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Old 04-18-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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Maintenance on stabilizers?

While looking at a new boat to me, it did not have stabilizers. Something I wanted. The owner said maintenance on them has to be done every 5 years at a cost of 30 grand. True or false? 48ft.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:17 PM   #2
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FALSE.

Good grief, did he have his fingers crossed behind his back when he said this?
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Menzies. I figured as much. Boat shopping is tough business. I walked away on that one. I have another in my sights WITH stabilizers.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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If they are active stabilizers, about every 4 to 5 years the seals should be changed. we had this done with bottom paint. it added about a boat unit to the over all cost of the bottom paint.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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If they are active stabilizers, about every 4 to 5 years the seals should be changed. we had this done with bottom paint. it added about a boat unit to the over all cost of the bottom paint.
And how much is a boat unit? Never heard the term.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:38 PM   #6
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And how much is a boat unit? Never heard the term.

Break out another thousand
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:26 PM   #7
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Break out another thousand
Of course. Thatís not bad then.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:32 PM   #8
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Hello Donna,

I have Wesmar hydraulic stabilisers.

They were installed six years prior to the purchase of my 40 year old boat.

I reckon the previous owner had never serviced them, so the first seal and bearing replacement would have been at 8 years. We also found and repaired some fin shaft corrosion. Two years later the seals, bearings and corrosion were OK and I plan to check them again in a year's time, meaning an average service interval of say, 3 years.

BTW for me, removing the fins is not a DIY job.

I wouldn't be without stabilisers. They make a huge difference, and well are worth the extra service time/costs - but then I'm crazy enough to own a wooden boat!
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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John, it would help Donna if you shared the cost - because clearly it wasn't 30K!

Maybe shoot her a pm?
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:40 PM   #10
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John, it would help Donna if you shared the cost - because clearly it wasn't 30K!

Maybe shoot her a pm?
Good point!

Different time, different continent, but I seem to remember an additional day plus around Au$1800.00 on top of regular haul out.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:46 PM   #11
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And how much is a boat unit? Never heard the term.
one Nautical unit =$1000
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:54 PM   #12
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Donna,

The seal replacement can also be done by the boat owner. We have ABT TRAC stabilizers. ABT TRAC offers a free class and essentially teaches you how to do, what needs to be done.

A counterpoint for professional service could be not having the right tools and a helper, or running in to the ever-present “unforeseen obstacles”...but, does not have to be an expensive service affair in all cases.

Good Luck
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:28 PM   #13
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Stabilizers are very high on my list of equipment for the next boat too!

Recently I watched/helped a friend replace Naiad seals on a Nordhavn 40. The job was surprisingly quick and easy...a few hours per fin, and we weren't rushing or particularly well versed in the process.

It did require a few specialized tools and a (borrowed) pallet jack to help handle the fins. Larger fins would be more difficult to wrestle on and off but I know owners who do it.

Replacing bearings is apparently more involved. I'm sure other things can go wrong, but I haven't heard of anyone approaching $30k in stabilizer maintenance, even when replacing entire electronic control boxes or fins.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:57 PM   #14
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I`ve no experience with stabilizers and interested in how they are powered. One boat of the class that interests me has a Gyro Seakeeper which I think was said to run on engine generated while running 12v. What does it run on if anchored? A genset, or turn them off and get rolly?
I`d be concerned about running a genset just to feed the stabilizers. Are some hydraulic and powered off the engine? It`s certainly worth thinking about for anyone interested in stabilizers. Of course some boats run a "small" genset 24/7,a larger one when required, so it may not be an imposition for those boats.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:14 AM   #15
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Seakeeper's will generally use 2500W, or more. So yes, likely that you will need to run a genny when anchored.

Naiad's, and ABT Trac & Wesmar are typically hydraulic although recently I believe electric is an option for some models. CMC Marine took out a patent in Europe for electric stabilisers, much to the chagrin of the hydraulic stab folks. Not sure if the patent is still being challenged or not. GyroGale are air powered. Early versions were tricky to get set-up and keep adjusted correctly, not sure if current models are more reliable or not.

Typically solid-state accelerometers are used to detect rolling motion very early and allow high fin deflection quite quickly. Hence active fin stab's are very effective. Early models used gyro's instead of chips, and are less responsive although still quite good. Conversion from gyro to chip versions is relatively expensive - typically 75% or so of a new 'black box' system.

For my Naiad's, service of seals is scheduled at 3 year intervals, at which time inspection for anything else would be made. When researching I found that $850 was expected cost for seal replacement. Initially I was invoiced for over $1300, which I regarded as excessive, although I was partly to blame for a second visit being required. After some emails it was reduced. Next time I will likely get my usual yard to do it rather than the local Naiad guys. They had 2 guys at very high hourly rates. The yard guys rates are cheaper, and i can be the second pair of hands when needed. Mostly the work just needs one guy. The cost is mostly labour.

My Naiad's cost about $30,000 to buy 6 years ago. Maybe that's the aspect that was mis-communicated to Donna. It cost about the same in labour to fit them (retrofitting is always an interesting challenge!) including the hydraulic system to run them.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:32 AM   #16
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Greetings,
Ms. D. We had our Naiad's serviced (seals and bearings) about 10 years ago? to the tune of $4K (I think???). So far so good. Good grief! Don't EVER get old young lady.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:22 AM   #17
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I have Wesmar's. I'll be servicing them when I haul in May. The Wesmar's differ in that service requires dropping the fin out of the hull to change the seals. There's also a Duralon composite sleeve bearing in the hub that is subject to maintenance replacement. Recommended service interval for seals is 3-5 yrs. It can be a DIY if you have the mechanical skills. The fins are awkward to R&R, so either a jack or two able bodies or a combination of both. Mine are not easy to access inside the boat, I could not get to them if I were a big guy.

Mine are also due for some work on one ram, and probably the oilite sleeve bearings on the hydraulic rams. They're getting some play and that translates to noisy operation. If I had to pay the yard for all the work, I expect it would add about $2K to haul cost. I do most of the work myself, I'll have help to R&R the fins, MUCH easier with an extra set (or two) of hands to guide the shaft into the housing.

I would not be without the stabilizers.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I`ve no experience with stabilizers and interested in how they are powered. One boat of the class that interests me has a Gyro Seakeeper which I think was said to run on engine generated while running 12v. What does it run on if anchored? A genset, or turn them off and get rolly?
I`d be concerned about running a genset just to feed the stabilizers. Are some hydraulic and powered off the engine? It`s certainly worth thinking about for anyone interested in stabilizers. Of course some boats run a "small" genset 24/7,a larger one when required, so it may not be an imposition for those boats.
Most active fin stabilizers are hydraulic powered. Typically, there's a pump that mounts to a PTO on the transmission. The system has a solenoid that unloads the pump when the system is not operating. The fin actuators usually have a hydraulic ram that connects to a splined fitting on the fin shaft. The mount is very beefy, as you might expect given the forces that are involved. Most systems have some sort of pin that can be engaged to lock the fins in center position if the system becomes inoperable for whatever reason.

The effect with active stabilizers is dramatic. In a seaway, all you need to do to demonstrate the effectiveness is to turn them off. Instantly stuff starts moving...


One advantage of the gyro systems is that forward movement isn't needed to be effective. (Not to be confused with gyro sensing in a fin system.) They'll function at anchor (I'm told). The drawback is the need for the generator operation. I'm also told they can take up to 45 min. to spin up to optimum effect, active fins are instantly responsive.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:47 AM   #19
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:54 AM   #20
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All of you are great! Thank you so much!! Stabilizers it is! I’ve rolled in the Caribbean before and it wasn’t pleasant. My fault, I was trying to beat some incoming weather.
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