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Old 02-15-2016, 05:56 AM   #21
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I had wesmar fins on my last boat and yes they made a difference but not enough to warrant what they would cost to fit nor maintain. I specifically looked for my next boat to not have them and found a 70ft hard shine motor yacht which cruises at 9 knots and have not even remotely missed the active stabilization.

The dropping of fins and level of maintenance is significant and adds to the cost of ownership to a point where for our use they are not needed.

The big factor is in how you use your boat and what weather you wish to boat in. With our cruising we are not crossing oceans and can plan to not have to boat in poor conditions so stabilization is not worth even remotely considering. Not even if free would i have them. Just not needed for our usage. But everyone is different and they can be awesome for others.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:49 AM   #22
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Inland they have little use , but do create a danger from knocking a hole in the vessel in a grounding.

For tiny runs like the Bahamas a SD boat will feel more stable at higher speeds , and get the transit over with quicker.

$30K to $45K would pay for lots of extra SD fuel burn.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:04 AM   #23
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I don't have any quantitative data on percentage roll reduction. There was a discussion on the forum some time back, comparing active fins to other alternatives but I could not find it. I seem to recall gyros around 80%, active fins quite a bit higher and paravanes very much lower.

Newer active fins have accelerometers in their control systems so the fin movement is large and early which gives the 'flat ride' experienced.

But its true that for older systems, some brands more than others, were high maintenance and somewhat problematic in other ways as well. Not sure of exact timing but I doubt that anyone with fins that are about 5 years old or newer, and have Naiad's or ABT's in particular, have had anything but joy from them.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #24
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Worth the dough? Question of whether my wife is coming or not and thus question of whether I have a boat or not.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:09 AM   #25
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Stabilizers worth the dough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
What are typical percentage roll reductions that you have experienced?

For us:

Probably 90-95% difference in roll with them on. In average seas you can put a glass down anywhere with them on. There's barely any roll at all.

Once seas build say 5 or 6ft, especially off the beam, they can't match the energy in the water, and she'll roll some, but nowhere like what it is without them.

When we were first researching moving from sail into a trawler, a friend told us we'd regret looking at boats without them. He was right. For us it's a must have.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:52 AM   #26
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Do people look to stabilization because they are prone to sea sickness? Just wondering... I can't come to terms with the cost, another service item on the boat, risk of banging a fin on something and compromising the hull compared to the benefit, unless one cannot go boating because of motion sickness then I'm sure they are welcome.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:03 AM   #27
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A fellow we know had these installed. Gyro Gale Stabilizers | Marine Stabilizers for Yachts
Cost was 1/3 less than Niads. They work at zero speed as well. They use compressed air, no hydraulics. I never heard of them before.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:11 AM   #28
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I was on a Hatteras LRC that had active stabilizers for a week of coastal and ICW cruising. When you turned them on and off you could definitely tell they were working.
I spent years cruising the same area on my boat without stabilizers and other than some big wakes didn't see the need. The guy who owned the Hatt was going from Tampa to Venezuela which means a thousand of miles of open water and beam seas. For him I think they were worth the cost.


For me in coastal and ICW cruising with lots of shallow spots I never considered them. If you have special needs such as prone to seasickness or balance problems the difference may then be between boating or not and they will be valuable.


Boats equipped with a schedule in coastal and ICW cruising seem most in need of active stabilizers. []


You can always add them later if you have problems.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:23 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post
What are typical percentage roll reductions that you have experienced?
Depending on the boat and the stabilizer, normally the roll at rest is reduced by 40-75% and the roll at speed is reduced 70-95%. However, there are other factors beyond the measured distance such as the rate of roll. Ultimately, much like the weather, you end up with a combined "feels like". So the overall impact to passenger discomfort or reaction or sensation of roll at rest may be 60-90% and at speed may be 85-99%.

If you or your spouse or kids are having problems with seasickness, stabilizers can reduce that and even eliminate the problem in a very high percentage of cases. The numbers I showed above are for fins and vector fins. Gyro stabilizers will be on the upper end of those rangers as well, in the range of 90-95%.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:33 AM   #30
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A fellow we know had these installed. Gyro Gale Stabilizers | Marine Stabilizers for Yachts
Cost was 1/3 less than Niads. They work at zero speed as well. They use compressed air, no hydraulics. I never heard of them before.
Are you sure they work at zero speed? The reason I ask is that on their website, they have charts showing the roll reduction on a Hatteras LRC and then to the right of that the percentage reduction at various speeds. That chart shows 0% reduction at 0 knots, about 55% reduction at 2 knots, and 87% or so at 4 knots and above.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:41 AM   #31
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Here is a detailed account of a stabilizer retrofit in a 47' Grand Banks. Please note that it's one of the newer Grand Banks with a full planing hull, 20+ kt boat.

Adventures of Tanglewood: Installing Stabilzers on a 47' Grand Banks

I have to disagree about them being ineffective on a planing hull. I though they were great. It's true that if you are on a full plane, the hull wants to stay parallel to the water surface, but frankly that's part of the problem because as you traverse waves, the hull wants to roll with them. It's at a very different tempo on a planing hull, and less objectionable, but they still roll and stabilizers still cut it way down.

But, where stabilizers really shined on our Grand Banks was in a wallowing sea moving between 8 and 15 kts. As others have said, stabilizers don't help with pitch, but they substantially reduce the roll and let you go out when you would otherwise turn around and return with your tail between your legs.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #32
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Do people look to stabilization because they are prone to sea sickness? Just wondering... I can't come to terms with the cost, another service item on the boat, risk of banging a fin on something and compromising the hull compared to the benefit, unless one cannot go boating because of motion sickness then I'm sure they are welcome.

Not in our case, and I do not believe this to be the case in general either. Btw, the fins are designed to break off long before the hull would be compromised.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:45 AM   #33
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Do people look to stabilization because they are prone to sea sickness? Just wondering... I can't come to terms with the cost, another service item on the boat, risk of banging a fin on something and compromising the hull compared to the benefit, unless one cannot go boating because of motion sickness then I'm sure they are welcome.
I think a lot of people don't realize how much they can reduce seasickness, but they definitely can. Now we do give first timers meds, but we've not yet had anyone to get seasick on our boat.

They reduce discomfort in total and even fear. Often in rough water one is reacting to the pitch and roll and not to a real safety factor. We talk about the boat being able to handle much more than the captain or passengers can and this is part of it. If I can make 6' feel more like 2' then I feel much safer.

With a properly designed and installed fin, the risk of compromising the hull should be very minimal.

Yes, they are another service item on the boat. I would add a couple of thousand dollars a year to my annual budget on boats 60' and under.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:00 AM   #34
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A couple of other comments. We mentioned seasickness where they can definitely help, even though many don't think of them in that regard. On board injuries and breakage, both people and possessions is another area. Even less wear and tear on the boat and equipment. (My wife just told me to add "less loss of water out of the hot tub". I would go beyond that and say in general just more freedom to enjoy oneself on deck while cruising).

More freedom to use the boat itself. Conditions that will keep you in without them, may not do so with them. Easier routing and greater speed flexibility. You don't find yourself tacking like a sailboat as often or otherwise adjusting your route. You also find yourself with more flexibility as to speed as you're not so focused on the most comfortable speed since there isn't such a difference in it and other speeds.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:16 AM   #35
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Bayview,

Thank you for your response. I perhaps did not word my question as well as I might have. My real question has to do with how much ride improvement I will get out of stabilizers on a semi displacement hull.I have I have been on a Katie Krogen 48 and understand the need for stabilizers there. But I am unsure if ride improvement will be significant on a boat like an ocean Alexander drawing 4 feet and having hard Chines.

Thanks again for any and all insights.

Gordon
There are several pretty good videos on Youtube that show roll with stabilizers off, then on. That will give you a pretty good idea of the effect.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:43 AM   #36
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Depends where and how you boat. Protected water boaters can do without. Also consider a gyroscope system it is more versatile will work at anchor and no hull fins.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:51 PM   #37
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consider a gyroscope system it is more versatile will work at anchor and no hull fins.
From what I have read, the gyro type take a crap-ton of power to run, take a long time to spool-up, and take up a lot of bilge space. Not completely practical for most members here, but gosh-golly, I would love to have one. That is for sure!
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:04 PM   #38
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Not in our case, and I do not believe this to be the case in general either. Btw, the fins are designed to break off long before the hull would be compromised.
This.

Seasickness isn't the issue at all. You still have pitch, heave and yaw that will cause that if someone is prone to it. For me the value is being better able to safely walk around the boat underway, and of not shaking up and stressing the contents and components of the boat any more than they need be.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:25 PM   #39
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Stabilizers worth the dough?

In my career, I spent many days, sometimes weeks on commercial fishing vessels on the west coast, from the US San Juans to, Dixon entrance, including off shore on the west coast of Vancouver Island. None of these vessels had active fin stabilization. From this experience I learned that a) I would try to avoid travel in bad weather if possible, b) I didn't want to tie $20-50,000 of potential boat buying $ into active fin stabilization and c) ideal would be passive poles and paravanes as these are commonly used on many of the commercial vessels I had experienced. KK42's with active fin stabilization "seem" to be priced about $20-30k higher than those without. We ultimately purchased a KK42 with poles and paravanes. At the time, she was the best KK42 available, and...bonus!...she had poles and paravanes.

The KK42 will roll like a tortoise on its back in a beam sea. And yet, we tend to do most of our traveling without the P&P's, as we gain about a 1/2 knot in speed.

So the question you might want to ask yourself is: do you want to tie $20-50,000 of potential boat buying $ into active fin stabilization? You might find that you can work around the windows of weather and sea-state otherwise.

I should add that P&P's work well on full displacement hulls but may not be suitable on planning hulls.


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Old 02-15-2016, 02:07 PM   #40
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Personally I wouldn't buy a trawler without stabilizers unless I was just looking to do protected ICW runs.
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