RE: Tabs for skiff?
Putting Trim Tabs on a flat bottomed skiff like your Sea Pro 18 is an interesting idea. First let me say that I have never had the opportunity to ride in a flat bottomed skiff with Tabs, but I have given the idea some thought in the past. A while back, about two years ago I was asked the same question. I had just come back from vacationing up in Connecticut and a friend had lent me her 14 foot Carolina Skiff to use for a couple of weeks. I gave the same answer as I will give you here:
I have run all sorts of boats and I had forgotten just how much fun bombing around in a little flat bottomed boat can be. I had a ball running up the creeks where I grew up as a kid. The little skiff was a ball to knock around in. It reminded me of a flat bottomed dory my family had for years on Long Island Sound.
So I got to thinking what could Tabs do for this skiff? I remembered that as a kid I used to slide my weight over to one side of the dory when I would drive here fast into a chop. This put one of the chines in the water and sort of made a Vee and smoothed out the ride a little (and I mean a little since she really bet you up in a chop). So I slid my considerable bulk to one side of the Carolina Skiff and found that it did the same thing, smoothed out the ride a tad. Again, I will emphasize the tad part. So I feel that if I had Tabs on a larger flat bottom skiff I might try to use them to lean the boat over a bit and see what it did for the ride. I wish that someone would let me know if they have ever tried this.
Since there is no (or very little) deadrise on a skiff like yours lowering the bow in a chop will not smooth out the ride like it would on a Vee hull. But there are advantages in being able to hold the bow down at lower speeds. Using Tabs to plane at lower speeds would be a big help in running in shallow water. Also the Tabs will improve the boats hole shot particularly when you are loaded with passengers and gear. Of course you will be able to trim the boat out for uneven loads with the Tabs as well.
So I guess there are advantages to be gained by installing Tabs on a skiff, but they would be a bit different than on a Vee hull.
If you put Tabs on the boat I would be extremely interested in how you use them after you have run the boat for a while.
I hope this is helpful. Let me know what you think.