Avoiding Seasickness





If you have ever been seasick it is something that you don’t forget in a hurry, and if you haven’t, you are one of the lucky ones. A boat that is rolling about can not only produce seasickness, but it can also cause difficulty in moving about, and even lead to serious falls, to say nothing of the broken dishes. This is why we set such store in all-weather stability with all out yacht and motor yacht designs.


One break-through design is the Frers MY78 motor yacht Bill and Me built by Baltic Yachts. The unique aspect of this design is the strong crossover she has between sail and powerboats” Says Mani Frers adding. “Our client was making the transition from sail to power, having previously sailed around the world, and now wanted the convenience of a power boat matched to the better sea keeping and comfort qualities of his yacht.

The Frers MY78 hull form is more akin to a fast sailing yacht than the usual deep-V or displacement motor yacht. Like a yacht, the trim on this Baltic Frers MY78 does not change as speed increases. Hump speed – the point on a curve at which a hull jumps from displacement to semi-displacement or planing mode, is very smooth.

“This design crossover between power and sail has also had a beneficial affect on motion, giving this Baltic a much more comfortable ride in any seaway. We have given huge thought to dampening the vessel’s pitch and roll, two elements that often make people feel seasick. By adapting many of the lessons learned from improving passenger comfort on superyachts, we’ve not only given this Baltic 78 a far smoother ride than most other powerboat hull forms, but these advances have also had a beneficial effect on speed and economy.”

This new hull form was first proven in the test tank using a radio-controlled model in waves that simulated severe storm conditions. The behaviour had been enhanced further by the fitting of Seakeeper stabilisers and twin Volvo IPS rotating drives with their forward facing (pulling) contra-rotating props and exhaust system that carries the sound away underwater with the wash. A third element that enhances fuel savings, handling and ride is the Volvo Interceptor system, a great advance on traditional trim tabs which automatically compensate for wind and load to ensure that the boat remains at a favourable running angle to maximise passenger comfort.

So how do the Seakeepers work? Andrew Semprevivo is Director of Global Sales. He says, “Simply put, we’re spinning a flywheel at high speed inside a vacuuming encapsulation, and like any spinning mass it wants to maintain its orientation.” As the boat rolls, the gyro tilts fore and aft. That creates torque, which pulls up on the port side and down on the starboard or vice versa, to reduce roll. There is an electronic sensor within the system, which detects the waves and adjusts the speed of the gyro’s torque accordingly, which dampens pitch and roll by a considerable margin. “

By combining high level design expertise with the latest technology like Seakeeper and Volvo Interceptor systems, the Frers MY78 motor yacht goes a considerable way towards eradicating seasickness  all together and making life onboard a lot smoother.