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Humphree Fin Stabilizer System

Discussion in 'Stabs, Tabs & Gyros' started by Trey1977, Dec 19, 2020.

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  1. Trey1977

    Trey1977 New Member

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    Does anyone have any experience with the 24v Humphree Fin and Interceptor System? We are thinking about replacing our hydraulic fin system which are not zero speed. Any feedback would help tremendously.
  2. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Bump..... I have the same question.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, I have run a few vessels with Humphrees INTERCEPTORS. They work well on vessels when you're doing over 25 knots, as good as fin stabilizers IF they're dialed in right......however, slow speeds they're not good and at anchor don't work at all. NOW, I have never run a yacht with Humphree fins, so cannot comment on that.
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Neither they are not meant to.
    As well as trim tabs, interceptors they can generate a lifting force only as long as there is a water flow that they can contrast.
    At displacement speed (let alone when anchored!) they are totally useless.
    In fact, I believe that in any boat fitted with fins+interceptors, at zero speed the latter are automatically switched off.

    Ref. Humphree fins, no first hand experience, but generally speaking I've yet to come across fin stabilizers that don't work well, so I see no reason why they shouldn't, in principle. Arguably some brands are more reliable than others, but that's another story.

    I would throw in another couple of thoughts, FWIW:

    Firstly, even if your only reason for replacing whatever hydraulic fins you've got is that they aren't zero speed, you are bound to love any all-electric system. They really make hydraulic ones, with all their bits and pieces, look like archaic technology.

    Secondly, I recently understood that Fleming is going to fit Humphree fins+interceptors on hull #1 of their new 85' flagship, which to be honest I found a bit surprising.
    But those folks aren't among the (many) builders who pick critical equipment to install on their boats only based on the lower offer they can get.
    So, maybe they know something I don't about the quality of Humphree products.
  5. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    No interest in zero speed performance. Just roll control on my Hatt, do need it to work at hull speed though.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The amount you would spend to install such a system, is going to cost almost as much as your yacht is worth. In this situation I always recommend moving up to a newer yacht with a better hull design. By the late 1990's and on, hull design increased by leaps and bounds and left everything built in the early 80's and before it in the dust as far as ride goes.
  7. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Forget interceptors of all sort, then. But any old school fin stabs would be great for that purpose.
    You might even check what system the OP has on his boat, and if the size fits, buy it from him for a song and install it on your boat. :)
    BTW, I'm not sure to agree with C J on the progress in hull design.
    If you want to cruise at hull speed in comfort, fin stabs are as necessary on the latest and greatest Nordhavns as they were on your Hatt.

    PS: my previous comments on hydraulic fins being archaic compared to electric was referred to zero speed models, that need a lot of ancillary bits.
    But on my previous boat, I had very basic Naiads, 100% mechanical and gyroscope driven.
    One hydraulic pump on one of the engines is all the system needed to run.
    And the new owner tells me that they have yet to miss a beat, on a boat that is by now 25yo...
  8. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    In my (our) personal experience with owning both a larger full displacement yacht and a larger fast yacht, I would never add fin stabilizers to a fast (30 Kts+) boat, period! On the fast GRP boat we have Humphrees INTERCEPTORS and multiple gyros, so we covered the full range of stabilisation from zero speed to full speed without any degradation in performance due to the additional resistance of fins sticking out of the hull. That boat even has retractable bow and stern thrusters for the undisturbed flow of water on the underwater body. At high speed, the skipper unlocks the very effective gyros by push of a button to get more maneuverability, as those wheels are very effective.

    On the steel full displacement motor yacht (14 Kts cruise) we have hydraulically retractable straight fins (Blohm & Voss industries, they only come hydraulically powered), which extend horizontally out of the hull. This gives best performance both on cruise and when on the hook. As only the projected area of the fins are really effective, these fins are mounted horizontally like an aircraft wing. Big disadvantage of this arrangement is, that they have to be retracted when moored in harbour. But in a protected harbour they are not really needed. If the sea in the harbour gets so rough, that the boat rocks being moored on the quay, my guests will convert to a hotel anyhow :).

    When adding non retractable fins to a new displacement boat, I would go for an electrical system with solid state laser ring gyros and the fins with end plates to reduce the induced drag on the fin tips.
  9. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    On my 50 ft steel full displacement inland waterway vessel (semi production boat) I have the Magnus effect rotary stabilizers. They came as an factory option with the boat. When switched on, they swing 90 degrees out and when switched off, the turn back in. Same as above, when in use, the extend beyond the hulls perimeter. In the beginning, I was very suspicious with the system, first because of its performance and second because our inland waterways and canals have slooped river banks and I thougt, damage would be likely.

    But in practise I was really impressed by its performance, especially when going on the Elbe River, where I encounter very larg commercial vessels with a pretty big bow wave and in the choppy sea within the tidal waters of the German North Sea. My son has killed one rotor when docking with the system active. But the damaged rotor tube can be exchanged easily, even in the water and the tube is not expensive, as it is basically only a simple plastic tube.

    These systems can be easily retrofitted to any existing steel, alloy or GRP boat. On a new built, they come with a hull pocket, where they are nearly flush with the hull, when retracted. Means, they would even work on semi displacement hulls also very effective when going at hull speed. On fast boats they are useless. Their gyro system can also be used for the Humphrees Interceptors. The new systems now even come as zero speed stabs by swinging for and back during operation.





  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    i ve run a couple of naiad equipped older hatt MYs and they work real well. I would not trade the sharp entry, wave cutting and strength of my old hull for anything newer. The biggest improvement on these hulls is the wider beam that came in the 80s

    I haven’t finalized the Trac Stab hydraulics on my boat yet. My boat used to have Vospers mini fins installed in 1971 by Merril Stevens in the Miami river for j fee $4000 (I found the invoice on board...). They were beyond obsolete obviously but I lucked out getting a great deal on a rebuild system from a local Trac dealer. Working take out from a boat that upgraded to zero speed. It was a deal to good to pass.

    As owners of newer and larger boats Upgrade their systems there are seal to be found
    Fairgerman likes this.
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    That's true, theoretically. But in practice, I am seeing a different trend: those who want to add zero speed stabilization to fins that work only under way (as long as they are still fine), are more and more chosing to keep the old fins as they are, and just add a gyro for zero speed, instead.

    In fact, there are also new boats designed for that as a factory installation, which on one hand allows the use of a smaller, simpler, and ultimately more durable/reliable fins system, and OTOH exploits the gyro where it performs best, i.e. at zero speed only.

    Coming to think of it, this might be an option also for the OP, unless he needs/wants to replace the existing, non-zero speed fins for some other reason.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    What I am getting at, is I don’t think it’s a wise decision to spend 50% of the boats value on installing stabilizers and would be better to just move up to an early 2000s 63’ Hatteras MY which has a lot of other improvements, but is also more stabil to begin with. It would be $175k to put the proper sea keeper (16) in a 58’ Yf as a 9 is only rated to 60’ and 30 tons, which would be under the vessels displacement. And a new installation of fins would be over $100k I would guess.
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The rebuild trac system i got is going to to run me under $25k incl installation by the time I m done. Yep, that good a deal but they can be found.

    An early 2000s 63 is what... $700k/900k. 3 to 4 times near the cost of an older hatt even repowered and stabilized.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, but if most owners had to pay a yard to do everything you did, the cost would easily be double. A 63’ has many other advantages....much larger, no split engine room smell, all 24v, newer technology throughout, much faster, etc. etc.

    Look at the numbers you just spit out in the 1975 46.6’ Bertram project boat thread. Most vintage 53’ or 58’YF Hatteras have not been meticulously maintained at this point and easily need 6 figures in repairs/updates. Whether it be rebuilds, new generator and paint.....etc. etc.....
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Westport is doing that a lot as are several European builders. I've seen Ferretti and Sanlorenzo do it.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    :). I know. Some days I question my sanity.
  17. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    "Wise Decision" and yacht improvement rarely overlap. And, I think I can get the job done for a lot less than half the price. If I can do it for, say, 15% of the value would it still be unwise?
  18. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Precisely. And we aren't talking of builders who chose the technologies depending on which way the wind blows.
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Good question, for which there's no such thing as a right or wrong answer.

    What Capt J said makes good sense from a "normal" boater viewpoint.
    But I can certainly see good reason why some members of this forum - which aren't so representative of average boaters - might prefer to upgrade their old ladies, regardless of how solid the choice can be from a strictly economic viewpoint.
    I mean, if anyone is happy with the type of boating experience that an old school Hatt can provide, it's not like there's plenty of modern stuff around that can offer anything much better - let alone at reasonable prices.

    Then again, what Capt J said is true for the large majority of boaters, of course.
    And ironically, that's the reason why Azimut became the largest and most successful boatbuilder of the planet, while many folks here wouldn't want one over their dead bodies... :)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Exactly... when J suggested getting something new I almost replied... what, an Azimut? But bit my tongue :).

    Seriously the right answer isn’t 15%, 25% or 35% but how much enjoyment will you get out of the stabs.

    Any upgrade you make on a boat loose 50% of its costs the minute it gets on board but I think stabilizers are one of the best value upgrades.