This Ball Can Stop Seasickness
13 July 2018
Waves hit the side of a boat, and the boat rocks. It’s been as simple as that since the first Neanderthal hacked out a log canoe. Seakeeper has managed to reduce the rocking and rolling of a boat, virtually any boat over 30’, by 70 to 90 percent.
How the heck can this be? Can a ball sitting enclosed in the leaning post of a center console really overcome the physical motion of a boat?
The way a Seakeeper accomplishes its mission all boils down to torque, applied to counteract the motion of the boat.
Seakeeper is a computer controlled gyroscope that eliminates most boat roll, including the fatigue, anxiety, and seasickness that go with it.
Inside a vacuum encapsulation, a flywheel spins at speeds of up to 9,700 rpm. When the boat rolls, the gyro tilts fore and aft (precesses), producing a powerful gyroscopic torque to port and starboard that counteracts the boat roll.
Seakeeper’s gyro serves to keep things steady on the high seas. As the boat rolls left or right, the gyro swings forward and backward.
Seakeeper’s computer-controlled stabilization gyroscopes are installed directly inside the hull of the boat, creating no additional drag and requiring minimal maintenance and upkeep. Typically, the Seakeeper weighs between 2% - 4% of boat weight, half or less the power of air conditioning, and fits in available space in the back half of the boat.
Any spinning object works as a gyroscope, moving to counteract any force that tries to change its orientation. That’s how a spinning top stays upright, even when flicked. Such freaky physics makes gyros ideal for stabilizing satellites or, in miniature, for guidance on ships and missiles, where they provide navigation systems with a steady frame of reference.
A couple of black hoses pipe cold seawater through a heat exchanger to keep the bearings on the flywheel cool. The whole thing can be bolted or even glued into place in a boat made of wood, metal, or fiberglass.
Each unit is constructed at Seakeeper’s manufacturing plant in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Founded in 2003 by a successful entrepreneur and a naval architect, the company’s first unit was sold in 2008. Based in California, Maryland, the company has over 125 employees globally, based in the U.S., U.K., Italy ( European Headquarter ), Germany, Dubai and Singapore.
|Written by: Luis Clement|