One of the biggest reasons that people stay away from boats is the idea that they’ll get seasick from their boat rocking back and forth on choppy waters. It depends on the size of the boat, but all boats are affected by this issue, and it can really ruin an otherwise pleasant cruise. While many sailing boat designs and innovations have focused largely on speed and motorised boats on comfort, there has been relatively little attention focused on this intrinsic problem with boats.
This all changed when ratings specialists Welbourn Design in collaboration with business partner Gordon Kay, and engineer Will Brooks produced their patented Dynamic Stabilisation System, or DSS. The concept is similar to aircraft that have variable-sweep wings, such as the Panavia Tornado and the F-111 Aardvark: When the boat isn’t moving in the water, retractable foils are deployed that reduce the rolling effect caused by waves. Once the ship wants to get going again, they can be retracted and the ship can move at its full potential, similar to aircraft that can move their wings back for supersonic flight and forwards for low-speed flight.
After years of research, the dynamic stabilisation system has been embraced by yacht manufacturers, as it reduces the pitching that can occur on smaller yachts and on larger yachts, to ensure that the occupants won’t have to deal with the endless rocking back-and-forth that happens even on superyachts on rough seas.
The design is intended to have little effect on the ship’s handling and performance, and can break away without tearing up the hull, in the event of a collision. The design has no keel box or complex mechanism, which saves weight and avoids possible problems with altering the centre of weight. This also solves a problem with sailing boat designs: sailing boats are becoming heavier in order to ensure safety and stability, which means bigger sails and bigger rigging, which increases weight further in a positive feedback loop. The foils, meanwhile, are very lightweight and ensures stability for the keel, which means bigger sails, heavier hulls and taller rigging aren’t needed just to get the thing moving in light air.
The Dynamic Stabilisation System may prove to be the boat design revolution that’s been hyped for decades, as more and more yachts are using it. If you’re looking for a yacht charter based in the South of France with access to ports around the western Caribbean and the Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean so you can see some of these regions for yourself.