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Thread: trim tabs?

  1. #1
    Master Chief Petty Officer mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    Default trim tabs?

    I would like a lesson on trim tabs. I know nothing about them, and little about boats. I have recently acquired a love for kneeboarding and wakeboarding, so I found a 19' Dixie ski boat with a 150 black Max that I couldn't pass up.

    The boat rides rough unless the water is glassy, and I assumed it was because it is light and I'd just have to deal with it. I've actually thrown my girlfriend two feet into the air while she was sitting in a seat on the bow :/. At maybe 30 MPH. From the little I've read recently about trim tabs, they may be able to help? As well as maintain plane at lower speeds to play with my wake some?

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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    Nature of the beast... Ski boats are horrible at rough water, they are purpose built boats that are good for one thing, and one thing only. They have almost no deadrise, and are designed to put out as little wake as possible. Tabs will not help, you already have lots of weight towards the front, stern lift will just force the bow further into the waves. Wakeboats have wedges, not tabs, which pull the stern down into the water.

    Since you mentioned wakeboard/kneeboarding, that by itself lends to some solutions. Get yourself some ballast sacks and start filling them up. At some point you should have a boat that rides somewhat better and puts out a much nicer wake. (at the expense of economy, but not like we buy boats for their mpg's!) The more extreme option would be to find a wedge to install on it to pull the back down.

  3. #3
    Master Chief Petty Officer mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    Okay. Can you explain adding a wedge in more detail? I am actually fairly happy with my wake,and I do plan to add ballast bags if I can figure out how to get them in there out of the way. I think I'd have to relocate my oil tank. But my main focus in this thread is just whether or not I can get it to ride a little more smoothly when I'm just joyriding. It'll beat me to death under the right conditions lol.

    I can't afford to have more than one, and I for this for 1500 and I couldn't pass it up! I have to own one and make it do everything I want to the best of its ability. My main interests are tubing, kneeboarding, and wake boarding. But I do enjoy going out and riding sometimes when I don't feel like paddling my kayak. I would love to own a deck boat someday! Thanks for the help!

    Also, sorry rereading your post some, the ballast bags can make me ride a little better? Makes sense, since I believe the reason is my boat weighs nothing. It has a tag that reads boat plus 6 persons and x pounds of gear =1260 pounds. I would like to learn more about adding a wedge like you mentioned. I'm sure my first step will be ballast bags after a wake tower, though. I recently added a trex composite decking board floor which added some weight I'm sure. Haven't had it out since then yet.

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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    @Smoking, I think the Dixie is just a normal runabout, not a true inboard ski boat. In any case, the tabs will help you get on place quicker and stay on plane at a lower speed, but it won't likely do much for rough water handling. There is only so much you can do with a 19' runabout in choppy conditions. You are dealing with low weight and short length in terms of cutting the waves, so slow down and cross the waves at an angle. The ballast bags may help a bit, but it's mainly going to help with the wake-boarding wake, not the wave-penetrating capability. It may soften the blow a bit though if you feel the need to keep running into them at 30mph. Trim up a little more to keep the bow up out of the waves.

    The wedge is an item that only works on inboards, so it's not an option for you. It is actually an attachment on the back of the boat which pulls the hull further down in the water to create a bigger wake. You have an outboard engine in the spot where a wedge would go.
    1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

  5. #5
    Master Chief Petty Officer mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    Thanks guys. So basically trim tabs wont help my situation much. At high speeds its not so bad even in rough water. And very low speeds. But at a medium cruising speed is when it can be a bother. Ill just live with that though. I just thought if there was something to help I wanted to know more. I need to post a picture, and find out exactly what 'type' my boat is classified.

  6. #6
    Master Chief Petty Officer mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: trim tabs?





    So what is it considered?

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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    The term "ski" boat is sort akin to using the term "Kleenex" for a facial tissue. Ski boat ends up being used for just about any 17-23' pleasure boat, with any type of powerplant/drive option.

    Technically, a tournament ski boat is a direct drive (inboard) boat which is especially suited for superior tracking in the water and maintaining the proper speed while towing a skier with the flattest wake possible. They aren't good at much else when the water isn't smooth.

    Your boat is more of a "runabout", which can be Inboard-Outboard or Outboard (like yours) powered, and is well-suited as the jack of all trades, master of none. Runabouts can pull skiers but the wake isn't as good as a tournament ski boat by far, can fish out of them, but they aren't a true bass boat/center console, can run in rougher waters with the use of trim on the engine but aren't offshore capable, etc.

    Really, it's just picking nits on the terminology. I know many people who just refer to it as a "ski boat" and leave it at that.
    1976 Mark Twain 200VBR w/Mercruiser 233 (Ford 351w) "Heart & Soul"

  8. #8
    Master Chief Petty Officer mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    Okay. I just wanted to be able to describe it as accurately as possible on here. Ill refer to it as a runabout from now on.

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    Default Re: trim tabs?

    yep, disregard my comments above about the wedge. (and to some extent, ballast) I had googled that boat and found an old inboard mid-mount engine ski boat with a similar name. The pic above, not so much.

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