Replacing a Seakeeper® Gyro Stabilizer – takes the right tools and the right know-how

2014 April 15
by Chris Brown

A 65 meter (213 foot) Palmer Johnson yacht at the Lauderdale Marine Center needed to replace its Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer.  A Gyro Stabilizer is an alternative to a Fin Stabilizer, first used to control a ship’s roll in the late 1920s and early 1930s for warships and then passenger liners.  Today, it is commonly used on all types of marine craft from luxury yachts to commercial vessels. The Gyro Stabilizer requires no through-hull cutting, eliminating the need for drag producing & damage-prone appendages.

High Seas Yacht Service was brought in to act as a “rigging company” to remove and replace the 2000 pound Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer.

Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer

Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer

We had to pick up Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer in the engine room using up to seven different come-alongs (chain hoists) hanging from beam clamps on the engine room ceiling.  We then had to swing it around the engines and run it through a small hatch in the engine room wall.

One of the challenges was the aluminum housing for the ball was not designed to take the 2000 lb. weight.  So we had to pick it up and “monkey swing” it until we could lower it into a properly designed moving cradle.

Once we removed the original Seakeeper Gyro Stabilizer, we reversed the process to install a replacement unit.

The job took two days to complete, so the captain and crew could once again enjoy smooth sailing.


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