HOW TO TRIM THROUGH TURNS

Three tips for op­ti­miz­ing trim, per­for­mance and han­dling while cor­ner­ing.

Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR -

If emails to the edi­tor and anec­do­tal in­for­ma­tion from boat­builders and boat deal­ers is any in­di­ca­tion, a sub­stan­tial num­ber of boaters ex­press con­fu­sion about how to trim their boats’ en­gines or drives. Cer­tainly this ap­plies to get­ting on plane, ad­just­ing for load, trim­ming for ride com­fort or to suit sea con­di­tions, and more. Let’s review the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of how to trim an out­board or stern­drive boat through turns. —Kevin Falvey

1. INTO THE TURN While cruis­ing along, you’ll ap­proach the turn with your drive trimmed out (up).

This al­lows you to main­tain some speed and en­sures the boat be­gins track­ing through the turn on its after sec­tions. You do not want to ap­proach a sharp turn with the trim all the way in (down) be­cause that might cause the bow to dig in, and the boat the­o­ret­i­cally could spin out or even swap ends. In­stead, be­gin the turn at cruis­ing trim, and then “ride”

the trim switch down as you ap­proach the apex of the turn.

2. ROUND THE CURVE As the boat reaches the apex of the turn, you feel it be­gin to slow down be­cause you now have a larger por­tion of the hull length in the water. With the drive trimmed down, the stern is less likely to break out and you can ac­cel­er­ate safely, adding the rpm nec­es­sary to re­gain — or even main­tain — speed. The tim­ing of this de­pends upon the boat (boats

with more buoy­ancy in the bow might re­quire less trim) and sea con­di­tions (you’ll be go­ing slower with more nega­tive trim in chop­pier water).

3. OUT OF THE TURN

As you leave the apex of the turn

and ac­cel­er­ate onto your new course head­ing, you’ll do the op­po­site of what you did in Step No. 1. Ride the trim switch, trim­ming the drives out (up) while ac­cel­er­at­ing un­til you find your cruis­ing speed and trim. Of course, now

that you are headed in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion, you’ll be hit­ting waves and run­ning with re­spect to the wind dif­fer­ently than you were be­fore the turn. Ad­just as re­quired; there is no “per­fect” amount of trim for a given boat speed.

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