Aboard Betsy, reeling in ten blue marlin a day is par for the course. In fact, the Spencer 87 spent 165 days last year doing nothing but fishing, and the Billfish Foundation has twice recognized owner Mike Brauser as the Atlantic’s top angler. This famous sportfisher now has an even sharper winning edge, with the recent installation of a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer.
As Spencer Yachts’ largest hull in its nearly 20-year history, the Spencer 87 is an attention-grabber, and Betsy herself is an innovator. She was the first vessel to boast four ZF 4000 pod drives, which deliver unmatched maneuverability. Powered by four 1,150 hp Caterpillar diesels, she cruises at 34 knots and can top out at up to 40 knots.
Betsy’s gyro refit also bucked convention. Her engine and drive configuration take up much of the aft real estate, so the Seakeeper was installed forward of midship, below the crew quarters. “This project highlights the flexibility of our gyro installation,” said Andrew Semprevivo, Seakeeper director of recreational global sales. “Betsy is a perfect example of how we work with available space, without sacrificing gyro or vessel performance.”
Since the refit, the Seakeeper gyro has reduced wear and tear on both the vessel and those aboard. Captain Tim Popfinger said, “We just returned from the Dominican Republic, where the waters are normally pretty rough and fishing is especially strenuous. The gyro made a huge difference in our energy levels. We were far less fatigued when we returned to the dock.” The gyro also enhances fishing. “Having a calm platform means the outriggers no longer jerk out of the water, so the lures track better,” he said.
Increasingly, serious offshore fishermen like Betsy’s owner regard a gyro stabilizer as essential equipment. By reducing resonant roll up to 95% whether the vessel is underway, trolling, or at zero speed, a gyro makes a dramatic difference in passenger and crew comfort. Having a safe, stable platform means they’re free to follow the bite, going farther and staying out longer despite challenging sea conditions.
In addition to aiding the fishability of Betsy, the Seakeeper gyro also enhances creature comforts aboard. “Because we’re no longer rocking side to side, all our satellite-based electronics—television, phone and internet—work far more reliably,” Popfinger said. “Our cook is as happy about the gyro installation as anyone, since having a stable galley has made food preparation so much easier,” he continued, noting that Betsy is well-known as a gourmet boat.
The Seakeeper gyro refit on Betsy was performed by Spencer Yachts and its yard, Barry Brown Marine, with technical assistance from Seakeeper servicing installer Atlantic Marine Power Systems. Information about all of Spencer Yachts’ prestigious bluewater builds is available at www.spenceryachtsinc.com.
Image courtesy Seakeeper