Bennett to Lenco Tabs retro for Islander 268

kbartler

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#1
Anyone know if Lenco makes an Retro fit kit for a 2000 268 Islander? My Bennett trim tabs are leaking hydraulic fluid and I would much rather just retro fit with Lenco electric tabs.

The problem is that the islanders tab wheels are built into the bottom of the boat. I have no idea if its possible to go with a Lenco retro fit kit.

Has any one done this before?
 

DennisG01

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#2
Best thing to do there would be to call Lenco and talk to them. Might as well ask the experts.

What are tab "wheels"?

But, it seems like a lot of work and expense when fixing the Bennett's is usually pretty inexpensive. Most common reason is the inside nipple. Nothing wrong with Bennett's, though - the system is, for the most part, bullet proof and lasts a long, long time. Any product can have issues, but the number of people I know (including myself) that have Bennett's compared to Lenco's is probably something like a 30:1 ratio - and I don't hear of problems with Bennett's any more regularly than Lenco's.
 
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#4
kbartler said:
Anyone know if Lenco makes an Retro fit kit for a 2000 268 Islander? My Bennett trim tabs are leaking hydraulic fluid and I would much rather just retro fit with Lenco electric tabs.

The problem is that the islanders tab wheels are built into the bottom of the boat. I have no idea if its possible to go with a Lenco retro fit kit.

Has any one done this before?
Bennett makes a retrofit kit for our electric BOLT Trim Tabs. They have a lifetime warranty on the actuators. But it really depends on the Tabs that were fitted to your particular model Grady. We make lots of custom Tabs and actuators for Grady and don't always know what ones are on any model boat.

Is it possible that you could post a photo of your Tabs? Or you can email it to Tabmanhelp@gmail.com I suspect you meant to say the Tabs are pocketed into wells. If so that may make a retrofit to electric difficult with any brand.

Usually replacing the o-rings in the actuators will stop the leak. We would be delighted to send you replacement o-rings and instructions how to change them, no charge. Just private message me (or use the email address above) with your name and mailing address and we will send them to you right away.

I forgot to add, I'm assuming the leak if from the actuators (rams) if it's somewhere else please let me know and and I am sure I can help with that.

I hope this helps,

Tom McGow
Bennett Marine
 

kbartler

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#5
My Bennett trim tabs are leaking hydraulic fluid and I would much rather just retro fit with electric tabs.


Trim tabs Reservoir was empty of fluid so I Filled it up.

The Port tab works but is visible leaking when the boat was in the water.

The Starboard is working intermittently and more than likely is a bad solenoid in hydraulic power unit?

The boats tab wheels are built into the bottom of the boat. I have no idea if its possible to go with a electrical retro fit kit or what I need to do in this situation?
 

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#8
Hello Kyle,

As I suspected those are "short" actuators, and both the Bennett and Lenco electric actuator conversion kits will not fit in the pockets. I would suggest replacing the O-rings in them.

The solenoid valves usually fail completely, not intermittently. So it's more likely a connection or switch issue. It would be a good idea to inspect and clean the back of the switch (make sure all 12 screws are clean and tight, even if they do not have a wire attached to them). Also clean all the rest of the electrical connections including both ends of the black ground wire at the pump.

Send me your name and mailing address and we will send you the replacement O-rings and instructions, no charge.

Tom Mcgow
Bennett Marine
 

L.R.

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Tabman said:
Hello Kyle,

As I suspected those are "short" actuators, and both the Bennett and Lenco electric actuator conversion kits will not fit in the pockets. I would suggest replacing the O-rings in them.

The solenoid valves usually fail completely, not intermittently. So it's more likely a connection or switch issue. It would be a good idea to inspect and clean the back of the switch (make sure all 12 screws are clean and tight, even if they do not have a wire attached to them). Also clean all the rest of the electrical connections including both ends of the black ground wire at the pump.

Send me your name and mailing address and we will send you the replacement O-rings and instructions, no charge.

Tom Mcgow
Bennett Marine
This IS why I'll always have Bennett Tabs on any Boat I own!! Thanks Tom for Your Impeccable Customer Service!!
 

Halfhitch

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#10
Here's my Bennett tab story.

I bought a used boat a several years ago. Right away I noticed the fluid was low in the Tab reservoir so I filled her up and tried moving the tabs up and down to figure out how they had been plumbed. Right off I could see that one cylinder was leaking and it was due to a split in the lower part of the cylinder. I called Bennett and the guy ask me a few questions and ask if I would email him a picture and include my address. I did so and in short order there was a complete new cylinder on my porch. No charge. I thought "now who does this given I had told the guy it was on a used boat"? A couple of days later I started removing the cylinders to install sensors for the position indicator switch I had bought and when I removed the top of the leaking cylinder from the transom it snapped over about 3 inches to one side! I thought what hell? before I dismantled the cylinder I extended it all the way out and pushed it back over to where it had been mounted. Sure enough that binding action when it was extended opened up that split that was leaking. It was obvious that the failed cylinder was due to improper installation so I called that same guy back and told him what I had found and thought I should pay for that cylinder and the shipping. He said no way and he was happy that Bennett could help get me back on the water. He said he would appreciate it if I would consider the Bennett brand in any future purchases. I thought "who does this these days". Guess what, I have owned 5 different boats since then and guess what brand tabs I have? So in the future I would recommend, if you are ever trying to decide what brand to buy, take the guesswork out of it and buy Bennett. That's Bennett with a "B". :)
 
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#11
Wanted to leave this here in case any other Islander folks look to replace the Bennett hydraulic actuators to electric using the bolt conversion kit.

My 98 islander has the 12x12 tab plates and after ordering the conversion kit, the bolt actuators would not fit flush. After speaking with Bennett, I decided to cut 1/2" off from the metal fin sticking up in the tab plate where the bottom of the actuator attaches.

After doing this, the plate fit flush and the problem was solved. Photos are attached.
 

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DennisG01

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#12
Out of curiosity, what's the reasoning for switching systems? It seems like a costly venture when the hydraulics are generally very, very reliable - and pretty easy to fix, as well. Is there more to it?

Is than a rectangular anode block being used on the mounting plate for the actuator?
 
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#13
The old system was worn out after 20 years so the hydraulic system is definitely very reliable. The price of the bolt conversion kit wasnt too bad...off the top of my head somewhere between $200 and $300. This included the actuators and control box to work with the hydraulic switch. One other bonus was that the tabs return to a fully retracted position once the motor turns off.

I had electric actuators on my old boat which were very responsive and ran great. They seem to have come a very long way so I figured I would give it a go.

I think it's really a matter of preference and Bennett stands by their product. I believe the actuators have a limited lifetime warranty.

That rectangular piece is a zinc anode! I went ahead and replaced the anodes on each tab plate.
 

DennisG01

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#14
I'm familiar with the Lenco brand and there is definitely a difference in response time - they are certainly faster. My experience with those, however, was/is that they are not as reliable. I have no experience with the Bolts - I do hope they are reliable for you.

Bennett's hyrdraulic units can auto retract, as well, by the way.

Rectangular anode... is there an SS ferrule in the holes, or something like that? I've never used those. If there wasn't a ferrule, the bolts would get loose as the anode wore away. Truthfully, though, the tabs barely need any protection since they are not connected to the electrical system of the boat. That round anode is more than enough. BUT... are you other anodes zinc? If the others are aluminum, you should change that one to aluminum, as well.
 
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#15
Yea they are all zinc anodes and I believe there is a ss ferrule in the hole just like the round zincs. They are designed specifically for Bennett tabs. I got all of the anodes from boatzincs.com.

Fingers crossed on the reliability. I will surely update to this thread if I have any issues.
 
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#18
I would stick with the Bennet tabs but probably replace both actuators, tubing and the pump. Bennet's are reliable and the holes and wiring are there already. Check your wiring particularly the ground (not at helm - back at pump).

Besides I never liked the idea of putting an electric motor underwater and relying on the sliding shaft seals (marine growth).