DON’T MO­VE

Superyacht - - Companies - By Sil­via Mon­ta­gna

On board sta­bi­li­sers is a hot to­pic at the mo­ment ina­smu­ch as ow­ners are see­king ever mo­re com­fort on board at all ti­mes, when ly­ing to an an­chor and/or whi­le crui­sing. New tech­no­lo­gies aim to eli­mi­na­te all that could di­sturb guests du­ring pro­lon­ged pe­riods on board li­ke un­plea­sant pit­ch and roll. We met Mar­co Do­nà Saim’s DG. This firm di­stri­bu­tes, re­pairs and of­fers spe­cia­li­sed as­si­stan­ce to en­gi­nes and hi­ghly tech­no­lo­gi­cal com­po­nen­ts li­ke sta­bi­li­sers and told us how Saim got in­vol­ved 18 years ago and of the four brands it is wor­king wi­th to­day – ABT TRAC, Si­de Po­wer Vec­tor Fin, Veem and Zi­p­wa­ke – ea­ch of the­se pro­du­ce their di­ver­se sy­stems wi­th va­ry­ing fea­tu­res and specs. Let’s see what they are and how they work.

As for Saim’s in­vol­ve­ment wi­th sta­bi­li­ser sy­stems the­re’s a lot to say for them when in 2000 they kic­ked off wi­th di­stri­bu­ting Ame­ri­can Bow Th­ru­ster, now ABT TRAC: “Ini­tial­ly sin­ce in­cep­tion ABT we­re pro­du­cing bow and stern th­ru­ster sy­stems for lar­ge ves­sels – says Mar­co Do­nà (Saim’s DG) – At that ti­me we we­re al­rea­dy di­stri­bu­ting Max Po­wer for smal­ler elec­tric pro­pel­lers and we­re scou­ting the US mar­ket for an ap­pro­pria­te de­vi­ce de­sti­ned to lar­ger ya­ch­ts. No soo­ner we be­gan to be di­stri­bu­tors, ABT’S ow­ner drew up an al­go­ri­thm for sta­bi­li­ser fins un­der­way wi­th a tech­no­lo­gy whi­ch was lit­tle kno­wn in ya­ch­ting. The ac­tua­tors we­re ac­ti­va­ted by hy­drau­lic pres­su­re: The new al-

Saim’s sta­bi­li­ser bran­ch of­fi­ces and work­shops are si­tua­ted in Bo­lo­gna - Nor­th Ita­ly whe­re eve­ry pro­duct is tho­rou­ghly chec­ked and te­sted in ap­pro­pria­te, con­si­de­ra­ble ba­sins by hi­ghly qua­li­fied tech­ni­cians be­fo­re de­li­ve­ry.

go­ri­thm and the fact that mo­re than 100 pa­ra­me­ters co­ming from sen­sors could con­nect, up­gra­ded con­si­de­ra­bly the sur­pas­sed pre exi­sting sy­stem. Hen­ce we di­ved in­to the world of sta­bi­li­sers wi­th ABT TRAC and soon be­gan to sup­ply San Lo­ren­zo, Azi­mut Fer­ret­ti, and Cu­stom Li­ne, be­cau­se the pro­duct was Ame­ri­can qua­li­ty and de­li­ve­red abo­ve ave­ra­ge per­for­man­ce”. As the pro­duct evol­ved it could al­so sta­bi­li­se at zero speed or when ly­ing to an an­chor sim­ply by chan­ging so­me of the pa­ra­me­ters on a tou­ch screen di­splay and by in­crea­sing the fins’ sur­fa­ce area. A fur­ther evo­lu­tion soon ap­pea­red on the mar­ket wi­th the ar­ri­val of ABT’S elec­tric ac­tua­tors ra­ther than the hy­drau­lic ones. Thus etrac or the elec­tric sta­bi­li­ser was mar­ke­ted be­cau­se it per­forms as well as the pre­ce­ding mo­del but it is mo­re com­pact and a lot ea­sier to in­stall ina­smu­ch as the­re’s no need for pres­su­re pumps nor po­wer-packs. “Win­glet de­si­gned fins ge­ne­ra­te 20% mo­re po­wer to dam­pen roll and 10% less drag when com­pa­red to other com­pe­ting mo­dels”, says Do­nà who goes on: “Along­si­de this pro­duct, by 2004 we had al­rea­dy sub­sti­tu­ted Max Po­wer pro­pel­lers wi­th Si­de Po­wer, a Nor­we­gian pro­du­cer who

was at a cer­tain point in ti­me ma­nu­fac­tu­ring the who­le ran­ge of bow and stern th­ru­ster props. Soon af­ter, Si­de Po­wer de­ci­ded to build their own sta­bi­li­ser fin sy­stems but wi­th a con­si­de­ra­ble dif­fe­ren­ce: sin­ce their in­stal­la­tions can be hy­drau­lic, elec­tric, or bo­th. This la­st re­qui­res a po­wer pack in­stal­led in pro­xi­mi­ty of the elec­tric ac­tua­tors. Vec­tor Fin’s fins are con­ca­ve and ex­ploit their pe­cu­liar sha­pe ra­ther than the si­ze of their sur­fa­ce area”. In fact they de­via­te th­ru­st di­rec­tion in a di­rec­tion in whi­ch the lar­ger part of po­wer con­tri­bu­tes to re­du­ce roll and col­la­te­ral dy­na­mic ef­fec­ts are re­du­ced to a mi­ni­mum. Whi­le crui­sing or ly­ing to an an­chor the­se con­ca­ve ver­ti­cal­ly po­si­tio­ned Fins’ mo­ve up/ do­wn ra­ther than on­ly pa­ral­lel to the keel ‘s an­gle. Fur­ther­mo­re as the an­gle of heel chan­ges so does the le­ve­ra­ge ef­fect gi­ven by the fins. The­re­fo­re as the le­ve­ra­ge an­gle of the fins is op­ti­mi­zed in this way drag ef­fect is re­du­ced and con­se­quen­tly the sa­me ap­plies to fuel con­sump­tion. “The great ad­van­ta­ge – adds Do­nà – is that ac­cor­ding to re­cent stu­dies Vec­tor Fin’s fins sport a foil ef­fect whi­ch al­low a speed of two ex­tra kno­ts. This was wi­de­ly ap­pre­cia­ted and the­re­fo­re not on­ly in Ita­ly. Se­ve­ral im­por­tant brands ha­ve sin­ce adop­ted this sy­stem. In the fo­re­seea­ble fu­tu­re fins will be con­si­sten­tly mo­re ‘bent’ wi­th their end sec­tion ta­pe­ring off whi­ch will see­min­gly in­crea­se ef­fi­cien­cy”. Saim the­re­fo­re de­ci­ded to di­ver­si­fy the di­stri­bu­tion of pro­duc­ts ai­med at sta­bi­li­sing su­pe­rya­ch­ts wi­th gy­ro­sco­pes ra­ther than fins. “In 2008/20009 – whi­ch we all re­mem­ber as ve­ry dif­fi­cult years- In spi­te of this we de­ci­ded to of­fer an al­ter­na­ti­ve so­lu­tion: Gy­ro­sco­pes and we ob­tai­ned the di­stri­bu­tion of Sea­kee­per for a pe­riod up un­til a ti­me when the US com­pa­ny de­ci­ded to deal di­rec­tly wi­th the Ita­lian mar­ket. To­day we’re di­stri­bu­ting Veem, a brand whi­ch ma­nu­fac­tu­res gy­ro sta­bi­li­ser plan­ts for over 35 me­tre ya­ch­ts. They’re ea­sy to in­stall du­ring the ya­ch­ts’ con­struc­tion pha­ses and al­so as re­tro­fi­ts ina­smu­ch as they on­ly need elec­tric po­wer sup­ply and wa­ter to cool them”. Veem’s mo­st po­pu­lar cur­rent mo­dels are the Gy­ro 120 and Gy­ro 260. They bo­th fea­tu­re

ver­ti­cal axis, they’re mo­re com­pact wi­th a spin­ning wheel whi­ch is in­stal­led in­to an air­tight va­cuum whi­ch dam­pens roll up to 95% when the ya­cht is ly­ing to an an­chor or is pro­cee­ding slo­w­ly. Ad­di­tio­nal­ly the “smart tor­que” soft­ware in terms of con­trol is ful­ly pa­ten­ted and equips the Gy­ro plan­ts al­lo­wing ma­xi­mum re­duc­tion of roll if sea con­di­tion and boat speed chan­ge ac­cor­din­gly, and equals the per­for­man­ce de­li­ve­red by lar­ger sy­stems fea­tu­ring pas­si­ve con­trol. “If per­so­nal­ly I we­re to choo­se, I be­lie­ve the be­st so­lu­tion en­tails ha­ving bo­th sy­stems in­stal­led, a gy­ro and fins. This has been con­fir­med by se­ve­ral ship yards as well and on re­que­st they in­stall bo­th. Our of­fer would be de­ci­ded­ly in­te­re­sting whi­le em­bra­cing a va­ster sec­tion of the mar­ket. Let’s then re­mem­ber that Zi­p­wa­ke can pro­vi­de ma­xi­mum ship con­trol”. Their S se­ries is at the fo­re­front. It is cur­ren­tly de­ploy­ing elec­tri­cal­ly ac­ti­va­ted ‘bla­des’ whi­ch fa­ce do­w­n­wards pa­ral­lel to the ya­cht’s tran­som ra­ther than using tra­di­tio­nal Flap/trim tabs. The new ‘bla­des’ craft an ef­fi­cient de­via­tion to the flow be­low the hull wi­th reac­tion in­ter­vals that are less than 1.5 se­conds. The so cal­led in­ter­cep­tors are al­so quick to re­spond ina­smu­ch as the 3D gy­ro. con­trol sy­stem in­te­gra­ted wi­th GPS of­fers great ma­na­ge­ment po­ten­tial and pre­ci­sion to the cap­tain. It has been de­vi­sed for boa­ts from 20 to 100 feet.

ETRAC 250. Sta­bi­li­sing fins ha­ve been com­pu­ter craf­ted using op­ti­mi­sed pro­fi­les to ob­tain ma­xi­mum lift wi­th mi­ni­mum drag. The adop­tion of win­gle­ts en­han­ce per­for­man­ce and ef­fec­ti­ve­ly re­du­ce roll. (mo­del etrac250 in the pho­to)

Vec­tors Fins + Si­de Po­wer Vec­tor Fin’s sta­bi­li­ser plan­ts ( co­ve­red by in­ter­na­tio­nal pa­tent) ma­xi­mi­ze roll re­duc­tion by 50% when ly­ing to an an­chor and up to 30% whi­le crui­sing. They re­du­ce col­la­te­ral dy­na­mic ef­fec­ts cau­sed by tra­di­tio­nal fins. This fin ty­po­lo­gy is mo­re ef­fi­cient on pla­ning hulls mea­su­ring bet­ween 15 to 22 me­tres. The fins can be re­mo­ved from outside.

VEEM Veem gy­ro­sco­pes Gy­ro 120 and Gy­ro 260 well adapt to eve­ry ty­pe of hull de­si­gn over 35 me­tres long. Their choi­ce is not re­gard­less of the ya­cht’s di­men­sions, but al­so to the roll dam­pe­ning ef­fect re­qui­red and to the sort of sea con­di­tion nor­mal­ly en­coun­te­red in the areas of choi­ce. The sta­bi­li­ser plan­ts ope­ra­te ver­ti­cal­ly wi­th a va­cuum ‘bag­ged’ spin­ning fly­wheel, whi­ch fur­ther dam­pens roll up to 95% when ly­ing to an an­chor or when the ya­cht is pro­cee­ding slo­w­ly.

Tra­clink TRA­CLINK con­trols sta­bi­li­sers, bow and stern th­ru­sters, and wind­las­ses. It al­so mo­ni­tors wa­ter tem­pe­ra­tu­re and oil pres­su­re. Wa­ter pres­su­re func­tion swit­ch is in­clu­ded and ad­di­tio­nal user func­tions can be ad­ded ac­cor­din­gly. TRA­CLINK is es­sen­tial­ly a plug and play unit and the­re­fo­re re­qui­res a sin­gle ca­ble con­nec­tion to the con­trol box.

Swe­di­sh Zi­p­wa­ke distributed by Saim ma­nu­fac­tu­res ‘cor­rec­tors’ whi­ch re­du­ce roll, pit­ch, mi­ni­mi­ze drag and com­pen­sa­te ex­ces­si­ve ‘an­gle of heel’ if and when ne­ces­sa­ry. The firm’s cur­rent mo­dels are elec­tric and co­ver boa­ts from 20 to 100 feet. In lieu of tra­di­tio­nal flap li­ke fins the­se plan­ts are equip­ped wi­th bla­des whi­ch point do­w­n­wards run­ning pa­ral­lel to the tran­som.

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