Positive results from Bennett self-levelling trim tabs

SOMETHING I continually harp on about in my boat reviews is performance. Regardless of what sort of boat you have, it needs to perform in a variety of conditions and situations. However, sometimes a boat straight off the factory floor may not do exactly what you want once you have customised the setup.

This can be due to a number of factors including weight distribution, horsepower, prop size or inherent problems with the hull. More often than not it is the setup throwing things out, which can be fixed.

For example, my mate Brett Seng has a 4.75m plate boat with a 60hp four-stroke tiller steer engine on the back. Seating consists of two removable fibreglass Eskies situated right at the back of the boat. This means most of the weight is at the stern when driving by yourself or with one passenger.

A casting platform is located at the front, which can also be used for seating, and it has ample storage underneath. Coupled with the seating at the back, you have a huge amount of open space to move about in and fish from. Now there is nothing wrong with the layout of this boat in terms of practicality.

In fact, having spent a bit of time in the boat I think it is a very good layout. However, Brett had a small issue with getting the nose of the boat down when jumping on the plane and restricting trim when under way. To rectify this, Brett had added a wedge to where the engine is mounted, put a hydrofoil on the engine and was considering a different prop.

Hence this boat was the perfect candidate on which to try out a set of Bennett Self-Level-ing Tabs. The tabs come in two sizes, and given the weight of the boat, engine and room on the transom, the larger SLT10 (10”) tabs were deemed suitable for Brett’s boat.

These trim tabs are a little different to some you may have seen before because, as the name says, they are self-levelling. They work by using water pressure, which pushes against a tensioned spring.

In simple terms, the more pressure you put on one side, the more that spring works to level the boat. Since they are spring loaded, you have no electrics or wiring to deal with, which makes them ultra easy for most people to install. While I only assisted to install the SLT10s (it was easier to stand back and let my mate Brett do all the ‘hard’ work), the instructions were easy to follow and both sides were done in less than an hour.

Everything needed to install the tabs is included in the kit. Priced at only $242 for the SLT6 and $269 for the SLT10, these tabs offer a very affordable option to increase or improve the performance of your boat. And that is exactly what the SLT10s did; noticeably improving the performance of Brett’s boat.

The hole shot dramatically improved whether we were one or two-up. You could even get onto the plane easily and with a bit of trim, whereas before the engine had to be fully trimmed in and was sluggish out of the hole. I also noticed an improvement when driving the boat by myself, with all my weight sitting on one side.

This is probably where the advantages of having the SLTs was most noticeable, with improvement in performance and in the boat ‘self-levelling’. Apart from making the boat easier to drive, I felt safer and more in control.

If you regularly fish by yourself or have a side console boat, a set of Bennett SLTs could be what you are looking for to improve your boat’s ride. When chatting with Brett back at the ramp, I think his parting words of: “I’m not taking them off,’ give a good indication of how the Bennett SLT10s performed.

While I was very impressed with the SLTs, Bennett also has a range of electric trim tabs that allow you to refine the trim and level of your boat even more, giving you the ability to control even the slightest adjustments.

For more information on the range of trim tabs, contact Harrold Marine on 07 3277 6563 or visit www.harroldmarine.com.au
The Harrold Marine team will also be able to point you in the right direction as to what model will best suit your boat.
Additionally, to see the tabs in action on Brett’s boat, check out the video below.

Head-on shot without the SLTs – boat leaning to one side.
Head-on shot without the SLTs – boat leaning to one side.
Head-on shot with the SLTs installed – boat remains level.
Head-on shot with the SLTs installed – boat remains level.
Brett Seng ensured the SLT10 was in the right spot.
Brett Seng ensured the SLT10 was in the right spot.
Installation of the SLT10 to a 4.75m alloy boat was easy.
Installation of the SLT10 to a 4.75m alloy boat was easy.
Stern shot without the SLTs fitted – boat leaning to one side.
Stern shot without the SLTs fitted – boat leaning to one side.
Stern shot with SLTs installed – boat remains level.
Stern shot with SLTs installed – boat remains level.
Side-on shot without the SLTs – boat leaning to one side.
Side-on shot without the SLTs – boat leaning to one side.
Side-on shot with the SLTs – boat remains level.
Side-on shot with the SLTs – boat remains level.
The spring-loaded SLTs look good and work well, providing a level ride.
The spring-loaded SLTs look good and work well, providing a level ride.

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About Ben Collins

Ben Collins

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