View Full Version : Anyone tried Nauticus smart tabs on a small Donzi?

07-14-2010, 04:41 PM
After the poker run this weekend, I realized I might want to look at trim tabs for the 16 Ski Sporter. I know the Bennets are great tabs, but they are also over $500 and require actuators and controller. Anyone have any experience with the Nauticus SmartTabs SX?
Just checking

07-14-2010, 09:04 PM
Much as I hate to admit it I tried an early setup like that that Bennet had, problem is you have to adjust the spring tension for a so so fix. The gave -0- control over sea conditions, passenger weight. The only thing they did was scrub speed and stop porpoising! Be your own judge of what you need!!

Just Say N20
07-14-2010, 10:14 PM
I bought some Bennett tabs for my 16. M80 Sport tabs. Found them online for $428.

07-15-2010, 05:42 PM

Just Say N20
07-15-2010, 05:46 PM

You just want it to act like a 16' boat. :yes:

For all but high end speed applications, the Bennett tabs work great. Most people use them to fine tune the ride based on weight placement in the boat, to hold plane at a slower speed (???), or to adjust ride attitude depending on water conditions.

The ability to adjust the easily while underway is the key attraction, and what you pay more for.

07-15-2010, 06:08 PM
I'm still in the "reading about them and learning what I can" stage. The concept of the Smart Tabs seems pretty sound for improving the hole shot and some basic improvements in ride/handling characteristics of a small boat. If I decide to try them and if they work then great, if not I'll take them off.

But I have fallen prey to marketing hype before so I am doing my research. (That leopard print Snuggie wasn't as nice as it looked on TV)

07-15-2010, 06:36 PM
Bob, I'm going to kplanes this winter, so if my factory tabs would work for you that's an option.

07-15-2010, 06:52 PM
Thanks Kelly, I will look at them, but as you know, I have some clearance issues with my outdrive needing to rotate around 180 degrees to trailer. Not sure if mounting any tabs are even possible, that is one of the reasons I was thinking the smart tabs might work (it can be folded up by removing a pin)

Next time we have the boats out I will check them out.

07-15-2010, 10:08 PM
One of the best things about tabs on a single engine deep V is they eliminate the wandering a idle speeds, you hardly have to touch the wheel in a tight creek, without you sit there wearing out the steering wheel. A idle speeds put the tabs full down and go as straight as an arrow!

08-15-2010, 08:33 PM
well...I finally bit the bullet and bought and installed the nauticus trim tabs (smart tab SX). They went on very easily (measured twice, cut once right), and Nauticus was great about support when I called and asked a lot of questions. Like I said in other posts, it was huge difference.

Coming up on plane, the boat showed zero feeling of bow rise and no feeling of coming out of the hole

It came up on plane at much lower speed/rpm (without tabs 2500 rpm, after tabs around 1800)

The tabs totally smoothed out the choppy water and made it feel totally in control in different types of water from wakes to choppy conditions or both

I didn't feel any chine walking at high speeds

We ran the boat up to about 50 mph for several runs and then ran it for 3 days and it just felt great. I will play around with the different settings and see what the effect is on handling.

One other difference I found was that before installing the tabs the outdrive had a zinc with a fin mounted at an angle to compensate for the torque, but now after the tabs are on, I don't think I need the fin any more.

The nice thing was that my wife said it was much nicer being the passenger with the tabs. I'm sure the hydraulic bennets or others are great tabs, but for our little 16, these are great.

08-16-2010, 01:19 AM
Good report, I was curious how they'd work out. Although you can't really adjust for uneven load in the boat, seems like they are pretty beneficial. Sure is an easier install than hydraulic. Cool!

By the way, you installed your outdrive upside down..... :boggled: :eek: :hyper:

09-23-2010, 05:24 PM
YUP, I too installed a set of Nauticus Smart Tabs SX on my 16 footer last summer. WOW, WHAT A DIFFERENCE:

eliminated the wandering at idle speed
on plane quicker
no porpoising
no chine walk
no loss of speed at WOT (about 60 mph)
rides better in choppy water
definitely helps with weight balance
easy to install
and most of all....I didn't need to obtain a PHD in Tabology!

02-02-2011, 12:57 PM
Glad you had the same good results I did. They sure made a huge difference for ours. They are adjustable with moving the pin in one of 5 different settings, but not from the helm.

...and my wife didn't really say "this is much nicer", the actual "real" reaction when my wife and I came up on plane and hit some choppy water for the first time with the tabs on was "Holy Crap, are you kidding me...is this from the tabs??, why didn't we do this a long time ago?"

Howard, you won't believe how many times I hear that...I think I am going to get a sign for my outdrive that says "Yes damnit, it is supposed to be this way"