Mercury Active Trim

Mercury Marine’s Active Trim relieves boat owners of the chore of — and the mistakes involved with — trimming the engines while underway. It is fully automatic, and it starts as soon as the gears are engaged and trims the engines at any speed.

Key Features

  • Relieves boat owners of the chore of trimming the engines while underway
  • Factory Installed with Active Trim software
  • 5 factory preset trim curves
  • System is fully automatic

Engine trim is one of the more sensitive and, to some boaters, complex tasks that must be performed to maximize boat performance.

When it comes to boating tasks that many boat owners find the most difficult to accomplish, docking and engine trimming often head the list. Mercury Marine has addressed the issue of docking with its joystick, and now it offers a product that makes trimming automatic — what could be better?

Mercury Active Trim Vessel View screen

The Active Trim functionality appears on the left side of the Vessel View screen.


The Vessel View screen on the dash shows Active Trim on the left panel and trim movements on the bottom center of the screen. There are five factory preset trim curves. The higher the number, the more aggressive the trim for a given speed. Just adjust for the given load and conditions on the boat at any given time.

If more passengers are aboard, more trim will be needed, so a higher number should be selected. Some sea conditions might indicate a different trim angle for more comfort, so again, resetting the trim number might be in order.

If, for any reason, the operator wants to trim the engines manually, the Active Trim feature can be turned off, and the rocker control on the throttle lever can be used in the conventional manner.

Mercury Active Trim profile

Our test boat was a RIB and its Active Trim calibration was done at the factory.

Factory Installed. Each boat has its Active Trim software calibrated and configured at the factory for its optimal trim. The default setting becomes number “3” — or the middle point — allowing operators to move the setting up or down given the boat’s load factor at any given time.

For example, if the boat is bow heavy, add trim with a higher number. If there’s a lot of wind and the boat would be drier with the down, select a lower number. All of this can be done with the Active Trim pad or the latest version of the Vessel View screen.

Mercury Active Trim default setting

All boats are calibrated with the Active Trim in the #3 default setting. From there, the operator can adjust up or down given the load and conditions.

Getting Underway

The Active Trim system is fully automatic. Once the throttle is advanced, the system takes care of the rest. It reads the boat speed and trim angle, then adjusts the engine trim for the best performance at any speed. No longer must the operator touch the rocker control on the throttle.

Our Test. We tried Active Trim, and sure enough, it trimmed the engine to the best trim for the best fuel efficiency at every given throttle setting — without our test captain having to do anything.


Active Trim is appearing in more and more Mercury-powered boats we test, and with good reason. Boating is supposed to be fun, and reducing the work load and skill level needed is always a good thing. In boating, easier is usually better — and Active Trim certainly takes the difficulty out of engine trimming.

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