Active Trim from Mercury Marine UPDATE

August 2015 Industry, News Web Exclusive

We’ve come to expect some brilliant things from Wisconsin-based Mercury Marine, but this latest innovation just might take the cake. We recently had the chance to attend their latest Media Event and came back with our eyes popping. Why, you might ask? Because Mercury Marine demonstrated their new Active Trim technology, a system that automatically delivers instant and effortless trimming.

As you can imagine, this translates into a lot of big bonuses—improved performance, better fuel economy, and easy usage being among them. The Active Trim control system helps to consistently maintain optimal trim across the speed range, removing the need for the operator to continually adjust trim with varying vessel cruise speeds. The intuitive design includes tactile-feel buttons that you can activate without looking and a display that allows you to easily adjust to 1 of 5 trim profiles, depending on weather conditions, operator preferences, or boat loading.

This also means big fuel savings—gaining up to 35% in fuel economy on the new 6.2L V-8 300hp and 350hp sterndrives and up to a 50% gain on outboards (based on the use of Active Trim with a 350 Verado vs. fully tucked and not trimming).

The key to this system is Mercury Marine’s exclusive, patented GPS-based control system, which uniquely controls the trim in accordance with both boat speed and engine rpm. You won’t have any more troubles with the engine trimming up instead of down if the prop breaks loose in hard turns, or trimming up too late or early while you’re getting up on plane.

Better yet, Active Trim isn’t exclusive to Mercury’s top models, but is offered on models ranging from entry level to premium—this includes outboards from 40hp to 400hp and MerCruiser packages from 130hp to 430 hp. The system will also be available for retrofitting to engines already in the field, and can easily be adjusted to lock in the right trim profile for a given boat design.

And lest you think—ironically—that by giving more control to Active Trim, you will be completely out of control, keep in mind that this system can easily be overridden by operating normal trim controls, proving for a seamless handoff from auto to manual operation even at high speeds, so the operator can claim full control whenever she or he wishes. The Active Trim control system also includes intuitive automatic-resume features to minimize user interaction required to maximize benefits of the system.

Our publisher, Greg Larsen, spent a day testing this system on various boat sizes and models. He says, "I like that the active trim system makes boating that much easier for all levels of boat drivers. I've been with many ‘experienced’ boaters who still don't understand how and why the motor needs trimmed."

Needless to say, this will simplify boating for everyone. As Mercury Marine puts it themselves, “It’s like moving from a stick shift to automatic transmission in an automobile.”

You won’t have to wait long to test this yourself; full production is planned for early 2016. Stay ‘tooned for more from Mercury Marine!

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