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Anyone tried Smart Tabs?

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As I'm looking at a new boat a few things concern me. I'm looking at 4S EFI motors (75 Hp on a 16 footer). One they're heavy (350-400lbs) and two they will have a slower hole shot than the 90Hp 2S Evinrude that I currently own.

I'm wondering if anyone has tried the Smart Tabs to improve holeshot and help correct for some of the heavy motor weight? Not as sophisticated as real "Trim Tabs", they use a gas charged cylinder to adjust for different boat speed. I think Cabelas sells these things fairly cheap and they look like a snap to install.

They also have a ProTroller Series whree you get both the Smart Tabs benefit and can lock them as a trolling brake. Here's what they say, "By simply moving a lever up and down, you turn the Smart Tabs into the most effective trolling brakes on the market. With the lever in the down position, the plates drop down to create equal braking on both sides of the boat." I'm wondering how much speed you'd drop with it engaged.

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Without knowing what the boat is or HP rating I'll say that with proper trimming and prop selection you shouldn't need trim tabs on a 16' boat unless your way under powered. Or need them to stabilize the boat at high speeds which most likely won't be the case here.

No doubt they'll help get you on plan faster to some degree but once on plane will you be able to get the correct attitude on the boat without trimming more then what would be necessary? As far a slowing the boat down at slow speeds. Compare the sq " of a drift sock over the tabs. I don't think theres enough surface area on the tabs to make much difference.

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I agree with Surface Tension here - if your motor is propped correctly and you trim it you should have no problem getting on plane and shouldn't require trim tabs.

Usually the larger, heavier 20' + boats require trim tabs, depending on their load.


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Thanks for the info. I'm thinking the boat will still plane out fine (1625 Rebel XL with Yam 75). Sounded like a slick way of slowing down during trolling runs. Good point though that a drift sock would be more effective. Bonus was the potentially quicker plane time. I would guess with these things that you lose a mph or two off the high end.

I won't know either (time to plane and min trolling speed) until I get the boat in the water. Hope to close the deal today after looking at many boats & mfr's.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Thanks guys, was out for 4 days this last weekend and seen the migration in full swing. Surprised on how many juivies with the adults. Seen them pushing as far north as Aberdeen. Did shoot a nice ross with a neck band and double leg band on Friday. Hope to get out this weekend again. Big thanks to all the South Dakota landowners for being so nice and allowing us permission onto there land for hunting.
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