Stability Of Smaller Seakeeper Boats
As a transom-mounted system, Seakeeper Ride does not reduce speed or efficiency, according to the company. Courtesy Seakeeper
Seakeeper launched its first product nearly 20 years after its founding in 2003, delivering what Andrew Semprevivo calls “our entire company’s dream since day one—to impact boating for everyone.”
The Seakeeper Ride is a new product that differs from previous Seakeeper models in several ways. Seakeeper Ride's roll and pitch reductions are greater than the original gyrostabilizers. While earlier Seakeeper models started out for larger yachts before scaling down, the Seakeeper Ride will initially be available for boats up to 35 feet long, with larger models coming later.
“We’ve worked very hard to scale our technology down,” explains Semprevivo. “We needed a product that got down to 18-foot and 19-foot entry-level boats, at a price point that everyone can afford.”
For boats up to 35 feet long overall, the Seakeeper Ride is currently available. Larger-boat models are in the works.
Sportsman, Scout, and Chris-Craft are the first builders to offer Seakeeper Rides on new boats. As a result, there will be aftermarket versions for DIYers and larger vessels in a year or two, according to Semprevivo.
Making the Seakeeper Ride fast enough to compensate for all the forces constantly impacting a boat on the water was the biggest technological challenge. Wave motion is countered by the Seakeeper Ride's rotary blades, which adjust 100 times per second.
The Seakeeper Ride user interface is compatible with certain Garmin, Simrad, and Raymarine multifunction displays. Pressing the "S" button switches the system from automatic to manual mode using the four directional arrows. Courtesy Seakeeper
“Once we understood how fast it had to be, then we realized it was way too expensive to be on small boats,” Semprevivo says. “It took a lot of work and mechanical breakthroughs to create a device at that size and speed at the price that we wanted.”
Seakeeper Ride can also be installed in addition to the original Seakeeper; the dual setup enhances the Ride's performance by 10 to 20 percent.
When weather or other issues prevent skippers from using a touchscreen display, Seakeeper offers an optional keypad. Depending on the boater's needs, it can be mounted separately from the multifunction display.
“Now you get on a boat, you turn the key, and you have to worry about steering and throttle, but that’s it,” Semprevivo explains. “There’s no more adjusting tabs. You forget about what it was like to have to operate tabs. It’s like going from a manual transmission to an automatic one.”