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Stabilizers

Discussion in 'Stabs, Tabs & Gyros' started by Fletcher500, Aug 21, 2017.

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  1. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Our search has narrowed to 45 foot trailers, single engine, weights approximately 40,000 pounds, beams 14 feet.

    Coastal cruising off Southern California and the longer yearly run to the central coast, down to northern Mexico, and longer term trip up to British Columbia.

    This will be a new build, both of the yards are in China.

    I threw this out on the trawler forum because I know some people have the stabilizer blades. But most people on that forum have older boats and do not use these.

    Still researching, but I am leading leaning towards the sea keeper five series in order to avoid things protruding from the hull. I realize there are pros and cons for the different approaches, but I like the idea of using the gyro at anchor which we do quite often.

    I may be able to feed it with a big battery and inverter, but if not, the gen is ok.

    I'm hoping to get on a boat in San Diego that has this, so if anyone knows of someone that would be willing to give me a short ride, even in the bay with boat wakes, that would be appreciated.

    Also, I am curious to hear from others that have used the different types of stabilizers, Trac, etc, and what they have found to be effective both from a personal standpoint and anecdotally from others.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Is it then to be a displacement trawler, not a semi-displacement boat?

    There are many choices including no stabilizers. Most trawlers roll a good bit and I find stabilizers more necessary instead of less on them.

    As to type stabilizers, our most recent was Side-power Vector Fins on a 65' Sunseeker. We had the choice between them and Seakeeper. We chose them primarily for two reasons. We felt they would be better under speed and the spool up time. We just weren't attracted by the 30-50 minute spool up times. We are very happy with our choice. Now, I have been on the same boat as well as 65' Sea Ray with Seakeeper. They performed very well. There are other gyro stabilizers but I haven't been on a boat with any of them.

    We also have Naiad stabilitzers. Every one who offers fins today offers zero-speed as well. We've had good service from Naiads but there are definitely other options we would consider if looking. ABT-Trac has a good reputation among those I know with them. I know fewer people with Quantum but have heard good things about them.

    There are many owners of boats very similar to the one you're planning who say they are very happy with stabilizers. However, I haven't run across any who say they wish they didn't have them and once one has them, they're almost certain to get them on future boats. I value comfort very highly.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    In order to have zero speed stabilizers the fins usually have to be oversized and slow you down. I would go with the seakeeper, because for what you're looking to do it will really shine. You will not be able to run it from an inverter bank. Not for more than a few hours anyways, most likely.

    I'm on a long delivery on a 60' Taiwanese tub right now and not a fan for how they ride, or how the tiawanese build boats either. They never get the weight and balance right on most of the boats they build, this one is bow heavy and has a ton of lead in the stern...... for example, and steers all over the place. Grand Banks is the best of the bunch by far when it comes to hull design and handling characteristics on a Taiwanese built trawler. Slow speed trawler....... I'd go with Fleming on a semi displacement. Or a hunt if you want more speed.

    Personally unless I was doing long ocean crossings, I wouldn't have a displacement boat period. I'm on one now, hull speed is 8.2 knots.....if you get into 3 knots of current, it slows you down almost 3 knots.......we've seen 5.8 knots for long periods of time, 10 knots for some, it sucks.......current doesn't slow semi-displacement down but a knot max. Also, when you hit current and exceed hull speed, it starts bow steering all over the place instantly........
  4. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    OB,

    Hull would be Semi Disp. Cruise around 8, top out at 13. Cummins 380 or 425 are the leading choices.

    I didn't realize these fins also operate at 0 speed.

    I am still leaning toward the Seakeeper Gyro because I anchor a lot, and like the idea of the unit being internal, but good to hear the feedback on the fins.

    A lot more to learn, just figuring out if it something we should budget for. Its a big hit, so doing the due diligence route first.

    Agree with your last paragraph. If we can make it work financially, it sounds like they are worth the $.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Don't put a Seakeeper Gyro under or near your bedding no matter what the sales person tells you.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Vector fins don't have this issue.
  7. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    Um, no. Current affects all boats' speed in the same way. Sorry, it's just physics.
  8. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    There is a lot generalization and just plain wrong information in the edited quote. You are not differentiating between a "Taiwanese tub" and other boats built in the general area. The "TT" terminology usually refers to those trawlers built in the 70s and 80s at a handful of yards all with different manufacturer names and varying levels of quality. The Taiwanese trawlers of that vintage are old and their price reflects their value... and it's certainly not relevant information for the OP looking at new builds.

    Current not effecting semi-displacement boats? How about wave height having a bigger effect on handling, fuel consumption, and speed?

    I have been on sea trials on hundreds of boats, have personally owned boats from 30' to 100' and if I were to buy a boat today, it would definitely be a full displacement vessel based on comfort, safety, live-ability, fuel consumption.

    Judy
  9. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    The two boats I am considering are both constructed in China. From what I can tell, the yards both appear to have a good reputation and the owners of both models over the past 10years appear to be satisfied.

    I have spent a lot of time on one of the boats over the past six months and the fit and finish is very nice. I am going to get on the other boat this week,. I'm only referencing all of this to indicate that I have been doing my due dilligence.

    I realize there are concerns with building overseas and Asia in particular, but these particular models offer a lot of what we are after in a new build at reasonable prices. They are also willing to customize various aspects as long as they don't involve a structural change.

    I read some more about Stabs yesterday, watched a ton of videos on YouTube, even dreamt about them last night. See keeper is going to get me on a smaller boat next week, so that will be helpful. IE, the intent of this post was to determine if the systems were worth the money so I can include it in my budget and then drill down on the details later.

    At this point I am leaning towards the sea keeper six system.

    The generator must be running to provide AC current, and they require about an hour to spool up. These are not major concerns for me. I was hoping to feed it with an inverter, but the power required would be too large for the battery bank and inverter I am looking out for a boat this size.

    Something else I learned, is that they do provide a larger degree of dampening than I had expected. Also, they dampen rolling but not pitching.
  10. sgawiser

    sgawiser New Member

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    Our Seakeeper works really well and helps a lot at speed in addition to at rest. It does make some noise so I would certainly agree that putting it under your berth would be a mistake. Our Sabre 45 was designed to install it in the engine room so the noise is minimized.

    The spin up time is an issue if you forget to turn it on before you leave the dock or go out an inlet. But if you plan accordingly, it certainly should not be a problem in most situations.

    We were at a dock in Harbour Island and were athwart the wash from crossing boats. The boats around us were all rolling all night while we were steady as a rock. Great investment.
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Perhaps I'm just unusual but I find the entire spool up routine disconcerting. I'm sitting in a marina, but need to start spooling up 45 minutes before leaving, which means getting out of bed earlier. Also, means switching to generators and off of shore power sooner, and just adds time to the start of the day.

    Are you indicating at Harbour Island you were using the Seakeeper while docked? I'd be curious to hear if others are doing that.

    A trend I've seen with several builders is to use fins such as Naiad and Seakeeper on larger boats. The best of all worlds.

    One comment on pitch. Naiad actually offers "Ride Control" to manage pitch and yaw. They combine some combination of T-Foils, trim tabs, interceptors, and special rudders. I have never seen a boat with their system. Seems like quite a bit and certainly not for a small boat. I know others offer various pieces of such a system. Pitch isn't something we've found to be such a problem as to need such a dramatic system, but guess it is on some boats.
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Personally it takes me about 45 minutes to spool up in the morning anyway so...if I had a gyro, I d wake up, turn on the gen and gyro. Then both my brain and the gyro would be ready to go at the same time. :)
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Same with me, and the compass takes also at least half an hour to spool up...
  14. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    My routine is to start up the SeaKeepers (2 of them) when I start my coffee. By the time I've finished my morning routine the gyros are good to go. Also, they can spool up on shore power and won't be bothered by the momentary lapse when switching to generator.

    We have used them at the dock often in busy harbors - New York, Boston, Annapolis, etc.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So, in those areas, do you run them 24 hours a day?
  16. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Last month in Annapolis we were just outside ego alley and had lots of wakes during the day. To keep our guests happy we ran all day, but by bedtime it was calm enough to shut them down. In NYC and Boston, 24/7. At anchor, they usually run 24/7, but we prefer to find quieter anchorages where we can shut down everything.

    There is a high pitched whine when they are running, but it's masked by the white noise of AC units and such.
  17. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    I'm curious about this choice as well. Are the fin and gyro stabilizers equally effective in a sea way like what one might find off shore during a passage? It seems more common to have fins on full displacement passagemakers and gyros on planing boats like sportfish. Imagining this has much to do with speed but wondering if it the type of boating as well, ie.. passagemaking vs. out and back or single day legs.
  18. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    I was reading an article about this last night actually and it seemed that the best approach that was concluded was vector fins and a smaller gyro for a planning boat. The fins would help more underway and the gyro would help more at rest. We don't really see many boats with this setup which I presume can only be due to cost.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Vector Fins themselves on certain boats reduce the roll at anchor by 66-72%. They do not impact speed like traditional fins either. One thing side-power really emphasizes is reduction of seasickness. Now, I'm sure they didn't set up two boats and keep switching people out to see how many got sick so much be some scientific analysis of the connection between roll and seasickness.
  20. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Great input thanks.

    There are some great videos on YouTube that show various types of boats, but most of them planing hulls and the dampening effect is quite amazing. I realize these are all advertisements, but the videos sure seem to show some dramatic results.

    Hull reinforcement is critical, but they show quite a few retrofits. I spoke to the sea keeper guy in Asia and they said they would give the specifications to the yard to reinforce the particular area where it would sit.

    We anchor a lot, so the ability to turn it on when things are sloppy during the day and then off at night is very appealing. We are not doing any hard cord blue water passage making, just up and down the coast once or twice a year and a lot of Harbor cruises in between.

    I do want to eventually go all the way up to British Columbia when I am retired, so another reason I feel that the investment is warranted. Likely a one time trip.