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Author Topic:   190 Nantucket/Outrage: Bennett Hydraulic Trim Tabs
hhagan posted 10-19-2006 09:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for hhagan   Send Email to hhagan  
To all interested readers: Concerning recent discussions regarding the installation of trim tabs on 190 Nantucket/Outrage. We decided to install tabs to:

1) Plane more easily
2) Bring the bow down in rough water while fine tuning speed with tilt
3) Control list with uneven load on board

After reading various helpful threads and discussions on Continuous Wave regarding this upgrade for our Whaler, we chose to install Bennett M180 tabs. I searched for the best price on the web and ended up paying about $600 for the tabs, the trimtab indicator light for the dash and the automatic tab retractor which pulls the tabs up when the ignition is shut off. The installation took me two careful afternoons of about three hours each to do a workman-like job. I was EXTREMELY CAREFUL and took my time. The instructions were clear and all needed parts were in the kit. I needed only to supply basic tools and drills plus hole saws which I already owned.

Everything worked well on the first try. Installation of the hydraulic tubing and reservoir in the starboard aft locker was relatively simple. That step took about an hour. The hydraulic lines and position sensor wires were passed through the transom and sealed.

Photos of the installation are on these URLs:

I have had the opportunity to have the boat out for several days since completing the installation. The location was on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Our boat has the 115 4 stroke Merc. Standard aluminum prop. Three adult guys and gear on board. The weather was clear and breezy with an approaching Northeaster, winds of 15 to 20 and seas 2 to 4 feet. I found that these tabs dramatically improved the performance and attitude of the boat. With the tabs fully down, the boat will plane at about 12mph by gps. What pounding the boat previously had at speed in conditions like this was 95% eliminated. Listing is no longer a problem. The dash mounted indicator lights are very helpful. The automatic retractor (about $50) is nice, but not essential with the dash indicators. I am certain that electric tabs will provide the same level of improvement in performance, but like the idea of the hydraulic system better.

I welcome any comments and insight from others who may have tried this conversion on their boats.

bluewaterpirate posted 10-19-2006 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Don't leave home without them ....... they most definitely make a big difference in your boats performance. Nice job on the install.


btb posted 10-20-2006 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
Do the trim tabs, and the tops of the rams, need some sort of backing in the transom to mount to? I presume the answer is yes. How can you tell if there is adequate backing at the mounting points? Or is the BW fiberglass enough to mount the trim tabs to? I am toying with adding tabs, but I am not sure if there is adequate backing for me to mount them to.....


bluewaterpirate posted 10-20-2006 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Mine were installed by the factory and there is no backing associated with the rams or tabs. Been using the Bennetts 4 years and they've never missed a beat.


bluewaterpirate posted 10-20-2006 02:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate sitebuilderpictures/tranducer1.jpg


hhagan posted 10-20-2006 07:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for hhagan  Send Email to hhagan     
With the very heavy layup of fiberglass and "Whalerboard" in the transom of these strong boats, no backing is needed. The upper brackets of the actuators are attached with Stainless Steel, coarse threaded screws dipped in a little epoxy. Their load is in shear and compression, not distraction. The brackets are also seated in some 3m 5200. I can not imagine them loosening.
highanddry posted 10-20-2006 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I cannot speak but for the Nantucket, the transom is massive. The tabs would be mounted into this massive glass, ply, whalerboard buildup. You probably cannot bolt through due to the lack of access and thickness of the transom. I said probably, with some effort you might be able to bolt through--but why?

Thanks for the excellent report, those tabs are on my list and I am saving my lunch money. I think they will make a superior performing boat even better.

rtk posted 10-20-2006 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
Just screw and glue, the tabs will be fine.

Use 3M 5200 and they won't go anywhere.


Backlash posted 10-21-2006 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash
bluewaterpirate posted 10-21-2006 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's the hydraulic tubing line install from inside the transom of my 210 Ventura. Two years ago I purchased the auto retract kit/trim tab indicator display and intalled them myself.


Bjornas posted 10-21-2006 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bjornas  Send Email to Bjornas     
It is kind of funky how the metal folds on your trim tabs face down. On my 24 Northcoast those are facing up, and on Bluewaters factory install they face up as well. I wonder what kind of tracking effect those have mounted that way? Looking at them at first sight I would say they look mounted upside down, but I'm sure you mounted them correctly. I have just never seen tabs designed to face down.

highanddry posted 10-21-2006 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
If you got to the website you will see that he has them mounted correctly and as designed.
hhagan posted 10-21-2006 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for hhagan  Send Email to hhagan     
Bennett says the design of the tabs, with the blade edges folded as shown, increases the lift of the tab while retaining an overall smaller dimension. All things equal, and based on my reading, however, the bigger the better. The Bennett Sport Tabs come in two sizes for trailered boats up to about 22 feet. You should get the larger of the two for a Nantucket/Outrage.
highanddry posted 10-21-2006 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
To the initial post where he stated M180 tabs, I believe he meant the M80 tabs. I only see M80 and M120 Sport tabs.

As to size and all that, bigger is better only so long as it will fit on the boat without interfereing with other thins such as speed sensors, tranducers, swim platoform, scupers etc. On the Nantucket the place to mount the tabs is between the center lift strake and the outside of the hull before it begins the outer turndown for that lift strake. This is how the pictures given also show the installation.

hhagan posted 10-22-2006 07:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for hhagan  Send Email to hhagan     
You are right. I put the M120s on, though. They are the larger ones. Sorry for any confusion.
Buckda posted 10-22-2006 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Great job.

Agreed in the ride improvement thing. I only need a little tab action when the chop picks up. But it makes a huge difference and will make long runs more bearable.

highanddry posted 10-22-2006 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Thank you for clarifying the M80 vs M120. I thought they looked bigger than the M80. Do the cylinders slow the water escaping fromthe scuppers?
hhagan posted 10-22-2006 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for hhagan  Send Email to hhagan     
Not at all. I guess if there were leaves and other trash some might hang up on the port side but I have not had that problem yet. I try to keep loose bits of stuff out of the boat anyhow.
I have included one more picture that may be helpful. On the port side, the hydraulic line and sensor wire pass through the transom under the port aft quarterseat. They are then routed through a small hole and into the space forward the splash well, which passes directly to the starboard aft locker. I was concerned that some loose object could slide under the port side seat and give a hard lick to the line and wire. I made a little shield for this out of a piece of sawn PVC pipe, ventilated to allow drainage and discourage mud daubers from building nests. It is attached with some 3m 5200, and can be popped off if I need to get to the fitting.
Link is here:

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