Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

I finished building my plan built Peeler last June and spent lots of time on the water last summer and fall.  I installed a four stroke 15 HP Mercury outboard.

My biggest complaint is when fishing by myself it has a sever bow up attitude at most speeds.  If I use a tiller extension and stand up just behind the center seat the boat gets up on plane but has a tendency to porpoise.  (Scary)

I'm thinking of adding a Hydrofoil Stabilizer to the captivation plate and am curious if anyone else out there with a Peeler has done so to eliminate these issues.

Looking forward to your responses.




12 replies:

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RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

   Add trim tabs?

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

   Thats a good thought.  I was thinking that the install on the motor would be a little cleaner.

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

   Maybe John will weigh in...

Years ago I added two manually adjusted aluminum trim tabs that measured about 4" deep and 6" wide on a 16' powerboat, one each side of the transom.  I was able to adjust one side a notch or two lower than the other side to counteract prop roation torque...(I'm thinking I adjusted starboard lower than port side but that was a lot of years ago)  They worked great and reduced the "squat" before coming up on plane. 

Also, have you adjusted your motor angle to be 90 degrees to the water after on plane?  You should have no, or little, rooster tail and not be aiming your thrust water down either...make it go straight back when on plane.  Others may have other thoughts, this is a much discussed topic...dont know how it impacts a CLC light weight boat.


RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??


Thanks for the input.  I have adjusted the  motor as far as it will go to get it on plane.

Without much success I might add.

John, your thoughts???????


RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

   I have a Skerry, have never driven or had a ride in a Peeler. I do have two Boston Whalers, a 13 and a 17. The whalers are fairly flat bottomed boats and the consensus on the Whaler Central site it that modern propeller technology requires the outboards to be raised pretty high on the transom to get maximum speed and best operation and it does work. Best recommendation for outboard installation on my 13 is for the top motor mounting bolts go through the fourth holes down from the top of the bracket.   People report a higher top speed, less proposing and no operating problems such as cavitation. I don't know how your motor is mounted to the transom but raising it may improve your operating characteristics. Most Whaler owners have their motors mounted so the cavitation plate is 3-4 inches up from the keel. 

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??


Hello Tim,


Some good recommendations from the others and here is my two cents. . . I would first and foremost check to see if you have the right prop diameter and pitch for your skiff. Most all outboard manufactures have calculators that factor boat design, weight, altitude and use. If you are not generating enough thrust by an inefficient  prop it will cause aeration and you won’t drive your bow down.  Another consideration is the relationship of the horizontal tab and prop to the waterline as to the design of the hull which should be detailed in the plans. After confirming all the above I would then begin to raise the outboard in one inch increments on the outboard jack plate if equipped or by constructing a jack plate or top trim to your transom.  If you are confident all of the above are correct you should next consider load trim. Can you move your fuel tank and other gear forward when operating alone and maintain the ergonomics of your vessel. Can you add moveable ballast such as collapsible plastic water jugs? As a last resort you could consider an outboard whale tail or trim tabs although I personally don’t like either. The whale tail mounted to the outboard works but it will effect steering at anything above displacement speed. Trim tabs also work but I don’t like to add any unnecessary through hull fittings below the waterline to my vessels (especially my wood vessels).


Prop diameter/pitch, horizontal tab height, load trim and then tabs is the order I would attempt to correct this.


Happy Boating,





RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

 Thanks for the comments.  Looks like I've got some work to do. 

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

Have you considered the Center Console?

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

Last fall I submitted this as a technical question to CLC after noticing a Doel-Fin on the display Peeler and JH responded saying that any flat bottomed boat would benifit by having one. He did not have performance spec's at the time but may have input now.

I also saw a post saying that Bennet Marine Self Leveling Trim Tabs were good at keeping the bow down to the point that the operator could sit by the transom and not have problems with handling. These are basically spring loaded and self contained so they don't require electrical or hydrolic input.

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

Is definitely not unique to the Peeler Skiff.  Any powerboat this light is going to adopt a bow-up attitude if your weight is aft.  I know of homebuilt designs in this class that resort to water ballast to manage trim at speed!

Adding "Doel-fins" is a big help with any outboard-powered boat that weighs less than a thousand pounds. (Which is to say, just about any outboard-powered skiff under 16-18 feet).  

They only take a couple of minutes to install and help a lot. I've got them on my 900-pound C-Dory as well as on our demo model Peeler Skiff.  They cost about $30.

Trim tabs seem like an awful lot of trouble for something like the Peeler Skiff.  One tweak that's been around for a hundred years is to add "wedges" on the bottom of the hull just forward of the transom.  Basically, fixed wooden trim tabs.  I haven't felt any need to add those to our Peeler Skiff, perhaps because the addition of the center console added weight forward and flattened her out when driven hard.  

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

   Not familiar with the Peeler, other than on this forum, but I have a 9' rigid bottom inflatable tht has a 15hp on it, and it was deadly until DoelFins.  They did the trick,  an easy fix for not a lot of money, and no drilling into the transom.

RE: Hydrofoil Stabilizer for a Peeler Skiff??

I vote for plastic water jug. It is the cheapest. I prefer not to put the added stablizers aka cavitation plates,  on the motors because I go into a lot of shallow water.........ok bigger boat but shallow none-the-less,....... and added motor trim cavatition plate causes boat trim problems if you have to operate with a motor trim up in shallow water.    

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