You can control the pitch of your small, outdoor motorboat by installing a manual or power tilt mechanism to the motor.

A hydraulic tilt and trim kit gives you the freedom to make the bow of your boat go down or up and lets you run it at a comfortable angle through the water.

Different manufacturers have their own instructions, but most tilt kits are installed the same way. You can install an aftermarket hydraulic tilt to your boat in a few simple steps.

Add Tilt to a Boat

Follow these basic steps to add a hydraulic tilt to your engine:

  • Step 1: Make sure you have all your parts, including prewired harness, mounting hardware, and the kit. Remove the existing outboard motor if it is still on the boat. Clean and dry the area where the motor attaches.
  • Step 2: Line up the tilt mount with the existing holes from the motor. You may have several heights from which to choose. Be sure to use marine silicone sealant designed for water use. Put enough sealant behind and inside each bolt hole to make a good seal. Put sealant on the shank of the tilt too. It’s good to put sealant anywhere the unit might rust.
  • Step 3: Secure the mount with the bolts, nuts, and washers from the hardware kit. Do not overtighten the bolts and nuts to avoid stripping them but make sure they are secure. Attach the wiring to the battery.
  • Step 4: Attach the wiring and control switch to the dashboard. Most boats have a ready-made hole for the switch on the dashboard. Insert the switch into the hole and secure it. If your boat does not have a hole for additional switches, check your manual or contact the manufacturer to locate the best place on your boat model’s dashboard to insert a switch.
  • Step 5: Reattach the motor onto the tilt mount.

The terms “tilt” and “trim” go hand-in-hand when referring to adding the ability to raise and lower a motor on a small boat. In addition to moving the bow up and down, tilting also adds pull to your steering.

Be aware that your boat may feel like it is pulling to the right or left when you raise and lower the motor.