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TOPIC: Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions

Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 08 Apr 2017 17:19 #1

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Guys. I'm new to the forums and found lots of useful information for my boat. I purchased a new Element 160 last year and so far Its been a great boat. I do however suffer from some of the same issues i been reading about here in regards to porpoising. I am in the process of getting some Nauticus Smart Tabs and need suggestions. I have a new GPS that I'm installing (Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro) . My boat came with the stock depth finder and transducer. The issue is the transducer is mounted kind of in the way of where the smart tabs will go. I will need to remove that transducer and need suggestions of what to do with the holes left. It seems like the tabs will cover one of the holes maybe both not sure yet. The next issue is the placement of the Dragonfly 7 Transducer. Thanks guys and looking forward to suggestions :)

I will post pics later to show the current placement.

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 09 Apr 2017 14:33 #2

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Not sure about the Nauticus tabs, as I put Bennets on mine. Not sure if one is better than the other or not. I used the 10"x10" size, which is the SLT10 model #. It was probably over kill, but I can assure you that the porpoising disappeared, and my Element got right up on plane and I had no issues after that. I boat in a lot of chop and current and wanted to make sure I got the most stable ride I could. You could most likely use the 6"x8" size, which is the SLT8 model. The only issue I had installing mine, was that the rams were a bit too long, and I had to take my zip tool and cut a small notch out of the swim platform lip on either side. Amazon has both Bennets and Nauticus. As far as the Dragonfly 7 goes, great unit. I installed one on a sea ray I had, and my last boat, a Wellcraft Antigua. I had a lot of old crap hanging off the Wellcraft that I didn't want to uninstall, so I wormed the sonar unit in there, and it was pretty close to the drain plug. It worked perfectly. For the old holes, just dab some 3M 5200 around the holes, and reinstall the screws. They'll seal up tighter than a drum.

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'17 F18 - 115 Merc

Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 11 Apr 2017 00:01 #3

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element385 wrote: Not sure about the Nauticus tabs, as I put Bennets on mine. Not sure if one is better than the other or not. I used the 10"x10" size, which is the SLT10 model #. It was probably over kill, but I can assure you that the porpoising disappeared, and my Element got right up on plane and I had no issues after that. I boat in a lot of chop and current and wanted to make sure I got the most stable ride I could. You could most likely use the 6"x8" size, which is the SLT8 model. The only issue I had installing mine, was that the rams were a bit too long, and I had to take my zip tool and cut a small notch out of the swim platform lip on either side. Amazon has both Bennets and Nauticus. As far as the Dragonfly 7 goes, great unit. I installed one on a sea ray I had, and my last boat, a Wellcraft Antigua. I had a lot of old crap hanging off the Wellcraft that I didn't want to uninstall, so I wormed the sonar unit in there, and it was pretty close to the drain plug. It worked perfectly. For the old holes, just dab some 3M 5200 around the holes, and reinstall the screws. They'll seal up tighter than a drum.


So you had porpoising issues with an F18 with the 115 merc? Hmm. My new E18 seems quite responsive to engine trim and seems to ride fine with the motor trim all the way down (or almost all the way down). I can trim the motor up a bit to induce porpoising or cavitation, of course. I am thinking that Smarttabs would be a bad idea for my waters because when it gets choppy I can dry the ride a bit by trimming the bow up a bit, as long as the prop doesn't start cavitating....and then of course there is the "following sea" issue.....

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 12 Apr 2017 10:41 #4

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I had to move traducer over 1/4" to meet the 3" minimum for smart tab installation. No problems noted. Smart Tabs getting 160 out of the hole in 2-3 seconds like a shot with 75hp Merc. Even impresses my wife after she rides on Nephews 160 without smart tabs. I highly recommend Smart Tabs....good luck.
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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 12 Apr 2017 14:19 #5

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I should have clarified - I installed the tabs on my 16' Element, which had huge issues with porpoising, etc. When I test drove the F18, it did porpoise as well, but was way more responsive to trimming down than the 16 was. As it felt like it was 100 below out when driving the boat (I test drove the 1st week of March - in Buffalo), I didn't have a lot of time to play with the trim, etc. I'll be installing tabs right after I take delivery, but, in thinking more about it, I may go with the smaller ones.
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'17 F18 - 115 Merc

Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 12 Apr 2017 20:31 #6

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Thanks for the replies. Here's what the back looks like now. Looks like the smart tab will go right over the location of the current transducer. Some people say use 4200 some say use 5200 to mount the tabs and transducer. Theres a marine epoxy used for covering holes has anyone tried that to cover small holes left over from the transducer?

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 14 Apr 2017 21:26 #7

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CableBro wrote: Thanks for the replies. Here's what the back looks like now. Looks like the smart tab will go right over the location of the current transducer. Some people say use 4200 some say use 5200 to mount the tabs and transducer. Theres a marine epoxy used for covering holes has anyone tried that to cover small holes left over from the transducer?


That's where they (factory) put my transducer too. I would use 5200 or marine tex to fill the old holes, and probably use 5200 for the mounting screws...I am sure that Nauticus has a recommendation for that. You will get ten different opinions here, and some of them might even be good ones.

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 15 Apr 2017 14:58 #8

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6104696 wrote:

CableBro wrote: Thanks for the replies. Here's what the back looks like now. Looks like the smart tab will go right over the location of the current transducer. Some people say use 4200 some say use 5200 to mount the tabs and transducer. Theres a marine epoxy used for covering holes has anyone tried that to cover small holes left over from the transducer?


That's where they (factory) put my transducer too. I would use 5200 or marine tex to fill the old holes, and probably use 5200 for the mounting screws...I am sure that Nauticus has a recommendation for that. You will get ten different opinions here, and some of them might even be good ones.



What do you think would be a good placement for my new transducer? I was thinking right next to the motor just come straight down where the existing transducer wire is now. A few inches to the left of the bunk.

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 16 Apr 2017 23:21 #9

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Another question.. I I need to get a replacement helm wedge cushion. I contacted my dealer and they are horrible replying to emails and phone messages. Unless I drive there they wont call you back. Is there any way to get a replacement cushion online?

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 20 Apr 2017 16:29 #10

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Seems you can't get anything online for the new Elements - everything has to go through your dealer. I even posted a question about the Center Console cover for my F18 that they offer as an option up on Bayliner's Facebook page and didn't get an answer. Only after I asked my dealer about it, was I able to find out. I would try and find another dealer that could help you out. We have two big dealers in my area, within a few miles of each other, so we always seem to get great service.

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'17 F18 - 115 Merc

Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 20 Apr 2017 16:51 #11

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CableBro wrote: What do you think would be a good placement for my new transducer? I was thinking right next to the motor just come straight down where the existing transducer wire is now. A few inches to the left of the bunk.


That's a very good question, to which I don't have an answer. My concern with your proposed location is that the boats already have a tendency for cavitation; putting it so close to the prop could help induce cavitation. There is also the increased possibility of signal interference from the engine, but I don't know if that is a realistic concern. But moving it more outboard would, I would think, decrease reliability when on plane (although my fishfinder doesn't seem to work with a damn anyway while on plane, but I am playing with transducer heights and angles to see if I can improve that. I would suggest talking to a marine electronics guy about the hull shape and mounting locations before taking any action.

Regarding parts.....I think Bayliner dealers would be the only game in town for that stuff....though you could try eBay. If your dealer sucks then find another. Most dealers will ship stuff these days, I think, so proximity might not be a big deal.....

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Element 160 Smart Tab suggestions 21 Apr 2017 20:15 #12

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6104696 wrote:

CableBro wrote: What do you think would be a good placement for my new transducer? I was thinking right next to the motor just come straight down where the existing transducer wire is now. A few inches to the left of the bunk.


That's a very good question, to which I don't have an answer. My concern with your proposed location is that the boats already have a tendency for cavitation; putting it so close to the prop could help induce cavitation. There is also the increased possibility of signal interference from the engine, but I don't know if that is a realistic concern. But moving it more outboard would, I would think, decrease reliability when on plane (although my fishfinder doesn't seem to work with a damn anyway while on plane, but I am playing with transducer heights and angles to see if I can improve that. I would suggest talking to a marine electronics guy about the hull shape and mounting locations before taking any action.

Regarding parts.....I think Bayliner dealers would be the only game in town for that stuff....though you could try eBay. If your dealer sucks then find another. Most dealers will ship stuff these days, I think, so proximity might not be a big deal.....


I found a picture a member posted of his transducer placement which is pretty much where i want to put mine. I'm going to try and contact him to ask if he's had any problems it.

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