Along with Mercury Marine's recent unveiling of its MerCruiser 6.2L V8 sterndrive, the company also introduced its new Active Trim technology.
Guided by GPS, Active Trim can automatically trim the boat's engine to the ideal position in numerous on-water scenarios, including achieving plane and turning.
Mercury feels the addition of the technology simplifies boat operation, aiding both expert and entry-level boaters. New boaters are spared the intimidation that can accompany having to trim a boat. For more experienced boaters, the addition of the technology has been likened to switching from a car with manual transmission to automatic. Boaters may enjoy the convenience of not having to constantly monitor and adjust trim upon changes in boat speed or making turns.
Mercury estimates (based on tests it performed on variety of boats) potential fuel savings to be from 14 to 54 percent by running in Active Trim's auto mode versus fully trimmed down in manual mode.
GPS and RPM
Active Trim differs from other auto trim technologies already available. Rather than using exclusively RPM to control its trimming, Mercury's system is guided by both the boat's speed and engine RPM. Mercury claims this solves the potential issue of the engine or drive trimming up instead of down if the propeller happens to break loose in hard turns. It also prevents the engine from trimming up too early or too late while the boat is getting up on plane.
The degree to which Active Trim can affect your trim is also adjustable for various boat types. The system is controlled by a small black panel, which can be incorporated into the helm's dash. It features five selectable trim profiles suited for vessels including runabouts, pontoons, bass boats and cruisers.
Noticeably simple and intuitive in its design, users can choose the profile that best suites their vessel or driving style. If the boat's load changes significantly or weather conditions affect handling, the driver can quickly change the system to a more ideal setting.
Active Trim can be instantly overridden by using the boat's standard trim buttons or be placed back in full auto mode by the push of a button on the panel.
The Active Trim panel is compatible with both analog and digital gauges, and has been specially designed to accommodate mounting in a broad range of boat applications. It does not require use of a multi-functional gauge.
Mercury says the system is easy to install on high-volume boat production lines, requiring only a 54-millimeter hole saw.
Entry Level to High Performance Compatibility
Active Trim is compatible with a wide range of Mercury outboards and MerCruiser engines with SmartCraft. The auto trim feature will soon be offered on Mercury outboards ranging from 40hp to 400hp and MerCruiser packages from 130hp to 430hp. The system can also be retrofitted to engines already in the field.