Practical Boat Owner - - Practical -

If you have a spare £22,000, you could buy the small­est of the Sea­keeper gyro sta­bilis­ers. This re­mark­ably com­pact unit runs off 12V, and a quiet elec­tric mo­tor spins the gyro at 500mph in a vac­uum. As PBO dis­cov­ered, it re­ally does al­most elim­i­nate the roll, re­plac­ing it with a sup­pressed bob­bing mo­tion in­stead.

Gyro’s and fins aside, there are many ways to make your boat more sta­ble both un­der­way and at an­chor. First, bring the weight out of the ends as much as pos­si­ble by stow­ing the an­chor chain fur­ther aft, as this will re­duce the pitch­ing mo­tion. At an­chor, a sim­ple flop­per-stop­per will dampen rolling. Also, rig a small stay­sail aft to keep your boat pointed into the wind at an­chor.

On a mo­tor­boat, re­duce top ham­per as much as pos­si­ble to lower the cen­tre of grav­ity. Mo­tor­boats can also use trim tabs and power trim to bring the nose down and coun­ter­act any lean into the wind for a smoother ride.

if you haven’t got £22,000 for a gyro sta­biliser, you can prob­a­bly make a ‘flop­per stop­per’ in­stead from scraps of rope, lead and ply­wood. See for how to make one

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