If you’re looking to stabilize your boat, you know there are options. So, what makes a Seakeeper special? What makes it the one you should consider for your boat? We’re revealing the recipe to the Seakeeper special sauce, and it all comes down to three key ingredients.
Everyone knows Seakeeper for its recognizable sphere. But what’s going on inside that magic ball? That ball is actually very important. It’s vacuum-sealed and contains a steel flywheel spinning at speeds up to 9,750 RPM (ballpark a bit more than 550 MPH – that’s a linear measurement, rather than rotational, so it’s not the same thing entirely, but it can be easier to understand that way). Seakeeper’s vacuum encapsulation enables the flywheel to spin roughly three times faster, cut the weight by two-thirds, and halve the power requirements. The sphere also houses other critical components, like the bearings and motor, keeping them and the flywheel forever isolated from the harsh marine environment.
Fun Fact: The team in our Mohnton, PA factory is responsible for machining to extremely tight tolerances. Machining tolerances are the amount of acceptable variance in the dimension of a part. Imagine a strand of hair – one single strand – sliced vertically into 20 identically sized strands. Our tolerances only allow for variances that come within the width of one of those 20 hair fragments, or 1/20 the width of one single strand of hair. In other words, every Seakeeper 2 flywheel, for example, can only vary in size by 1/20th the width of a single strand of hair. It might sound like we’re just splitting hairs here, but those extremely tight tolerances make Seakeeper the lightest, smallest, and most efficient gyroscopes on the market.
2. Cooling System
Since the flywheel spins in a vacuum at high speeds, it generates heat. And with Seakeepers installed mostly below deck, in an engine room, or beneath a seat, there’s nowhere for that trapped heat to go, even if it weren’t enclosed. For those reasons, our founders created a cooling system that solves that problem (and that’s a lot of why it took 5 years of research and development from the time the company was formed to the time the first Seakeeper hit the market). The cooling system removes heat from within the vacuum enclosure and dissipates it through a glycol/seawater combination.
Fun Fact: Our cooling system is the only part of the Seakeeper that is patented! So, sorry, you won’t be able to perfectly replicate the secret sauce!
3. Active Control
Just like you have a smartphone, a smart TV, heck, some of you even have smart refrigerators, Seakeeper is a smart gyroscope. Can it give you the week’s weather or write a grocery list for you? No, but it makes stabilizing your boat in changing sea conditions a breeze. Seakeeper’s active control reacts automatically to changing sea states, rather than passively controlled gyroscopes that are set to respond appropriately to only one condition. We’ve all been anchored out when the wind picked up and sea started getting a bit choppy. Thanks to its active control, Seakeeper eliminates roll at all speeds and in all sea conditions.
Fun Fact: Active Control is possible using hydraulic brakes and the Seakeeper “brain,” or software. What else does the Active Control do? It controls the Seakeeper’s precession rate, or the rate at which it tilts fore and aft, dispersing just the right amount of gyroscopic torque for stabilization!
Ok, so you know we’d never give away ALL the secret ingredients, but these are the big three that separate Seakeeper from any other stabilizers on the market. For visuals of each of these pieces, you can scroll through our technology page and watch a Seakeeper disassemble.
Ready to get stabilized? Check out our refit process if you’re looking for a smoother ride on a boat you already have, or the Standard/Optional Database if you’re in the market for a new boat. Want to skip any more reading (what is this, school?) and just talk to someone already? No problem. Contact us now.