A guide to outboard trimming
If you're looking buy a Quintrex boat, learning to drive it can be something of a challenge. Mastering the steering and throttle is fairly easy - they function pretty much the same as they do in a car. The trouble comes with getting your head around trimming, as there's no similar concept involved in driving a car.
How do you trim your outboard motor and why is it so important?
What is trimming and why is it important?
Trim refers to the angle of the propeller shaft relative to the boat. When the boat is stationary and the shaft is parallel with the surface of the water, that's known as neutral trim.
The prop shaft's angle is important because it directs the power from the engine. Changing this angle changes what direction the boat is pushed: when the powerhead is as close as possible to the transom, the propeller shaft is pointing up, which will push down the stern and lift the bow up. When the powerhead is as far from the transom as possible, the propeller shaft is pointing down, which will lift the stern and push the bow down. It functions like a see-saw, with the midpoint between the bow and the stern being the pivot point.
To remember, just think 'prop down, bow down - prop up, bow up'. It can be difficult to wrap your head around but it's something that, like learning to back a boat, is best mastered by doing. Once you get used to the way the boat responds to how you move the trim lever, it'll become like steering and you won't even need to think about it.
How to trim your boat
To get on plane, trim the engine all the way down. This will help force the bow into the water, digging in and consequently getting it on plane sooner. If you trim up too much, the force is going to push your bow high into the air, making it harder to get on the plane. Once you're up, you'll want to start trimming up again, to the point where the wakes from the side of the boat are minimised.
Don't trim too far, however - too much and the engine will start to suck in air. Watch the tell-tale stream to make sure water's still coming out or listen for the engine note suddenly becoming much higher in pitch - if it does, that can be a sign air is being sucked in. When you test drive a boat, this can be a good chance to get a handle on how you need to trim for the best performance.
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