Total Boat Control for Comfort at Sea
Seakeeper’s new vessel-attitude-control system promises boaters a better ride with a capital R. The company, known for its gyrostabilizers, debuted Seakeeper Ride in August, noting that it eliminates up to 70 percent of underway pitch and roll motion—that’s side-to-side and front-to-back movement.
“This system always keeps the bow where it needs to be for a soft impact,” says Seakeeper CEO Andrew Semprevivo. “And with our system, the boat will never list (from movement on board, wind, uneven load or prop torque). It’s not like automatic trim tabs that sense a list and then correct it.
“The system is always learning. It’s learning on every boat at every speed, and with every wave encounter and sea state.”
That instantaneous correction comes from finely tweaked software and hardware that takes 1,000 measurements per second to understand the boat’s behavior in all three axes (including yaw). The software communicates with a pair of electrically controlled composite rotary blades mounted to the boat’s transom like interceptors. The blades can adjust 100 times per second at speeds up to 300 mm per second.
Semprevivo says Seakeeper designed this system from the ground up. And while it resembles the Stabilization System technology developed in 2015 by Humphree, Ride operates a tad bit faster and offers slightly improved motion control. Ride also costs less—ranging in price from $4,500 to $10,500, depending on boat size—compared with the Stabilization System, which starts at $11,000.
Of course, the Humphree system is designed primarily for vessels larger than 55 feet and is customizable to the individual boat, says Humphree USA CEO Sean Berrie. Ride works with boats 35 feet and under, and will be paired with vessels at the factory. Scout Boats, Sportsman Boats and Chris-Craft Boats have joined Seakeeper as exclusive launch partners.
“When I was made aware of the new Seakeeper Ride system and then given the opportunity to test it, I soon realized that this would be a game-changer in our industry,” says Scout Boats President Dave Wallace. “Seakeeper has brought to boating what the automatic transmission brought to automobiles.”
Ride provides auto-trim capability to achieve the optimal running angle at a given speed, hole-shot control that moves the boat on plane quicker and reduces bow rise, and turn coordination that automatically adjusts the boat’s heeling angle.
The system comes with a touchscreen and an optional keypad, but Seakeeper says the need for adjustments should be negligible. “Our intent is that [unlike with trim tabs] you will never touch these [controls],” Semprevivo says.
Ride will be available as standard equipment on select Scout, Sportsman and Chris-Craft models as early as this month. The systems come in three sizes: Ride 450 for boats 19 to 26 feet, Ride 525 for 27- to 30-footers, and Ride 600 for vessels 31 to 35 feet.
Humphree’s Berrie says his company expects to debut a product this fall targeting the 20- to 40-foot market. With these systems now delivering omnidimensional comfort, everyone can climb on board.
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