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Adaptive Trim Tabs

Going a step beyond the Standard system, Adaptive Trim Tabs integrate with NMEA 2000 multifunction displays, decrease the time to get on plane, and retract tabs automatically when in reverse.

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Adaptive SeaStar Trim Tab System

Going a step beyond the Standard system, Adaptive Trim Tabs deliver even more control and ease of use on the water. The Adaptive system integrates with NMEA 2000 multifunction displays, decreases the time to get on plane, and tabs retract automatically when in reverse.

  • With Hole Shot Mode enabled, tabs automatically adjust at takeoff to get the boat on plane efficiently
  • Adjust the pitch and roll of your boat independently from each other
  • Tabs auto-retract when in reverse and powered off
  • Display trim tab positions on compatible multifunction displays
  • Increase fuel efficiency by adjusting your ride to the optimal running position using the dial
  • Improve comfort by adjusting running position based on sea conditions using the dial
  • Quickly increase visibility by adjusting the bow down with the touch of a button
  • Navigate your boat like a professional, no matter the conditions
  • Easily add a second dial controller to another helm station
Dometic SeaStar Adaptive Trim Tab system and componsents laid out against a white background

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Find a dealer near you to learn more about how Dometic Trim Tabs can improve your boat's performance and your experience on the water.

A Dometic adaptive trim tab LED dial controller

Adaptive Dial Controller

  • Dial controller repeatedly and accurately displays trim tabs position
  • Tabs automatically adjust at takeoff to get on plane efficiently when Hole Shot mode is enabled
  • Program your favorite position manually and push button to quickly move the boat to the preferred position
  • Adjust the pitch and roll of your boat independently from each other
  • Dial controller works as a system with adaptive actuators
  • Easily add a second dial controller to another helm station
  • Adjust display brightness to your desired level
A Dometic Adaptive trim tab system actuator

Adaptive Actuator

  • Planetary gearbox and inverted lead-screw design provide ultra-efficient and reliable high-load transfer
  • Rugged and stylish actuator housing with a simple two-piece design that minimizes possible water ingress points
  • Sealed and potted wiring and electronics
  • Scratch-resistant ground and chromed solid actuation shaft
  • Repeatedly and accurately sets trim tab position using the dial controller via CAN-based communication
  • Thrust bearings fore and aft provide efficient, high load capability in extension and retraction
  • Available in 2 1/4 and 4 1/4 inch strokes


A Dometic Adaptive Trim Tab system and components laid out on a white background

Increased Durability

  • All-electric design reduces complexity
  • Kits contain marine-grade stainless steel 316 fasteners
  • Heavy duty 14 GA stainless steel hinge to ensure robust performance
  • Thick quarter-inch hinge pin to reduce tab warping
  • Heavy duty 12 GA 304 electro-polished stainless steel plates
  • High-quality NMEA harnesses for consistent communication across the system
A generic marine multifunction display with a blank screen

Easy Setup

  • System setup can be done intuitively with adaptive dial controller or CANtrak display
  • Systems include all hardware, main components, and harnesses
  • Easy connection to compatible third-party multifunction displays
Compare Trim Tab Systems



Questions about Adaptive Trim Tabs?


Q: What's the difference between Adaptive Trim Tabs and Standard Trim Tabs?

A: Advanced Trim Tabs include all the features in the Standard system plus direct integrations with NMEA 2000 multifunction displays. The Advanced system also features Hole Shot mode to simplify the process of getting the boat on plane in less time as well as auto-retracting tabs when in reverse.

Q: What makes the Dometic Adaptive Actuator different than other options on the market?

A: adaptive-chart-resized.jpg

Q: What are trim tabs and what do they do?

A: Trim tabs are movable metal tabs of various sizes that extend beyond the edge of the hull bottom at the transom.  Adjusting their position up or down can help to level the boat in changing sea conditions and loads and “fine-tune” the ride, resulting in improved control of the vessel for the skipper and a more comfortable experience for everyone onboard.  

A quality trim tab system will also enhance overall boat performance and increase fuel efficiency.  It does this by helping the operator achieve the vessel’s optimum running angle — the specific configuration where ride and engine performance are optimized.  Since it is a dynamic system that can be adjusted “on the fly” for changing conditions — changes in weight load and distribution, wind/wave angle, running up or down swell, etc. — trim tabs can keep a boat performing at peak efficiency in any situation.

Here are some additional key benefits to Trim Tab use:

  • Get out of the hole and onto plane faster.  A boat that gets on plane quickly is more efficient and more effective for water sports, shallow water fishing, and other activities.
  • Stop boats from “porpoising.”  The bow of a poorly trimmed boat can rhythmically rise and fall (like a porpoise jumping and falling below the surface).  Trim tabs can be used to eliminate this uncomfortable and inefficient hull behavior.
  • Stay on plane at lower speeds.  A boat’s ability to remain on plane when speed is reduced makes it more efficient, more comfortable, and easier to control. 
  • Reduce listing. This is the side-to-side roll/tilting of the vessel due to propeller torque and/or uneven weight distribution.  Adjusting the trim tabs can eliminate this, even as people move and weight is shifted around the vessel.
Q: How do I know if my boat needs trim tabs?

A: Every powerboat with a planing-style hull will receive a ride, performance, and efficiency upgrade with the installation of a quality trim tab system.  A quality trim tab system can transform your entire boating experience, and help ensure ease of control in a variety of conditions.

Q: Can I substitute components from other competitive trim tabs systems - such as Lenco, Bennett, Lectrotab etc. - with Dometic Trim Tab Components? 

A: Depending on your installation, you may be able to use tab plates from another brand with Dometic Trim Tabs components. Dometic offers kits that are designed to fit with tabs from competitive brands. However, you cannot replace a traditional rocker switch with a Dometic dial controller. Dometic trim tab systems deliver optimal performance when using the complete system. When in doubt, check with your local Dometic dealer to understand how you can use Dometic components with your existing trim tabs system.

Q: How do you use trim tabs?

A: Most systems will be switch or dial-controlled, used to deploy and adjust the tabs to the desired position. In most instances, you will first utilize your tabs on acceleration to get you out of the hole and up onto plane in the shortest time and with a minimum of bow rise. Tab deployment will push the bow down and assist you in adjusting your vessel ride to the optimum running angle, allowing you to see the horizon and what is in front of you. 

When up and running, trim tabs can be adjusted to level the running attitude (bow up or down) and roll (side to side) to find the best position for the given conditions.  This reduces pounding and spray in the cockpit while optimizing performance and fuel economy.

Q: Is it hard to install trim tabs on a boat?

A: The Standard Dometic Trim Tab System can be installed by a competent DIY boat owner — but this would depend on the capability of the boat owner, and whether they have the required tools. A new install can be much easier to do yourself than replacing a system (older systems can often rust together). For the Dometic Adaptive Trim Tab System, we recommend installation by a trained marine dealer

Q: Do trim tabs improve a boat's fuel economy?

A: Fuel savings result from reducing the time and engine power it takes for your boat to get on plane because the vessel spends less time running at an inefficient angle. The use of trim tabs also allows your boat to remain on plane at lower engine speeds. These two factors, combined with reducing hull drag in a wide range of changing running conditions, help result in reducing overall fuel consumption. 

Q: What size trim tabs does my boat need?

A: It’s best to talk to a marine dealer about your vessel requirements, but you can apply general trim tab sizing rules to get a general idea.

As a general guideline, one inch of trim tab span (per side) for every foot of boat length (for example, a pair of 24” wide tabs for a 24-foot LOA vessel). 

Not all boats are created equal, especially in the transom area. Some have shallow transoms. Others have multiple outboards or swim platforms that can limit the available transom space for trim tabs. The right tab size for your boat will be determined by a number of factors, including boat length and weight. The larger the tab size, the more lift they create. As a rule of thumb, go with the largest tab size that your transom will accommodate.

NOTE: Many experts will advise on fitting the largest tabs that will fit on the transom. When in doubt, consult your local Dometic dealer.

Q: What makes Dometic Trim Tab Systems different and better?

A: The intuitive dial controller is what makes the Dometic Adaptive and Standard systems unique. The dial allows for easy and extremely precise adjustment, removing any guesswork from leveling your boat.

The controller allows you to easily adjust the pitch and roll to get your boat on plane quickly and efficiently. The controller works by simply turning the dial in the direction you want to level the boat.  When you do, the actuators respond quickly and precisely to adjust the ride.

There are also single-press Bow Up and Bow Down buttons for manual adjustment of running attitude and a Favorite Button that lets boaters easily save the desired tab position. This makes it easy to return to a boat’s “sweet spot” ride position with the touch of a finger. The system’s Home Button quickly moves tabs to the home position.


An intuitive system that completely replaces basic factory trim tab rocker switches with an easy-to-use dial system that features a programmable favorites button, allowing for effortless operation.

Optimus Adaptive

Optimus Adaptive Trim Tabs and joystick are designed to make trim adjustment second nature to operators of all types of boats.

58 Years of Sierra

SIERRA has a 58-year history as a leading global manufacturer of aftermarket engine and drive parts for the marine industry. The SIERRA brand encompasses the full SIERRA Marine product lines, as well as expansive marine brands formerly known as Shields and Moeller.

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