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Author Topic:   Smart Tabs on Rage 14 review
jhenkel posted 06-27-2005 07:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for jhenkel   Send Email to jhenkel  
I installed the Smart Tabs on my Rage 14 and all I can say is WOW! It is a completely different boat now. I did not take before and after measurements so this review is completely subjective, but I firmly believe that they are the best $123.00 I have ever spent on a boat modification.

As all of you Rage owners know, this is not a smooth riding boat in the chop, but in 1-2 foot boat wake and wind chop, there is absolutely no pounding or porpoising whatsoever any more.

My kids (5 and 8) were hesitant to ride in the front because of the occasional pounding, but that is virtually eliminated and they rode up front all weekend. Just watching their faces as they sat up front together while we tooled around the harbor made this purchase worthwile.

Also, bow rise coming up on plane is virtually non-existent.

I installed the tabs at the recommended 25 degree angle, and left the force adjustment right in the middle. I have no plans to play with the adjustments because I am very pleased with the current performance.

Saturday, I had myself and two other adults in the boat (~530 pounds) all sitting across the back bench, and I had no trouble whatsoever pulling two kids on a very large double tube all while maintaining plane at about 3900 rpm.

They may not work as advertised for everyone on every boat, but I am completely sold on them, they exceeded my expectations in every way.



Larry posted 06-27-2005 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
Glad they worked out so well! Was there any tips you picked up on installing them? How is handling in reverse? Where did you purchase them.
Although I currently have 2 foot-itis, I feel it's time I add trim tabs too, should have done so years ago.
jhenkel posted 06-27-2005 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jhenkel  Send Email to jhenkel     

Handling in reverse seems to have been affected little. It's never been great, but it is still controllable.

I bought the tabs directly from Nauticus. You can find them at I called to confirm my size selection and the Owner (John?) actually answered the phone. Turns out they're a local company here in Northeast Ohio. They sell factory blemishes direct at a discount. I can't figure out why they are blemishes, the tabs I received look perfect to me.

As far as installation, three things of note:

1. At John's recommendation, I mounted the tabs as close to the outside edge of the transom as possible to minimize the impact on reverse handling. Mine ended up about 2 inches from the edge because I wanted them aligned with the flat part of the hull and not on the chines.

2. The tabs come with strips of adhesive foam to seal the screw holes, I used and recommend a healthy dose of 3M 5200 sealant since most of the holes will be submerged when you're in the water.

3. The length of the trim arms placed the upper mounting brackets right on the break in the transom so they could not be mounted there. I was faced with mounting the bracket just below the break or just above it, either choice cutting the adjustment possibilities basically in half. I chose to mount the bracket above the break and I do not regret that choice because I do not plan to play with the adjustments. Either placement would have made the initial 25 degree angle possible, but adjustment in both positive and negative directions is not possible.

Overall the job took me a few hours, but I am very cautious and slow when it comes to drilling holes in boats. I'd say it was about an hour of actual work.



where2 posted 06-27-2005 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Now if we could only get together and do side-by-side comparisons... I vote for Larry to do the comparisons...

After some practice, I have actually gotten quite good at reverse gear maneuvers. Somehow, I've become whimsically addicted to doing 360's at slow speed just spinning the steering and shifting, spinning and shifting...

Glad to hear the tabs are working well for you Jeff. I've got a water ski outing lined up for the middle of July, but I'm still not brave enough to take the Rage. (I'm taking my 15' Sport). I'll have to brave the Rage on my own a few times before I dare take others skiing in it...

SPLETS posted 06-29-2005 01:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for SPLETS  Send Email to SPLETS     
Did you do any comparison with minimum planning speed and minimum rpm's to keep on plane? I just bought a set and it will be a few weeks before I get to try them.
jhenkel posted 06-29-2005 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jhenkel  Send Email to jhenkel     
Unfortunately I did not think ahead well enough to get any objective comparisons. All of my observations are strictly 'seat of the pants'.

The only 'before' measurement that I have is top speed with just me in the boat, a full tank of gas, and the bimini top up which was 34.6 via GPS. I will re-measure that this weekend if I get an opportunity to see how it has changed.



Larry posted 06-29-2005 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
Any type of trim tab seems to be an improvement, not to anyone's suprise! Jeff, you mention some issues about getting the location ok around the break in the transom...I had assumed that the tabs would have to be down at the edge of the transom in line with the flow coming off the very bottom edge of the bottom. Is this wrong? Also I plan to add a strip of Azek to the transom just under the break in the hull with 4200 or 5200 adhesive and screw the tab hinges into that so I can change the location or even the type of tabs later if need be. Does that sound reasonable?
Mark, sounds like a plan and a lot of fun but I'd rather judge the coldest beer. Would be great to have a "Whaler Rage Event"!!
where2 posted 06-29-2005 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Larry, I had mine at the Stuart, FL Boston Whaler Owners Event, where were you guys?? (I wish they'd post photos of that event, I want to see if they post a photo of the Rage!! I know they shot several.)

Being the mechanical geek that I am, I continue to ponder how I might be able to work something with the Ride Plate.

Anyone had the ride plate off yet?

Larry posted 06-30-2005 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
Wish I could have been there but stuck in NJ!
I think the ride plate is a good idea, there must be some easy way to clamp or fasten different angled wedges to it. Given the deep location and lightness of the hull I think it would likely make an improvement. We could trademark it the "Where2 Wedge";-)
Certainly worth a try.
where2 posted 06-30-2005 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I figure it doesn't need a bunch of wedge. I've considered trying a TH-Marine "Torque Tab", attached to the rear of the ride plate.

Obviously, such a little bit of wedge would not help the low speed planing issue that the Nauticus tabs help, but it might reduce the porpoise issue once on plane.

Larry posted 07-01-2005 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Larry  Send Email to Larry     
Looks like it might be worth a try if you don't mind drilling two or three holes to try it. Wonder if it might be too small but could only help, no down side.
fishinchips posted 07-01-2005 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
The West Marine clearence center (alameda, ca) had them over here in there stock room.
Priced to go !
They had a massive amount and now only about 1 or 2 left.


jhenkel posted 07-05-2005 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jhenkel  Send Email to jhenkel     

Not sure what 'Azek' is, but I assume it is something like Starboard? Anyway, The break has a radius and the tab springs wanted to be precisely on top of the break, so to get a solid mount I suppose you'd need to radius the Azek to match it then you'd have one screw in the Azek and 1 screw in the transom glass. If I were doing that job I'd make sure the Azek was screwed into the transom in addition to the adhesive.

I think Nauticus offers extended springs for use when the standard lengths cannot work out so maybe that would be a reasonable solution.

On another note, I did not get a chance to re-measure top speed this weekend, but I did manage to get up on my slalom ski behind it, something that I could not do before the tabs. Prior to the tabs I would just get dragged through the water never picking up speed. It still took me probably 100 feet, but I knew as soon as the boat started pulling that I would get up, it was a completely different feel.

A Rage rendezvous would be cool, anybody else up here on the Great Lakes?



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