Boating Tips

Trim your boat with ease and finesse

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Getting the trim just right on your new boat takes a bit of practice, but we all know that practice makes perfect. And, it won’t be long before your boat is gliding across the water and you have become a seasoned pro at getting your boat trimmed. If you are unfamiliar with the different aspects of trimming your boat, ask a friend who owns a boat to take you through the various easy stages. Optimizing the ‘hole shot’ and generating peak efficiency from your motor through the careful control of trim will have your boat planing in record time and the earlier you get your boat planing, the less your fuel bill will be.


For the best trim to be achieved on your boat, the weight distribution needs to be correct. What this means is that the skipper needs to delegate where the passengers sit and where the cooler boxes and other accessories are placed for even distribution of weight. Too much weight on one side of the boat will cause it to steer badly and it will be a lot more difficult to attain the correct trim.


The methods of trimming a boat will vary from boat to boat, yet the general principles of trim apply to all boat. Many different factors affect how your particular boat is trimmed and these are boat size, hull shape, weight distribution, sea conditions on the day, wind factor and wave action. No day will be exactly the same when it comes to trimming your boat.


An indication of incorrect trim is when the bow is pushing water out in front of it and the hull is throwing a lot of spray. This is an indication that the motor is trimmed in too far. Conversely, when the outboard motor is trimmed too far out, the stern sets itself deeper in the water and the bow is lifted higher out of the water.


Getting to know your boat and how it gets onto the plane and trims is the key to your success. Practice as much as you can to find the sweet spot of your boat’s trim. If you drive a number of different boats, you will need to be accustomed to various types of trim associated with the different boats.


When the angle of your trim is too great, the boat will lose speed and the revs will climb because the propeller is not gaining the necessary purchase on the water. It is often necessary to trim the motors in during tight turns so that the propeller does not lose its grip. Trimming out for straight line running will give added speed without the need for applying more throttle.


Trimming your boat perfectly every time comes with practice. The only way to get that needed practice is to get out on the water and do your favourite pastime – boating, boating and more boating.


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