Soundings: Seakeeper introduces Ride, a new boat-leveling product.

Seakeeper has launched a new “vessel attitude control system.”


Original Article:

Soundings: Seakeeper introduces Ride, a new boat-leveling product.

In 2002, Seakeeper began to make a name for itself with its gyroscopic stabilizers. Since then, thousands of Seakeepers have been installed to reduce boat roll.

Now Seakeeper has launched a new “vessel attitude control system.” Called Ride, they say it eliminates up to 70 percent of pitch and roll for boats up to 35 feet in length.

The system uses two transom-mounted controllers below the waterline, which generate lift by intercepting the flow of water as it leaves the hull. Proprietary sensing technology measures the boat’s behavior, which then deploys rotary blades to counteract the boat’s pitch, roll and yaw.

According to Seakeeper, Ride is different from trim tabs or vertical interceptors; can make 100 adjustments per second to combat wave motion; and can adjust the angle of a boat in a turn. The system begins having trim authority at 10 miles per hour, and full stabilization benefits begin around 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Will this system decrease a boat’s speed or efficiency? According to Seakeeper, all transom-mounted control systems create drag, but that it’s proportional to deployment depth and time. Seakeeper says the Ride blade deploys and retracts in milliseconds, adjusting the boat’s attitude only when needed, thus reducing drag duration compared to traditional transom-mounted systems. The company says that Ride improves comfort and safety (eliminating pitch and roll motions) without negatively impacting speed or efficiency and that in many cases Seakeeper has seen an increase in speed and fuel efficiency with Seakeeper Ride-equipped boats.

Seakeeper Ride eliminates pitch and roll only at speed and adds no benefit at rest. However, Seakeeper says there is a benefit to having both Seakeeper and Seakeeper Ride installed. According to its website, the addition of a Seakeeper enhances the underway performance of Seakeeper Ride by an additional 10 to 20 percent.

Ride requires 7 to 10 amps for operation. Although, the rotors are exposed to salt water, the drivetrain is sealed in a dry and greased environment to prevent exposure. The system can be mounted on new or used boats and will be available in three sizes. For boats up to 26 feet the cost is $4,500. For boats 27 to 30 feet the cost is $7,500, and for boats from 31 to 35 feet, the cost is $10,500.

You can read more about Ride at the Seakeeper website.

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