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Keitha

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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).

Lucky,
I would say next time you're out while cruising: try dropping your trim tabs (assuming you have the Bennet tab gauge) one light on each side, then see how it reacts to motor trim changes. Then try "bow down" till you get two lights on the trim tab gauge and see how it reacts to motor trim positions, then try same with more "bow down" till you get three lights on the gauge. Get a sense of the ride and watch your MPG.
I really don't like the "Bow Down" concept that the Trim Tab manufacturers use. I conceptualize trim tabs more in Lifting the Stern - If you lift the Starboard side of the Stern, the Port side bow does go down but the tab is still lifting the stern. One thing many don't actually know is that the right Trim Tab switch (and gauge light) actually controls the Left side tab.
 

luckydude

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Lucky,
I would say next time you're out while cruising: try dropping your trim tabs (assuming you have the Bennet tab gauge) one light on each side, then see how it reacts to motor trim changes.

I've already made a mental note to do what you said in an earlier post, I'll reread that and make a plan. While I don't fret over getting the best MPG, I do fret over climate change so if I can stretch the gallons, I want to do that. Silly but a wise person once told me "it all adds up".

I think I've been sort of lazy, the last year has been a hugely steep learning curve for me, I like the simple "just trim with the engine" approach. But I'll play with the tabs, if they get me better MPG that's a good thing.

Thanks for all your insight.
 

SkunkBoat

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its very hard to make an assesment with all the possible variables..motor trim, trim tabs, props...

I think maybe what you are trying to do just doesn't make sense for a heavy boat. When you are going slow you will need the motors deeper.
As suggested, 4 blade props can improve heavy boats in rougher seas. They help power thru slop. They lift without the need for tabs being down. That comes at the expense of top end speed and a little mpg. Of course, tabs down kill speed and mpg too...

I would suggest raising your tabs so they do nothing and drive around all day using just your motor trim. Start with the motors trimmed in and then raise as you come out of the hole.
Get used to driving with no tabs. Then experiment with them to find when and where they actually help. IMHO people over-use their tabs.

As for it "Breaking free" I say let it go!! When I got my 265 I was just like you, trying to hold it back until I realized it rides better fast. I imagine, for its size, the Gulfstream also wants to go...

BTW...NO Grady wants to go 20mph.
 
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Rlloyd

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As PointedRose said, "...a wealth of knowledge...".

Thank you again gentlemen, for all of the deeply earned insight and knowledge. My initial statements were meant to reflect fuel economy - I figured that If I could stay on plane at 20knots that would be with lower rpms and higher mpg. I can see the point made where full tabs might keep the stern up but be grossly inefficient from a hydrodynamic drag standpoint. I guess I should revise my goal statement to: The best balance of mpg and manageable ride. One of the things I hated about the Cabo was that I had to be doing 22+ to be on plane, and that was tough from a ride standpoint, while going slower was tough from a fuel economy standpoint. While no Grady wants to go 20 knots, out here on Monterey Bay it's frequently pretty brutal to try and run over 16 knots. I really like the advice of starting with neutral trim tabs, and then seeing how the engine trim affects speed, and mpg; then modifying trim tabs slightly and playing with engine trim again. I think several trials of that will allow me to find optimum settings for different sea states.

Will share what I find out on this.
 

SkunkBoat

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one word of warning. If you come out of the hole with them trimmed all the way in, you have to start raising them asap or you will heel over and get squirrelly.

Starting off like that work just like tabs down.Lifts the stern and gets you on plane
 
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magicalbill

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if you are looking for MPG, an efficient running attitude is your key, obviously.

I agree with my colleagues on here that gradual experimentation is the best learning curve. My point is, and will be, to use them as much or as little as conditions and comfort level dictate. You will get lousy mileage sometimes. We do not buy these Gradys to save money.

Again, you are on a 23 ft boat in the Pacific Ocean. When it gets rough, drop the tabs. Your boat (like my 2007 232) is a "Widebody." It is short for it's wide beam. That will translate into a rougher ride than a boat with a narrower beam.

I will defer to those of you familiar with the offshore conditions in the Pacific. When I lived in Florida, we ran the Gulf Of Mexico regularly in my Gulfstream and my only answer to stop the thing from slapping and pounding in a quartering or head sea was to lower the tabs. A lot.

The Gulf had little groundswell unless spawned from a distant storm. Mostly it was a 2 ft localized chop, which a Gulfstream doesn't like. Deploy the tabs 1/2 to 3/4 down, all the way if it's really rough, and your day gets more fun, or at least manageable.

Skunk has mentioned his 265 Express doesn't like tabs. I have never been aboard one and he is a seasoned skipper so I will take his word for it. Gradys are different from boat to boat, even with the SeaV2 hulls. The 232 reacts well and predictably with tabs. As Kietha mentioned, the logic behind their application is counter-intuitive. The port switch controls the stbd tab, etc. Around the time I was discussing this topic with LuckyDude, I wrote a thread on here entitled Tabs 101, designed to take a little of the mystique out of operating them. You can "search" it on here if you want.
 

Rlloyd

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Great advice! So, I ran this weekend with no trim tabs, and just used the motors to trim the boat. Huuuuge difference.
I was able to plane at 19 knots in some slop at 3600rpm and hold it, with the motors on the second lowest trim setting. Trimming up further (bow up) knocked me off plane, and trimming them lower increased speed but made the ride squirrelly. At the 19knot/3600 setting, I was burning about 14gph. In statue miles, a little over 1.5mpg. I'm sure I can fine tune this more, but I'm pretty happy with this outcome.
Thanks to all for the excellent advice about using motor trim instead of tabs.
 

luckydude

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Great advice! So, I ran this weekend with no trim tabs, and just used the motors to trim the boat. Huuuuge difference.
I was able to plane at 19 knots in some slop at 3600rpm and hold it, with the motors on the second lowest trim setting. Trimming up further (bow up) knocked me off plane, and trimming them lower increased speed but made the ride squirrelly. At the 19knot/3600 setting, I was burning about 14gph. In statue miles, a little over 1.5mpg. I'm sure I can fine tune this more, but I'm pretty happy with this outcome.
Thanks to all for the excellent advice about using motor trim instead of tabs.
The other difference you'll find is that the boat slams you way less in waves.
 
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SmokyMtnGrady

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Guys,
The SeaVee 2 hull with it's variable dead rise geometry performs best when it's level. It took me a year to figure that out on the 228. Trim tabs are not for listing ,they are for getting the most out of the SeaVee2 design. It's the nature of the hull be it a 208 or 336 and everything in between.

I like to say the SeaVee is tab friendly. Part of running a 4 blade prop gives these boats stern lift thus getting the SeaVee 2 level. So,the tabs in my observation are critical. it takes some time getting her dialed in.
 

Holokai

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Great advice! So, I ran this weekend with no trim tabs, and just used the motors to trim the boat. Huuuuge difference.
I was able to plane at 19 knots in some slop at 3600rpm and hold it, with the motors on the second lowest trim setting. Trimming up further (bow up) knocked me off plane, and trimming them lower increased speed but made the ride squirrelly. At the 19knot/3600 setting, I was burning about 14gph. In statue miles, a little over 1.5mpg. I'm sure I can fine tune this more, but I'm pretty happy with this outcome.
Thanks to all for the excellent advice about using motor trim instead of tabs.
Sounds like you're at a good starting point with the motor trim; make note of the angle from your gauges and use that as a baseline for using the tabs your next time out. Repeat the process using only the trim tabs (leave engines as best setting from this past weekend) and see if you can get an improvement in the efficiency/planing speed/ride quality. Ultimately you'll likely have to adjust your motor trim from the "past weeked" position to find the best efficiency point for the hull but that's all part of learning the specific vessel.

Keep in mind that the best engine/tab settings will also vary with the ocean conditions and hull load/distribution. There's a lot of really good general advice but you'll eventually find out what works best for your specific boat. Best of luck to you on dialing in your new boat!
 

luckydude

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Sounds like you're at a good starting point with the motor trim; make note of the angle from your gauges and use that as a baseline for using the tabs your next time out. Repeat the process using only the trim tabs (leave engines as best setting from this past weekend) and see if you can get an improvement in the efficiency/planing speed/ride quality. Ultimately you'll likely have to adjust your motor trim from the "past weeked" position to find the best efficiency point for the hull but that's all part of learning the specific vessel.

Keep in mind that the best engine/tab settings will also vary with the ocean conditions and hull load/distribution. There's a lot of really good general advice but you'll eventually find out what works best for your specific boat. Best of luck to you on dialing in your new boat!

This is good advice. I think that the people who want you to add tabs in are people with multiple engines on the back of their boat. So they are stern heavy enough that just trimming the engines forward may not get your boat to the sweet spot (which I agree, the seavee 2 hull seems to want to run as level as you can make it without stuffing the bow). I think you have a gulfstream so dual engines, you may very well need to play with both.

One thing I've heard over and over is that your best mpg is where you want things. That's actually not true for my smaller single engine boat. I can get the bow where I want it with only engine trimmed all the way forward. I lose about .1mpg compared to the engine straight up and down. But I want the engine all the forward because it puts the bow where I want it.

All of this is specific to your boat. The best advice I can give is talk to other Gulfstream owners to see what has worked for them and ignore me :)
 

Keitha

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Trim Tabs and Engine trim are related, but they do different things. It's not about singles, twins, tripples... It is about what rides best in any given condition. If you are comfortable just using your engine trim and don't think you need Trim Tabs, then great - that works for you.
Trim tabs are used to get your boat "Balanced" in a given sea condition. If you are going against the swell, with the swell, in calm water, in rough water - you set the tabs for those condition. That may be no tabs or deep tabs.
Once you have them set, you really don't need to touch them much as long as the sea state is more or less constant. At that point, you use your motor trim quite a bit. When you boat is balanced, it will react to motor trim a lot quicker and more sensitive.

LuckyDude:
I think you are misunderstanding the MPG situation. The best trim is not always the highest MPG. If you are running in rough water, you want to be trimmed in to push the nose into the swell. That will certainly NOT be the highest MPG. You say that you want the "engine all the forward because it puts the bow where I want it." but you lose some MPG. This is the exact point where you should try lowering your trim tabs. Use the trim tabs to lift the stern/push the bow down, THEN use your motor trim to fine tune and make little adjustments as needed.
 

luckydude

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When you boat is balanced, it will react to motor trim a lot quicker and more sensitive.
I think my boat must be weird. I can move the bow up and down about 3 feet with absolutely no trim tabs in the mix. I've never wanted to push the bow down more than I can with the engine. I use the tabs but only to correct list. I basically do what the techy guy from Grady says to do when driving a boat like mine. I did switch to a 4 blade prop, it didn't make a lot of difference, some, not a lot.

I get that people with heavier sterns would not do what I do. I like what I do because I've got more experience (what little I have) getting things right with the motor. I just have some sort of mental model where that works for me. The trim tabs, mainly because I can't see the red indicators that tell you where they are (I'm red color blind), always feel like I'm not sure where they are. So I'm reluctant to use them (yes, I'm weird, that's well established). But I have a system that gets the job done for me, at least for the time being. I'm really not trying to rude or not listen to your advice, I'm trying to have the least number of moving parts that gets the job done. On the 228, the engine will get 'er done.

I suspect, as I gain more experience, in more kinds of seas, I'll come crawling back with my tail between my legs and say "OK, I'm ready to learn about trim tabs" :) So thanks for all this, I may mine it later.
 
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Keitha

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I think my boat must be weird. I can move the bow up and down about 3 feet with absolutely no trim tabs in the mix. I've never wanted to push the bow down more than I can with the engine. I use the tabs but only to correct list. I basically do what the techy guy from Grady says to do when driving a boat like mine. I did switch to a 4 blade prop, it didn't make a lot of difference, some, not a lot.

I get that people with heavier sterns would do what I do. I like what I do because I've got more experience (what little I have) getting things right with the motor. I just have some sort of mental model where that works for me. The trim tabs, mainly because I can't see the red indicators that tell you where they are (I'm red color blind), always feel like I'm not sure where they are. So I'm reluctant to use them (yes, I'm weird, that's well established). But I have a system that gets the job done for me, at least for the time being. I'm really not trying to rude or not listen to your advice, I'm trying to have the least number of moving parts that gets the job done. On the 228, the engine will get 'er done.

I suspect, as I gain more experience, in more kinds of seas, I'll come crawling back with my tail between my legs and say "OK, I'm ready to learn about trim tabs" :) So thanks for all this, I may mine it later
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Luckydude,
I mean this with all due respect, but do want to help control misinformation.
OK, Now I'm understanding you better. I only comment because I feel that you are giving (not the best) advice based on limited experience. I don't care if people listen to me or not, I am genuinely glad you have a system that works for you.
I feel that you are giving "advice" though that is a bit missguided. For example: You state that trim tabs are not needed or effective on "small boats with single motors" and that the Gulfstreams need them because they are bigger. This is just not accurate. You may have a solution that works for you and that is Great, but general use of Trim Tabs/Engine Trim would still be effective and probably the best way to run the boats - these are time tested across many boat platforms.
Grady White spent the money to put Trim Tabs on the boat for a reason. Like I said before, Trim Tabs and Engine trim do different things. Just because you can't see the trim indicator and chose not to use them, does not mean they are ineffective on small boats.
It takes a lot of time on the water to get to really know the feel of a boat and what it should feel like when trimmed well.
My only complaint about the trim tabs on the Gulfstream is I wish they were a size bigger.
 

Blaugrana

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All great advice...

Last year, I knew exactly how to dial her in for the best ride using a combo of motor trim and trim tabs. However, after installing a fuel flow sensor this off season, it has almost created a conflict of interest. My best ride definitely does not translate into the most fuel efficient ride. I find myself now balancing between the two, what makes the family comfortable while delivering the best fuel efficiency. The former always wins...

It was nice just listening to what sounded efficient and felt comfortable. More info means more data to analyze and judge...

Also, trim tab indicators are great but I don’t have them and have no issue. I know some guys count how many seconds it takes to get fully deployed and use that to figure out where they are. I reset them after every trip so I start fresh each time.
 

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I'm one of those who believe that maximum MPG, and maximum comfort/efficiency, are in a very small range. I run my boat, a 2000 Seafarer, by my fuel meter, and I never feel that I am sacrificing comfort, especially if I am sitting on my wallet.
I have never had 2 outboards, except on a catamaran, and that was the only boat I have owned in the past 30 years that didn't have trim tabs. If I bought one without, it had tabs within a week or so of buying it.
I don't use tabs all the time, but I do use them at some point, every time I am on the water. Tabs are drag, so before I add tab on one side, I try taking a little off of the other, to see if I get the desired effect. I have never had a tab indicator, and if I lose track, I raise both and start over.

There is no way I could run any boat I ever owned with the motor trimmed all the way in, without stuffing the bow, and bow steering like crazy. Cruising, I run with trim a couple of bars above 3, my hull breaks the water about half way to the windshield, and I get 3 mpg out of a 20 year old two stroke.
The motor wants to run with the prop shaft level to the surface, and any other angle is costing efficiency. With the motor trimmed all the way in, the only thing keeping the bow above water is the buoyancy built into the hull. You could plane a sheet of plywood across a smooth lake, with 2-3 hp and the right trim, but once you got over the hump with negative trim, you would be on a submarine. Think about the iconic Boston Whaler ad, where they ran the boat with the front half sawn off.
The Pacific may be different, and I've never boated there, but it would be interesting to hear how other west coast captains run their boats.
 
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Holokai

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Luckydude,
I mean this with all due respect, but do want to help control misinformation.
OK, Now I'm understanding you better. I only comment because I feel that you are giving (not the best) advice based on limited experience. I don't care if people listen to me or not, I am genuinely glad you have a system that works for you.
I feel that you are giving "advice" though that is a bit missguided. For example: You state that trim tabs are not needed or effective on "small boats with single motors" and that the Gulfstreams need them because they are bigger. This is just not accurate. You may have a solution that works for you and that is Great, but general use of Trim Tabs/Engine Trim would still be effective and probably the best way to run the boats - these are time tested across many boat platforms.
Grady White spent the money to put Trim Tabs on the boat for a reason. Like I said before, Trim Tabs and Engine trim do different things. Just because you can't see the trim indicator and chose not to use them, does not mean they are ineffective on small boats.
It takes a lot of time on the water to get to really know the feel of a boat and what it should feel like when trimmed well.
My only complaint about the trim tabs on the Gulfstream is I wish they were a size bigger.

Really don’t intend to gang up but I agree completely with Keith on this one.

@luckydude, you repeatedly say “don’t listen to me”, etc. but continue to respond with your own ideas. While your opinions are sound in basic theory, they do show a limited experience and your persistence in pushing your ideas comes off as dismissive of others who clearly have more and more applicable experience.

I get that we’re all learning here and while we may not always agree we should recognize when someone with more experience is sharing knowledge. This is not to say that your opinion is less valuable but for the sake of the OP I would defer to Keith and let it be. This is why I try to remind myself to shut up and listen when reading about electrical questions as we have a few very knowledgeable EE’s/technicians on board though I’m sure I’ve wrote some things that have left them cursing at me in the not so distant past.

I also disagree that the 228 is a light boat and doesn’t need tabs. One of the guys on island just got a 228 with a 250 and uses his tabs all the time to keep the boat planing comfortably and safely. He’s the same guy that had a 208 and fished it regularly in very rough water so I trust his feedback on how the hull handles.

As for my experience, I have a 208 with a 250 and find myself using tabs and engine trim all the time when on plane. I constantly adjust them based on whether I’m heading up sea, in the trough, or down sea and am still learning more about the boat every time I take it out. The water is usually rough to the point where we can only run on plane comfortably below 20 kts unless it’s a really calm day so for my application use of the tabs and engine trim are instrumental in staying on plane while maintaining a safe and comfortable ride.