Boat stability systems are a must… 

Boat stability systems are a must…  

If you’re looking at a new boat, let’s say 40′ and up, or a used boat from 2015 and up, it’s very important to pay attention to the presence of stability assist systems.

Today, even center consoles of 30 ft and over offer these systems as an option.

Unfortunately, there are still manufacturers who build new boats with conventional trim tabs and offer gyro stabilization as an option, but at prohibitive prices.

Now more than ever, we’d like to tell you that it’s very important to pay attention to the presence of these systems for easier resale and, above all, for on-board comfort.

Let’s start with basic stabilization.

There are of course, the well-known BENNETT stabilizers. They are effective, but slow-acting, based on old technology and a basic physical principle. On the captain’s command, they lower behind the boat (transom) independently of each other. This will vary the inclination of the boat according to the captain’s will. They are useful for stabilizing the boat’s trim, and are referred to as TRIMMING the boat to take account of the distribution of passengers on board, for example. It’s also useful when the captain wants to get on plane quickly. The advantage is that they are inexpensive.


The second generation is very effective at stabilizing the boat.

Two manufacturers stand out: ZIPWAKE and HUMPHREE. They improve stabilization by at least 25% over conventional stabilization. Depending on the configuration, this can easily rise to 50%. It also reduces fuel consumption by adjusting the boat’s trim. Roll is significantly reduced, helping those more sensitive to nausea.  These systems are fully automatic.

Stability efficiency is increased tenfold with the systems described below.


ZIPWAKE (standard on all Azimut Yachts):




HUMPHREE (standard on all Princess Yachts):


These systems stabilize the boat. They greatly help to reduce roll above a certain speed. Of course, the effect at very low speeds is no less dramatic.

So, if the boat manufacturer doesn’t offer either of these systems, ask yourself a few questions. Am I looking at a manufacturer who makes quality boats?

Here’s a graph to help you understand a boat’s movements:



The most effective system is the gyroscope stabilization. The best-known brand on the market is SEAKEEPER, but there is also competition. In fact, the manufacturer QUICK is now very present on the market.


For example, the manufacturer PRINCESS YACHT offers Quick gyros on all it’s yachts and also stabilization with HUMPHREE. Normally, the manufacturer should be able to offer you one or the other.

Both systems are highly effective, reducing roll by 85% to 90% when the boat is at anchor. However, as boat speed increases, efficiency decreases.

Above 15 kn, they are less effective. At low speed or at standstill, it’s almost like magic. No more heartache caused by the wave on the boat (especially the side wave). Of course, in a very intense wave, this doesn’t change the boat’s behavior. Always be careful. The stabilizer will not stabilize the sea in front of you.














The difference between the two systems lies in the cooling system. The SeaKeeper system requires water cooling, which is not the case with the QUICK.

Reselling a yacht with both systems (trim + gyro) increases its resale value and, above all, its appeal.  Indeed, the second-hand buyer is primarily looking for equipped boats.

Today, a gyro system costs between $50,000 and $70,000 USD. For basic stabilization based on the Trim concept, entry-level systems cost around $5000.00 US.

Navigation on lakes and rivers doesn’t necessarily require a gyroscope, but if your buyer is looking at a larger body of water, then the situation is different.


There is also fin stabilization, or FINS. But they are less common on yachts of 80 feet or less.

Here’s the beginning of an explanation:

Fin stabilizers and gyro stabilizers: what’s the difference?

Fin stabilizers consist of a pair of wings or fins, located below the waterline on the side of the boat’s hull, one on each side. These fins generate lift to counteract the boat’s rolling motion. Gyroscopic stabilizers, on the other hand, use an inertia wheel (a ball) mounted in a box to generate a stabilizing force.


We have published several articles on the subject of stabilization with FINS. They can be found in this section.

So ask your broker about the presence of one of these systems before you buy.

Popular manufacturers such as :

  • Azimut Yachts
  • Ferretti Yachts
  • Riva Yachts
  • Pershing Yachts
  • Sunseeker Yachts
  • Princess Yachts
  • Sanlorenzo Yachts
  • Custom Line Yachts, FerrettiGroup
  • Horizon
  • Hatteras
  • Ocean Alexander
  • Riviera
  • Prestige Yachts (pour les gyroscopes)
  • Absolute Yachts (pour les gyroscopes)
  • Cruisers Yachts (pour les gyroscopes)

And many other manufacturers, such as Boston Whaler, Galeon, Regal, etc., can offer you certain systems.

These are additions to the boat that completely change the boat’s comfort, both in sailing mode and at anchor.

For those who want stabilization for boats under 35′ other than trim tabs, read this article published by us, click on this link.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the brokers at Ita Yachts Canada and its Proprio Bateau division.

Our office is located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and we are familiar with all markets: Canadian, American and European.



Data contained in the article on this page must be validated by the visitor or boater, errors or omissions may occur, Ita Yachts Canada is not responsible for the information contained in this article.

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