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Old 10-18-2015, 11:16 AM   #1
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Stabilization Systems - The options

Well so much for the "simple" boat concept. Now that we sold the second house our journey to get back on the water is one step closer and the discussion is a little more serious. Despite my best efforts to keep the next boat simple and lower cost, I loosing the battle quickly as the first mate starts to make her short list a little more pronounced.

This brings me the discussion of stabilization on a semi-displacement hull trawler in the 40' range. While I'm familiar with two of the three options (manual paravanes and Active Fin Stabilizers (Trac, Wesmar, Niad)), I have no experience with Gyro (seakeeper) systems. What I have read is interesting and I can see their progress especially on smaller boats. I'm curious if anyone has real time experience with their system and would be willing share either here on the forum or off line? I can be reached at N4061@yahoo.com.

From a basic approach I like the idea of not having "fins" on a semi-displacement boat which create drag while we cruise at around 7-10 knots. Our personal experience the past 20 years is that we didn't need stabilizers about 50% of time we were on the water, thus a self-contained gyro system (downside is it requires a generator operating) which can be turned off is appealing. Thanks

John T.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:04 PM   #2
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I can't speak to gyros on smaller boats but my friends who run a bit larger boats with gyros like them. You get stabilization underway, at anchor or at the dock.

Yes they take a time to spool up. And they need AC power to work.

The problem with them on a smaller boat is they take up space.

But you do get full time stabilization.
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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In addition to those three, there's also bilge keels and water stabilization. (See Beebe, but both have also been discussed here I think...)


-Chris
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:35 PM   #4
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Hello John. Congrats selling the house, good luck reigning in the wife.

Kevin Sanders was looking into installing a Sea Keeper unit on his Bayliner 47 a year or so ago. No idea if he did it or not but believe his thread wound up including input from either Sea Keeper corporate or their local install representative. Be worth a search.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:07 PM   #5
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Seakeeper is working on smaller units but to this point they've just not been practical on boats under 50'. Also stabilizers like Naiad have satisfied the needs of most customers in that size range. The smallest boat I've been on with a Seakeeper is 65' and I wanted to not be impressed, but I failed. It was so well matched and just did a great job.

Seakeeper now has a Model 3DC and a Model 5 for smaller boats. The smallest unit is around 30x30x25. It can be installed off center line if necessary although that isn't the preferred install. It takes about 30 minutes to spool up. If I was building a boat I'd probably try to get it. If looking at a retrofit, so much just depends on the boat. The smallest two units cost about $30k which is not that far out of line with other approaches.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:48 PM   #6
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Seakeeper units will run off an inverter and the smallest unit for up to 10tons runs off batteries
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
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In addition to those three, there's also bilge keels and water stabilization. (See Beebe, but both have also been discussed here I think...)


-Chris
And catamarans.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:32 PM   #8
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At the Seattle boat show in January I looked into the Seakeeper system, We were quoted $30K for the smallest unit they make. it was on display at the show. It is a great unit but way out of our budget.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
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I have never heard of them being used on boats less than 50 ft either. On Club Sea Ray (CSR) I posed this question about a year ago, and their corporate Captain chimed in. He delivers boats year round, up and down the coast, and is well respected. He has run their larger 60 ft. boats with the gyros (Seakeeper I believe) and says they work very well.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:24 PM   #10
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I have never heard of them being used on boats less than 50 ft either. On Club Sea Ray (CSR) I posed this question about a year ago, and their corporate Captain chimed in. He delivers boats year round, up and down the coast, and is well respected. He has run their larger 60 ft. boats with the gyros (Seakeeper I believe) and says they work very well.
They've now been used on a few smaller European boats. They weren't previously an option for smaller boats. The Seakeeper 3 DC and the 5 have changed that, especially the 3 DC which doesn't require a generator. It requires 900 Watts from a Pure Sine Inverter. It's also about 30" x 30" and 800 lbs.

The other stabilizer manufacturers are looking at smaller boats too. Side Power's vector fins are designed for smaller boats.

I've been on a Searay L 650 with Seakeeper and I've been on a Sunseeker Manhattan 63 and 65 with Seakeeper and with Side Power fins. They all worked well. I haven't personally been on a smaller boat using either. They both do what they're advertised to do. Seakeeper has it's positives and it's negatives and it's ultimately a personal choice.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:26 PM   #11
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Surprising to hear they can get enough juice out of an inverter to power that thing. That technology has certainly come along way the past 10 years.

I believe the past discussion I had was the L class SR.

No personal experience, so interesting to hear they are working as advertised from everyone who has been on them.

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They've now been used on a few smaller European boats. They weren't previously an option for smaller boats. The Seakeeper 3 DC and the 5 have changed that, especially the 3 DC which doesn't require a generator. It requires 900 Watts from a Pure Sine Inverter. It's also about 30" x 30" and 800 lbs.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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