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Old 02-17-2018, 06:40 PM   #1
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Electric fin stabilizers

I'm starting to look seriously at installing active stabilizers on Kika, a 47' Selene trawler. I've read the many posts here, describing and debating pros and cons of fins vs. gyro vs air vs hydraulics... Now we have another option -- electric actuators (servo motors) powered by 24VDC. (https://humphree.com/how-it-works/fin/) Humphree, a Swedish company now offers these active fin stabilizers for trawlers and higher speed yachts. Anyone on the forum have first-hand experience with this new technology?

What's appealing to me is the sheer simplicity of the installation -- a big deal when looking at a retrofit like mine. Installing the fins requires the same effort and hull reinforcement as hydraulic units, but that's where the similarity ends. Instead of heavy duty hydraulic lines, engine pumps, fluid tanks, pressure gauges and controllers, these electronic stabilizers are powered by a typical alternator and controlled with a simple data network. Installation is said to take less than a week. Comments?
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:03 PM   #2
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Here is a lengthy discussion thread (19 pages, hey they are worse than we are):

Humphree stabilisation system?

There may be some nuggets there, I'm not up to reviewing all the pages, but since you are interested you may want to.

I would wonder if an alternator running on an engine for this size boat can really supply enough power for the two fins? And if electric motors are going to last in that duty cycle/environment. I'm just asking, I'm not any kind of electric motor expert. [But] Electric motors have been around for a long time, any manufacturer could have implemented a system like this before instead of hydraulics?

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Old 02-17-2018, 07:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nwboater View Post
I'm starting to look seriously at installing active stabilizers on Kika, a 47' Selene trawler. I've read the many posts here, describing and debating pros and cons of fins vs. gyro vs air vs hydraulics... Now we have another option -- electric actuators (servo motors) powered by 24VDC. (https://humphree.com/how-it-works/fin/) Humphree, a Swedish company now offers these active fin stabilizers for trawlers and higher speed yachts. Anyone on the forum have first-hand experience with this new technology?

What's appealing to me is the sheer simplicity of the installation -- a big deal when looking at a retrofit like mine. Installing the fins requires the same effort and hull reinforcement as hydraulic units, but that's where the similarity ends. Instead of heavy duty hydraulic lines, engine pumps, fluid tanks, pressure gauges and controllers, these electronic stabilizers are powered by a typical alternator and controlled with a simple data network. Installation is said to take less than a week. Comments?
Suggest you talk with the stabilizer guys. Response time is the big issue. Once you get the details for each mfrs response time then maybe some decisions can be made. Also, your current engine's PTO ports and simplicity to put a pump on plays into it. No way would my alternators power the fins, struggles enough for running the AP pump and other loads.

What size fins?
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:36 PM   #4
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I have no facts to offer, but I like the idea of NOT having a hydraulic system aboard - if all else were equal. I would certainly give it a close look if I were in the market. Looking forward to your findings and decision.

Good Luck

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Old 02-17-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Similar stabilization performance is going to require similar net power. Check the specs carefully to see what the full power requirements are, and what it would take to supply that power. Typically there is no free lunch.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:41 AM   #6
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Saw in a mag about new water jet stabilizers.

not sure what powers the pump but could be anything that met the oower requirements.

cant remember if it was side power or not...but the fins dont move, just supply angled water jets and they are extremely effective at slow or no speeds.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:55 AM   #7
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I have no facts to offer, but I like the idea of NOT having a hydraulic system aboard - if all else were equal. [/I]
My hydraulic Wesmars have been trouble free since new. Many prefer hydraulics over electric for thrusters and windlass. Electric stabilization like Seakeeper really works, genset needed though. As Twisted notes, power has to come from somewhere.

On your vessel you could certainly use passive fins if you so chose. The OP could do the same. Dirt Doc's new build NP talked about on TF is having bilge keels installed. Mark Price has a steadying sail. Or get a Lou Bodega design with hard chines, they are Transpac capable say some. Many options for decreasing roll.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:05 PM   #8
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Richard,
Please let us know what type you decide to go with. Stabilizers on on our wish list in preparation of heading south next year.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:48 PM   #9
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I will be talking to the Humphree USA rep on Monday to discuss feasibility of installing their system in my Selene as a demo boat. Regarding power consumption: The servos run on 24VDC current and at max output consume 80 amps...average draw underway is in the range of 25-40 amps. For my project I would add to my Cummins main a Balmar 24V alternator 70-100 amp output and a 200 A/h AGM battery bank. I have a spare 100 amp leg on my battery charger and existing volt/amp meters for monitoring a second battery bank.

Wiring the servos to the batteries is straightforward, as is the plug and play CAN network that connects the digital controller to the servo units. Labor costs will come with opening the hull, adding reinforcement, and installing the servo motors and bolting on the fins. Cost of the Humphrey fin stabilizers is unknown, but I will update this post after I know more.
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Old 02-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #10
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Looking forward to it!
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:23 PM   #11
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Hi Richard,

I retrofitted Naiad 252s to my Grand Banks 46 last year.

FWIW, I would say that by far the most difficult part of the job was fitting the fins and building up the glass reinforcement for the pads which the actuators sit on. It required the whole interior of the boat to be taped up and covered with plastic, as the fine glass dust gets everywhere. You will no doubt have to do this same (or similar) work on your boat, regardless of whether you go for electric or hydraulic fins...

If the guys you are talking to reckon they can have the whole job finished in less than a week, then go for it. It will be the fastest fin retrofit in the whole history of retrofit fins!

Whichever system you choose, it will likely make a huge difference to the comfort levels on your boat when underway.

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Old 02-23-2018, 09:36 PM   #12
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OK, so I had that conversation with the Humphree rep about pricing for their electric fin stabilizers. For a package sized for my 33 ton trawler, the quote was $80,520. To this sum I'd need to add installation costs by a shipyard ($10K-$15K) plus a separate 24VDC battery bank/charging system ($5K-$7K)...for an estimated total just shy of $100,000. Astonishing, yes, especially when you consider that a fully installed hydraulic system from Naiad, ABT-Trac, Wesmar, etc. runs half the price of the Humphree product. My reply back was that if they can price it under $35K, then maybe it will have a chance to compete in the well established and competitive U.S. stabilizer market. I still think the concept of electric stabilizers is valid--it's just too early...like when Seakeeper entered the market with their first prototypes. I'm sure we'll revisit this subject in the future.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:29 AM   #13
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So...I am totally unfamiliar with stabilizers....so forgive me if this post seems naive.

IF stablilizers cost $100k, wouldn't you be better off with a larger boat in the first place ?
which will roll more, a 36 footer with stabilizers or a 40 footer without ?

Is the point of the stabilizers safety or comfort.

If you are a weather window watching cruiser will stablizers allow you to go for it, when non stabilized boat would have to wait ?

Or will both boats have to wait for the same window, but the stabilized boat will be more comfortable ?
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:08 AM   #14
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IF stablilizers cost $100k, wouldn't you be better off with a larger boat in the first place ?Length doesn't affect roll, hull form does.

which will roll more, a 36 footer with stabilizers or a 40 footer without ? 40 footer.

Is the point of the stabilizers safety or comfort. Yes and yes

If you are a weather window watching cruiser will stablizers allow you to go for it, when non stabilized boat would have to wait ? Sometimes.

Or will both boats have to wait for the same window, but the stabilized boat will be more comfortable ? And safer





Gerr's "The Nature of Boats"
and Beebe/Leishman "Voyaging Under Power" are excellent primers/
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
IF stablilizers cost $100k, wouldn't you be better off with a larger boat in the first place ?Length doesn't affect roll, hull form does.

which will roll more, a 36 footer with stabilizers or a 40 footer without ? 40 footer.

Is the point of the stabilizers safety or comfort. Yes and yes

If you are a weather window watching cruiser will stablizers allow you to go for it, when non stabilized boat would have to wait ? Sometimes.

Or will both boats have to wait for the same window, but the stabilized boat will be more comfortable ? And safer





Gerr's "The Nature of Boats"
and Beebe/Leishman "Voyaging Under Power" are excellent primers/
I had the effect of stabilizers demonstrated last summer when crossing the Straight of Georgia from Pender Harbour to Silva Bay. Waves were making a direct course more and more uncomfortable as I approached the middle of the Straight, so I needed to alter course to take out some of the roll. ALtering to port introduced enough pitching to introduce too much water on the windows, to Stb put us into area Whiskey Golf, when active, so was not possible.
A stabilized boat was overtaking us, and his destination was to Port of ours. He was on the radio to someone else, discussing his stabilizers, so I learned that he had altered course to match ours, to take out the pitching, and as soon as we passed the corner of WG he altered more to Stb to take out more of the pitching. The stabilizers effectively controlled the roll, so his passage was somewhat more comfortable (less fatigue on the helmsperson too) than ours.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #16
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I have Naiad fins on my Cheoy Lee 46 LRC and I am impressed with them.

However, if I were newly outfitting a vessel or building a new boat, I would seriously consider (with some more personal research) these:

MagnusMaster - DMS Holland
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:10 AM   #17
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Regarding safety, my already bad knees took a hit after a steep roll a few years ago. Another reason I wanted stabilization.

Regarding the quote, I would think a SK 9 retrofit would be about the same in order to clear out the space and beef up the structural it will sit in.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:00 AM   #18
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Amazed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post
OK, so I had that conversation with the Humphree rep about pricing for their electric fin stabilizers. For a package sized for my 33 ton trawler, the quote was $80,520. To this sum I'd need to add installation costs by a shipyard ($10K-$15K) plus a separate 24VDC battery bank/charging system ($5K-$7K)...for an estimated total just shy of $100,000. Astonishing, yes, especially when you consider that a fully installed hydraulic system from Naiad, ABT-Trac, Wesmar, etc. runs half the price of the Humphree product. My reply back was that if they can price it under $35K, then maybe it will have a chance to compete in the well established and competitive U.S. stabilizer market. I still think the concept of electric stabilizers is valid--it's just too early...like when Seakeeper entered the market with their first prototypes. I'm sure we'll revisit this subject in the future.
...At $35k for hydraulic. I am on a 46 OA with ABT Trac stabilizers. I think the owner paid well north of $50k for these including all work, yard costs,etc. Still, I think your point valid.

Also, the way they were installed in my ER takes little useful space that I could have/would have used for other things.

The stabilizers are the best money the previous owners spent on this boat. Period.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4Liberty View Post
I have Naiad fins on my Cheoy Lee 46 LRC and I am impressed with them.

However, if I were newly outfitting a vessel or building a new boat, I would seriously consider (with some more personal research) these:

MagnusMaster - DMS Holland
Thanks for the tip Have you found pricing?

I've been watching Rotorswing for a couple years, but they haven't been moving very fast into the marketplace...
https://www.rotorswing.com/magnus_stabilizers/
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:55 AM   #20
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Thanks for the tip Have you found pricing?

I've been watching Rotorswing for a couple years, but they haven't been moving very fast into the marketplace...
https://www.rotorswing.com/magnus_stabilizers/
I haven't priced them. I'm not in the market for stabilizers now. Since they are relatively new to market, they may not yet be competitive, but they seem so much simpler than the hydraulic fins and seakeepers. At least that's my impression.

Here's a cool boat set up with four of them:

https://www.shipsforsale.com/en/ship...ssare_3_astra/
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