Mercury Marine this week introduced its new Active Trim system, which automatically delivers trimming of boat engines.
Designed to suit entry-level and expert boaters alike, Active Trim simplifies boat operation, while improving engine performance and decreasing fuel costs. New boaters immediately are able to trim their engines properly with no intimidating learning curve, and experienced boaters won’t need to monitor and adjust trim constantly upon changes in boat speed or turns.
Using Active Trim has been likened to switching from a manual transmission on an automobile to automatic transmission.
Tests on a broad range of boats indicate fuel savings of 14 to 54 percent by running in the auto mode provided by Active Trim, versus fully trimmed down in manual mode.
The key to Mercury’s Active Trim is its exclusive and patented GPS-based control system. Unlike systems that use only engine rpm to control trimming, Mercury’s Active Trim controls the trim in accordance with boat speed and engine rpm. This feature solves problems with the engine or drive trimming up instead of down, if the propeller breaks loose in hard turns. It also solves issues with the engine trimming up too early or too late while the boat is getting up on plane. Active Trim can be used on high-performance boats, and it provides a seamless handoff from auto to manual operation at high speeds, to give the operator full control.
Another Active Trim exclusive is its five selectable trim profiles that accommodate nearly any boat application, from small runabouts, pontoons, bass boats and cruisers to high-performance applications. There’s no need to manually enter trim
settings vs. rpm into a multi-functional display, as required by some systems. Simply run the boat and select the profile that is best suited for that application. These profiles allow the operator to further personalize Active Trim to their driving style and/or compensate for changes in boat load, operator preference and weather conditions, while maintaining full auto operation.
For operators wanting to get the last mile per hour out of their boat, Active Trim can be overridden by using the regular manual trim buttons, though auto mode can be easily re-engaged.
The Active Trim panel is compatible with 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 like our competitors’ systems and it’s easy to install on high-volume boat production lines; the only special tool needed is a 54-millimeter hole saw.
Active Trim is compatible with any new Mercury Outboard or MerCruiser engine with SmartCraft. Unlike our competition, which offers their auto trim system only on their premium models, Active Trim is offered on models ranging from entry level to our premium offerings. This includes outboards from 40hp to 400hp and MerCruiser packages from 130hp to 430hp. The system will also be available for retrofitting to engines already in the field.
*Active Trim units will be available for testing in late summer 2015. Full production is planned for early 2016.