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Trimming an outboard motor is a well-known phenomenon to adjust the position of the boat. This is mainly done to anticipate changing conditions on the water. But there are even more reasons for trimming your outboard motor. We list these reasons and explain how to trim the engine.

Why trim outboard motor?

Trimming the outboard motor is done to improve the overall performance of the boat. You trim the engine for boat control, balance, achieving top speed and greater comfort. Trimming also greatly reduces fuel consumption. In short: plenty of reasons to trim your outboard motor.

How do you trim your outboard motor?

Would you like to learn how to trim your outboard motor? Then it is useful to start on a stationary boat. Trim the engine out of the water to the trim cams, just before the beaching position. From the highest trim position, press the ‘IN’ button to move downwards. In the meantime, count to 5 or as long as the trimming process lasts. Or check your trim indicator on the dashboard.

Once underway, you can trim up by pressing the ‘OUT’ button. You can then set the engine to a comfortable trim position. This way you don’t have to constantly trim, but your boat glides consistently over the water. You must trim the engine down again before each turn.

We explain below what the function of trimming in and out is.

Trim down

When your boat is stationary or idling, trim the outboard motor fully down. In trim, the engine lowers and leaves a larger part of the underwater housing in the water (at the bow). You can trim down at three times:

  1. When you start;
  2. When you sail into a wave;
  3. When you make a turn.

From the down position, the propeller immediately grips the water when you accelerate. The boat is propelled onto plane. In other words: the boat lies down, so that the bottom of the boat has to push away less water. The advantage of trimming down is that the underwater hull cuts through the water better. This ensures smoother sailing.

Trim up

Once your boat is planing and you are maintaining a steady speed, trim up. This causes the bow and underwater housing to be higher, which reduces braking. This increases the cruising speed and reduces fuel consumption. When sailing at full throttle, trimming out should allow you to reach higher revs and top speeds. But be careful: trimming too far out can cause your boat to bounce on the water.

Turning and trimming

When you make a turn with your boat, you trim down. This immediately gives the screw maximum grip. This also makes the boat plan very well when you pick up speed to sail out of the bend. Is your boat almost flat again? Then you trim out up again. This ensures the best cruising speed.

Outboard motors with trim function

Would you also like to be able to trim your outboard motor? Then take a look at the range of outboard motors from Outboard Occasions. We have about 200 new and second-hand motorcycles with a trim function, such as motorcycles from Yamaha, Suzuki and Tohatsu. This way you can easily adjust the trim angles of your engine. Ideal if you sail, are a serious water sports enthusiast or sail professionally.

More news & tips

Everything about the maintenance of your outboard motor

Everything about the impeller of your outboard motor

Most popular outboard motors in horsepower


Frequently asked questions

Here you will find answers to common questions. Is your question not listed? Please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you.

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  • Why is outboard motor trimming important?
    Trimming your outboard motor offers many benefits. You trim the engine for boat control, balance, achieving top speed and greater comfort. Trimming also greatly reduces fuel consumption.
  • How do you trim an outboard motor?
    Begin trimming your outboard motor on a boat that is stationary or idling. Trim the engine out of the water to the trim cams, just before the beaching position. From the highest trim position, press the 'IN' button to move downwards. Count to 5 or as long as the trim lasts.
  • How deep should an outboard motor be for the correct trim?
    Do not over-trim your engine. This can cause your boat to 'bounce' on the water. So you have to find a good balance. This may differ per boat and engine.
  • How far should an outboard motor go into the water?
    Water must be sucked in from under the boat towards the propeller. Ideally, the top of the propeller should be 2 inches below the bottom of the boat for this to happen. So 5 cm is how far the outboard motor should go into the water.