Massachusetts-based Imtra has introduced Sleipner Electric Vector Fins, an any-speed stabilization system that’s intended for use aboard yachts from 45 to 150 feet length overall.
According to Imtra, the system combines new electric actuators with a “revolutionary” fin design called Vector3 fins. They’re the second generation of the VFS Vector Fin design that’s currently used with hydraulic actuators, and, Imtra says, offer a level of reliability that no other electric actuators can match.
These fins also reportedly solve what Imtra says is the most common problem with electric actuators: structure-borne noise that can bother owners, guests and crew.
Sleipner’s electric actuators are based on a frameless, brushless, torque motor that’s built directly into the actuator base, allowing it to maintain high torque for an extended period of time. The system uses a Harmonic Drive strain wave gear system for reliability, as well as a system that Imtra says reduces about 92 percent of structure-borne noise. The same strain wave gear was used on the Mars Rovers and aircraft landing gear, giving an indication of its reliability in challenging environments.
The Vector3 Fins can also be 110 percent more energy efficient than conventional flat fins, and can provide a 90 percent increase in stabilizing force while reducing sway and yaw up to 60 percent compared with conventional flat fins, Imtra says.
Additional advancements that Imtra is touting include the Vector3 Fins having a 50 percent better lift-to-drag ratio compared to original Vector Fins, and virtually eliminating “anchor walk,” as the actuators allow the fins to rotate 180 degrees.
Imtra has introduced numerous products with substantial technological advancements during its more than 70 years in business, providing lighting, thrusters, stabilizers, anchoring systems, wipers, seating, controls, doors, hatches and other specialty products for use in the marine industry.
“The Sleipner VectorFins changed the game with a level of performance not previously seen in fin stabilization,” Prentice Weathers, stabilization product manager at Imtra, stated in a press release. “Now, the new electric actuators and Vector3 Fins take stabilization to a whole new level with a vastly superior stabilizer system compared to all others, and allows us to offer any-speed stabilization to smaller vessels than was previously possible.”
Can a skipper control these Sleipner stabilizers via a multifunction display? Yes, when using certain newer models of multifunction displays. Control of the system is also possible through an SDI-1 interface.
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