as Steve Farnsworth (Backlash - 21 WA) who was my inspiration said, "tabs are the single greatest performance enhancement you can buy". Or something like that; they really do make a great difference. They will correct windage lean and off-center ballast, and bring the bow down into chop for a smoother entry and ride.

Can't tell you about jack plates - sorry.


jimh posted 12-10-2003 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A 1992 OUTRAGE 22 is a hull design that was first introduced in c.1978, and is probably the all-time production leader in the larger hulls. It continued to be available until 1993 in the recreational division and it is still in production into 2004 in the commercial division.

With a 1992 model, you have one of the last of the "classics" from Boston Whaler.

I would like to know more about the ride characteristics you mention, particularly the "much needed" stabilization. I would not expect trim tabs to lend stability to the hull form. As mentioned above, this hull has been in production for 25 years. I am surprised that the lack of stability has not been widely mentioned previously.

lhg posted 12-10-2003 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim - I think they are talking about the problem of prop torque with a large prop single engine, and also hull lean into a cross wind. With twin engines, or twin CR engines especially, this is not a problem, and engine trim can accomplish the same effect. With a single, you are stuck with these problems unless you have trim tabs to lift, especially, the port side of the stern, or can move a lot of weight around.

I strongly disagree with the notion Kingfish mentions of dropping the bow down to negotiate a head wind chop. I find that doing exactly the opposite works for my 18 or 25 Outrages, lifting the bow with both trim and bow lifting performance props, to take the chop more under your feet where it is softer ride under the hull V, and not driving the bow into the waves at 20-30 mph or so. One also be careful of a bow-steer situation in big seas.

kingfish posted 12-10-2003 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I'm not sure what you're strongly disagreeing with - whether I'm accurately representing my experience with my notch transom Outrage 22, or whether tabs might not have as beneficial an effect on Outrage 18's or Outrage 25's with twins and brackets as they do on a notch transom Outrage 22.

In light to moderate chop, tabbing down produces a better ride in my boat at cruising speeds and lower planing speeds. As the chop grows heavier, I will sometimes get a better ride by not only tabbing down, but trimming the motor down too, and usually when the chop gets that heavy, I have slowed down some. When it is really rough (3-5 foot waves or bigger, short period and/or confused sea), sometimes trimming with the tabs and the motor help, and sometimes it doesn't; and it is often a dynamic condition that requires various adjustments on a regular basis to maintain optimum comfort and speed.

Bow steer is not a problem in any of these conditions with my boat, because that is not an issue for me below 30 MPH or higher, and the more trimming I'm doing, the bigger the seas are and the further below 30 MPH I'm travelling.

If the water is smooth enough to be travelling above 30 MPH, generally the tabs don't do much so I usually keep them lifted, and I never have the motor trimmed below neutral.

MattW posted 12-10-2003 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for MattW  Send Email to MattW     
LHG is right. Perhaps the suggestion that the hull lacks stability is going a bit overboard. It is a stable boat but the ride is not as comfortable as I think it could be. I don't have the luxury of playing with a bunch of different prop configurations, raising and lowering the motor, etc., to test the performance. I upgraded to the 225 from a 200 in 2001 and have seen a predictable increase in the prop torque effect on the boat leaning and it leans uncomfortably into the wind as before. Are trim tabs and/or jackplate for that matter worth the investment to get a better ride?
kingfish posted 12-10-2003 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Short version of my answers above regarding trim tabs on an Outrage 22 with a 225 HP motor, in my experience and opinion: *YES*.
Backlash posted 12-10-2003 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

I must respectfully take exception to your remark to John regarding lowering the bow going into a chop. On my 21 Walkaround, when heading into a chop, lowering the trim tabs (which lowers the bow) causes the "V" to cut through the chop, NOT the rounded part of the hull, thus smoothing out the ride. Obviously, lowering the bow too much will produce bow steer.

By raising the bow (using engine trim as you describe)is the wrong thing to do - especially from an engine efficiency standpoint. The primary objective to having trim tabs in the first place is to be able to trim the engine thrust parallel to the hull, for best efficiency, and THEN adjust the attitude of the boat with the trim tabs depending on sea conditions. When running I normally set my engine trim once and never touch it again.

Larry, I have watched your 25, (which is one of the nicest looking classic Whalers I have ever seen) probably thousands of times over the years, running along side my 21 and I always think to myself "trim tabs, trim tabs, trim tabs". I know I have been preaching this for years, and don't want to beat a dead horse, but I guarantee if you installed trim tabs on the 25 you would be amazed at the performance improvement as well as improved ride quality.


lhg posted 12-10-2003 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John - didn't mean to confuse you, and it was your latter remark about twins (as Jim has) that I was referring to. For the record for others, should state that I have NO experience with a 22, and would readily defer to your experiences with trim tabs, having seen how well your Whaler performs. I was responding to Jim's question, and since his Whaler has twins, probably hasn't experienced these prop torque problems as much.

We evidently run our Whalers differently, however, since I don't trim way in to drop down the bow into a 1' or 2' chop. I like the bow high to skim right over this size wave. Those could just be performance characteristics of the 18 and 25, both of which are later hull designs than the 22. But then again, since I don't have trim tabs on the 25 (no place to put them), and they are generally not recommended on a hull as short as the 18, I may not know the benefit that can be derived from them. Steve keeps insisting I need them! I recently saw a CPD notched transom 25, with twin CR 200 Evinrudes, and it had factory installed trim tabs also.

Regarding Matt's question on brackets, I can say that on my 18 Outrage, the ride was DRAMATICALLY improved, especially in conjuction with twin bow lifting Laser II props. I have yet to ride in an 18 that rides or handles better. It should be noted that a bracket produces the opposite effect of trim tabs, always adding lift to the bow as the engine weight is transfered aft, and increasing the effective hull length. I also noticed that the ride improved on JimH's 20 Revenge when brackets were added. The ability to fine tune your engine running height, or even change it for different boating conditions or objectives, is also of value.

lhg posted 12-10-2003 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Backlash and Kingfish - OK guys, I'll consider trim tabs if you guys tell me how to install them! And I'll let you guys fight over Lenco vs Bennett! I remember John's horror story of scooping out foam and pouring in resin, but worse, I can't access the top of my full transom like that, to re-inforce the 100% foam area where they would have to go. Any ideas? The entire wood area of the transom is covered by the bracket. I wonder how the CPD guys do it?
kingfish posted 12-10-2003 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
It's a long process, Larry - and I'd really want see it get done right - we might have to trade boats for a year or so, and that way I'd have time to check it out for bugs and stuff afterwards, and get a couple hundred hours on her to make sure everything was jake...

Seriously, I'll bet between Steve and I we could figure out how to put tabs on both your boats (if you're serious). We could toss a coin for Bennetts or Lencos, or do a different one on each. I bet we could find a way to reinforce your transom too, if you wanted, though sitting here I'm still not sure all the fuss I went through was necessary.

Whale Lure with trim tabs-what a picture!


(The CPD guys don't have to do anything to the transom, because the commercial transoms are solid all the way across.)

jimh posted 12-10-2003 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My assessment is this:

Trim tabs do not have much influence on the bow; they really have more influence on the stern. A trim tab's main influence is to raise the stern, one side at a time, as needed.

Engine trim has influence on the bow.

Mounting the engine on a set back bracket allows the engine to increase its leverage on the bow's attitude.

Stern lift can also be contributed from propeller selection.

lhg posted 12-10-2003 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I'm starting to feel like a Guinea Pig here!
Backlash posted 12-10-2003 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
OK, who stole lhg's identity? First varnished teak and now trim tabs? All kidding aside, Larry, I'm sure tabs can be installed on the 25.

John mentioned that the procedure he went through with the reinforcing resin may not have been necessary and I think I agree.

I'm sure both Bennett and Lenco have sold trim tabs to other customers with 22 and 25 outrages, besides John.

Jim, you are correct that trim tabs raise the stern, but in doing so they also lower the bow. No different than trimming in the engine which raises the stern and lowers the bow. All trim tab switches are marked "Bow Up" and "Bow Down".

MattW posted 12-10-2003 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for MattW  Send Email to MattW     
I appreciate the response and like Kingfish's first hand experience with identical hull. I'm going to look around for someone with a 22 with trim tabs to test ride before I go drilling anymore holes in the transom. That said, it is sure tempting to go ahead with it. I'll certainly report back on the progress. Thanks again for the input.
Backlash posted 12-11-2003 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Sorry, I seem to have gotten side-tracked from your original post.

In the following link kingfish describes the installation of Lenco trim tabs on his 22:

Brackets: I have a 10" bracket on my 21 WA and highly recommend them. The bracket allows the engine to be mounted higher and improves the ride by increasing the hull length. Another benefit is that it frees up the splash well to be used for storage, etc.

Welcome to the forum!


JohnJ80 posted 12-11-2003 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I put tabs on my Dauntless 15 this year. Before you look at me like I'm nuts, (probably am) let me tell you that it made a huge difference in the ride and speed through heavy chop. (We boat in very choppy water and are one of the few 15' boats out on this water because of that)

I don't know who said it here, but he would put them on a canoe. I thought that was nuts but after talking skeptically to Lenco and Bennett, I was convinced enough to try it.

Both Bennet and Lenco have installed hundreds of tabs on whalers. Both companies told me it wasn't necessary to reinforce the transom at the tabs. There is sufficient glass there to make it work just fine. While reinforcing the transom by replacing the foam with epoxy if better, it is probably not necessary since neither manufacturer reports a problem and they both find that Whalers are one of their more common installations. In my case there was more than enough glass to see that it would be a strong installation.

I installed Lencos just because it was a ton easier than fooling around with the pumps and hydro lines on a boat that has limited space to mount that anyhow. Since the Lencos are electrical all you have to mount is the switch in the console and a little control box. I've been very happy with mine - one of the better options I have put onto a boat in general. The tabs make my little 15 ride like a 20' boat. I would think they would be terrific on a 20' boat.

Incidentally, with the tabs full down, and the bow therefore down there is no oversteer or bow steer problem with the tabs. They just aren't that radical of an effect. I was worried about this and then put them on the boat and then tested them out to see if I could cause a problem - I was not able to even with some bizarre throttle trim combinations. I'm thinking that those that warn of these issues probably have not used tabs very much. I think you could probably get this to happen if you put grossly oversized tabs on your boat and then max deflected them. However, that is not too 'real world.'


Backlash posted 12-12-2003 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Great post! If I had my 15 SS back it would have trim tabs too. I see from the Bennett site that trim tabs are routinely installed on 15' flats skiffs! What size tabs did you install on your Dauntless?

I noticed on the Lenco site that they recommend mounting the actuators and tabs with the supplied SS screws and 3M 5200. That certainly should be strong enough for boats that do not have plywood reinforcement in the transom.

On my 21 WA I normally leave the tabs deflected slightly. This allows the boat to get on plane faster, with reduced throttle and reduced bow lift.

I do believe the post-classics can probably benefit more from trim tabs (than the classic hulls) due to their deeper V's, but am a firm believer that any boat will benefit from their installation.


Swellmonster posted 12-13-2003 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
TT on my 20 OR are "Night and Day". I would put them on a canoe if I had one! LGH's big beauty is fast and long enough to fly across our swells, but our smaller boats have to go between them and work at it...
jimh posted 12-14-2003 08:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On the classic v-hull of a Boston Whaler 22-footer, where is the recommended position for mounting the trim tabs? The choice seems to be either on the outer runners or on the main v-hull section.
kingfish posted 12-14-2003 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

The greatest advantage is gained by placing the tabs as far out board as possible, short of the reverse chine that a classic 22' hull bottom has (or about 1" in from the hull side. That is still a little complicated because looking at the 22' hull bottom from the stern as jimh mentioned, the V-bottom drops down about 1 1/2" at a point about 9" in from the reverse chine and then continues out about 8" to meet the reverse chine, just about on-line with an extended line from the V-bottom, so there is an additional triangular "notch" cut out of the water right where you'd want flat water for a trim tab to work against, and where a trim tab would otherwise logically be placed.

See the sketch of the transom of a classic Outrage 22 on Whalersmans' site, linked below, to illustrate the conditions I am describing:

My solution was to draw a line extending the line of the V-bottom across the rear face of the triangular "runner" (it seems like there would be a more nautically correct descriptive word than that, but I don't know what it is). I then placed my 12"x12" tabs about 3/8" above that line (which is the recommendation of the Mfrs. when the tabs are placed on a straight V-bottom), with the outboard edge of the tabs right at the reverse chine, or about 1" in from the hull side. The effect then was that only about 4" of the 12" width of the tabs acts on the flat water running under the V-bottom itself, and the remaining 8" width acted on the water that was at least partially displaced by the triangular shape of the "runner".

There are calculations out there that suggest that (at least for calculating the height a motor can be set on a bracket) the level of the water rises about 1" for every 10" of rearward flow in relation to the extended line of a boats keel as it flows under the hull at planing speeds, so I believe that I am getting 80% or more of the intended efficiency of my tabs located as they are, and the bottom line is, they work just fine.

I think further efficiency could be gained (though I'm not sure it would be necessary) by using tabs that were either 16" wide or 16" deep, keeping 12" as the other dimension. I didn't want anything wider that 12" because I wanted to maximize room for a kicker mounted next to the main motor on the transom, and I didn't want anything deeper than 12" because in my mind's eye, it seemed to me that would look a little hokey.

I also understand (at least in one instance) that 12x12 tabs have been mounted inboard far enough to avoid the "runners" entirely, and have worked satisfactorily; that installation would interfere with a kicker though.


kingfish posted 12-14-2003 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
p.s. - jimh, would you consider (or are you considering) moving this entire thread to the Performance or Repairs/Mods forum? My initial response was made without thinking of the fact that the entire question was misplaced, and there is some good stuff here that would be more easily found if archived somewhere that people would expect to find it...



jimh posted 12-15-2003 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
John--That is an excellent idea, and I will try to implement it soon, perhaps with some illustrations.

Thanks for providing your first-hand experience and insight. I am sure it will be of benefit to people who are considering trim tabs on their classic 20-22 foot Boston Whaler boat hulls. Perhaps even LHG or I may take the plunge!

kingfish posted 12-16-2003 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I've been upgrading the transom detail sketch I referenced on Whalersman's website, and in so doing I've actually looked at my transom and trim tabs in real time, and I find I have to edit one aspect of the description above, of my Lenco trim tab installation.

I had completely forgotten in my earlier description, the issue of the thickened (reinforced with solid plywood and thicker fiberglass) central section of the transom that necessitated a custom teak "pad" because the tab actuator brackets came to rest half-on and half-off of the thickened transom section. That same raised condition left *only* enought room for a 12" wide tabe to be mounted as per mfr.'s recommendation, that is, with the outboard edges of the tabs not interfering with the reverse chine.

In other words, on this transom, 16" *wide* tabs are *not* an option, which is contrary to my remarks above. In fact in order to allow the 12" tabs to fully retract, I had to grind a small triangular section off the inboard vertical fin where it was closest to the transom, for clearance. Not a big deal, but I wanted to square the record...


jimh posted 02-29-2004 05:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This thread has a great deal of good information about the performance of the classic Outrage 22 hull. I moved it here from another forum where it was somewhat obscure.

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