GYRO STABILISERS VS
FINS STABILIZERS




Much has been discussed about which stabiliser is better at reducing boat roll. Here are advantages and disadvantages of each system.


· Because of their drag at speed, fin systems are not suitable for planing hulls. Fin systems are speed dependent, always balancing fin size with projected cruising speed, so as to create minimum drag for desired performance. The result is that at zero speed they have no effect (except on very large yachts with long roll periods), and at less than cruising speed, performance drops off sharply.

· Fins can correct small steady/static heels or listing due to beam winds, off center weight or long period rolls running downwind due to their inherent ability to apply a steady lift force under the hull while the vessel is in motion. In contrast, gyros cannot supply constant forces and as a result cannot correct a heel or list angle.

· Because gyro stabilisers require no protrusions from the hull, it is not subject to damage from grounding, or impact from floating debris.

· Fin stabilisers work immediately whereas gyro systems have to ‘warm up’ to be fully effective. Seakeeper’s 5 gyro stabiliser takes 35 minutes to spool up to 9,035rpm, the point at which it provides stabilisation, and another 15 minutes before it reaches its full 10,700rpm. Compared with instant-on fin boat stabilisers, that’s only going to be a drawback.

· External zero-speed fins are considerably larger than standard underway fins as they must actively move large volumes of water to stabilise a vessel. These oversized external appendages result in significantly more drag and must be compensated by increasing engine horsepower or acceptance of a slower top speed. In addition, external fins negatively affect fuel efficiency due to the additional drag.

· As fins are submerged this makes them more difficult to repair, which generally means repair costs increase. Gyros are always located safely inside the hull where there is no risk of damage.

· Gyros have a certain amount of noise pollution in comparison to fins and may be heard when in full operation.




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