Offshore fishing is fun, but boat roll is not. Viking Yachts, a world leader in sportfish craft, makes it easy for owners to integrate a Seakeeper gyro stabilization system. All new Vikings 52′ and up can be prepped for a Seakeeper during the build process. Recent successful installations exemplify how Seakeeper and Viking help tame the sea for owners seeking to fight the fish, not the roll.
While control movement gyroscope stabilization has existed since the early 1900s, until recently the recreational marine market has mainly relied on stabilizing fins which result in problems with drag and damage. In the early 2000s, Seakeeper’s founders realized modern technology could bring a whole new level of safety and comfort to boat owners, with actively controlled gyro stabilization. They understood that boaters could have a picnic lunch in a remote bay with the family, or head out fishing in sporty seas, without the worry of anyone onboard feeling queasy.
Viking owners agree. Michael Rothberg owned a Viking 60 without a gyro, but now has the Viking 82 Double Barrel with a Seakeeper M26000. He said, “It’s night and day. I have a close family member that would get seasick every time we went out on the 60. Now we take the 82 out in seas twice as snotty and he hasn’t chummed once!”
Seakeeper gyros employ the most advanced technologies, including aerospace dynamics and automotive motion controls. Its flywheel operates inside a vacuum, which allows it to spin much faster than possible in ambient air. The result is a powerful righting force, and reduced power draw with smaller overall size and weight. This also protects critical internal components from the harsh marine environment. Seakeeper’s proprietary active motion control algorithms and software enable the gyro to reduce resonant boat roll by as much as 95% regardless of whether the vessel is at rest, trolling, or underway.
Although to a layman’s ears this sounds rather complicated, to Viking’s engineering department, it all makes perfect sense. Senior project engineer Bill Gibbons said, “The Seakeeper is surprisingly simple in both theory and application.” The Viking Yachts team works closely with Seakeeper on technical aspects of installation, to determine the ideal mounting location for optimum implementation. “We work together to offer the best performance in the industry,” said Gibbons. “Seakeeper is a great company to partner with because they not only provide a superior product, but understand both our needs and those of our mutual customers.”
Gyro stabilization has become so popular that, “the number of our boats equipped with Seakeeper gyros has doubled in the last year,” said Viking sales manager Mark Waldron. With Viking’s focus on delivering the latest engineering and technology advancements, there are many new build options. Having just launched its new Viking 70 Convertible, the company’s 2013 models include the 55 Convertible, 62 Convertible, and 62 Enclosed Bridge Convertible. Construction has also begun on the new Viking 92 Convertible, its largest yacht to date, scheduled to debut in Fall 2014.
Seakeeper gyros require only modest electrical power and have no outside appendages. “On high-speed vessels like Viking yachts, external appendages aren’t a practical solution. Viking owners wanted to reduce roll without sacrificing speed or efficiency. We’re happy to offer an internal stabilization solution,” said Andrew Semprevivo, Seakeeper director of global sales. Rothberg adds, “Installation was a non-event for us. We have a small control panel at the helm station. It takes about 45 minutes for the gyro to spool up so it’s the first thing we do when we get to the boat, we just push the button. No noise, no fuss, no rocking and rolling.”
A recent sea trial of a Viking 55 Convertible with a pair of Seakeeper M8000 gyros illustrates the effectiveness of this stabilization technology. Testing was performed at zero speed in nearly 3′ seas, where the M8000 reduced the maximum roll rate from 16° down to 5°. This huge, 94% reduction of resonant boat roll makes life on the water considerably more comfortable, enjoyable and safe. “In various Viking platforms tested, Seakeeper has proven to be an efficient and effective means of minimizing frustrating zero and low speed boat roll,” said Semprevivo.
Rothberg agrees, “I’d never build another sportfish without one. It’s an absolute game changer in overall comfort and usability of the boat. On rough days the 60 would start rocking, sending books and magazines flying. On the new 82 we haven’t had to pick anything off the floor yet.”
Semprevivo said, “We’re excited Viking has chosen to utilize Seakeeper gyros. Boat roll has always been the worst part of being offshore. With a stabilized yacht, Viking owners can enjoy their passion in greater comfort.”
Contact Seakeeper, 44425 Pecan Ct., Ste. 151, California, MD 20689. 410-326-1590. email@example.com, www.seakeeper.com.
Logo courtesy Seakeeper