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Author Topic:   Trim tabs on 16 Dauntless
northlakedude posted 10-06-2003 05:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for northlakedude   Send Email to northlakedude  
I need to level my boat with people in it, fend off wave spray, etc. Anyone try trim tabs on the 16? Work okay?
Marlin posted 10-06-2003 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marlin  Send Email to Marlin     
I don't have tabs on my 160, and with the starboard-mounted swim ladder, I honestly don't know where you'd put them. If you feel like you need trim help, and I don't think that's entirely unreasonable on a 160, a lower-unit mounted foil is probably the way to go. That doesn't help with side-to-side trim; I guess you just need to get the passengers to trim ship.


JohnJ80 posted 10-07-2003 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Try the fin first. This helps a ton with trim too. I would recommend Grand Island Marines Turbo Lift. Works very well and it doesnt require drilling the motor anywhere.

I have trim tabs on my 15 Dauntless and I have really grown to love them. The boat rides like a boat so much bigger (feels like an 18-21', it seems), handles waves better and I have overall much better control over motor trim with it. I guess I would recommend them highly.

I need to push my bow down because of the high wake area I boat in. Getting the nose down really helps smooth out the ride since you can use the fine entry of the bow to cut the waves instead of slamming into them with the flatter stern portion. I also dropped my planning speed by 3-4mph which really helps too. I also increased my speed through chop by maybe 15%.

What I can do is to adjust the attitude of the hull to the water and then adjust the motor trim for optimum thrust. I can feel this happen when the steering becomes very light and easy to operate. I can also bring it up higher and get the drag down by getting the lower unit up more and still control the boat attitude with the tabs (less drag per the speedo).

What happened before was that in the chop I had to trim the motor all the way in. You could sort of feel the motor load up and sound like it was working harder. It had to be, it was trying to push the stern up a bit instead of just forward. That just didn't seem like a good long term strategy. With the tabs, this is no longer a problem.

Bear in mind that I got a little obsessed with boat trim, motor height, etc.. when I repowered this year. Probably went a little overboard. I know for sure that I understand it well, though.

I have a swim ladder and platform from and it has no interference with the tabs at all. My tabs are the 9x12 tabs by Lenco - they stick out 12" from the stern. Because the stern is further outboard at the top, and because of the angle of the ladder, there is no clearance problem at all.

The ability to trim side to side is not as noticeable for me as the fore and aft trim. This may because the Dauntless 15 (and maybe the 16 too?) is really fairly narrow for a boat. Some of the bass boats are considerably wider so you get more leverage. Your 16 is probably wider by a fair amount than the 15 I have so this would help.

You can pretty much wipe out porpoising with tabs too. My boat (regardless of motor or motor weight) had a tendency to porpoise at 25-32mph. With the tabs, this range is much more usable now - zero problems.


RLSmith posted 10-10-2003 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for RLSmith  Send Email to RLSmith     
I have Bennett trim tabs on my 2000 Dauntless 16, installed by the prior owner. I believe this hull to be identical to the Dauntless 160, except for my "notch" at the transom base. The starboard tab does interfere with the standard swim ladder. I haven't figured out what to do about that yet. If the ladder were moved a few inches outboard then it would clear the tab.

The trim tabs are definitely useful on choppy water or in swells. If I don't trim the bow down, it porpoises. Trimming down smooths out the ride significantly but puts much more of the boat in the water. You can feel the resistance. Also the possibility of spray increases, particularly in a strong wind.

I have only occasionally used the tabs to trim side-to-side. I keep them fully raised on smooth water.

I trim the engine just as described by JohnJ80, until the steering feels light.

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