Anti-rolling gyros go for a cruise

The Ferretti Group, the Italian yacht manufacturer, is to install Mitsubishi Heavy Industries anti-rolling gyro stabilisation systems onto its vessels to suppress one of the main causes of seasickness – rolling motion.


The Ferretti Group, the Italian yacht manufacturer, is to install Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) anti-rolling gyro (ARG) stabilisation systems onto its vessels to suppress one of the main causes of seasickness – rolling motion.


In essence, an ARG consists of a flywheel, damper, gimbal (on which the flywheel is suspended) and a motor (to drive the flywheel). The high-speed rotation of the flywheel produces force to counter a boat’s rolling motion, reducing boat rolling by more than 50% for a more comfortable ride.


Although other devices that reduce rolling during cruising exist – fin stabilisers, for example – the ARG is claimed to be the first system in the world capable of reducing rolling of a small boat even at anchor or when trolling.


The Ferretti Group will install the ARG systems on-board models of luxury yachts built by all the Group’s companies, including Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Bertram, Riva, Apreamare, Mochi Craft, Custom Line and CRN.


MHI’s first ARG, the MSM-500, was developed and marketed in 1995 for small boats with displacements below 5 tons. It features an angular momentum of 500 Nms (Newton meter second) and a weight of 130kg. In response to customer needs MHI has developed higher-power models: the MSM-2000/4000/12000.


MHI will supply all three models to the Ferretti Group until 2006, although shipments will mainly comprise MSM-4000 units.


In Japan, MHI has already sold 220 ARG systems for public-sector, commercial and private use, including cruise ships, sightseeing boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and patrol boats.