New Seakeeper Ride Can Help Tender Operations

6 February 2023 By Lauren Beck
Seakeeper Rider 450 Scout Sportfish
Courtesy of Seakeeper Ride

Lauren Beck is the former editor of Dockwalk and was with the publication from 2006 to 2023. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

Looking to smooth things over in the tender? The new Seakeeper Ride may be just the thing. “Seakeeper Ride is the first-of-its-kind Vessel Attitude Control System (VACS) that eliminates up to 70 percent of pitch and roll underway,” says Kelsey Barrett, director of Marketing at Seakeeper Ride. The product is targeted at vessels up to 35 feet — perfect for those superyacht tenders — and is Seakeeper’s first non-gyrostabilizer release.

“Wave motions can happen consistently or inconsistently, they can be big or small, and [they] can come from any direction,” Barrett explains. “Often, these motions occur in just milliseconds. Thanks to expert control software and hardware, in just one second, Seakeeper Ride’s sensors take 1,000 measurements, driving its proprietary, rapid-deployment rotary blades to make 100 adjustments to combat wave motions.” The product aims to increase onboard comfort by minimizing slamming.

The product’s controllers can be easily mounted to both sides of a vessel’s transom below the waterline, with additional components wired to the controllers inside a console. The system then uses “custom, proprietary inertial sensing hardware and software” to understand the boat’s behavior and deploy the rotary blades to counteract pitch, roll, and yaw. This creates lift at the transom, managing the vessel’s motion instantaneously.

“We are our biggest competitor,” says Barrett. “We are driven by market need and innovate to change the boating experience for the better. … We weren’t going to come to market with a new product without achieving that same dramatic change in the boating experience.”

Currently, the Seakeeper Ride has three blade sizes available: the 450 for boats 19–26 feet ($4,500); the 525 for boats 27–30 feet ($7,500); and the 600 for boats 31–35 feet ($10,500). The Seakeeper Ride is currently only available on select models from Sportsman Boats, Chris-Craft Boats, and Scout Boats, but plans are to increase offerings later this year, including a potential DIY option. Seakeeper willcontinue its research and development to expand the vessel size and hull types that can benefit from the Seakeeper Ride. The system won a 2022 IBEX Innovation Award in the Mechanical Systems category.


More from Dockwalk