Humphree Interceptor and Fin Stabilization

As our own Steve Zimmerman wrote about recently (“Troubleshooter: Stability Concerns,” September 2018), vessel stabilization has gone through a renaissance of late. Stabilization—now considered an absolute must-have by many cruisers—has become an increasingly competitive market. With a host of new products released in both the gyro and fin marketplaces, stabilization options are becoming more accessible as the industry moves out of the exclusive domain of the superyacht and into the mainstream.

The Humphree Interceptor and Fin Stabilization system.

The Humphree Interceptor and Fin Stabilization system.

One of the manufacturers leading the charge is Humphree, a Swedish company that has been working on its trim systems for years. Recently in Fort Lauderdale we had the chance to see a demo of the Humphree system, which features automated electric trim tabs called Interceptors. Interceptors work well at higher speeds, as the transom-mounted plates automatically and quickly—within 0.7 seconds of the signal relay—move up and down to change the force of water moving past the hull. It’s a great solution for faster speeds, but is this innovation relevant to the trawler market?

The unique fin stabilizer.

The unique fin stabilizer.

By pairing Interceptors with newly developed fins, Humphree has created a simple and responsive stabilization system that works for everything from zero speed to low speed to wide open throttle. What’s more, when installed as a package the fins and tabs work together to govern the boat’s overall stabilization underway, including the management of pitch as well as roll. The system uses a gyroscope and accelerometers to create rapid adjustments, which allows the stabilization to be more effective.

The control panel.

The control panel.

But that’s not all. Humphree’s newly engineered stabilizer fins are themselves worth a second look. Unlike typical fins that require complex hydraulics and the use of a generator to operate, Humphree’s system runs on 24V DC power. The fins are small and require very little space for mounting, which is particularly beneficial for aftermarket upgrades. And unlike many fins that create anchor walk when they’re stabilizing a boat on the hook, Humphree fins, with their 360-degree rotation capabilities, allow the stabilizers to create the opposite effect: keeping slight tension on the anchor rode.

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