Full Swing Sta­bi­liza­tion

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As our own Steve Zim­mer­man wrote about re­cently (“Trou­bleshooter: Sta­bil­ity Con­cerns,” Septem­ber 2018), ves­sel sta­bi­liza­tion has gone through a re­nais­sance of late. Sta­bi­liza­tion—now con­sid­ered an ab­so­lute must-have by many cruis­ers—has be­come an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. With a host of new products re­leased in both the gyro and fin mar­ket­places, sta­bi­liza­tion op­tions are be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble as the in­dus­try moves out of the exclusive do­main of the su­pery­acht and into the main­stream.

One of the man­u­fac­tur­ers lead­ing the charge is Humphree, a Swedish com­pany that has been work­ing on its trim sys­tems for years. Re­cently in Fort Lauderdale we had the chance to see a demo of the Humphree sys­tem, which fea­tures au­to­mated elec­tric trim tabs called In­ter­cep­tors. In­ter­cep­tors work well at higher speeds, as the tran­som­mounted plates au­to­mat­i­cally and quickly— within 0.7 sec­onds of the sig­nal re­lay—move up and down to change the force of wa­ter mov­ing past the hull. It’s a great so­lu­tion for faster speeds, but is this in­no­va­tion rel­e­vant to the trawler mar­ket?

By pair­ing In­ter­cep­tors with newly de­vel­oped fins, Humphree has cre­ated a sim­ple and re­spon­sive sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem that works for ev­ery­thing from zero speed to low speed to wide open throt­tle. What’s more, when in­stalled as a pack­age the fins and tabs work to­gether to gov­ern the boat’s over­all sta­bi­liza­tion un­der­way, in­clud­ing the man­age­ment of pitch as well as roll. The sys­tem uses a

gy­ro­scope and ac­celerom­e­ters to cre­ate rapid ad­just­ments, which al­lows the sta­bi­liza­tion to be more ef­fec­tive.

But that’s not all. Humphree’s newly en­gi­neered sta­bi­lizer fins are them­selves worth a sec­ond look. Un­like typ­i­cal fins that re­quire com­plex hy­draulics and the use of a gen­er­a­tor to op­er­ate, Humphree’s sys­tem runs on 24V DC power. The fins are small and re­quire very lit­tle space for mount­ing, which is par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fi­cial for af­ter­mar­ket up­grades. And un­like many fins that cre­ate an­chor walk when they’re sta­bi­liz­ing a boat on the hook, Humphree fins, with their 360-de­gree ro­ta­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, al­low the sta­bi­liz­ers to cre­ate the op­po­site ef­fect: keep­ing slight ten­sion on the an­chor rode.


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