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November 28, 2011

Attitude Adjustment: Trim Tabs 101

Grady-White installs Bennett Marine hydraulic trim tabs, thanks to their reliability in adding to a great boating experience. Learn about trim tabs and polish your “attitude adjustment” skills by viewing these videos! Here are the basics.

What they do
Trim tabs are used to correct for pitch of the boat or side-to-side heel, to add lift at the stern when getting on plane, and to lower the bow once on plane. (See more.) They have no effect at low speed, roughly defined as below 10 knots. They have increasing effect as speed increases.

How they work
Trim tabs are controlled by two rocker switches that are individually wired so that the port switch controls the starboard side tab, and the starboard switch controls the port tab. For example, when you push the port rocker switch forward, the starboard tab lowers and the port bow goes down. Switches are labeled “bow up” and “bow down” to make the tabs more intuitive to use. Indicator lights show the angle of the tabs: the more lit, the greater the angle. At high boat speed, excessive tabs down can result in the boat bow-steering which means less control and efficiency.
Watch video “Troubleshooting trim tabs.”

How to use them
Usually you will want to lower both tabs all or most of the way to help the boat get on plane faster with less bow rise; then, as you gain speed, start raising them again most or all of the way. Customer Tips has more.

Engine trim and tab trim
Engines are trimmed to adjust the boat’s trim, or bow rise, to minimize resistance and maximize speed. Tabs are used to (1) get the boat on plane more quickly, (2) allow it to stay on plane at lower speeds, and (3) correct for heel to one side. Grady-Whites’ trim tabs automatically return to the fully retracted position when the engines are shut off.

See more on trim tabs at our FAQ area and Customer Tips area.

Like to share your ideas?
We want to hear ‘em! Email us at
More FAQs at!
FAQs website
Where can I find specifications and information for my older model Grady? Where should I install my transducers? What’s the max horsepower rating for my Grady-White? You’ll find answers to these and many more questions in the FAQ area of our website. Come take a look and learn much more about how to enjoy the ultimate boating experience.

New great ideas at Customer Tips!
Customer tips website
One of the things we’re proudest of here at Grady-White is the feedback from customers and Grady enthusiasts–your emails, letters, photos, responses to Facebook posts (“Like” us if you haven’t already), tweets and videos on our YouTube Channel, and perhaps best of all, seeing your Customer Tips. We post tips about everything from air circulation to winterizing systems, to favorite ports of call, and especially enjoy “customizing” ideas submitted by owners. Stop by often and see what’s new!

Grady Club
Of the Month

Tampa Bay Grady-White Club
The Tampa Bay Grady-White Club is featured this month! Founded in 1989, this Florida club is one of the original Grady-White groups, and is sponsored by Quality Boats of Clearwater.

Order Grady Gear by December 13 for holiday delivery!
Grady Gear
Order Grady Gear for gifts by December 13 for standard delivery by the big day! Check out our great selection of handsome accessories, hats, jackets, shirts and t-shirts, special sale items, and even things for your kids and Grady buddies!

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Grady-White Boats, Inc. | 5121 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy | Greenville, NC 27834