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Trim Tabs?

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:41 pm
by 61SkiBee
As I get closer and closer (ever closer) to putting my '61 SkiBee inboard on the water, I am pondering whether to re-attach the "Trim Tabs" that were attached to the bottom of the transom when I got the boat.

They are just small aluminum plates with a flexible "fin" on the bottom that is set to whatever pitch you choose via bolts. Of course, there is no "set" left to them as the bolts are steel and are permanently bonded to the aluminum. Rather than mess around drilling them out, I just left them set the way they were.

A couple of seasons ago, I removed the "tabs." They were held on by six screws and, of course, the screws were steel, rusted away, and too long--poking through the board into the boat.

I thought the "tabs" might be affecting handling when turning at speed, so I puttied up the screw holes and tried it without them. Didn't seem to make much difference.

Anyone have any experience with these Trim Tabs? I believe their sole purpose is to help lift the tail out of the water faster and get up on plane easier. I can't really notice much difference, but it's kind of hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison with them off or on.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:19 pm
by k9th
Unless you are up for re-setting them, I would remove them permanently as they will probably end up contributing parasitic drag to the boat if left to move around freely on their own.

Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:13 pm
by 61SkiBee
Thanks for the heads-up. I have returned the old Bee to the water, and left the tabs as is for now, since I had no way of knowing how to set them up any differently, and they make dandy through-the-wood support for the bottom of the transom. They might get it up on plane a little more easily by providing some lift, but once I'm up on plane, they're clear of the water, so no drag when cruising. If anyone asks, I'll just call 'em "spoilers." They got BIG BRASS SCREWS now! :D

So far, the boat is holding up pretty well, but I'm woefully behind on finishing work. I'm afraid if I started that now, it would make for a very dry summer.

Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:02 pm
by k9th
Glad you got it resolved.. I agree, you have to do your boating while you can. The season for those of us up north is very short and you can always work on it through the winter.

Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:34 pm
by 61SkiBee

While nothing is ever really "resolved" on a 49-year-old wooden boat, there has been some improvement for now, I think

Speaking of putting boats in when you can, and how hard it is with a barely 6-month season up here, it's remarkable that Minnesota, at least in the past few years, has had more boats per capita than any other state, including all the coastal states. Heck, water skiing was even invented here. Keep those Norwegians cooped up all winter, and they yust go crazy when the water opens.