One reader dropped us a line to ask if Mercury Auto Trim is available for older, Mercury-powered boats. Active Trim is a smart system from Mercury that works through the SmartCraft system to tune the outboard trim to suit the seas, the load, and the speed at which the boat is operating. But is it available for older boats?
Mercury says the Auto Trim system is retrofittable on all SmartCraft-compatible outboards as far back as the 2003 model year, and can control trim automatically on power packages ranging from 40 to 1,750 horsepower. The program can be operated through a Mercury VesselView helm display, which can download the software through its Wi-Fi connection, or through a dedicated control pad that is installed on the dash.
This system uses the electronic SmartCraft trim-control system to actuate the outboard trim. The operator chooses a trim level from a selection on 5 factory-preset trim curves. Each is given a number – the higher the number, the more aggressive the trim setting for a given speed. The boat is tuned at the factory for its optimal trim, and that becomes the number-3 or middle setting. From that starting point there is a small band of adjustments for any given boat.
Set it to a higher number when the boat is bow heavy boat, while a windy day may require setting Active Trim to a lower number to get the bow down. The settings can be controlled by an Active Trim control pad or on the Mercury VesselView display. Once the setting is made, simply advance the throttle and drive the boat as usual. Active Trim adjusts the engine trim for best economic speed at any given throttle setting.
See our full test of Mercury Active Trim here.
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