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Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

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Extremely fast to render charts - which is something you perhaps don't think you need until you try it.  I have an Raymarine eS97 system on the yacht, which is 2014, and this is miles faster.  The eS is no slouch and perfect for most people, but the Axiom is that bit slicker and no more expensive.  In fact, you need to add a sounder unit and transducer to the eS (just a suitable transducer to the Axiom) which makes the eS more expensive.  On the other hand, the eS has physical buttons as well as a touchscreen.  Only the Axiom Pro (newer still and over £2k for the 9inch version) has the same hard keys too.  Personally, I don't mind, but some will prefer both.


Haven't had the chance to really play with the sounder yet, but even out of the box it is very good.  The 3D view will take some work to get perfect - at the moment I spend too long looking at it and moving it about rather than just viewing it and interpreting the data.  It is great though how you can drive back and forth over an area of seabed and it will piece together a 3D picture of that area.   The high speed CHIRP and downview settings are very good though - very clear. 


I added a new VHF (Ray70) which has an AIS receiver built in because I wouldn't have bothered fitting a separate unit and VHF splitter etc. (this uses the single aerial).  However, nothing is ever that simple - to make the two talk to each other you have to have a SeaTalkng backbone.  Thankfully I had a few spare SeaTalk cables from the yacht, and only needed to add a 5-way splitter.  It is very good at displaying AIS though - again, easier to use and view than the eS system.

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Hi Mel


Thanks for the comments about on the Axiom, I'm thinking of upgrading my 11 year old Raymarine system (E120) to Axiom.


I'm particularly interested in the 3D sonar feature, basically to know if it's worth having or still a work in progress and you are the only one I know who has one and used it round here!


Does it display 3D as you motor along and if so how fast can you go?

Is the 3D image clear in our waters (looks great on the demo done in fresh water)?

Do fish in the water column really show up as dots?

Do you think it will show up a decent images of a wreck?


I'm sure lots of people in the club will be interested to hear more about it.

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Good questions Steve.


To be honest, I've not really got to grips with it yet, and am sure that it will improve once I have my settings correctly, well, set...


To date, I've only had it in up to 15m/20m of water.  In deeper water I would expect it to perform even better and show a wider tranche of the seabed.  As it is, you can build up a picture of the seabed by motoring back and forth so that it can piece the strips together, if that makes sense.  Slightly annoying, but you get there in the end.  It does show features very well though and the latest update to Lighthouse software is supposed to make it even better - particularly in terms of being able to mark waypoints anywhere - not just where you are at a particular moment.  


I like the 3D function.  But I also like the high Chirp and Downvision settings too - I don't think you would constantly use one or the other.


Not sure about speed it will work to - I've tended to use it when we've been looking for features, so only going less than 8/10kts or so.  


Wrecks - I think this is where it will shine.


Fish - yes, it does. Again, need to get the settings right because to start with it looked like there was an aquarium beneath us - turned out that it needed winding back a bit, but then it's clear to see where fish are.  


I'll try to do some more indepth testing in the coming weeks,  although we're not out this weekend and possibly not next either due to other commitments.  

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I have just installed a set of smart tabs on an explorer elite, force 4 where as cheap as buying online if you go down that route.
Simple to install and made a noticable difference to bow rise. However I dont have a list to adjust for, I've read many different views on the tabs and in the end decided to just have a go, Some of the forums can get a bit heated over the auto tab vs manual tab.

What are your thoughts on the auto tabs now having them fitted for a while?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have smart tabs and so does Charlie A.

Superb for mine, there is a review on this forum of mine somewhere I believe.

I changed the struts that come with them for stainless ones, these are from the US and really for freshwater. Hence, rust gathers on the shaft and ruins the seal on compression.


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Having had them in the boat for several months now, and having been out in all sorts of weather, I would never be without them again. In fact, I wouldn’t want to own the boat if they were suddenly outlawed!


The PH 20 is a fantastic boat, but it can be very susceptible to crew moving around the deck. The trim tabs enable you to correct for this very quickly and make it far less of a battle to stay on course. Wind-helm is also negated. Visibility is improved drastically. 


The only warning I would give is that they do not remove the need for proper seamanship and caution. Set them too deep in a bit of a sea and you will come a cropper - for instance, if you let the bow dig in with the sea behind you, it will be your first and last time of doing so!  Just be sensible with them and they work extremely well.





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One other note of caution Mel ........... the need to fit anodes to the tabs.


Not really an issue if you are drystacked or store ashore but if left afloat they are seriously necessary.


I speak from experience as I had  the Port Tab break away from the hull due to galvanic corrosion of the hinge fixing screws.


I was happily doing about 15knots at the time when all of a sudden boat basically tried to turn on its side .

Boats dont like running with just one tab down:angry:

Scared the  **** out of me :cold_sweat:

Limped back to Cobbs with a dangly tab on one side and the other raised up and kept speed down .


I fitted anodes to both tabs after that ....BIG ones as I was having to replace small ones twice a year when on F pontoon.


Aaahhhh another hidden benefit of drystacking :grin:


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On 04/09/2017 at 12:18 PM, Brian said:

I would go for Bennett Trim Tabs, had them on my previous boat and they were brilliant. Also very good after sales service.

I've got Nauticus Smart Tabs on present boat. The rams rusted through after about 3 years, when I contacted Nauticus they said they thought 3 years was good.

I have had Bennets tabs on my boat for 7 years with no problems. and they still work.

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