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Old 07-10-2019, 12:29 PM   #1
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Stabilizers?

We are looking at a 44 DeFever to do the Great Loop, cruise to Bahamas, and do the Down East Loop (up and around Nova Scotia). It does not have stabilizers. For protected waters, I'd suspect stabilizers would not be beneficial.

However, would they be beneficial in the waters around Nova Scotia and Bahamas?

We do realize the subjectivity of the question and welcome your opinions.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #2
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We are looking at a 44 DeFever to do the Great Loop, cruise to Bahamas, and do the Down East Loop (up and around Nova Scotia). It does not have stabilizers. For protected waters, I'd suspect stabilizers would not be beneficial.

However, would they be beneficial in the waters around Nova Scotia and Bahamas?

We do realize the subjectivity of the question and welcome your opinions.
Had friend with a Defever 44 without stabilizers when he left NC in the fall for Bahamas. He had stabilizers when he returned the next summer.

Think the need for them depends on how easily you get seasick.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:43 PM   #3
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Based on my experience and observations I'm not a big fan of stabilizers. I recently posted my opinions and observations on another thread.


Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Ahoy from Whidbey Island


Others are sure to disagree with me.
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:44 PM   #4
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Based on my experience and observations I'm not a big fan of stabilizers. I recently posted my opinions and observations on another thread.


Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Ahoy from Whidbey Island


Others are sure to disagree with me.


Ray,
I totally agree with you active stabilizers do a good job when working.
They are high maintenance items, and have a very high failure rate when you need them the most.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:12 PM   #5
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Went to Bahamas and back from Ft Lauderdale on our 53 Hatteras MY with the Niaids in off/locked position, trip was enjoyable because the Gulf Stream sea conditions were less than 3' at 15 sec. Moved the boat to PNW Vancouver BC then down coast to SF, got beat up on beam seas all the way with Niaids on. Boat was fine, passengers not so much; 1 seasoned mate had to be let off in Tillamock OR. Would not want to do it again in those conditions, and esp with out some form of stabilizers. On our 68' Defever we added passive rolling bilge keels to minimize the discomfort, not as effective as the active type, but no maintenance issues. Bottom line I would look for a boat with stabilizers, or expect to spend $50k adding them later, esp on a full displacement Defever.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:35 PM   #6
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Ray,
I totally agree with you active stabilizers do a good job when working.
They are high maintenance items, and have a very high failure rate when you need them the most.
A very close friend has active stabilizers and has a lot of trouble with them. I agree with the above statement.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:55 PM   #7
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:00 PM   #8
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Having stabilization was one of the best things I had done on the boat. Definitely worth the money IMO. But, that was a new build so the install was much easier for the yard. Retrofits can be tricky and $ depending on various factors.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:33 PM   #9
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I have pondered this question more than a time or two. I think the answer might be Hull specific and/or operator specific.
My experience level s thin compared to many here but I have not yet found myself in conditions where I wished I had them on my hulls.
This past weekend we exited Victoria Harbor into the Strait of Juan DeFuca and then crossed Haro to get into Cattle Pass. Moderate conditions for sure with 15-20 knots SW in the Strait quartered to the port stern. Not much for swell but 2-3 ft wind waves on top of what little swell there was and a bit of a confused state where the two straits meet.
Between this ballasted hull, the bilge keels, and the AP70, it was just the sweetest motion you could ask for and I would have missed it had it been stabilized out. It was just that nice sort of thing like riding a good trail horse that tells you life is good.
My wife is a bit prone to the leeward rail and spent some time there on the motor sailer we were on for the GreatBarrier Reef cruise under similar conditions. No such urge on this hull on this trip anyway.
I think I am good without stabilizers for now.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:43 PM   #10
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The six or so times transiting to/from Victoria Island Harbor during the summer, the seas were always calm. On Alaska trips during summer, the most boisterous seas were outside central and northern California. SC and SE Alaskan waters were relatively calm.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:26 PM   #11
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:19 PM   #12
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I actually have stabilizers. You can blast by me with your sportfish boat and wake the hell out of me, I don’t care, the stabilizers will make your wake almost unnoticeable. Sure, lots of calm water here in the PNW and lots of big wakes. Can’t remember the last time I used them in Juan de Fuca for a beam sea but used the hell out of them on the 4th of July. Maintenance, an oil change once in a while and new seals every 10 years. Sure, that’s more than a non stabilized boat but the non stabilized boats never tell you about all the money they spend replacing things that flew off the counter when they got waked by that inconsiderate SF boat.

Are they expensive? Yes! Are they worth the money? That depends on what you can afford. Are they impressive? Yes!
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:32 PM   #13
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There are many brands of stabilizers. I have Naiad model 252. I have heard of very few issues from Naiad users. Occasionally you will hear about a stabilizer locking up in full dive mode. This is usually do to a failed seal, usually a twenty year old seal. Getting a stabilizer unstuck and back to neutral can be a challenge, most don’t try. They limp into port and let the professionals deal with it. If you buy a boat with stabilizers and you don’t know when the seals were last replaced then you should assume the worst and get it back on the 10 year schedule.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:32 PM   #14
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I have never had stabilizers but I am wondering what a typical 10 year maintenance costs on them. Any general idea?
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:49 PM   #15
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Should be $1500 for new seals. If the seals were breached by saltwater then i’m Guessing $5,000 but that’s a guess.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:04 PM   #16
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I've owned and cruised a boat extensively up and down the eastern seaboard, a Hatteras 56MY stabilized with Naiad 252's. I know and have known many other boaters with Naiad systems and a few Wesmars and ABTs and Vospers. These systems are fairly simple and like any other boat system, need preventive maintenance and replacement of aged parts parts on some schedule. They also need to be operated properly. In addition to having the seals changed out (I preferred a 5 year schedule due to the heavy use) for about $1000 by an experience tech (it can be a DIY job by borrowing the right tool), I replaced a couple of solenoids myself at about $50 per. Other owners reported similar. I consider them a very low cost system to maintain and own. If you never maintain them, then yes, the consequences can be costly. We loved having them as they expand the number of days you can cruise comfortably, which as another poster aptly noted, is a personal judgement as to what "comfortably" means. Not to say that you can't cruise some days less comfortably without stabilizers, but we are pleasure boaters, in that order.

That being said, I've also done a lot of very fun cruising in non-stabilized "trawler style" boats in the 40-50 foot range such as Grand Banks, Mainship and, on a good deal of the eastern half of the Down East Loop, a Hatteras 42LRC. You pick the wheres and whens you cruise a little more carefully,that's all.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:20 PM   #17
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What percentage of boats have them?
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:22 PM   #18
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Here is a picture of the fins I was discussing above, passive but many commercial fishing boats use them here out in the Strait of Georgia:

http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/a...9&d=1482528064
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:16 PM   #19
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I've owned and cruised a boat extensively up and down the eastern seaboard, a Hatteras 56MY stabilized with Naiad 252's. I know and have known many other boaters with Naiad systems and a few Wesmars and ABTs and Vospers. These systems are fairly simple and like any other boat system, need preventive maintenance and replacement of aged parts parts on some schedule. They also need to be operated properly. In addition to having the seals changed out (I preferred a 5 year schedule due to the heavy use) for about $1000 by an experience tech (it can be a DIY job by borrowing the right tool), I replaced a couple of solenoids myself at about $50 per. Other owners reported similar. I consider them a very low cost system to maintain and own. If you never maintain them, then yes, the consequences can be costly. We loved having them as they expand the number of days you can cruise comfortably, which as another poster aptly noted, is a personal judgement as to what "comfortably" means. Not to say that you can't cruise some days less comfortably without stabilizers, but we are pleasure boaters, in that order.

That being said, I've also done a lot of very fun cruising in non-stabilized "trawler style" boats in the 40-50 foot range such as Grand Banks, Mainship and, on a good deal of the eastern half of the Down East Loop, a Hatteras 42LRC. You pick the wheres and whens you cruise a little more carefully,that's all.
This is good advice.

The Defever 44 is a great cruising boat. The same “modified displacement” hull form that makes it economical and seaworthy to operate allows it roll in a beam sea—but not as much as some “full displacement” boats I’ve been on.

Switching on our Naiads when we’re taking lively seas on the beam instantly results in a major reduction in roll and a major increase in comfort. Replacing the seals is about a $1K job every few years and, as George says, it can be DIY with the right tool. Stabilizers have been retrofitted to many Defever 44s—Craig at Stabilized Marine is very familiar with handling the job and there’s ample room in the 44’s engine room for the components.

As for when you need them, it’s not the nice weather you choose to go out in that makes them worthwhile. It’s when that nice forecast blows up while you’re half-way across Lake Michigan that you’ll really appreciate them.

Ours have been very reliable. I’m familiar with Naiads and they make excellent equipment. I’m sure other brands are, as well. Ours have never failed—even when the primary cylinders needed rebuilding after many years of use. And if they did ever break down, they wouldn’t leave us stranded like, say for instance, having a single engine might ; you just wouldn’t have stabilizers for awhile.

Finally, as for keeping things simple and avoiding complexity, we all surrendered that notion when we stopped paddling dugout canoes. .
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:31 AM   #20
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On our 68' Defever we added passive rolling bilge keels to minimize the discomfort, not as effective as the active type, but no maintenance issues. .
This type of thing?
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