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Author Topic:   Proper Trim Tabs for a "96 21' Outrage
heslmn15 posted 01-21-2003 05:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for heslmn15   Send Email to heslmn15  
I'm sorry if this has been previously asked but I am going to put trim tabs on my 21' '96 Outrage. It has a 225 Johnson and a 25 Honda mounted on the transom. From what I have been able to gather from this board, Bennett is the way to go. What size should I order and how much should I expect to pay. What kind of options should I consider (or are there any?). Any info would greatly be appreciated.
lhg posted 01-21-2003 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Backlash has Bennett trim tabs on his same hulled 21 Walkaround, and I think he uses 12 x 12.

Lately, I'm hearing Lenco's are superior equipment, and easier to install and operate.

Tabman posted 01-21-2003 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tabman  Send Email to Tabman     

12” x 12” or M120 10” x 12” Tabs would be good choices for your Outrage. As far as where to get the best price, I will leave that up to others since I cannot really recommend any specific dealer.

Please let me know if I may be of any assistance.

Tom McGow
Bennett Marine

tflyer posted 01-21-2003 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for tflyer  Send Email to tflyer     
I asked the same question last year. Tabman recomended the Bennett M-120 tabs for my '25. I went for it and they are great, made it a whole new machine, love em! Installation was quick and easy and the Bennett customer support was the best. I found the best price at Sorry, but no experiance w/ Lenco's...Tom
lhg posted 01-22-2003 06:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Not trying to start any trim tab wars here. I only mentioned Lenco because my good friend Kingfish, whose opinion I respect, really likes the simplicity of his Lenco's on his 22 Outrage. Another good friend, Backlash, whose opinion I also respect, really likes the Bennetts on his Whaler.

Me - I'm not a trim tab fan, and don't have them on either Whaler. So maybe I should just stay out this, and let these guys do the talking. I think you should search the Forum for considerable previous discussion on this subject.

kingfish posted 01-24-2003 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Here is a link to the latest edition (before this thread) on the topic-
Steve (Backlash) has the convenience of places to put a hydraulic pump in his 21WA; the only place I could put a hydraulic pump in my Outrage 22 is the splashwell or the console, and neither of those options appealed to me. *And* all the things Larry said...


doobee posted 02-03-2003 12:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
Lenco makes sense if you have no place to mount a hydraulic pump.

However, when the electric motor in the lenco actuator dies, it is more expensive than a Bennett pump(remember,there are 2 lenco motors, and when one goes the other is probably close behind). When the lenco motor dies, it will remain stuck in that position until you replace it (the Bennetts retract). When the lenco dies, you will have to pull the boat out of the water to replace it. Bennett pumps can be repaired/replaced on board.

Notice I used the word "when".

whale on!

kingfish posted 02-03-2003 12:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
What I noticed were the inaccuracies and suppositions in your post. If you have had personal, first hand experience with Lencos *or* Bennetts, I wonder if you'd share those experiences with us. Are you a sales rep for Marine-related equipment?
Louie Kokinis posted 02-03-2003 05:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    

I have factory Bennett’s on my 22, but notice that many manufacturers have recently gone to electrics (including Whaler). Kind of gets me thinking that the new technology may be better? (I also have no to reason to believe that John is stating anything but the truth with his repeated praise of the Lenco’s.)

Having said that, I rarely use my tabs, Larry doesn’t seem to miss them, and I’ve always thought smaller Whalers don’t need them anyway.

I feel the best thing to do is to try both before buying anything.


PS After John’s repeated praise I will definitely check Lenco’s ‘when’ my Bennett’s bite the bullet. He has nothing to gain by promoting them, so I would suggest we all give them a shot when we need new tabs.

Tabman posted 02-03-2003 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tabman  Send Email to Tabman     
I “hang out” at the Classic Whaler site. I have an abiding interest in classic Whalers, having grown up in them, and as some of you know I am looking at purchasing an older Outrage.

As you would suspect I watch threads about Trim Tabs very carefully and sometimes participate. I want to avoid the perception that I am spamming here so let me know if my comments are unwelcome. Normally I will post only about Bennett Trim Tabs or Trim Tabs in general.

I would like to talk about some things that have been brought up in this thread and others. There is a perception that Lenco Trim Tabs are “new technology”; actually Electro Mechanical Trim Tabs now known as Lenco have been around since the mid 1970’s. Back then they were known as Hummel. They are virtually the same system as today. I believe the Lenco system is actually older than the system we currently manufacture.

Boston Whaler currently uses both Bennett Trim Tabs and Lenco. Lenco is used on the Outrage series, Bennett on all others. Recently several boat builders have returned to Bennett after using Lenco.

Thanks for letting me present here and I hope this is received as I intended it to be.

Tom McGow
Bennett Marine

Backlash posted 02-03-2003 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

As previously stated, I have Bennetts on my 21 Walkaround which I installed in 1993. In 1994 the hydraulic pump when out and Bennett promptly replaced it under warranty. Since then I have had no problems and really like them.

I believe Whaler installed 9 x 9 Bennetts on the 21 Outrages which are definitely too small. I installed 9 x 12's, but would recommend the 12 x 12 tabs for your 21.

As far as I can tell, the biggest difference between Bennett and Lenco is that one is hydraulic and the other is electric. I don't believe one is any easier to install than the other. As John stated, the Lenco does not use a hydraulic pump so there is one less thing to mount...a consideration if space is at a premium. On your 21 there should be more than adequate space for the pump in your console. It should be mounted out of the weather.

The choice is yours. I like my Bennetts and their customer service is excellent, and I know John is very happy with his Lencos.


Louie Kokinis posted 02-03-2003 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    

I hope that I didn’t offend you with my post, and HAVE NOT had problems with my Bennett’s.

I also didn’t realize electric tabs where old technology, or that manufacturers are now removing them. John is very pleased with his Lenco’s, and his constant praise has given me reason to at the very least check into them.

I feel that your post here is positive and admirable. Many manufacturers lurk, but few actually participate

kingfish posted 02-03-2003 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Hi, Steve-
As I've said somewhere here before, you're the guy whose input started me on the path to tabs to begin with; thanks again for that input.

I guess I need to clarify my remarks about the Lenco tabs being easier to install; the discrete tabs and actuators are the same thing really, so far as installation is concerned. On both makes the hinge plate is screwed into the hull, the lower end of the actuator is anchored to the tab, the upper end of the actuator is attached to a bracket that is in turn screwed to the hull, and a hole is drilled throught the transom for the electric cable or the hydraulic line, or the cable or line is run through a pre-existing hole or draped over the transom.

What is different is what comes next. From this point with Lencos, the two cables are routed up to the back of a switch on the console, and power is run from an appropriate source to the back of the switch. End of story. No installation, plumbing or wiring of a pump, no filling with hydraulic oil or bleeding.

There are simply fewer things to install and fewer things to adjust or monkey with, hence my remarks about the Lenco install being "easier".

I am also surprised to find that the electric technology of the Lenco tabs pre-date the current system that Bennett uses. I don't know precisely what that means, whether Bennett has updated their systems from time to time even though they've always been hydraulic or what, but I'll have to take Tom's word for it.

Probably the more operative notion is that the Lenco electric technology is new to me (and I think to the vast majority of the "tab-buying public") compared to the hydraulic technology of the Bennetts, for at least some of the reasons I stated in a post in another thread, the text of which I have copied below in quotation marks. (And my apologies to the Energizer bunny!)

I have to admit to some ambivalent feelings about your potential for conflict of interest that I can't quite put my finger on. Your contributions seem to be well-meaning but there's no denying that CW is a captive market pool to one degree or another. No else seems to be bothered by that dynamic though, so I'll have to chalk it up to my innate contrary nature and consider it my problem. I am sure you are aware however, that some boat manufacturers have changed from Bennett to Lenco and have very happily stayed there.

A boat does *not* have to be taken out of the water in order to replace a Lenco actuator, if that were ever a necessity.

Notice I used the word "if".

I have taken the liberty to quote the text below from another thread in which I tried to objectively state what I know about Lenco trim tabs.


"There is a *lot* of input on trim tabs here on the site that you could search and scroll through - this has really become repetitive though, and for some reason more than a little bit of unnecessary banner waving seems to be developing. I'm not sure I get it.

"Anyway, I have electrics (Lencos) on my Outrage 22 and on a 25' pilothouse "other" boat, both by choice and one pair installed by me (I had the other done at the factory). There are a couple of issues of comparison that I found to be of interest to me. Others' "mileage may vary" as they say.

"Lenco (which is sort of the generic for electrics as Bennett is for hydraulics) tabs are easier to install, which translates into less dollars up front if you pay someone else to do the work.

"Lencos are a simpler system with less parts to the system, so there are fewer things to go wrong and fewer things to have to find room for. I did not want to give up space for a hydraulic pump on my center console boat.

"Lencos operate significantly more quickly and crisply than hydraulics; I don't know that quicker (or slower) is better, but I know I like it better.

"The Lencos have operated flawlessly on both boats for two seasons and I have no reason to believe they won't operate that way for many more. I have no knowledge of any better warranty on one than on the other, (there might be, I just don't know); it does seem possible to me that if something has less parts to break and/or just keeps on trucking like the Eveready bunny, a "better" or "worse" warranty is sort of a non-issue.

"Bennetts have been around for a long time and because they were almost the only game in town for most of that time, they were fortunate enough to develop some huge name recognition. A lot of people have been putting them on a lot of boats for a long time and they are apparently a good product with good support.

"Lencos have only been around a relatively short time, are a completely different technology (electric as opposed to hydraulic), and are trying to and succeeding in carving out their share of the market. There is at least one well-known and well respected boat manufacturer who has opted to stop installing Bennetts as a factory option and install Lencos. They are also a good product with good support.

"The moral to the story is that you have choices available to you that people needing trim tabs just didn't have a few short years ago. Consider your options and go - I doubt a bad decision can be made."

alkar posted 02-06-2003 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
With all the experience this group has with trim tabs, I'm hoping somebody will be familiar with the Nauticus "self-adjusting" tabs. There's also a similar product called "Mobster Tabs". Both products exert a fixed amount of down-pressure that becomes less significant as boat speed increases. (They cost about $175, depending on boat size.) Any thoughts?
doobee posted 02-08-2003 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     

Somewhere in one of these threads I said you can't insult a man's woman, his children, or his boat. Apparently I should also include trim tabs. If I have made any misleading statements, I apologize. However, kingfish wasn't too specific, so I'm not sure what is innaccurate and what is supposition.

Yes I am a marine sales rep, and I have been one in some way shape or form for the past 23 years. I came to this site because I recently bought a 25' Revenge, and despite the fact I worked at Whaler for several years, I have still learned a lot from this site.

Because I have some experience in the marine industry, I'm happy to share it with you. I certainly wouldn't plug any product unless I would use it on my own boat, and I certainly won't make any statement I can't back up. I do not sell direct to the public and I am not likely to derive any benefit from plugging anything on this site. I do spend the majority of each day meeting with marine professionals, sharing information about thousands of products, including trim tabs. I do have a tremendous amount of personal experience with Bennett trim tabs, and none of it includes a trim tab failure.

My comments about Lenco are based on the first hand experience of my dealers and from factory reps that promote their products. I service over a hundred dealers, 2 or 3 speak favorably of Lenco.

So far, the only specific criticism I can address is the claim about hauling a boat. On most boats the actuator is fully submerged, and unless you haul, hoist, or beach the boat I don't see how this can be done without compromising the wiring, and flooding the hull. I have very recently been told this same thing by several dealers. I'll look at a set of installed Lencos to see what I'm missing.

I did agree that Lenco Tabs were better suited to Kingfish's application, and I have stated on another thread that they are easy to install, however when you consider the overwhelming odds against an electric motor submerged in a marine environment, I suspect Lenco will cost you more in the long run.

When I put trim tabs on my Whaler they will be Bennetts.

kingfish posted 02-08-2003 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I appreciate your response - and I apologize if I came off as overly sensitive.

However I have yet to see a tab installation on a standard transom Whaler at least, in which the upper actuator bracket (where the transom would be drilled for a cable or line, if drilled at all) of either make of tab is submerged when the boat is at rest. The lower actuator bracket is attached to the tab (similar to Bennetts, I believe) with machine screws that are removable, and the actuator is attached to the bracket with a removable delrin pin. The cabling on a Lenco is sealed into the end of the actuator so (and here would be a gripe if I were to have one), if the actuator is to be changed, the cabling has to be un-routed and the new cabling re-routed. But there is no electrical connection exposed to water.

So far as protection from water intrusion into the actuator and reliance upon the piston seals is concerned, that *is* critical to Lenco, and I would have to think the same would be true of Bennetts also. On the former we'd have an electrical malfunction upon water intrusion, and on the latter we'd have hydraulic oil loss into the water and/or contamination with water inside the hydraulic system; bad deal either way, and I presume necessitating the removal, at least temporarily, of the actuator be it Bennett or Lenco.


doobee posted 02-10-2003 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     

You have valid points. Having looked at the transom of my 25 RWT, it now appears obvious that it would take a larger boat to submerge the actuator.

My experience at West suggests that the weak point on Bennett is not the actuator, but the hydraulic pump itself. I sold a lot more pumps, than actuators.

The pump is more expensive than a Lenco actuator, but some of the pump components are less expensive.

Thanks for clarifying.

WHale on!

kingfish posted 02-10-2003 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

You're welcome, and thank *you* for clarifying-


John W posted 02-10-2003 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
I've had Bennet's for yearsand they have been flawless. I don't know of any specific mounting difficulties with the Outrage model in question, but I can tell you that installing a set of Bennett tabs is not particularly expensive or complicated. The hydraulic pump is small and the hydraulic lines don't take up that much more room than power wires would.

I like the Bennet design because I've never liked the idea of having electric motors sitting in the water...particualrly if the boat is kept in-water. I'm sure Tom can correct me if this isn't true, but it's my understanding that Bennet made electric tabs several decades ago before switching to hydraulic...the advantage being to put the electric components (the hydraulic pump) away from the water, instread of in it. I've got friends who have had the Lenco's, and they've worked fine for them as well...I imagine both brands work well. But I wouldn't hesistate to buy Bennett tabs again.

In any case, I can tell you that I've never found a boat-related company that was easier to work with than Bennett. When I bought mine, it turned out I needed smaller size actuators for my 9"x 12" tabs, in order to avoid them hitting my swim platform. I called Bennett, and they mailed me a set of new actuators, postage paid, and asked me to simply mail them the originals once my installation was complete! I had bought them through a catalog, and Bennett didn't even ask for a reciept, credit card #, or anything. Top notch customer service in my opinion.

bocaspiff posted 02-11-2003 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for bocaspiff  Send Email to bocaspiff     
John W
I bet you'll continue to find great support from Bennett.

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