How Do You Set Trim on an Outboard?


Quick Answer

To set the trim on a boat, you must make sure that weight is evenly distributed before the outing begins. Then, familiarize yourself with the trim buttons, tabs or pins. Always maintain an awareness of the waters you are riding in because you often need to adjust the trim on the fly.

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Full Answer

  1. Adjust stationary trim

    Stationary trim is everything inside the boat. This includes people, fuel and ice chests. It is important to ensure that weight is properly distributed from side to side before leaving the dock. It is also important to ensure that the weight is relatively evenly balanced from front to back with somewhat more weight towards the rear. A boat that is heavy in the front steers poorly, takes longer to get up to speed and uses more fuel doing so.

  2. Trim in

    There are flaps between the outboard motor and the back of the boat. When the flaps are close together, the motor is closer to the boat and the boat is trimmed in. This is useful when traveling through choppy waters because the front of the boat points down and cuts through the water more easily. Trimming in also helps prevent wind from lifting the boat and makes climbing a wave safer.

  3. Trim out

    The front of the boat points upward when the flaps between the outboard motor and the back of the boat are spread wide. This helps when coming down a wave by keeping the front of the boat out of the water and preventing the boat from spinning out of control.

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