Like many last year, myself and family were dissuaded from a foreign holiday due to travel restrictions, but this year we hope and believe that things will be considerably different.
We’re seriously thinking about booking a sailing charter in Croatia, with another family of four, on two near identical 38 or 40-foot yachts.
For my part, I’ve sailed for the past thirty years and can’t wait to get the shorts, the sunglasses and the sailing gloves on and start pulling on ropes and grinding winches. But the other, less experienced family have already voiced their concerns to me about the ‘up-down’ motion and seasickness, potentially ruining their anticipated and long-awaited week in the sun.
These very real concerns hit home as to why it’s so incredibly important for stabiliser manufacturers and developers of roll-reduction systems to keep doing whatever it is they are doing. To keep coming up with ever more efficient ways of improving safety and passenger/crew comfort at sea.
Let’s take a look, therefore, at what some manufacturers are doing, in terms of offering better efficiency, with increased performance, for less overall cost.
When referring to fins, its electric fins that have caused the greatest amount of interest recently, with manufacturers claiming a number of USP’s over electro-hydraulic equivalents.
Claims such as being easier to install, due to their less complex physical nature and being smaller in size, are major plus points, along with lower noise levels, less maintenance and reduced service-intervals which, on paper, would appear as extremely welcome benefits indeed.
Take, for example, Italian manufacturer, CMC Marine, who have pioneered electric fin systems and associated technology for a long period of time, about 15 years so they tell me. Their European Patent n° 2172394 assumes it was their system that was the first electric fin system placed on the open market.
Following on from Stabilis we now have CMC Marine’s compact electric fins range, namely Wavelesss, with a remarkably small interior footprint of just 9.5 inches, means the Waveless range is perfect for yachts 12m upwards. Even despite the small dimensions, much of the same cutting edge technology and some of the parts and components are drawn from the larger Stabilis range.
Powered-up using AC batteries, or with a 24volt DC option, Waveless gyros are said to have more available torque than competitors, partly down to a ‘flange on flange’ bolted together system, instead of using the more common through-shaft to connect the actuator with the fin.
What with Stabilis, Waveless and CMC Marine’s electric steering range, Directa, the next logical step was a system that allows them all to talk to each other, and that system is called ArgoTM an integrated ride control system designed to control reciprocal interaction between stabilizer and steering systems.
ArgoTM optimises course-keeping by guaranteeing better directional stability and reducing continuous course micro-corrections and ultimately increasing overall fuel economy.
CMC Marine founder and CEO, Alessandro Cappiello said “100% electric was for us a fundamentally important choice from the outset, because it speaks of our desire for innovation and research into product solutions that improve upon their predecessors, while respecting the environment and the ecosystem at the same time. Our electric systems offer about 85% better efficiency, resulting in reduced power consumption for the same performance (about 40-50% less than a hydraulic system). Other benefits include significantly lower noise levels of under 45dBa.”