Trim Tabs 101:

magicalbill

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”To the new Grady Owner unfamiliar with them, they seem counter-intuitive at first; press the starboard toggle switch, the port tab drops and vice-versa. It clears up when you realize what the tabs do.“

But when I think of what tabs do, they lift. I think of lifting the stern rather than bow down. So if you are listing to port you need to lift the port side, then port tab down which in my world, should be the port button. I suppose the “normal” way is all about down. Bow down, starboard side down, port side down While I’m thinking of lift/up. I’ve had the boat for awhile now but if I’m not thinking I still use the port button to operate the port tab and wonder why the list is getting worse. Maybe my brain is wired differently. I could always swap the connections I suppose.

SeanC:

Yeah, you think opposite of myself. I think of tabs as being deployed, or "down," since the default setting is up.

On my toggle switches, it says "Bow Down" at the top. Therefore, depress the starboard toggle, the starboard bow goes down. Same with the port toggle; Depress it, the port bow goes down.
 

seasick

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Seasick, I've never had the kind of delayed reaction you describe for tabs. I've had hydraulic Bennetts, from 12 t0 18 inches wide, on all my boats for decades. Never had an indicator. If I'm on plane, and I press a tab for one second, the effect is immediate. 3 seconds would be a dramatic change, full range is probably 5 seconds.
Full range on mine are close to 15 second . It may be their age, maybe they need bleeding. Maybe the 'hinges' have tightened up. They are 13 years old so it could be age. I know that I myself do move slower these days:)

I will add a task to my spring list. Tabs are recessed in pockets and a tad tough to work on.
 

magicalbill

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Seasick, I've never had the kind of delayed reaction you describe for tabs. I've had hydraulic Bennetts, from 12 t0 18 inches wide, on all my boats for decades. Never had an indicator. If I'm on plane, and I press a tab for one second, the effect is immediate. 3 seconds would be a dramatic change, full range is probably 5 seconds.

Here in may lie the difference.

On mine, I have to depress the toggle initially for a few seconds for the tab to being responding. Once it does start reacting, however, then subsequent adjustments are immediate, like yours. Once I fully retract one or the other, the process has to start all over again, and it takes a few seconds for them to start dropping.
 

magicalbill

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If you have a 265, leave the tabs up and don't touch them...just saying....

I have heard more than one 265 owner talk of the oddball handling characteristics associated with that hull.

Why they would respond negatively to tab application, I don't know, but Skunkboat is an experienced offshore boater, so if says leave them be, I would do just that.
 

glacierbaze

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Bennetts are self-bleeding. Run 2 or 3 cycles up and down, and they should be good. Might check your fluid level.
I have installed all of my previous tabs with the hydraulic unit at the transom, and short lines to the rams. This new to me Seafarer, which I am still getting used to, has the HPU in the forward cabin bilge, with long lines. I will compare cycle times to my Tournament 22 parked right beside it this week-end.
 

Blaugrana

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Thanks for all of the great feedback and glad someone started this discussion and the other one. I have been playing sea conditions and how I would approach various situations in my head the last few weeks in preparation of running the inlet and the ocean.

I have already bookmarked this thread and plan to revisit it when I eventually make my way out. Funny how I am comfortable and confident in the bay with the tabs but assumed their application would change in the ocean and bigger seas.

I definitely will be smart though and plan my trips in good conditions so that I can learn, plus want to make sure my 6yr old daughter doesn’t get scared as she is my favorite fishing partner in this pandemic.
 
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ilmmct

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This is a great thread. Very educational for this outboard and GW noob. I found this video helpful as well:

 

magicalbill

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Hey ilmmct:

I know this guy; His name is Eric Sorensen and we have conversed in person and by phone.

There is no better authority I know on Grady's, outboards, and, heck, boating in general. He's a great guy and a wealth of experience & knowledge.

He has other tutorials on YouTube and the Grady Site. He is also featured on some of the instructional vids on the Captain Grady App.
 
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Halfhitch

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Magic, I got a big kick out of your first post to start this thread where trim tabs came to the rescue and saved a marriage because years ago I had the opposite experience for which I am still suffering. At that time we owned a walkaround that was only 20 feet long and was a notorious wanderer at slow speed. No matter how careful you were to not oversteer, that sucker would not hold a heading. I discovered that if I deployed one trim tab fully it created enough drag to steer the boat slightly to that side. To counteract that steerage it required a little steering of the outboard to counteract that and by giving some resistance for the main motor to work against, the boat would hold it's head much, much better. Everything was great then when traveling through all the "slow bell" areas of the intercostal and all was well.......until one day, the Admiral and I were headed offshore and had about 20 minutes of "no wake" to deal with when I blew it. Of course with this new "trick" I had invented there also came the responsibility to remember to bring that tab that was fully deployed on one side back up to zero to match the other one before take-off. Well, twenty minutes is a long time for me to keep a thought evidently because when we got passed the "resume normal operation" sign I nailed the throttle and about the time it should have jumped out of the hole, the water speed gave that trim tab enough lift to flop the boat all the way over to the starboard running surface. The boat had a 20 degree bottom so that surface was our running surface. I had already realized what was going on and had my finger on the tab-up direction but Bennet tabs are gradual by design so it took a bit to get back to normal. To this day 10 years later if my wife sees me reach for the tab control she says...."What do you think your doin?" That's why I LMAO when I read your story. I have to wait till the Admiral is looking around to change my tabs. I even point out flying fish for her to look at sometimes.
 

magicalbill

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Half:

Great story! If it makes you feel any better, I can't hold a thought for 20 minutes, either.

If flying fish and other distractions are non existent, you can always shut your engine down, walk astern and peer over the transom for imaginary weeds on your prop. All the while, the auto-retract feature will bring the tab back up without her ever knowing it. Start it back up & carry on.

The timing's wrong with my move North, but if I was still near Cape Coral, we'd figure a way to get down to the keys to hang with KY & Smoky.

Here's hoping you have a great summer; This time of year, the Gulf rivals the Keys for color. Enjoy!
 

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Very interesting stuff here guys....thanks. I must say though....I have run Offshores for 25 years or so and IMHO they handle much better when you trim the motor to suit speed and conditions and only use tabs to correct list due to weight distribution or when she heels over in the wind. They can be near unmanageable otherwise.
 
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