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Rlloyd

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New to me, 2003 GW Gulfstream 232. Previous owner is a good guy, had it for 10 years, but got tired and didn't use it much the last few. With 1050 hrs on the Yamaha F200's, I had them serviced, and found that there was little corrosion in the exhaust systems (the big worry), but the port motor needed a new trim/tilt hydraulic pump motor. $3K later, she's in the water, runs great, and I have an endless string of little projects I want/need to do. Have fished her the last two days around Santa Cruz and she handles great on the water, except: I can't seem to keep the motors trimmed out on plane below 25 knots. I really want to keep them at 3700, and about 18 knots but it either breaks free and they rev up to 4200 and 25+, or it falls off of plane and labors at 3200. At that point, I'm pushing the throttles to get it back up on plane again. In fairness, we're not talking smooth water here, we've had a close set 4' swell, and about 1' of chop. It's just odd to me that I can't keep the speed down and keep it on plane. I tried trimming it bow down, and that caused it to leap forward more, so now I'm trying bow up. I'm averaging about 1.5mpg on plane (with full tanks and 4 guys), but I'm sure it will get better fuel economy if I can run it faster. Suggestions? Nevertheless, as an ex-Cabo owner, I'm happy to be in the Grady family!

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SmokyMtnGrady

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I think the SeaVee2 hull likes to run around 22 or 23 and then it falls off the plane under that .The Gulfy is a beast and my guess is she has a hard time in that in between zone. You could try putting a pair of 4 blade props on her. I did that to my 228 and I can get the boat slow plane around 21 with it. maybe you could try that ?
 

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New to me, 2003 GW Gulfstream 232. Previous owner is a good guy, had it for 10 years, but got tired and didn't use it much the last few. With 1050 hrs on the Yamaha F200's, I had them serviced, and found that there was little corrosion in the exhaust systems (the big worry), but the port motor needed a new trim/tilt hydraulic pump motor. $3K later, she's in the water, runs great, and I have an endless string of little projects I want/need to do. Have fished her the last two days around Santa Cruz and she handles great on the water, except: I can't seem to keep the motors trimmed out on plane below 25 knots. I really want to keep them at 3700, and about 18 knots but it either breaks free and they rev up to 4200 and 25+, or it falls off of plane and labors at 3200. At that point, I'm pushing the throttles to get it back up on plane again. In fairness, we're not talking smooth water here, we've had a close set 4' swell, and about 1' of chop. It's just odd to me that I can't keep the speed down and keep it on plane. I tried trimming it bow down, and that caused it to leap forward more, so now I'm trying bow up. I'm averaging about 1.5mpg on plane (with full tanks and 4 guys), but I'm sure it will get better fuel economy if I can run it faster. Suggestions? Nevertheless, as an ex-Cabo owner, I'm happy to be in the Grady family!

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Beauty, congrats! I think Smoky might be onto it with the 4 blade prop. Regardless I’m sure you’ll enjoy! I’m in SF/San Rafael
 

Summertop511

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Bracket boats. Just their nature. Four blade props and a whale tail will get u lower on plane speeds.
I suggest a hub kit converter to mercury to a mercury rev 4 prop. One of the best four blade props. A lot of stern lift.
Also what is your motor height setting. Too low can pull your stern down also. Maybe try raising the motors up one hole.
 

leeccoll

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Congrats Rlloyd!

Great model :D

I think it is hard to keep on plane below 3800. Becomes a tug of way as you found out.

Hope you have many great years with your new Grady.
 
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Keitha

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Are you using your trim tabs at all? My 232 seems to ride well with the Trim Tabs dropped a bit.
 

magicalbill

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I owned your exact boat (circa 2007) for 10 years. You don't need 4 blade props. Here's what I believe is happening.

When you say the engines "break free" I assume you mean the props ventilate, causing cavitation?

If your wanting to keep your speed around 18kts, (20mph) you are using too much positive trim. My 232 with the factory 3 blade props would stay on plane at 18MPH with tabs almost fully deployed and engines trimmed down to 2 bars on the gauge. You are experiencing cavitation because you are trimmed out too far in 4 ft swells. (Mine would not stay on plane below 3300 even with tabs deployed.)

When you state that you tried trimming it bow down and it "leaped forward" I'm not following that? Again, you need the tabs as well. Trim alone won't get you to 20 MPH on plane.

Something is wrong with your numbers as well.

At 3700 RPM, you should be near 30MPH with twin 200's, trimmed properly; reasonably calm conditions.
At 4200, you should be touching 32-33.
Drop these stats a tad with 4 guys aboard as you stated, but you're still slower than you should be.

If 20MPH is your speed at 3700 given proper trim angle underway, something else is wrong. Mis-matched props? Bottom growth? Improper engine height setting?

One more thought: Once you get to that point where the Gulfstream falls off plane, the stern drops quickly, as you've noticed. 4 Dudes aboard will exacerbate that action and make it even more pronounced. Also, please keep in mind that the Grady is not your Cabo. It will ride rough in a steep chop, and is affected by swells as any 23 footer would be. It needs TLC with trim, tabs, and wheel to make it an enjoyable day in the conditions you describe.
 

Rlloyd

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Thanks all for the very thoughtful feedback. Much appreciated, and I'll try some of this out.

For clarification, I meant "it breaks free" in the sense that it leaps forward once on plane, and gets to 25+ knots and 4200 rpm very quickly. That's when I had the throttles up at 3800 trying to get to plane. Most of this was with the bow trimmed down as much as my trim tabs would allow. I think it rode a little better when I trimmed the bow up with the trim tabs. Throughout this, the motor trim was at its lowest setting, according to the Yammie gauge. I'm sure we'd be doing 30 knots if I could have kept it up there, but we would get beat up pretty bad at that point, so I pulled the throttles back trying to get back to 3800. I do agree I should be getting better numbers, but I want to try it out with less crew and cleaner water first to see how it performs in those conditions before changing anything on the props or motor setting. During the sea trial we had it doing 30 knots at 4200 with 4 aboard, but cleaner conditions. It also was registering 1.6mpg in that situation.

As far as I know, I'm not getting cavitation since I've got the motors trimmed low, and I'm not hearing any revving that's not associated with higher speed. Disagree?

The 4-bladed props are interesting. I had to do that with my Cabo because it was so heavy (27000lb displacement!) that it wouldn't get out of the water with a full fuel/ bait tank/ crew. If that allowed me to stay on plane at a lower speed, that might be a way to go.

No decisions yet, just all good input, and again, much appreciated!
 
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PointedRose

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Thanks all for the very thoughtful feedback. Much appreciated, and I'll try some of this out.

For clarification, I meant "it breaks free" in the sense that it leaps forward once on plane, and gets to 25+ knots and 4200 rpm very quickly. That's when I had the throttles up at 3800 trying to get to plane. Most of this was with the bow trimmed down as much as my trim tabs would allow. I think it rode a little better when I trimmed the bow up with the trim tabs. Throughout this, the motor trim was at its lowest setting, according to the Yammie gauge. I'm sure we'd be doing 30 knots if I could have kept it up there, but we would get beat up pretty bad at that point, so I pulled the throttles back trying to get back to 3800. I do agree I should be getting better numbers, but I want to try it out with less crew and cleaner water first to see how it performs in those conditions before changing anything on the props or motor setting. During the sea trial we had it doing 30 knots at 4200 with 4 aboard, but cleaner conditions. It also was registering 1.6mpg in that situation.

As far as I know, I'm not getting cavitation since I've got the motors trimmed low, and I'm not hearing any revving that's not associated with higher speed. Disagree?

The 4-bladed props are interesting. I had to do that with my Cabo because it was so heavy (27000lb displacement!) that it wouldn't get out of the water with a full fuel/ bait tank/ crew. If that allowed me to stay on plane at a lower speed, that might be a way to go.

No decisions yet, just all good input, and again, much appreciated!
Mine came with a 4 blade prop on it for the ocean. Also came with a 3 blade for lake Tahoe (I don’t have the towing capacity to get it there) and another 3 blade spare prop
 

Uncle Joe

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Thanks all for the very thoughtful feedback. Much appreciated, and I'll try some of this out.

For clarification, I meant "it breaks free" in the sense that it leaps forward once on plane, and gets to 25+ knots and 4200 rpm very quickly. That's when I had the throttles up at 3800 trying to get to plane. Most of this was with the bow trimmed down as much as my trim tabs would allow. I think it rode a little better when I trimmed the bow up with the trim tabs. Throughout this, the motor trim was at its lowest setting, according to the Yammie gauge. I'm sure we'd be doing 30 knots if I could have kept it up there, but we would get beat up pretty bad at that point, so I pulled the throttles back trying to get back to 3800. I do agree I should be getting better numbers, but I want to try it out with less crew and cleaner water first to see how it performs in those conditions before changing anything on the props or motor setting. During the sea trial we had it doing 30 knots at 4200 with 4 aboard, but cleaner conditions. It also was registering 1.6mpg in that situation.

As far as I know, I'm not getting cavitation since I've got the motors trimmed low, and I'm not hearing any revving that's not associated with higher speed. Disagree?

The 4-bladed props are interesting. I had to do that with my Cabo because it was so heavy (27000lb displacement!) that it wouldn't get out of the water with a full fuel/ bait tank/ crew. If that allowed me to stay on plane at a lower speed, that might be a way to go.

No decisions yet, just all good input, and again, much appreciated!

I think you may want to try to take all tab off and trim the motors up and down in the 3800-4200 range you mentioned...and see how she reacts. You may have had a lot of tab digging in and at least my Grady does not like to have the outboard in the lowest position. You will figure it out.
 
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luckydude

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I think you may want to try to take all tab off and trim the motors up and down in the 3800-4200 range you mentioned...and see how she reacts. You may have had a lot of tab digging in and at least my Grady does not like to have the outboard in the lowest position. You will figure it out.

I went through this with my 228, she was effectively the first ocean going boat I've owned and I was green as heck, didn't even know what "trimming the engine" meant so my first trip out I beat the crap out of myself, had the bow too high.

I've learned. Here's what works on my smaller 228. I only use the trim tabs to correct list. I set the boat up using only engine trim (which is what Grady's tech guy on youtube says to do, I know Magic likes to do combo). 99% of the time I have the engine trimmed all the forward to shove the bow down. The only time I'm not like that is a following sea with a short period so there is a chance you could stuff the bow. I'll trim to lift the bow in those conditions.

Ken at Prop Gods put me into a 4 blade prop. I tend to drop off plane at about 20mph, I think the prop brought me down to 19mph,
maybe 18 but it really wants to fall off plane at those lower speeds. I know I went out behind a whaler a month or so ago and his WOT was 18. I was riding his wake and kept falling off plane so went around him. 19mph it will stay on plane, just barely.

So I'd play with engine trim for a while. And you will figure it out. In less than 6 months I went from "Did I trim the what? What's that?" to I was coming back in from Davenport, following sea, and without thinking about it, just reached over and trimmed the bow up a foot or so. It was instinctive, that's quite a change from when I started.

Good luck, nice boat!
 

Keitha

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Trim Tabs are very important, not just in listing conditions. The trim tabs lift the stern and help level the boat. You don't want the boat plowing bow high through the water at lower speeds, you want the running surface of the hull to remain fairly level with the water.
Imagine when you slow the boat, the stern has less lift and wants to sink down. This results in a bow high condition with the boat plowing trough the water - using more gas. Once it "breaks free" it will shoot forward as you have been using more throttle to overcome the bow-high condition. By keeping the boat more level, you allow the bow to do it's job and penetrate swells ahead of you.
Trim Tabs give you more lift at the stern (much like flaps on an airplane) when used correctly - maybe 25% - 35%. You certainly Do Not want your trim tabs all the way down. That will go from lift to brakes by adding a ton of drag.

Once you have the trim tabs set, you don't have to mess with them too much. That is when you use your motor Trim - There is a reason the motor trim switch is on the Throttle - you use it quite a bit more. Once the boat is "balanced" using the Trim Tabs, the motor trim is a lot more responsive and can lift the bow or push it down into swells when needed. Trim down when going into turns to keep the full running length of the hull in the water, Trim up when you can to get lift and reduce drag/fuel burn.

With the boat out of the water, find out where your motors are trimmed neutral (level with the hull at the transom). I put a mark on my trim gauges where motors are neutral. That gives you a sense if you are pushing the bow down or lifting it.
 

luckydude

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Keitha,

I hear you but I've been following this guy's advice: https://www.gradywhite.com/explore/grady-owners/customer-tips/trim-tabs/

On my boat, a 228, I can move the bow up and down at least 3 feet just with the engine. So I tend to use the tabs only for list.
As the video said, if I had a lot of weight in the back or the boat was struggling to get on plane, I'd be fine with adding some tabs
into the mix. But, so far, my boat hasn't struggled to get on plane. Thank you, 250HP.

I think, on my boat, if I had the engine all the way forward and added tabs, I'd be pushing the bow down too much, that would get me close to stuffing it.

Whatever, I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, I'm just saying on my boat, the engine works great for trimming, tabs sort out list.
 

Keitha

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Lucky,
I think everything he said in that video is consistent with what I said - even had a few of the same analogies. As he said "If you can get away without using trim tabs, just use the motors..." The Gulfstream is a heavy boat for it's length. It has quite a bit of weight on the rear, especially with twin 200's on a bracket. Trim Tabs absolutely will help. Additionally, deploying trim tabs 30% or so will help the boat get on plane quicker by lifting the stern.
The guy on the video is just giving very general tips on using Trim Tabs. He's trying to get beginners familiar with the boat on a short video. What he said about using the motors to control bow is also consistent - what I added is use Trim Tabs to get boat balanced, then use the Motor trim to control the bow (that is why motor trim switch is on throttle - just under your thumb for constant adjustment). Don't take my word for it however, keep learning and experimenting in lots of different conditions. Pay attention to your gauges: Speed, RPM, and Fuel burn in different conditions and heading into or with the seas.
A good thing you can do is watch your MPG when trimming the boat. Get up on plane with tabs fully retracted and get to a steady RPM and speed. Drop the trim tabs a little at a time and adjust to keep RPM constant. What is happening to your MPG? If MPG gets better, when your hull is lifting and becoming more efficient. If your MPG goes down, then you are going too far and just adding drag.
 

magicalbill

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Keitha:

From what I'm interpreting, Rlloyd's goal is to run slower without falling off plane. As mentioned, I had a 232 equipped with F200's just like his. The only way to accomplish a slow plane near the 20MPH mark is to almost fully deploy the tabs and drop the engine trim to 2 bars on the Yamaha gauge. This action keeps the stern lifted so it doesn't plow bow-high thru the water.

I'm with you, it is an inefficient way to travel, as you're pushing water like an ore freighter. I only use this combination when I have a steep head or quartering sea that pounds the boat otherwise. Tabs are essential for me, and I use them through the complete spectrum. Each position has a place depending on conditions.

Plus, I went thru this with LuckyDude when we we're discussing concepts awhile back. You California guys have challenging sea conditions that will certainly affect all aspects of performance, running angle and efficiency.

It's hard to call the moves in front of a computer. Best practice for Rlloyd to keep taking his Gulfstream out, utilize all advice that's been dispensed here, and slowly figure out your personal sweet spot.
 
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Keitha

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MagicalBill,
We are on the same page (except I rarely deploy my trim tabs past say 50% unless its a rough short-interval sea I'm heading into). Especially when trying to plane at a lower speed, you need trim tabs deployed.
It's part of the fun - get out on the water and just experiment. Be careful in following seas - you don't want trim tabs and motors too far down as you can stuff the bow and cause the boat to veer off course.
 

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Keitha:

From what I'm interpreting, Rlloyd's goal is to run slower without falling off plane. As mentioned, I had a 232 equipped with F200's just like his. The only way to accomplish a slow plane near the 20MPH mark is to almost fully deploy the tabs and drop the engine trim to 2 bars on the Yamaha gauge. This action keeps the stern lifted so it doesn't plow bow-high thru the water.

I'm with you, it is an inefficient way to travel, as you're pushing water like an ore freighter. I only use this combination when I have a steep head or quartering sea that pounds the boat otherwise. Tabs are essential for me, and I use them through the complete spectrum. Each position has a place depending on conditions.

Plus, I went thru this with LuckyDude when we we're discussing concepts awhile back. You California guys have challenging sea conditions that will certainly affect all aspects of performance, running angle and efficiency.

It's hard to call the moves in front of a computer. Best practice for Rlloyd to keep taking his Gulfstream out, utilize all advice that's been dispensed here, and slowly figure out your personal sweet spot.

You guys are right, there is a lot more weight back there with dual 200s. I don't have any problem with you big boys have to do. I should have made it more clear that it was for my (much lighter) boat, I can get the job done fine with just the engine.

Keitha, I have played around with watch MPG as a mess with stuff, but only with engine trim. I lose about .1MPG with the engine all the forward, I'll have to take your advice and see if I can make it better. Coming in at about 32mph I believe I'm right around 2.5mpg (which is way less than what Grady says you will get but I'm in Pacific slop, I bet they do those performance tests on glass flat surfaces).