It is amazing to note how many experienced boaters are unaware of how to use the trim tabs to vastly improve the ride – including professional boat test writers.
The most common example is the bow quartering sea situation. Deep-V hulls have an inherent tendency to lean into the wind. Say you are running in a bow quartering sea at about ten o’clock off the port bow – your boat will be leaning to port. You (and all your guests) will notice that the boat is slamming into the waves and creating much spray – to everyone’s discomfort. This happens because the slab side of the hull is making first contact with the waves, not to the hull’s V-shape bottom.
The solution is simple – use the trim tabs to make the boat level, or better yet, to roll the boat down wind a point or two. In doing so, the V is doing what it is supposed to do, and most of the spray will pass under the hull – not away from the hull and into your face! Sometimes a last second quick jerk of the steering wheel away from the bow quartering sea (or cruiser wake) will accomplish the same thing or further enhance a softer entry.
Too many boaters erroneously believe that the trim tabs main purpose is to adjust the bow trim only, thereby missing out on a softer, drier ride. Once you have mastered this, you and your guests are going to have a much more enjoyable day on the water. If your boat does not have trim tabs have them installed by your dealer if you want a better ride.