I am in need of pictures of the trim tabs on a 55 commander. The previous owner glassed mine in and I am not sure if it is feasible to try and make them operational again. At this time my top speed at wide open throttle is 14.5 miles per hour. The boat just can't quite get on plane. I have had it on the yard for 13 months and this will be the last thing I need to do to get it back in the water.

John Pope

hull #3

C C Rider

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 I would call the engineers at Bennett in Deerfield Beach Fl and get their recommendation. Dont know if your original tabs had the silicon bronze hinges with the electro-mechanical  lever arm units. there is also lenco trim tabs


I'm not sure a 55 is meant to get on plane. I know my 45 really doesn't and I do not use the tabs but have been through them.

thanks for the pictures Alan. That helps me a lot. Now I know they have been completely removed and the trim tab area has been filled in with of all things fairing compound. I am going to clean all or that out and see what I have. Thanks Again for your help.

Alan Waite said:

I'm not sure a 55 is meant to get on plane. I know my 45 really doesn't and I do not use the tabs but have been through them.

why not a very large set of exterior mount tabs with the double pistons on each side? That way you get the full benefit of the length of the wetted surface of your hull while underway along with the added length the tabs provide when you want to use them. I have exterior bennett tabs on my 41 and the original tabs just sit in the pocket they came in and the boat handles beautifully. I cannot speak for the original tabs as they were non functional when I bought the boat.

Not sure that a 55 Commander can get on plane?  Please review attachment.  This is a 1972 model with the Super Turbos.  It is very difficult to get a 1970/71 55 Commander on plane because of the lack of power of the 8V71N engines which were non turbo engines, however I have seen it done using the extended tabs shown on two different 1970 models.  Best cruise speed possible was about 14 knots.  Our 1972 model would cruise 18 knots all day long.  With the extra power, with full tabs down and with less than half fuel on board we could actually bury the bow while running.  We found that out one time when we had just gotten her when brand new running out of Port Everglades, FL.

Best Regards,

Jim Rivas


Well mine has the naturally aspirated 8V71's and I don't push it anyway. Maybe if I had access to the salty stuff I would want to push it faster. John, good luck with your retrofit.



Captain Alan..... you can modify your under hull factory trim tabs for much better performance / speed

and reduced time to plane by adding a ramp inside the tab box area . Just inspect that area to see

the huge water drag that is created by the factory design . Think of the water ski jump ramp that skiers use

By putting a ramp in front of the " 3 to 4  inch high vertical fence" you are reducing water drag & also

producing a much cleaner trailing wake . Think fuel economy over a season of cruising at any speed .

This modification works on any Commander with factory under hull trim tabs / aka " cruise control" .

Tim  / 21six -973- 81zerofour for info

Huron / Ohio



Same damn thing was done to my boat before I got it. I am putting Lenco's on.

Although Jim Rivas gave me excellent advice that the boat would plane fine without the tabs and my problem was elsewhere. So I replaced the injectors and did tuneups and had the props scanned to realize I was missing 4" of pitch. Once corrected I had an 18 knot boat on gps, that was into about a 2 knot current. I did upgrade the injectors to n60's which gave a little more power. But amazed how well the boat runs. Doing tabs anyway to bring the bow down when I want to coast about 12 knots, without them it won't stay on plane. Also I do have a flat top which I understand are faster than the flybridge models.

Check your props, and have a mechanic run the racks and injector timing. I have seen a pics of 55's planing but I bet it's marginal power wise so you need everything working 100%.

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