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  1. Mike

    Thanks for another useful article. I’ve been boating fairly regularly for about 10 years or so–95% saltwater. I tend to set the trim on smoother water by trimming down just below where the porpoising stops. Is there anything wrong with that approach generally speaking? On rougher water–like offshore–I struggle quite a bit more with that. I don’t have trim tabs and currently run a 24′ deep hull boat with a single 200hp. Any recommendations on setting trim in those rougher conditions? It’s hard to gauge what feels more comfortable in situations like that.

    Thanks again.

    1. LRudow

      Sounds to me like you’re on the right path and I think you’re right, the rougher it is, the harder it is to figure out where the trim’s best. As a rule of thumb try getting the bow down a hair more than usual in the rough stuff, that usually helps a deep-V run smoother. Again, the best thing you can do is keep adjusting and changing, and feel for the best ride.

  2. Thad

    16 ft flatbottom- 60 hp w/jackplate 6″ up/ 6″ back, fishing is inshore so trim is mostly for smooth fast run and fuel economy. Too much bow down boat plows, too much bow up hull wallows. Both condition are high in “drag” and can cause awkward handling.
    By using tach adjust trim to angle that gives the least resistance to run. Bring throttle up to speed then adjust trim without changing throttle setting watch RPM for gain or loss. Peak RPM is the point of least resistance water to hull. Usually this is just before porpoising.
    With high jackplate in tight turns necessary to trim bow down to prevent outward roll keep hull flat.

  3. Mike


    I’m hoping you can give some advice, as I know there is likely not an absolute answer to this question. I’m considering buying a different boat, but the hours are a bit high on the 2001 Merc 2-stroke 225’s–about 1100 and 600 respectively. I’ve got reason to believe they were well maintained. I never thought I would consider a boat with hours this high. I would have them gone through by a mechanic before closing the deal, but I would appreciate your thoughts. Should hours this high make this a “no way” boat?

    1. LRudow

      Based on hours alone, no, I wouldn’t consider it a no-way deal. Plenty of outboards will run for plenty longer; I’d base the decision on the condition they’re in, and how well they’ve been maintained. (On hours over 1,000, I would for sure want to see the maintenance records, tho!)

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