How to Fine-Tune Your Takacat: Using a Permatrim, Prop Cupping & More

How to Fine-Tune Your Takacat: Using a Permatrim, Prop Cupping & More

Your Takacat is one of the best inflatable catamarans on the market. It’s a work of art. Nevertheless, the best can always be made better. That’s why today, we’re going to talk about how to fine-tune your Takacat to take its performance and comfort to the next level. We’re going to guide you through permatrimming, prop cupping, and fixing splashback issues on your Takacat so that you can take your time on the water to the next level.

These minor tweaks are cost-effective and relatively easy to get done. And yet, they produce powerful changes in how your boat acts on the water. You’ll enjoy greater ventilation and more efficient steering, and you’ll find it much easier to get your boat up on plane. And, you can make splashback issues a thing of the past. Whether you currently own a boat or you’re in the market for a Takacat for sale, this is a great resource to get the most out of your boat. Here’s why:

Why Fine-Tuning Your Takacat Is Worth The Time & Energy

When we refer to the Takacat as the ultimate portable boat, we don’t say it lightly. This is a bold claim, but the industry agrees - it doesn’t get any better than a Takacat! So, why take the time and energy to upgrade your boat with permatrimming, prop cupping, and other tweaks? Can’t you just enjoy the boat as it is?

Sure, you can - but you’re investing good money into this boat. Why not go above and beyond to fine-tune your boat and enjoy it that much more? 

While not all boats will need permatrimming, anyone who owns a boat over 6HP should consider doing so. And, a lightweight crew/load will benefit from a permatrimmed boat too. It will drastically reduce the degree to which you feel weight distribution issues. This will help you get your boat up on plane faster and reduce ventilation problems. And with the downturn sides, you’ll find that your boat steers better, too.

One of the only complaints we’ve seen with the Takacat is in regards to splashback issues. We designed this boat with a lower transom which ultimately lower the outboard by 60mm. This was done for safety purposes - a straight bar transom can lose all power and steerage while traveling downwind, and you definitely don’t want that. While this new design is safer, it leads to the occasional problem with water splashing in from hitting the fat part of the outboard leg. A relatively minor complaint, but one we’re here to help you address nonetheless!

Now that we’ve made the case for optimizing your boat for better performance, safety, and comfort, let us explain how you can go about doing it.

What Can You Do To Get The Most Out Of Your Takacat?

Today, we’re going to cover the three main things we recommend boat owners do to fine tune their Takacat:

  • Permatrim
  • Prop Cupping
  • Fix Splashback Issues

There are other minor tweaks you can implement along with these, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck with just these three. So, without any further ado, let’s get into the first topic at hand: permatrimming your Takacat.

Permatrimming Your Takacat

First things first - what is Permatrim? This is a simple marine-grade aluminum attachment that you can install onto your outboard. The idea behind installing a Permatrim is to prevent issues with cavitation and ventilation - or, in layman's terms, the formation of air bubbles on the propeller. 

Why is this a problem, you ask? There are three reasons. Obviously, cavitation and ventilation can cause damage to your propeller in the long run - leading to costly repairs. Another obvious reason to address the problem is that cavitation makes the ride uncomfortable. You’ll feel those air bubbles in the form of vibrations as you cruise along the water. Finally, you’ll experience less grip in the water which leads to losses in efficiency and speed. All that said, addressing cavitation and ventilation problems by Permatrimming your Takacat is a no-brainer upgrade. Not only will you prevent these three issues by installing Permatrim to your outboard, but you’ll gain these benefits: 

  • Cruise at lower planing speed: the permatrim will lead to increased stern lift, allowing you to stay on plane at a lower speed. This is far safer in rough water conditions.
  • Get your boat onto plane faster: not only does a permatrim allow you to cruise at a lower planing speed, but you’ll find that you can get your boat onto plane faster. With more stern lift and trim control, it’s far easier to hold the bow down and the stern high. A secondary benefit of this is that you enjoy greater vision as the bow stays lower.
  • Better rough water handling: as we’ve touched on throughout this article, permatrimming leads to better rough water handling as you have more control of trim angles. You also gain the ability to eliminate porpoising. All of this leads to a safer, more comfortable ride.

Remember - not every boat needs to be permatrimmed. We generally do recommend this upgrade to those with boats greater than 6HP and less than 20HP. If you feel this is an upgrade you could benefit from, we encourage you to get your aftermarket cavitation plate through Permatrim or Davis Dole-Fin.

Prop Cupping Your Takacat

Now that we’ve covered Permatrimming your Takacat, let’s talk about prop cupping. When you purchase a propeller, you can choose from a range of styles. The cupped prop is one in which the blade trailing edges are bent over to form a “cup”, which is where the name comes from. You can also cup your existing propeller by taking it into a propeller repair shop. But - why is this something you’d want to do? We’re glad you asked!

While the change is very minor, it leads to substantial benefits. For one, cupping your propeller contributes to a reduction in cavitation and an increase in performance. Cupping the propeller will create more “grip” in the water, leading to better efficiency too. If better performance is something you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a cupped prop!

Again - this is not something every boat will need. However, it’s worth looking into if you experience cavitation or ventilation issues. And it is generally recommended for owners that want to extract every last knot of speed from their boat/motor combination. In terms of actually getting your prop cupped, you have two options: buy a new propeller and have it designed accordingly, or take your existing prop into a repair shop to have it tweaked. You can apply a cup to virtually any prop, including stainless steel styles. However, it is far easier to cup a bronze or NiBrAl propeller.

Fixing Splash-back Issues On Your Takacat

Finally, we’re going to help you address any instances of splash-back while on your Takacat. As we mentioned in the outlook of this article, splash-back may occur in higher HP applications on a Takacat. This design feature reduces loss of speed and steerage while traveling downwind in following seas, but it may lead to some splash-back. So, how do you fix this problem? It’s actually really simple.

The catamaran hull style of this boat causes two bow wakes which collides right around where the outboard leg enters the water. A flattened surface of the water greatly reduces this splashing effect.

We’ve seen boaters eliminate the issue altogether by wedging a yoga mat or any other malleable foam material between the air deck floor and the skin that connects the two hulls. For the best results, choose a pad that is at least 2” thick x 6-20” wide. This should be all it takes to prevent water splashing in as a result of hitting the fat part of the outboard leg.

Is There Anything Else You Can Do To Fine-Tune Your Takacat?

As you can see, fixing issues from cavitation or splash-back isn’t all that difficult. By installing a Permatrim or having your prop cupped, you can eliminate cavitation altogether to enjoy better performance, weight distribution, and comfort. And to eliminate splash-back, find a yoga mat or similar material and wedge it into the area between the air deck floor and the skin connecting the hulls. It’s that simple!

We hope this advice helps you experience the Takacat as it was intended, in all its glory. If you want to learn more about keeping your boat in tip-top shape, our article on basic Takacat maintenance is a great resource. And, if you’re still in the market for an inflatable catamaran for sale, get the best the industry has to offer at your local Takacat dealer today!

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