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Outboard Trim and Tilt

An outboard motor is one of the most important features of any small and midsize boat, such as jon boats, fishing boats, cabin cruisers, speedboats, pontoon boats and even some sailboats and small yachts. The outboard motor provides the power to propel the boats through the water at various speeds and navigate through tricky waterways. When the propellers of the outboard motor are in the water, whether it is running or not, this is known as being in the trim position. When it is raised out of the water, this means it is in the outboard tilt position.

What does the outboard trim-and-tilt feature do?

Having a power tilt-and-trim feature give a boater greater control when navigating through various waterways. Having it in the tilt position when the outboard motor is not running also protects the propellers from suffering damage underwater. When using the trim feature, boaters do different things with the boat. The three trim positions are:

  • Trimming in (or down)
  • Neutral trimming
  • Trimming out (or up)

When in neutral trimming, the bow is lower and the boat is running through the water evenly. When in the trimming in position, the bow is lowered even lower than when in neutral trimming, which improves the ride through rough water and causes the boat to pull to the right. When in the trimming out position, the bow is lifted, which increases the boat's top speed and allows it to go faster in shallow or smooth water.

How does the trim-and-tilt feature work on an outboard motor?

The trim-and-tilt feature uses an electro-hydraulic mechanism to raise or lower the motor slowly. In general, most trim-and-tilt features move the propeller end of the outboard motor about 90 degrees. There are a number of different outboard trim-and-tilt units that are based on the size and type of outboard motor. Integrated power tilt and trim and three-cylinder power tilt and trim both work with the larger types of outboard motors, starting at 130 horsepower. Double-action power tilt and trim work with mid-size engines ranging from 30 to 130 HP. Power tilt and trim for small outboard engines work with the smallest type of outboard engines.

What other accessories are there for an outboard engine?

Unless you are extremely handy, leave most outboard engine repairs to certified boat mechanics as these motors can be tricky to work with. However, there are things you can go to help maintain your engine properly. Using the proper weight of oil will help it run properly and allow you to put many hours on it before it needs service. Lubes and fuel additives can also help make it run smoother and help keep it working properly. Finally, an outboard motor cover can help protect it from the elements and corrosion if using in saltwater as well as help it maintain a like-new finish.

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