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|Trimming a Cat|
|Monday, 02 May 2011 09:05|
How big a deal is properly trimming a cat, when you’re cruising through rough seas? Pretty darn big. I was reminded of this just the other day, while cruising home after a morning of fishing for stripers in the Chesapeake.
It was blowing about 20-knots, and we had a following sea. Oddly, when it comes to cats, trim sometimes makes an even bigger difference in a following sea than in a head sea. If you keep the hulls down too much you’re likely to get some very abrupt bow-steering, and the boat gets shoved off course quite suddenly. Trim it up too much, however, and the hulls seem to wallow from side to side, creating a lot of rock & roll. Trim the motors evenly and unless your weight distribution is perfect, there’s a good chance the boat will ride unevenly and continually pull off to one side or the other. Naturally, every cat is different (just as every monohull is different) and each hull is more or less subject to problems like these.
Luckily, the solution is quite simple: you just have to be willing to play with your trim, and play with it a lot. First, split the controls so you’re operating each outboard individually. Then tweak them up and down individually, until you have the boat riding on an even keel. Next, put your trim control back on both motors so they move together, and go up and down until you find the sweet spot.
Simple enough, but there is one more factor you need to bear in mind: many trim motors move at slightly different speeds, and trimming your motors together does not ensure an equal amount of travel. After you find that sweet spot, you may need to split the controls again, and tweak one motor or the other a bit to get the boat running evenly again.