Until recently, Heesen Yachts had not considered gyro stabilization. But after a memorable sea trial in July 2011, the management team was so impressed they expect to be working with Seakeeper well into the future. In fact, the Heesen hull YN 16465, a 65m/213-foot yacht due for completion late 2012, will also feature Seakeeper’s stabilization system.
“Heesen’s 37m/121-foot class was designed before stabilization at anchor was considered standard for a luxury yacht,” said Peter van der Zanden, Heesen general manager, design & development. Instead of obtrusive fins, an internal stabilization system was demanded and two M21000 gyros were installed on the new build.
“Aurelia is a semi-displacement yacht and therefore fins are a disturbing factor,” said Rob de Wijs, sales manager with Seakeeper’s Holland distributor, Kemper en Van Twist Diesel B.V (KVT). “Heesen had no experience with gyros, so they were uncertain if the predicted roll reduction could be achieved. After the sea trial, they were convinced.”
The two Seakeeper M21000 Gyros installed on Aurelia were tested at zero speed and while underway in extreme, rough seas three miles outside Slijkgat Inlet between Holland and France. Wind was blowing northwest at 20 knots with 1.5m/5-foot sea conditions. At zero speed, the gyros reduced resonant roll by greater than 55%.
The Seakeeper gyros were also tested during underway operation. Samples were recorded at speeds of 6, 13, 18 and 28 knots. Through this speed range, the system reduced roll by an average of 50%.
“We were impressed with how well the boat handled with the gyros,” said Aurelia Capt. Brenden Scott. “They really helped with roll. As a charter yacht we were looking for comfort at anchor, zero speed and while underway.”
“We are sure that Heesen will have no doubts about Seakeeper anymore. The product has proven itself,” said de Wijs.
High seas during the trial proved that Seakeeper gyros worked so well underway that even seasoned crew marvelled at how well they steadied Aurelia. The point was further made during a video shoot on choppy waters off Cannes.
Speaking on behalf of Aurelia‘s owner, Heesen PR and press office manager Sara Gioanola said, “Cruising on Aurelia with the Seakeepers is a very special experience. We worked on a video shoot off Cannes in September. The area is quite popular with yachts constantly running up and down. Many crew members onboard that day were seasick and constantly asked for the gyros to be engaged, as they were turned off for brief periods during testing.
“While other yachts were rolling, we stayed still. The videographers felt great and could work in a perfect environment. The stabilization during the running shots also was pretty astonishing. We had to make a circle and Aurelia did not lean inside. She ran straight. The comfort you experience is unparalleled. Once you try a yacht equipped with a gyro, you can’t go back to fins.”
M21000 gyros are designed for larger vessels, Seakeeper is working with yachts up to 65m/213-feet. The gyros’ powerful righting torque device is easily installed with no thru-hull fittings.
The tenth yacht in the leading Dutch builder’s 37m/121-foot class is available for charter in the Mediterranean during the summer and the Caribbean in the winter.