Seakeeper’s Smaller-Boat Stability

The Seakeeper Ride reduces roll and pitch for vessels 35 feet LOA and smaller.
Seakeeper Ride
The Seakeeper Ride is a transom-mounted system that the company says will not reduce speed or efficiency. Courtesy Seakeeper

It took nearly 20 years from the day Seakeeper was founded in 2003, but the company has just introduced the product that president and CEO Andrew Semprevivo calls “our entire company’s dream since day one—to impact boating for everyone.”

This new product is the Seakeeper Ride, and it differs from previous Seakeeper models in several ways. For starters, while the original gyrostabilizers reduce roll, the Seakeeper Ride reduces roll and pitch. And whereas earlier Seakeeper models started out being available for larger yachts before scaling down, the Seakeeper Ride is being introduced on boats no bigger than 35 feet long, with models for larger boats coming later.

“We’ve worked very hard to scale our technology down,” Semprevivo says. “We needed a product that got down to 18-foot and 19-foot entry-level boats, at a price point that everyone can afford.”

Seakeeper Ride
The Seakeeper Ride is currently available for boats up to 35 feet length overall. Larger-boat models are in the works. Courtesy Seakeeper

For now, the Seakeeper Ride is available only on new boats, with the first builders including Sportsman, Scout and Chris-Craft. Going forward—probably in a year or two, Semprevivo says—there will be aftermarket versions for do-it-yourselfers, along with versions for larger vessels.

The big technological challenge in creating the Seakeeper Ride was figuring out how to make the device fast enough to compensate for all the forces constantly affecting a boat on the water. The Seakeeper Ride’s rotary blades make 100 adjustments every second to combat wave motions.

Seakeeper Ride
The Seakeeper Ride user interface is compatible with select Garmin, Simrad and Raymarine MFDs. Users can switch the system from the standard auto setting to manual by pressing the “S” button and then using the four directional arrows to make adjustments. Courtesy Seakeeper

“Once we understood how fast it had to be, then we realized it was way too expensive to be on small boats,” Semprevivo says. “It took a lot of work and mechanical breakthroughs to create a device at that size and speed at the price that we wanted.”

The Seakeeper Ride can be installed in addition to the original Seakeeper; the company says the dual setup enhances the Ride’s performance by 10 to 20 percent.

Seakeeper Ride
For times when skippers don’t want to use a touchscreen display because of weather or other issues, Seakeeper makes an optional keypad. It can be mounted separately from the multifunction display for ease of use depending on the boater’s particular needs. Courtesy Seakeeper

“Now you get on a boat, you turn the key, and you have to worry about steering and throttle, but that’s it,” Semprevivo says. “There’s no more adjusting tabs. You forget about what it was like to have to operate tabs. It’s like going from a manual transmission to an automatic one.”