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Are smart tabs the answer?


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I realize there are a few threads on this subject, but I wanted to verify the seemingly outlandish claims before I drill holes into a perfectly good boat. Appears that the benefits range from lower plane speed to quicker holeshot to elimination of porpoising. Is this what one can expect even on a 18 ft?

When I purchased my boat, it had a fancy whale tail :rolleyes:. Time to holeshot was only a few seconds,no complaints here, but I could only hold plane as low as 20-22 mph. Porpoising seemed to be a little exaggerated and more often than not I was having to trim in for extensive periods of time to smooth out the ride over broader areas of water. Removed the tail this weekend and little surprise, the ride was much the same.

The kids find the wave jumping quite exilerating but it makes for a long ride for the one behind the wheel. I know that some of this is to be expected in a shorty, but could smart tabs really lessen the effect that much?

Along the same vain, I would like to fill the holes left in the cavitation plate due to the wt? Any suggestions?

Thanks for humoring my retreaded question.

Scott

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Put Smart tabs on my '05 180 SSI 2 years ago. Planes out in the low to mid teens, smooths out the ride in chop, and eliminated the wander at no wake speed. Dropped the top end by about 2MPH but it's still the best thing I've added to my boat and substantially improved the ride and handling.

My next project is sitting in a crate in the barn. Ordered a swim platform from swimplatforms.com a couple months ago and have been waiting for the weather to cooperate, however summer comes slowly in Upstate NY. This mornings project was to brush the snow off the boat and cars.

Unlike some, I'm not queezy at all about drilling a perfectly good boat if I think I can make it better.

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They are the answer for your size boat- I suggest you order direct from Nauticus - ask for John-

(I didn't mean to reply to this specific post)

I can't speak to smart tabs however I removed a whale tail from my previous boat. I was concerned about the paint peeling off around the holes I drilled in the cavitation plate. I just bought 4 low profile bolts and washers with rubber backs that were just a little bigger than the hole. I put those in the holes & cut the excess bolt off at the nut. Wasn't the prettiest fix but I never had any paint peeling.

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This has got me to thinking about this.. What brand does anyone recommend? stay away from?

Thanks,

Chris

http://www.nauticusinc.com/ They do work as advertised. I would recommend going one size down on the actuators. Example, The chart from nauticus recommends I should use 80lbs. actuators. Had to send them back and get the 60's that work much better. I'm not the only one that has downsized his actuators. Others on here have and seem happy w/ the results.

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Thanks for the info guys, and sorry to hijack your thread, Scott. The smart tabs are non-hydraulic/electric, right? Can anyone speak to the benefits (sans cost) to using "smart tabs" vs hydraulic/electric tabs?

Thanks,

Chris

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Chris,

Here is the very little information I know.

Smart tabs are genearally used on smaller boats, I have a 22' boat & most people agree that my boat will benefit more from standard adjustable tabs.

Smart tabs aren't adjustable(other than changing actuators) so I assume their wuldnt be much help correcting a list from an unbalanced load (not a huge issue on smaller boats).

When using smart tabs they are always 'deployed.' Adjustable tabs can be adjusted from he helm while underway to correct porpoising or a list & I assume that raising the tabs when in smooth water will reduce drag.

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If you are willing to spend the deer then the elect or Hyd are certainly more functional- but with your size boat most of us would probably agree that would be overkill. I have had the tabs for several years and the best bang for the boat that I have spend anywhere on my boat

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They are the answer for your size boat- I suggest you order direct from Nauticus - ask for John-

Saw this thread and remembered, I have to call them.......so I asked for John....what a great guy, I had a question regarding my transom taper, I didn't want the ST's to "bind" and I was concerned with the 80# actuators, he said to send them back for 60#'s and to include a request for "2 eyelet end fittings".....according to him it will make it so they don't "bind".....awesome!!

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http://www.nauticusinc.com/ They do work as advertised. I would recommend going one size down on the actuators. Example, The chart from nauticus recommends I should use 80lbs. actuators. Had to send them back and get the 60's that work much better. I'm not the only one that has downsized his actuators. Others on here have and seem happy w/ the results.

Good tip. Just ordered 80s for my 18ft/195hp boat...according to the chart. What performance impacts did you notice with the excessive hydraulics? If the chart is a little off, I'd rather downsize now and work my way up if necessary.

Are others experiencing this as well?

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Smart Tabs are a great, simple and economical alternative for smaller boats. They're easy to install and require no maintenence, just check them periodically for function.

During the install you want to make sure of two things (preferably before drilling) after setting the tabs to the recommended angle (25 degrees from horizontal I believe).

1) As already mentioned, see if the lower pivot point is going to bind or hit the limits of the coupler. There is an alternative coupler, but it requires the actuator be mounted a little left or right of the tab centerline. My experience has shown that if this alternate couple is needed, then there's a good chance the install may also be affected by an actuator adjustment issue.

2) After the mounting points are selected, check to see if the tab angle changes when the actuator is swung through the tab adjustment holes. Remember, the tab is intended to stay at the 25 degree angle during this adjustment range. The adjustment changes the amount of pressure to move the tabs, not the angle of them.

TrimTabsMounting.jpg

In my application, the tab angle changed quite a bit between the 5 holes. I ended up altering the location of the adjustment holes in order to maintain the tab angle and have the correct pressure adjustments. I also ended up going with the 40# actuators as they allowed my boat to get on plane just as fast (15 MPH) as the 60# AND I lost no top end speed.

DSCN1274.jpg

Have fun! They're a great addition for smaller sized boats. :beer-7687-1:

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http://www.nauticusinc.com/ They do work as advertised. I would recommend going one size down on the actuators. Example, The chart from nauticus recommends I should use 80lbs. actuators. Had to send them back and get the 60's that work much better. I'm not the only one that has downsized his actuators. Others on here have and seem happy w/ the results.

If you are willing to spend the deer then the elect or Hyd are certainly more functional- but with your size boat most of us would probably agree that would be overkill. I have had the tabs for several years and the best bang for the boat that I have spend anywhere on my boat

Saw this thread and remembered, I have to call them.......so I asked for John....what a great guy, I had a question regarding my transom taper, I didn't want the ST's to "bind" and I was concerned with the 80# actuators, he said to send them back for 60#'s and to include a request for "2 eyelet end fittings".....according to him it will make it so they don't "bind".....awesome!!

+4 I have really enjoyed the improved performance. I did have to go from the 80's to the 60's for the optimum performance. Glad I made the move.

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Added the tabs this week (80#) and the difference couldn't be more dramatic. Thanks to everyone for there input. It will keep my boys from turning too green in choppy waters. Btw, John at Nauticus was a tremendous help.

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  • 2 years later...

http://www.nauticusinc.com/ They do work as advertised. I would recommend going one size down on the actuators. Example, The chart from nauticus recommends I should use 80lbs. actuators. Had to send them back and get the 60's that work much better. I'm not the only one that has downsized his actuators. Others on here have and seem happy w/ the results.

Hey Skiya, Did you notice much difference in the wake? My kids are just starting to enjoy wakeboarding and jumping. I would love to stay on plane going slower, but I don't really want to take away too much from the wake they are jumping.

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Wakes & jumps ? With many adults on board ? Get the cockpit electrically adjustable tabs. Any make you like will be fine. You will have lots of weight shifts during 1 boat ride. Flipping switches is faster than jumping in the water for pin adjustments.

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Put Smart tabs on my '05 180 SSI 2 years ago. Planes out in the low to mid teens, smooths out the ride in chop, and eliminated the wander at no wake speed. Dropped the top end by about 2MPH but it's still the best thing I've added to my boat and substantially improved the ride and handling.

My next project is sitting in a crate in the barn. Ordered a swim platform from swimplatforms.com a couple months ago and have been waiting for the weather to cooperate, however summer comes slowly in Upstate NY. This mornings project was to brush the snow off the boat and cars.

Unlike some, I'm not queezy at all about drilling a perfectly good boat if I think I can make it better.

Yep!

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Smart Tabs are a great, simple and economical alternative for smaller boats. They're easy to install and require no maintenence, just check them periodically for function.

During the install you want to make sure of two things (preferably before drilling) after setting the tabs to the recommended angle (25 degrees from horizontal I believe).

1) As already mentioned, see if the lower pivot point is going to bind or hit the limits of the coupler. There is an alternative coupler, but it requires the actuator be mounted a little left or right of the tab centerline. My experience has shown that if this alternate couple is needed, then there's a good chance the install may also be affected by an actuator adjustment issue.

2) After the mounting points are selected, check to see if the tab angle changes when the actuator is swung through the tab adjustment holes. Remember, the tab is intended to stay at the 25 degree angle during this adjustment range. The adjustment changes the amount of pressure to move the tabs, not the angle of them.

TrimTabsMounting.jpg

In my application, the tab angle changed quite a bit between the 5 holes. I ended up altering the location of the adjustment holes in order to maintain the tab angle and have the correct pressure adjustments. I also ended up going with the 40# actuators as they allowed my boat to get on plane just as fast (15 MPH) as the 60# AND I lost no top end speed.

DSCN1274.jpg

Have fun! They're a great addition for smaller sized boats. :beer-7687-1:

I like that team swim platform. Where did you get it?

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