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Old 02-14-2016, 05:03 PM   #1
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Stabilizers worth the dough?

My wife and I are considering a modified V hull boat, semi displacement something like an ocean Alexander 423 or 456. We are wondering how necessary or desirable stabilizers would be on such a hull. We are going to be cruising mainly in the ICW and hope to do the great loop. When doing the ICW we would expect to be able to go outside occasionally as weather permitted. We would also like to go back to the Bahamas.

We are former sailboat owners and are just wondering about the pros and cons to stabilizers and the relative worth of same.

I would appreciate hearing any comments from those with experience.

Thanks,

Gordon
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #2
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Active stabilizers do work. Only you can decide if they are worth the money and space. For the tripe you describe I wouldn't bother just pick good weather and watch the wakes of other boats.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:08 PM   #3
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Worth the dough

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
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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On our hard chined Hatteras 56, they made a huge difference. I have no idea how that might translate to the boat, and potential owner, in question here. Probably can only be answered by actual testing, which can be done if you can find a boat equipped with them. Do a sea trial on a day where you can spend some time in a beam sea and run the boat with and without them on.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:13 PM   #5
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If they are in your budget, get them. You will not regret it now or at resale.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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If they are in your budget, get them. You will not regret it now or at resale.
Better answer than mine.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:48 PM   #7
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Well for icw don't think you will need them much but when I got my 48 KK didn't trun them on till we were in the Gulf girlfriend said don't ever turn them off
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:52 PM   #8
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Well for icw don't think you will need them much but when I got my 48 KK didn't trun them on till we were in the Gulf girlfriend said don't ever turn them off
May not need, but sure will like the first few times you get waked; not to mention to crossing the several often choppy sounds that comprise big stretches of the ICW. If you have them, always use them!
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:44 PM   #9
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I put stabilizers on my Grand Banks 47 which is a 4' draft, hard chine planing hull just like what you are contemplating. They made a huge difference. Worth every penny.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:02 PM   #10
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I can't wrap my head around putting stabilizers on a planing hull. We have one and it would seem to me that the drag would hurt performance or would tear them off after a while. At least based on the bigger ones we have seen on KKs and LRCs.

What am I missing?
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:01 PM   #11
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All,

Thank you for all your answers. these have been the kinds of responses I have been looking for. People who have had them are glad they did. Again appreciate your responses anymore insights from anybody are and will be appreciated.

Gordon
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #12
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I can't wrap my head around putting stabilizers on a planing hull. We have one and it would seem to me that the drag would hurt performance or would tear them off after a while. At least based on the bigger ones we have seen on KKs and LRCs.

What am I missing?
Stabilizers slowed my grand banks by 1/4 to 1/2 kt at wide open throttle which was around 21kts. So negligible performance impact. There is some leeway in fin selection to be considered. You can use larger fins which will give more effective stabilization at lower speeds, but more drag at higher speeds. Or you can us smaller fins and get less drag, but also less effectiveness at slower speeds. We went with the largest fins we could because we wanted as much stabilization as we could get at or below hull speed. Even then, the high speed drag was negligible. And they are definitely not coming off.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:32 PM   #13
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Stabilizers on a planing hull are smaller and move less.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:46 PM   #14
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We have Wesmar hydraulic fins on our full displacement, hard chine timber hull. Cruise speed is 7.5 knots.

Fins this size begin to lose their effect at less than 4 knots with hydraulics driven from main engine.

No experience with stabilisers in previous boats, but now I wouldn't be without them for cruising in any sort of sloppy seas.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:25 AM   #15
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Anybody installed stabilization as a retrofit? How much did that cost? I have been looking at gyro stabilization but at $50k it's too rich for me.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:51 AM   #16
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I'd be interested on the cost from others.

I researched this one to death, and it's on the list, at some time, but initial cost for non-active was 40-50k installed for my boat. Add another 10k if active was needed. This is installed by a yard. Did not include anything else being done during Haulout.

Guess, I'll have to cruise another year to save the boat bucks.

I'm really trying hard to stay within the "paragraph" guidelines. Just saying!
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:57 AM   #17
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We have 9 sf Wesmars on our 100,000 pound boat. At displacement speeds they work exceptionally well. My kids know if they are not engaged, even in relatively calm seas. On my shakedown cruise (from San Diego to La Paz), we were headed north up the Sea of Cortez into closely spaced 4' seas. Stabilizers don't do much (or anything, as far as I am concerned) to reduce pitch so the ride was a little uncomfortable. Since I had then not yet had any chance to put the stabilizers to the test, I was very apprehensive about having to turn to take those seas on the beam. To my surprise and delight, the rolled very little -- it was MUCH more comfortable than heading into the seas.

At planning speeds, my boat (most boats, in my experience) doesn't roll very much, so if you typically travel at planning speeds you probably won't appreciate the benefits of stabilizers as much as I do.

Fin size is important. A buddy with an OA of about the same size had the same stabilizers, but in the 6 square foot size. His are not nearly as effective.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:05 AM   #18
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Once you have them, you'll never go back. The impact on most planing boats is minimal. If that's really a concern, then you might try Side-power vector fins.

Stabilizer revolution - Side-Power

As to Gyro, we decided against for several reasons. First, the warm up time. Second, not so much a concern to us but might be to many others is the need to run the generator. Third is noise. Fourth is just old established technology vs. newer technology still being refined.
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Old 02-15-2016, 03:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Anybody installed stabilization as a retrofit? How much did that cost? I have been looking at gyro stabilization but at $50k it's too rich for me.
I had my Naiad's installed in Port Townsend about 3 years ago. Retrofit is a bit of a hassle and impacts on cost. Cost was a little over $60k all up, and the yard did all the work.

My fins are 7.5 sq ft., and they are very effective. I would not be without them and they are pretty much always on. They turn off (centre) below 4 kn from GPS input.
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Old 02-15-2016, 04:27 AM   #20
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What are typical percentage roll reductions that you have experienced?
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