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Old 05-09-2017, 06:15 AM   #1
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Two Questions

Hello
Firstly has anyone visited St Helena in the South Atlantic?

Secondly, stabilizers. It would appear with a boat with a Flying Bridge not only would a stabilizer make for a comfortable ride, but in bad weather could even be essential for the stability and safety of the vessel. Anyone experience a stabilizer failure at sea?
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:25 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:02 AM   #3
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Hello Colin,

Not many people have visited St Helena. A fairly remote spot. Napolean Bonaparte is about the only person that I can think of.

What type of stabilizers are you referring to? Active fin, gyro, paravanes, sails, bilge keels, anti-roll tanks?
Like anything on a boat, they all fail at some time. Bilge keels are probably the simplest and most dependable. They are probably the least effective as well.

Sails are obviously the most popular form of stabilization, but active fins are gaining popularity for good reason.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:05 AM   #4
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I'd think a trip to that part of the world would warrant some type of stabilizer system, if thats what you're thinking of..
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:18 AM   #5
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Active stabilizers can fail. Active refers to those systems with fins that are hydraulically operated as opposed to passive which are the flopperstoppers. When Nordhavn sponsored a trans Atlantic rally (2004?) the majority of boat with active stabilizers experienced failure. This resulted in the industry changing the strength of the fins and the rams in the systems.

Those with passive stabilizers experience fewer problems but problems can occur.

If you were building a boat to spend 90% of its time underway in open ocean I would suggest passive stabilizers. More reliable. If you are cruising North America with frequent stops in protected waters the active stabilizers would be more convenient. Can't judge what would be best in Australian waters except if you are offshore all the time for days on end the passive would be better.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:38 AM   #6
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Look at what fisherman use in open water. Paravanes and steadying sails would be the two most popular. They can fail as well, but they can usually be repaired at sea.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin J Ely View Post
Secondly, stabilizers. It would appear with a boat with a Flying Bridge not only would a stabilizer make for a comfortable ride, but in bad weather could even be essential for the stability and safety of the vessel. Anyone experience a stabilizer failure at sea?

If you haven't seen it, there's a very recent thread here with a review of specific stabilizers...

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Old 05-09-2017, 07:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Colin J Ely View Post
Hello
Firstly has anyone visited St Helena in the South Atlantic?...
Yes. We spent about a week there on a crossing. By the time we left, we knew more about Napoleon Bonaparte than we were ever tought in history class.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Active stabilizers can fail. Active refers to those systems with fins that are hydraulically operated as opposed to passive which are the flopperstoppers. When Nordhavn sponsored a trans Atlantic rally (2004?) the majority of boat with active stabilizers experienced failure. This resulted in the industry changing the strength of the fins and the rams in the systems.
.
I think the Atlantic Rally reflected more Nordhavn's inexperience with stabilizers than anything else. Stabilizers had long been in use with minimal issues, but were relatively new to Nordhavn and they had real issues during the rally. Like every aspect of a boat, problems are possible and good routine maintenance essential. We have stabilizers and have never had any issue with them. I wouldn't boat in oceans without them.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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Realize that St Helena is about 1,000 NM west of Angola/Nambia. You won't be going there in anything short of a Krogen, Nordhavn or others of its type. You need range, hull strength, stability and robust and redundant systems to make that trip- with or without stabilizers.

If you were to make that trip in a boat like those with stabilizers, you need to be prepared to make it safely (albeit uncomfortably) without stabilizers if they were to fail. That is the general principle of blue water cruising- robust, redundant systems when possible but the ability to continue without them. You won't have Nordhavn's support crew on that trip -.

FWIW, here is what one Active Captain reviewer said about St Helena:

Date: 2016-03-24
Captain: El Sordo, Hiawassee (10)

This is an island in transition. The monthly ferry is scheduled to cease operations in June, 2016 and the airport is to open at the same time. The times they are achanging. For now it's a friend;y place to visit and cruisers are welcome. They have moorings, yellow if you are under 20tons displacement and red if you are over. The price is 40 pounds a month or 10 pounds per day. Local ferries monitor channel 16 and will usually be happy to come out to get you. The ferries start early to accomodate the fishermen and usually cease operation around 8 pm unless you make special arrangements. Standard rates are 2 pounds per round trip, but if you was a return trip after hours is gets up to 3 pounds Diesel is delivered by lighter and cost 1.22 pounds/liter on Feb 1, 2016.The same lighter will deliver water in jerry cans in large quantities at no additional charge. The was nothing along the lines of a chandlery while we were there, although a hardware store had some usable items.By careful selection and prudent shopping we had fresh food all the way across to the caribbean. If the wind hauls around to the west, the anchorage will be lively.Plan to pay cash for everything. There are no ATMs on the island and you have to get you currency at the bank and pay a premium. Internet is available on the island, but it's controlled by a monopoly and is excruciatringly slow and cost 3.30pound for 30 minutes. I assume the lack of credit cards is related to the absence of viable internet for verifying. There are some Finnish people on the porch of the Consulate hotel who will take orders for fresh baked bread. It has no preservatives, but is delicious while fresh. Go to the visitor center and arrange a tour. It's a unique and interesting place to visit should you find yourself riding the current past Namibia.

Here is another:

Date: 2012-01-20
Captain: foolishsailor, Ireland (283)

We throughly enjoyed St. Helena and stayed for 2 weeks. We rented a car to see the island which I highly recommend - especially Napoleans Tomb and Horse Point.The owner of the Consulate Hotel on the main street (its a onle lane town so hard to miss it) is an ex-cruiser and very helpful. The hotel chef prepared 12 meals and deep froze them for us prior to our passage. Ann's PLace is a cruiser hangout with a great view of the bay. If the Cape Town to Salvedor Rally is in town it can get quite rowdy!If you have the legs for it you must climb Jacobs Ladder and the windy trails into and out of the valley make for great views and hikes.The anchorage is bad - no other way to say it. The holding is good but it is deep and there is only a small shelf before it gets really deep really quickly. The bottom adrops off quickly to 4000m outside the anchorage, so a dragging anchor can mean a boat adrift. This happened to two boats while we were there - onel while the guy was asleep at night and the other while the owner was at Ann's looking down on his boat... The anchorage is exposed to weather from the north and in the early months of the year the open swells that roll in can make the anchorage unlivable and make landing via the harbor ferry impossible.We would go back any day though - it was a blast.

David
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Colin J Ely View Post
Hello
Firstly has anyone visited St Helena in the South Atlantic?

Secondly, stabilizers. It would appear with a boat with a Flying Bridge not only would a stabilizer make for a comfortable ride, but in bad weather could even be essential for the stability and safety of the vessel. Anyone experience a stabilizer failure at sea?
Note that stabilizers don't directly improve the safety of the boat. While they make it more stable, that is only for crew comfort, ease of movement around the boat, etc - they don't reduce the risk of capsize. However, if crew fatigue could reach extreme with constant rolling, then you might consider them and indirect safety feature.

Richard
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:26 AM   #12
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For st Helena, check out mvdirona.com. They were there maybe a year ago, and then crossed directly from St Helena to I think Barbados in an amazing 3600 nm leg.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:22 AM   #13
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Didn't M/V DIRONA have a stabilizer failure on that leg to Barbados?
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:44 AM   #14
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I doubt this spot gets a lot of cruiser traffic.

That is a long way out for most recreational power vessels. A LRC capable of a major crossing (e.g. Nordhavn, Kady Krogen, and other LRC capable could do it). Even those who own capable vessels don't all cross oceans. For sailboats, that is in a tough spot as it looks like it's in the center of the South Atlantic Gyre.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:15 PM   #15
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....For sailboats, that is in a tough spot as it looks like it's in the center of the South Atlantic Gyre.
We went north of the center and the crossing from Cape Town to Brazil was our easiest and best crossing. If every ocean crossing was like that there'd be a lot more boats out there. .

We tacked once from Cape Town to St Helena and only had winds over 20 knots for about 12 hours. We never had winds forward of the beam or seas over 3 meters, mostly 1-2 meters and in sync with the wind. It took us 12 days to cover the 1670 miles from Hout Bay (Cape Town) to St Helena and 14 days (1841 miles) from St Helena to Bahia Salvador, Brazil. It was a great trip and stop. Now if you were going the other way.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:34 PM   #16
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We went north of the center and the crossing from Cape Town to Brazil was our easiest and best crossing. If every ocean crossing was like that there'd be a lot more boats out there. .
That is what makes it tough for sailboats. Not a lot of sailing in the doldrums.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:31 PM   #17
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Note that stabilizers don't directly improve the safety of the boat. While they make it more stable, that is only for crew comfort, ease of movement around the boat, etc - they don't reduce the risk of capsize. However, if crew fatigue could reach extreme with constant rolling, then you might consider them and indirect safety feature.

Richard
I think you will get some argument about that.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:01 PM   #18
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I think you will get some argument about that.
But not from you?

I have heard arguments about a situation where the roll period is close to the wave period and that stabilizers can help prevent an increase in roll amplitude when broadside to the waves. In theory they could prevent a capsize. I haven't found much evidence of that however. Any references would be very welcome - I'm always prepared to change my point of view.

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Old 05-09-2017, 05:42 PM   #19
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I operated a few big boats with stabilizers. Never owned any. They put great strains on the hull. Especially in bad weather and then usually have to be retracted. Some people selling and installing stabilizers put them on the wrong boats. When I had a yard I repaired a couple steel boats that had fractures from their stabilizers.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:09 PM   #20
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Didn't M/V DIRONA have a stabilizer failure on that leg to Barbados?

No, Barbados was the destination. But james did swap an actuator cylinder that had a worn bearing. They have a service interval of 2000 hrs as I recall, and his were overdue for replacement. So more of a service action than a repair, and certainly not a failure.

He also shut down and changed the main engine oil mid trip, running on the wing engine for the duration.
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