It seems this industry’s innovations sometimes are the limitations of the imagination and at other times maybe just the technology has came around to meet the idea. On the other hand it could be just like the fashion industry in that what was once long ago thought to be a great idea is thought to be a great idea again (Think of the mullet hair style or plaid pants?).
With a new generation of buyers entering the marine market we are seeing the rebirth of ideas that came out around 20 years ago without success, come back around. In a recent humorous conversation where we were on the topic of some fun in the recent episodes of the Powerboat Nation TV show, some of the engineering staff of KE Performance brought up the subject of the many items that we are seeing cycle back around in the marine industry.
One of those items that received interest again for Keith Eickert Performance Products to pull out of their old files are their original stepped trim tabs. These tabs were manufactured in over twelve different versions back in the days of the Outerlimits brand testing to shatter speed records. Data showed that above 140 MPH there was the possibility for 1-2 mph gains and in some cases none. Mike Fiore had pointed out that all of the speed actually came from improved hull design and that the step had relevance to the stability or speed changes.
All that being said recent inquiries to reignite the fire have come in. The tech team at KE pointed out that in those days technology wasn’t available to do the dynamic testing that’s now available. It used to be the product supplier sent a product out to a boat manufacture they bolted it on and the consumer became the guinea pig. Today we test our products and don’t put that burden on the manufacturer where the data can’t be held or measured in a controlled environment.
While the KE crew admits the rewards of a stepped tab just never resulted in what they hoped, they’re excited to show boat manufacturers that if the tabs stepped feature has positive effects, that the bottoms of their boats have great opportunity to be improved as well.
We are excited and believe that we can take any number of our stepped tab options and technology to really help those hulls in need of a bolt on fix.