Tips for Using Your Boat’s Trim

Learn how to trim and turn at speed.

How-to Tips for Using Trim

You want to handle your boat like a pro? Then merely setting the trim and swinging the wheel doesn’t cut it. Learn how to use the trim on your outboard or sterndrive as a turning tool, and you’ll enhance your boat’s maneuverability and safety. Here’s how.

Trimming while turning can have catastrophic results if you trim the bow down too much, causing it to catch and the boat to swap ends or throw your crew across the deck. Make adjustments incrementally until you’re comfortable. It’s best not to adjust drive trim while turning most stepped-hull boats — the trim is built in.

1. Begin trimming down as you enter the turn. The more down trim, the more the chine is kept in water, and the more you can accelerate through the turn. To a point. Develop your skill over time.


2. Maximum down trim — not absolute maximum but the max appropriate to the turn’s speed and radius — should occur at the apex of the turn. You can add throttle as you feel the boat slowing. Practice will teach you what your boat is capable of in varying conditions.

3. Begin trimming up as you leave the apex and start straightening the wheel.

Quick Tip: On a powercat, trim down the outboard or drive on the inside of the turn and trim up on the outer side to alleviate “flat” turns.


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