Electromechanical trim tabs vs Hydraulic Trim tabs. Google this and you'll find a ton of articles regarding trim tabs of both nature. How does one make an intelligent decision between electric trim tabs and hydraulic trim tabs when it seems that there are way too many opinions, comments, and contradictions, and the opposition between them will make your head spin.
It does appear that the hydraulic biased side has an armor piercing bullet when it comes to firepower, as we all know electric and water certainly do not go together, and the thought of such somewhat persuades the masses. But, what about the hydraulic pump that has to be powered by DC voltage? Do you want this oily mess sitting beneath your center console dripping transmission fluid on your deck? Perhaps you want to mount the pump back in the transom area where it's out of the way, you know, back there where it's nice and moist from the open access to the bilge? Well, that may very well be the downfall of the hydraulic pump, as it too must remain dry or the connections and components that drive things such as auto tab retractors, and the port and starboard actuator contacts will corrode and become inoperable. Did the bullet penetrate, or just bounce off and cause more confusion?
The one common element that takes the brunt of the beating is the o-ring used in the electromechanical trim tab to keep the water out. Well, I've heard that O-ring damage also occurs on the hydraulic trim tabs due to barnacles growing on the ram, ultimately causing the seal to leak fluid. This certainly can't be good for the marine environment! Perhaps the pushing force is greater on the electromechanical tabs making them more stable at higher speeds, or reaction time is faster on hydraulic tabs, but retraction and extension times are faster with electric! Wow! We can't forget about Hydraulic trim tabs having feedback sensor problems and electric tabs getting stuck in full down position. Then you have excessive lag time from electric and precision from hydraulic, longer warranties for hydraulic tabs, faster and easier installation times for electric tabs, numerous durability and replacement issues, and the list goes on.
I've read and heard many comments from boaters that have had no issues with electromechanical trim tabs, and the same from the opposing hydraulic side. Some boat manufacturers supply their boats with electric trim tabs while others supply their boats with hydraulic trim tabs. In my opinion, if either or were a bad choice then you'd see a lot less trim tabs on boats as they simply wouldn't be worth spending money on, unless you just want to look cool, at which point you couldn't go wrong with either type because they all look good.
I've only owned hydraulic trim tabs, some by choice but some simply because the particular boats that I've purchased already had them on it. Had I been given the choice after further research, well, I'd probably be still debating due to the confusion and miss out on owning any trim system. I've put hydraulic tabs to the test and can tell you that they too are not without flaws by any means. In fact, throw in too much technology and not enough attention to smaller things like moisture intrusion and you'll have problems as I surely found out. Feel free to read my hydraulic trim tab review here of a very popular brand.
There are a few other types of trim tabs available out there as well, but for the purpose of this article I'm not going to confuse you any more than you may already be. Despite all of the arguments amongst the two sides, I am going to take my first venture into the world of electromechanical trim tabs! If what the hydraulic quorum says is true, then wish me luck! If what the electromechanical quorum says is true, then you'll see me trimmed out and rippin!
Seeing as I decided to go with the
Here's the specs on the Uflex's electromechanical trim tabs
|Trim tab description and features|
Improve fuel economy and passenger comfort with Uflex electromechanical trim tabs. Featuring electropolished stainless steel planes and low consumption, high speed, composite actuators, these tabs are built to last in the most demanding sea conditions.
These tabs have been specifically designed for easy installation using a quick connect bracket-actuator, requiring only one small hole per tab through the transom. The patented transom mounting bracket encapsulates the wiring to ensure protection against any wiring damage.
Uflex MT Trim tabs are available in 2 versions:
MTW systems with white actuators and brackets
MTB systems with black actuators and brackets
Stay Tuned... Full Review Coming Soon!