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Old 06-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #21
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Selling the old 7.5 kW Onan, which is quite bulky with its sound shield, not to mention heavy, would free up what I think would be the perfect spot for a gyro unit. But the other genny is only 2.5kW. So I think I'd need get a quiet & more compact one around 6kW to replace the Onan. That would end up adding to the overall bill, not offsetting anything. But it could still be the way to go.

It looks like there will be around 50% premium to go gyro vs fin stabilizers, serious money. I'll have to decide the price for no holes in the hull and no high pressure hydraulics is worth it. I'm assuming performance is reasonably comparable. I'll go visit the suppliers within the next few weeks to help decide. They also sell fin units so it will be a chance to get some hard numbers for comparison and firm pricing.

Thanks to all for your thoughts, its been very useful for me.
Brian
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #22
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I can't speak to other brands, but chose Trac stabilizers from American Bow Thruster for my boat. I looked at the Mitsubishi gyro, but the energy requirements, cost, spool up time, space requirement and less effective roll dampening outweighed the advantage of no hull penetrations, which is a significant advantage for sure.

An air system is an interesting twist on proven technology, but I'm not sure why a solution needs to exist where there may not actually be a problem. Perhaps this is why there are not that many installs?

Hydraulic systems are dead reliable and I think there is a reason why they are viewed as the standard for many tasks on a vessel. Once you have the hydraulic system for the fins, you also have it for other motors, like winches, thrusters, windlasses, high pressure washdown pumps, etc.

I didn't know it at the time I made the purchase decision, but the service I have received from Trac is pretty much off the charts. They really do set the standard that no other company I have worked with could better. They are more engineering geeks than sales people, so seem to approach an installation from the standpoint of how best to accomplish the task rather than selling the client. I couldn't recommend them more highly.

In the Puget Sound region Platypus Marine in Port Angeles, Latitude Marine in La Conner and Bracewell Boatworks in the Vancouver area would be on my list of firms to get a quote from. I have worked with each, and all are capable of doing what needs to be done in a professional manner. If you want a PM on strengths and weaknesses of these companies (they each have some of both), I would be happy to send it to you.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #23
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In the Puget Sound region Platypus Marine in Port Angeles, Latitude Marine in La Conner and Bracewell Boatworks in the Vancouver area would be on my list of firms to get a quote from. I have worked with each, and all are capable of doing what needs to be done in a professional manner. If you want a PM on strengths and weaknesses of these companies (they each have some of both), I would be happy to send it to you.
Good info Delfin, and yes I'd appreciate a PM. I'll be back at Port Townsend in a few days and am keen to move forward. Cost difference for gyro seems pretty substantial. Also, I just noticed a comment about vibration along the lines of "if you look for it you can notice it pretty much anywhere on the boat". Now that is quite a negative. Background vibrations, humming etc would be very annoying to me, and even would meant the "at anchor" mode wouldn't be all that desirable even if the power needs were able to me met.

At present I have electrics for windlass, davits, thruster etc and as far as I'm aware all are in good condition. But over time things could change. Having hydraulic systems aboard doesn't worry me. Always good to have options.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:30 AM   #24
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Insequent-I have to second Delfin. The ABT Tracis original equipent on our Krogen, but we are extremely pleased with them. As to the hydraulics, in addition to the fins, we have a hydraulic windlass and hydraulic bow thruster. We do not have to worry about how much the thruster is run, no overheating issues, as with an electric thruster. The same with the windlass. I would note that we do not have the at-rest feature on our stabilizers. We could upgrade ours and I did consider it, but found no real need. As has been noted, the genny would have to be running for an at-rest system to work. We have not had enough of a problem with rough anchorages to justify the cost of the upgrade.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:41 AM   #25
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Spool up time 40 min or so

A couple of things to think about. These aren't spontaneous to use like active fins they are basically on or off with a touch of a button. The spool time means waiting 40 minutes. This may not be a problem on long cruises but means your probably not going to use these on short runs across the bay. They also have limits on how rough the sea state is before they have to be shut down. The installed units that I have looked at are bolted to the stringers center line of the boat, so your not going to install these in the location of a genny unless it is bolted to the stringers. Think of the loads gyros generate trying to control roll at the near center of moment. Active fins and birds have mechanical advantage over a gyro as they are located 7'- 30' maybe or more with birds from the roll center. it would be interesting to see data on what these loads might be. Another thought is how much fuel gyros may use running a genny full time compared to active vanes or birds. And of course your genny will need to be large enough to run your house keeping needs while supplying 2000 watts or more to the gyro. A couple of thoughts on air controlled fins. Compressed air needs to be kept dry to control corrosion in rams and valves. A marine environment is not a good place to try and keep air dry, any system that uses air will require an air drier to last any time at all, usually these air driers require electricity, another added complication. Hydraulic systems are long lasting and well proven with many parts available off the shelf. Pumps, rams and lines don't have to come from the fin manufacturer when your out and about in some remote location.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:00 PM   #26
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A good summary of things to consider.

My Onan is centreline aft of the engines and attaching to stringers under it would be straightforward. But there is nowhere for the Onan to move to, and I would need a genny about its size. I agree the forces would be large, and would be nervous about how well the stringers were attached at time of manufacture. Strengthening could be done, but I am thinking that the overall cost is just too much for something that is probably not as good as appropriately sized hydraulic fins.

I believe the air system comes with a dryer/filter. Price looks like it would be around $40,000, fitted in Florida. Getting there would not be practical, flying one of their guys to the boat to supervise install would increase cost. I think it would end up a more bulky system in terms of components that need to be installed in the engine room.

So I'm clearly leaning towards hydraulic fins, with several brands to choose from and several options for yards to fit. Should be most cost-effective approach.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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Gyro Gale Detractors

Back on post 11, Insequent mentioned that Gryro Gale has supporters and detractors at about the same level. I am interested in the complaints that the detractors have, and would appreciate this input. I am in no way associated with the company, but I do have the unit installed on my Hatteras 48 LRC and for 11 years have admired the simplicity of the design and how effective the unit is in controlling roll. Am interested in what others may see as the down side of the product.

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #28
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Hi Pete
Second hand feedback, from a guy I was talking to here at Port Townsend. He has Gyro-gale on his DeFever, and had to put some effort into repairing them when he bought the boat. Then after a trip to Alaska he had to repair them again. I don't know what the issue was and whether the first repairs were adequate. I got the impression that he would not choose to install them in another boat, but at the same time he was happy enough with them when they were working. Not sure if this helps much....

Update on status
For my boat it seems that I could get Gyro-gale fitted (in Florida) for about $40k, Naiad fitted in the PNW for $65k, and Seakeeper Gyro for about $75k also in PNW. Seakeeper list price is $89k, but there for the model I would use there was a deal..... Mitsubishi (gyro) haven't returned emails, and need more power than Seakeeper so I haven't chased them further. I also priced ABT TRAC from an Australian supplier. They provided a detailed listing of components ex: California that was $60k. Then there would be freight, 10% GST and fitting.

The Naiad install included customizing in the head to fit on port side, the expensive oil cooling option and fabrication of an engine mounting system for the hydraulic pump as my old TD 506's cant take a pump. Install is about half the total cost. So, will I or wont I? I know they would be great, and make a big difference for crew wanting to share a boating passion. But ... ouch in the hip-pocket!
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:27 AM   #29
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With a good sized Hyd system a cruising generator for house current is easy and cheap.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #30
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FF, care to expand on your 'cruising generator off hyd system' comment...sounds interesting ! (or maybe a new thread?)
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:21 PM   #31
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Hi Pete
Second hand feedback, from a guy I was talking to here at Port Townsend. He has Gyro-gale on his DeFever, and had to put some effort into repairing them when he bought the boat. Then after a trip to Alaska he had to repair them again. I don't know what the issue was and whether the first repairs were adequate. I got the impression that he would not choose to install them in another boat, but at the same time he was happy enough with them when they were working. Not sure if this helps much....

Update on status
For my boat it seems that I could get Gyro-gale fitted (in Florida) for about $40k, Naiad fitted in the PNW for $65k, and Seakeeper Gyro for about $75k also in PNW. Seakeeper list price is $89k, but there for the model I would use there was a deal..... Mitsubishi (gyro) haven't returned emails, and need more power than Seakeeper so I haven't chased them further. I also priced ABT TRAC from an Australian supplier. They provided a detailed listing of components ex: California that was $60k. Then there would be freight, 10% GST and fitting.

The Naiad install included customizing in the head to fit on port side, the expensive oil cooling option and fabrication of an engine mounting system for the hydraulic pump as my old TD 506's cant take a pump. Install is about half the total cost. So, will I or wont I? I know they would be great, and make a big difference for crew wanting to share a boating passion. But ... ouch in the hip-pocket!
So did he or didn't he?
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:48 PM   #32
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Each system has good and not so good sides.
Seakeeper costs twice as gyrogale but it can be use under anchor with a Gen.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #33
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I asked what the original poster choose to do. Did he ever get active stabilization and if so which did he select, how much did it cost and how does he like it?
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:35 PM   #34
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I asked what the original poster choose to do. Did he ever get active stabilization and if so which did he select, how much did it cost and how does he like it?
Ive installed Naiads, with 7.5 sq ft fins. I had a yard do everything for the install, total just over $60,000. I'm having other work done so still on the hard, but will be in the water for sea trials in 5 weeks time.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:43 PM   #35
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I will be interested in hearing your results.

I'm still in the boat shopping mode, until I get one or two children out of college and employed. It occurred to me that stabilizers are like houses with swimming pools. It is cheaper to by a boat with them already installed than to add. Unless I'm missing something.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:20 PM   #36
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I will be interested in hearing your results.

I'm still in the boat shopping mode, until I get one or two children out of college and employed. It occurred to me that stabilizers are like houses with swimming pools. It is cheaper to by a boat with them already installed than to add. Unless I'm missing something.
That's true for every system on a boat. Given that the PO had it done right, that is.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:36 PM   #37
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I went through this a couple of years ago and selected ABT/Trac. Outstanding results. I don't know anyone who after having stabilizers would ever consider getting a boat without them.

See details of the decision process and installation here Adventures of Tanglewood: Installing Stabilzers on a 47' Grand Banks
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