how trim tabs work

Boaters will enjoy many performance and efficiency benefits by adding Lectrotab trim tabs. Lectrotab trim tabs improve fuel efficiency, increase boat speed, accelerate shallow water planing, eliminate porpoising, and enhance the overall boating experience with a more comfortable ride.

Improved Fuel Efficiency and Faster Speeds

Most importantly, the trim tabs may be adjusted to optimize speed and fuel efficiency. Typically, the bow rides high causing the stern to drag in the water at cruising or lower speeds. A boat owner will attempt to correct this problem by trimming his outdrive down to bring the bow down. This adjustment is extremely inefficient and reduces boat speed and increases fuel consumption, because trimming of the outdrive pushes water down to allow the transom to rise and bow to lower. In this scenario, the outdrive is not only propelling the boat forward but it is also pushing the bow down. The most efficient way to operate the boat is to adjust the tabs to maximize boat speed and level. The outdrive may then be adjusted so the prop shaft is parallel to the water to maximize the thrust to push the boat forward.

Faster Planing

For shallow water starts, trim tabs allow the boat to get up on plane faster. Faster planing can be accomplished by lowering the tabs to the fully deployed position. As the boat achieves plane, trim tabs may be raised until the boat is level.


Occasionally, an uneven load distribution or certain speeds will cause the boat to "porpoise". This problem can easily be corrected by deploying both trim tabs simultaneously a few degrees until the "porpoising" stops.

Boat Leveling

Every boat owner has experienced passengers or equipment moved to one side of the boat, which causes the boat to lean to one side and leads to difficulty in handling the boat as well as an uncomfortable ride. Adding trim tabs to a boat corrects this problem by deploying the tab on the same side as the boat is leaning towards which levels the boat for a more comfortable ride.

Head Sea

Rough sea conditions can also be better managed with trim tabs. Typically in a head sea, the boat speed must be reduced causing the bow to ride high. The waves will pound and beat the boat bottom for an extremely uncomfortable and slow ride. Trim tabs can be deployed to level the boat out and allow the hull to cut through the waves for a smoother and more efficient ride.

A Beam Sea or Wind

A beam sea or wind can lead to a wet ride. To greatly reduce or eliminate the spray caused by waves or wind hitting the boat side, the windward side trim tab may be deployed to raise the windward side of the boat. Also retracting the leeward trim tab side may help.