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  Trim tab setting and hydraulic steering

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Author Topic:   Trim tab setting and hydraulic steering
sail16 posted 07-02-2014 09:02 PM ET (US)   Profile for sail16   Send Email to sail16  
I have installed hydraulic steering on my Montauk. What is the best setting for my trim tab? I could imagine a few options:

--set it dead center and let the hydraulic system handle the torque load;

--set it to counteract the torque at cruise speed and trim, but not sure how I'll determine that;

--remove the tab altogether; it isn't an anode and perhaps it creates drag.

Teak Oil posted 07-02-2014 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
I have hydraulic steering and just leave the tab set straight forward and the boat tracks dead center.

I would set yours up the same, and if it still tends to want to turn at cruise, then make an adjustment.

I would not remove it, usually only boats with twin engines remove the tab

sail16 posted 07-02-2014 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for sail16  Send Email to sail16     
Teak Oil: if the tab is set dead center it isn't providing any correction. Given that, why do you advocate keeping it in place.
sosmerc posted 07-03-2014 01:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Granted, having hydraulic steering will make it easier to steer, however, the torque is still there just as before, so why not use your trim tab to counter-act the torque? Set the trailing edge of the trim tab to the starboard. This will make it easier to steer to the left (port). Generally speaking, all right hand rotation gearcases tend to steer a bit harder to the left than to the right (depending upon your engine trim setting). By adjusting the trim tab your steering should be pretty easy in both directions with the added bonus of your hydraulic steering setup.
jimh posted 07-03-2014 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have hydraulic steering and a single engine. I have not removed the engine steering torque tab. I have set the engine steering torque tab to compensate for the tendency of the engine (with right hand propeller) to want to turn to Port.

It is important not to remove the engine steering torque trim tab on some models of outboard engine because that component also acts as a water pick-up for the engine exhaust cooling system. What kind of engine to you have?

sail16 posted 07-03-2014 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for sail16  Send Email to sail16     
It is an E-TEC 90, AAA series.
jimh posted 07-03-2014 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Steering torque from a 90-HP engine is generally not too extreme. With hydraulic steering it is harder to get a feel for the presence of the steering torque. I would take a guess at the steering torque, and preset the steering torque tab on the E-TEC 90 so it points slightly to Port. Typically on an Evinrude E-TEC there are embossed markings on the gear case casting that will allow you to index the position the tab has been set to. These can be very useful in experimenting with changes in the setting.

With hydraulic steering, a difference in the number of turns of the wheel lock-to-lock depending on which direction you are turing will be present if the steering actuator is a side mounted cylinder. This can also make it difficult to detect any difference in steering force needed for left-turn versus right-turn, since turning in one direction has a greater mechanical advantage than the other.

Even with hydraulic steering, the feedback at the wheel will allow you to feel the change in steering effort needed to move the engine. I notice a marked change in steering effort when running at planing speeds when the engine trim is moved up or down. The hydraulic steering does not remove all feel for the helmsman. When the boat is on plane and the trim is at the sweet spot, the steering effort at the hydraulic helm becomes markedly lower than the effort needed if the engine is trimmed too far in. This very easy steering effort is probably aided by the setting of the steering torque trim tab being in the proper position.

jimh posted 07-03-2014 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
On some E-TEC engines the steering torque trim tab (on the lower surface of the anti-ventilation plate) also acts as a water pick-up for adding cooling water to the engine exhaust passing through the gear case and out the propeller hub. I don't recall if the E-TEC 90 has this feature. Look at the steering torque tab. If the tab has a water pick-up, you should see it on the bottom tip of the tab. My V6 225-HP E-TEC has such a pick-up on the tab.

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