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New Gyro Ups the Ante on Boat Stabilization

New Gyro Ups the Ante on Boat Stabilization

Boat roll, and the fatigue, nausea, and annoyance it can cause those on board, does not have to be the price paid for yacht ownership. Seakeeper, a leader in internal gyro technology, has raised the bar again with its new M8000 Gyro Stabilization System. It is the most powerful unit on the market on a per-pound, per-cubic foot and per-kW basis.

Proving that rock and roll are not here to stay, the light, compact, power-conserving gyro delivers more enjoyable days on the water. Likened to “gravity in a bottle,” the spherical unit delivers an impressive 8,000 N-m-s (Newton meter seconds) of righting force to stabilize any vessel with up to 35 tons displacement.

The gyro’s power comes from Seakeeper’s newly-designed, high strength, single-piece forged flywheel. It spins at 8,000 rpm in a near-vacuum to eliminate the significant negative effects of air drag. Spool-up time to stabilization is only 20 minutes and a mere 35 minutes to rated rpm.

Roll reduction means that yacht owners can enjoy a leisurely lunch in rough seas, guests can stroll the deck safely, and everyone can sleep in comfort. For sportfishermen, a Seakeeper gyro can mean more days out when big water leaves others at the dock, without the spine-jarring pounding on the trip to a hotspot and back.

Because it is an internal system, the Seakeeper M8000 Gyro optimizes torque without the need for external fins that create significant amounts of drag, lowering top speed and reducing fuel efficiency. For low and zero-speed applications, the fins are larger, further increasing drag characteristics while being prone to impact and potential damage.

In sharp contrast, the M8000 is speed-independent and performs optimally whether the boat is at anchor, at the dock, or underway. Behind the scenes, its state-of-the-art motion control system regulates a hydraulic damping system that optimizes the available torque in ever-changing sea conditions.

Equally suited to new builds or retrofit projects, the M8000 measures just 36.2″ L x 39.2″ W x 27.7″ H and weighs 1,155 lbs. Multiple gyros can be installed on heavier craft, or Seakeeper’s larger M21000 may be used.

The gyro bearings and motor drive box are cooled by a new, innovative closed glycol cooling loop with a sea-water heat exchanger. Installation is simplified with a new pre-filled, self-purging design. Built to last, with minimal required scheduled maintenance, the M8000 also features heavy-duty gimbal shafts and bearings, as well as cast-aluminum saddle beams.

Notable improvements are many. The gyro motor drive box is now pre-mounted and pre-wired at the factory, reducing installation labor and wiring. The M8000 is 14% more powerful and 44% quieter than the M7000A it replaces. The M8000’s operating status and diagnostic information are accessed from the display panel and keypad mounted on the bridge.

All Seakeeper models are backed by a worldwide network of qualified dealers and service/installation centers and now offer a 2-year, unlimited hour warranty. The M8000 is expected to be available by Spring 2011.