Trimming Your Motor – Get More Out of Your Boat

Trimming Your Motor

Trimming Your Motor is one of the critical factors that determine how a boat moves through the water.

Usually boats handle most efficiently when they move parallel to the at-rest waterline.

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Outboard motors and stern drives usually feature a power trim.

The thrust generated by the propeller moves the boat forward or astern. Adjusting the trim allows the driver to change the angle of thrust of the propeller or propellers.

The degree of the motor in relation to the transom alters the running angle of the vessel.

Trimming Your Motor

Trim In

Trimming Your Motor

Tilting the propeller in, that is towards to transom, exerts thrust that forces the stern of the boat upward. In turn this lowers the bow.

Trimming Your Motor

This will improve the ride in choppy seas as the bow will be forced through the waves. Pushing through the waves reduces the waves upward pressure on the bow. The ride will be smoother in rough conditions.

Trimming too far in will force the stern too far stern up which in turn causes the bow to be excessively lowered. This is often called "ploughing".

With the outboard motor trim position in, the bow of the boat digs into the water the boat becomes more difficult to steer. Excessive ploughing often results in waves crashing over the bow and into the boat.

In rough seas, it is best to keep the outboard motor trim position and reducing the speed of travel.


Trim Out

Trimming Your Motor

Trimming Your Motor by tilting the propeller out, that is away form transom, exerts thrust that forces the stern of the boat downward. In turn, this raises the bow.

Trimming Your Motor

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This often causes hull-slap where the hull is impacted up and down by the oncoming seas - both swell and waves. Often the stern is so low and the bow so high that visibility of the driver is impeded.

Often, when under tow, the preferred outboard trim motor position is out. Keeping the bow trimmed high makes towing significantly safer.

How to Trim a Planing Hull

Trimming Your Motor by tilting the propeller out, that is away form transom, exerts thrust that forces the stern of the boat downward. In turn, this raises the bow.

A lot of success in trimming a boat is experience and feel. Obviously there is not one answer for every situation.

Outboard Motor Trim Position

Changing the outboard motor trim position becomes second nature to experienced skippers. There is a certain feel to a well trimmed boat.​

There are certainly other aspects of trimming a boat.​ The outboard motor trim position is one of the significant factors.

Weight distribution is another.

Share your trimming experiences in the comments section below.