Trim Tabs with Timmy Stenlake
Dometic Marine ambassador Timmy Stenlake recently completed a full boat build, not a project for the faint hearted. Fitted with a full suite of Dometic Marine products, a few months on from the completion of his epic boat build, and a few offshore adventures later, we caught up with Timmy to hear about the products he has well and truly put to the test.
You can follow Timmy’s most recent adventures and see his entire boat build on his YouTube and on Instagram at @timmyturtle_official.
Your new boat is fitted with several Dometic products, including our Dometic Trim Tabs. Can you give us an overview of how you’ve found the Trim Tab system?
The Dometic Trim Tabs have been an awesome addition to the boat. Didn’t think I would be using them as much as I have in the 6 months since getting the boat on the water! Every trip is different, from packing the boat full of gear to the number of passengers and conditions. The trim tabs have come in handy making the boat feel safer by being able to level it out in any conditions the weather has thrown at me.
For someone who previously hadn’t considered the installation of Trim Tabs on their boat, what are some surprising benefits you would tell them about or your most used features of the system?
Being a rear centre console, the weight in the back of the boat has a lot more effect on the lean of a boat than the weight at the front. Passengers sitting with me at the back can throw the boat off balance a lot while travelling. Also, the prop torque of the 300hp motor on the back always leans the boat to the left when taking off. Depending on how many revs the motor is at depends on how much the boat leans. This is something I didn’t take into consideration, having never owned a big boat before. I am constantly on the trim tabs adjusting the roll and making sure that the boat is perfectly level. If not, it can feel very unsafe when navigating tough conditions with a boat always on the lean.
Did you install the Trim Tabs yourself? How did you find the installation process?
Yes, I did the full installation of the Trim Tabs myself, everything apart from wiring the power to the bus bar under the console. As someone who has never fit a large boat out before, I found the installation process quite easy. The installation manual that came with the trim tabs was extremely easy to follow. It explains every part of the set-up process perfectly, and even someone with no previous experience would find the process easy.
One of the Dometic Trim Tabs key features is the hole shot mode. Have you used this feature? If so, how do you find it in comparison to manual tab adjustment?
Yes, I’ve used it many times fishing the sand or reef flats or shallow creeks. Very handy knowing the skeg of your engine is safe when taking off even when the sounder is reading less than a metre of water. Also, no loss in vision taking off with the hole shot mode keeping the nose of your boat down. The engine also feels like it doesn’t work as hard with less revs requiring it to get to the plain quicker.
The intuitive dial controller on the tabs is the most talked about component of the Dometic Trim Tab system. For someone who has not experienced using a dial adjustment for tabs before, can you explain how it differs from a more “traditional” trim tab adjustment process you see with other brands?
I haven’t used many trim tab controllers before owning my own boat and having Dometic Trim Tabs installed, but I do find it super easy to operate with a grab and twist to whatever direction you want your boat to lean. I find that I don’t even have to look where the dial is or the lights on the dial; it’s more about just getting to know the boat and how far you need to twist the dial. This makes it perfect to use in rough conditions when you don’t want your eyes off the waves in front of you and you don’t want your hands off the throttle for long trying to adjust your tabs. Whether it's fine or big adjustments, it’s super easy for both with a no-fumble approach!