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Does a surface drive need trim to be effective?

NO. Not at all. This is an old fashioned mis-conception about surface drive technology. The main reason some surface drives have trim is so that the propeller immersion can be set at the optimum position for best propeller loading. This is needed usually because the propeller design is not quite right for the application and so adjustments in immersion will change the loading of the propeller and so the power absorbed from the engine. But this does not necessarily mean that the propeller becomes optimised for the vessel. In a word, the trim is needed to compensate for wrong propeller design or match to the vessel. At Q-SPD we use advanced propeller design and manufacture technology which ensures the propeller can be optimised correctly to the vessel without the need for adjustment.