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July 31, 2010

Thanks Andy. The Permatrim is like a miracle! I have an antique ('64) 13' Jon Dory. It is very light, approx. 325 lbs. Maybe 700 lbs. with me, engine, fuel & gear. Most of this is in the rear because it is a tiller steer. I have a 15hp Mercury, which is the max. for the boat & what the previous owner had on it. My first trip out was ridiculous, the bow was up on a 45 degree angle & I couldn't see diddly. I had to go 7-8 mph just to keep the bow down. Not really using the boat or motor for it's potential. Friends told me to put sand bags in the front or take somebody out with you. The sandbag idea I just did not like & once I got the boat right, I was looking forward to bringing friends & relatives with me but not until it was right.
I did my research & ruled out the wing type plastic hydrofoils. They didn't seem to have enough area above the propeller & that is where the lift comes from. I liked the fact that the Permatrim was made from aluminum & it looked like the hydraulic trim tabs I had on other boats, only this was one tab & on the engine!!
My first time out with the Permatrim installed was fabulous!!! You can probably still hear my shouts of joy orbitting the Earth!!! Not only does it plane off at a slow speed but the bow never gets higher than a 25-30 degree angle & then comes down as I hit speed. The boat is also more stable on turns & going straight, no wobbling. This characteristic I believe is the fact that the Permatrim has vertical walls on the edges. I am a very happy customer & the Permatrim does exactly what it claims, worth every penny!!! I highly recommend it!!
Bill C.       


My wife and I love to fish together, particularly bass with an occasional speckle trout/red fish run.  Additionally, I enjoy lake diving.  We live in south Louisiana where you have rivers and bayous, as well as open water lakes and marsh.  We have owned several boats, but could never find the perfect boat to do all of what we enjoy, as small boats cannot take the rough water and larger bay boat styles are not set up for the kind of fishing we enjoy, therefore, we decided to go custom.  In 2007 we had the LeBlanc brothers at LeBlancs Boat Works out of Erath, LA build us a 22 semi-V aluminum hull bay boat (see attached photographs).  Instead of a center console, we opted for dual consoles with large front and back decks similar to a bass boat.  Additionally, we had dive platforms added to each side of the gill bracket.  The LeBlanc family has been building boats since the 1950s, however, have never built a bay boat like ours, as usually their bay boats are at least 24 and all have been center consoles.  We wanted to go with a four stoke outboard engine and was told by LeBlancs that a 150 would suffice.  I wanted to overkill a little, so we went with a 200 Honda.  We picked-up the boat in late December 2007 and had the Honda dealership install the engine shortly thereafter.  Upon our first trial run, I immediately knew the boat was underpowered and had a weight distribution problem.   Our experience was as follows:

-Planing was terrible, as the bow would rise high and take a significant amount of time to level off
-We experience porpoising unless we stayed completely tucked in full negative trim and utilized our trim tabs to a degree
-We experienced cavitation and porpoising in all turns both semi-sharp and sharp
-Top speed was in the mid 30s

Originally, when researching the engine while the boat was under construction, we asked LeBlancs what the dry boat weight should be and they told us approximately 1,500lbs to 2,000lbs.  Since it felt like the hull was full of water when taking off with the Honda, I decided to take the boat to a certified scale.  Turns out the dry weight was right at 3,600lbs (almost 5,000lbs fully loaded), which makes sense, as the boat is comprised of the following:

-The boat has a 7 bottom with a 9 beam
-bottom is constructed out of 5086 marine alloy
-sides and deck are constructed out of 3/16 5086 marine alloy
-ribs are constructed out of 3/16 5086 marine alloy solid plate on 24 centers
-longitudinals are constructed out of 2 tee-bar on 12 centers
-gill bracket is set back to 24 and constructed out of solid aluminum plate
-gill bracket transom is constructed out of 1 solid aluminum plate

The first step we took was to contact LeBlancs, specifically Carl Joe LeBlanc, which was the brother that built our boat.  I told him the issues I had and he told me to bring him the boat the following week and he would do whatever it took to satisfy me.  Unfortunately, when my wife and I showed up on that scheduled Monday morning appointment we were met by a family friend that told us that Carl Joe (45 years old) had a massive heart attack over the weekend and expired.  We were obviously shocked and very sad for the family, as Carl Joe was good people, which is rare today.  We let some time pass and spoke with the other brother regarding our boat issues, but never could arrive at a solution.  We started talking to the boating community professionals and anyone we could, which is an experience in and itself.  Some said the problem could be fixed with props, some said the sharp lifting stakes was the problem, some said it was weight distribution, some said it was the small pocket tunnel on the back, some said it was the engine height and some said the engine was set back too far, but all agreed that the hull was good and straight with no hooks and we were definitely underpowered.  We tried a few props to no avail, and decided to live with it a while.  Next, to do all I could do with what I had without major modification, I installed a 6 Detwiler hydraulic jack plate to ensure optimal engine height.  Although I did not really want to increase my set back this was a necessary evil due to my varying loads and to eliminate engine height from the equation.  About the middle of the summer of 07, some buddies and I took the boat out on a lake dive trip and I could hardly get the boat to plane off with the added weight.  The straw that broke the camels back was when my buddies gathered up on the front deck and had to jump up and down to help me get on plane (very embarrassing).  At that point, even if it hair-lipped the governor, I was repowering.  The Honda went up for sale, sold and I purchased a 300 Verado.  Although, a 250 would have probably sufficed, the 300 weighed approximately the same and I was not taking any chances.  I did consider a two stoke, but my wife likes the quiet.  The Verado solved the planing problem and top speed went from the mid 30s to +/-60mph.  However, the boat still rode a little bow high, porpoised and cavitated in sharp turns only.  The porpoising would now subside with the trim set all the way negative without the use of my trim tabs.  On top end (only) the engine had a full trim range and ran like a dream, which gave me hope.  Obviously, I still was not completely satisfied so I talked to my Mercury dealer and a few local boat builders.  The consensus was propping, hull wedges or complete removal of the gill bracket (decreased engine set back).  We decided to have another go at props.  I needed someone with an exchange test program and was recommended to BBlades.  Because everything basically came down to weight distribution we were trying for a prop with the most stern lift.  I worked with BBlades after trying a couple of friends props (19p Quicksilver Mirage, Revolution 4, etc) to no avail.  None of the props I tried with BBlades (19 & 21 pitch High Five) were much better than the 18p ofs Powertech that I was using.  While this was going on I came across Permatrim in my research, and actually ruled this out because I was told by several people this would void my warranty.  We decided to live with this a while and become accustomed to using the trim tabs to gain a little positive trim, but at a great price to efficiency.  This year I became irritated about our boat again and began looking into new boats.  Other than the problems I have with the boats performance, I would not trade the boat for any other, as this is the most fishable, comfortable, best set up boat for our purposes I have ever seen.  After looking around awhile, I could not find a nicer boat than mine and we looked at them all.  We decided on major modifications.  I started researching again and decided I was going to do wedges and bow weights first, before gill bracket removal.  In this research, somehow I came across Permatrim again.  One thread mentioned the installation would not void the warranty.  Since I have over three years of warranty left, I called Mercurys warranty department and received word from the horses mouth that the Permatrim will not void the warranty unless it causes the specific problem to be fixed, i.e, cracks the anti-cavitation plate due to hitting an obstruction.  I spoke with Andy at Shipyard Island Marina again to reiterate the possible benefits I could expect from the Permatrim, which as it turns out could theoretically help most of my issues.  I received the M9 under mount for my model last Monday (March 5th), and installed after work that evening (see attached photographs).  I took the boat out for a test run Tuesday after work.  My expectations were minimal, but I figured this couldnt hurt me either way.  The Permatrim fixed everything wrong with my boats performance and I do mean everthing.

-The boat planes immediately with no abnormal bow rise.
- I have a full trim range with no porpoising.
- I can travel around hair pin curves with no porpoising/cavitation, as I can trim the boat down and up like normal.
- The boat rides/cruises level, which afforded me an even smoother ride.
- Unexpectedly, I gained a little more than 2mph on top end, which is puzzling because I could trim out all the way before on top end, but hey I will take it.

I am very pleased and words cannot explain the way I feel about our boat now.  Although I did not test fuel economy yet, I bet with the engine running level and not tucked (dragging) will gain a little.  Basically, the boat performs like a boat.  I would now not trade this boat for any other.

Thank-you very much Permatrim and Shipyard Island Marina.


David T.