Ever wonder about refitting your stabilisers? There are plenty of opinions and more importantly, assumptions that may fall into the “fake news” category. Here are a few pointers to set the course straight. Who knows…the outcome could make for happier guests, more committed crew and a more content you!
Never, ever forget this motto “stabilisers are a better solution than tranquillisers!”
Let’s get started!
How does the retrofit process work? We will start with a few questions to gather some critical information.
1) Do you currently have a stabiliser system?
If so, it may save both time and money! Keep in mind, space has already been allocated in the engine room for the hull unit and the hydraulic power unit. Upon review, there are often many elements with the old system that can be updated and upgraded with the new system.
2) Is the boat “classed” now or do you want it to be “classed” upon completion of the refit?
3) Do you plan on chartering the boat? Stabilisers are an extremely important requirement for charter guests!
You will need to do some digging to identify the following:
A naval architect to create a suitable design including a proper integration into the existing hull.
The stabiliser company that will help you define your requirements. This is dependent on what you are looking for, but generally experience counts for a whole lot. For example, market leaders Quantum have of 33 years in the stabiliser business with 1014 systems installed! The company you choose will be able to advise base on your hull design, speed requirements, full load displacement and desired roll reduction. This will be based on the hydrodynamic characteristics and the operating profile of the boat.
A repair or refit shipyard to handle the work. The stabiliser company may have a recommendation and other owners and crew members are also an excellent source of intel. There are plenty of great yards out there and the industry is small.
Let’s look at an example… Case Study –Westport 50m – Conversion from Naiad Fins to XT™ Fins
Situation: The owner of a Westport 50m had an existing 2-fin Naiad System with no zero speed. Naiad suggested adding 2-fins (4-fins total) to achieve zero speed capabilities, which required a lot of hull modifications. Quantum instead offered an XT™ Conversion, meaning the owner could retain a 2-fin system to achieve zero speed performance.
Challenges: The limited space in the engine room presented a challenge for integrating the hull unit and standard hydraulic power unit and the corresponding installation.
Solutions: Quantum customized the hull units with reduced height and shorter length housing. Most of the existing pipe work was able to be reused. The XT™ power unit was disassembled to allow the electrical box and hydraulic oil tank to be mounted separately on the port forward bulkhead. Due to space limitations, the hydraulic power unit was modified to a single 50hp power unit and reduced to 33” x 21” in size.
SMC4000 Control roll sensors were mounted in the engine room, minimising the interconnecting cables to the bridge. Only one CAT5 cable and power supply were required. Both the XT™ power unit and main power unit were connected to the SMC4000 via ethernet and the entire system now has remote access when necessary. The remote access also allows for easy software upgrades and system adjustments at a fraction of the cost of sending a technician to the vessel.
Result: The client and crew members are thrilled with the performance of the Quantum Zero Speed™ and underway stabilisers. The Captain reported that it takes only two rolls for the zero speeds to take effect.
The ability to reuse much of the existing infrastructure from the original fin system, led to substantial savings in the overall project. In the end, the XT™ Conversion dramatically improved the stability of the boat, added noticeable comfort to all passengers and increased the salability and resale value of the vessel.
Top 5 Fake News Assumptions about a Stabiliser Retrofit
– You don’t need to do any planning or prep work before starting a refit project.
– Custom stabilisers are on the shelf, just waiting for you to buy them.
– Use your broker to produce the required “class” approval to save money.
– Throw on any stabilisers and the resale value will be the same.
– After adding zero speed stabilisers, your grandmother will never fall over onboard.
Whether you want an XT™ Conversion, or to up your zero speed game, there are plenty of options. Think of the money you could save anchoring out and avoiding those exorbitant dockage fees.
Resale is another big consideration. Your vessel’s comfort is up to you, why not stabilise it?
Mark Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org 954-330-8081
John Allen email@example.com 954-587-4205
Peter Florence firstname.lastname@example.org 954-587-8901 (no period)