Seakeeper RIDE

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
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Phil T
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Seakeeper RIDE

Postby Phil T » Wed Aug 30, 2023 7:26 pm

Seakeeper has introduced their version of transom mounted control surfaces [that they call the Seakeeper RIDE].

For boats under 26-feet the retail price [of the appropriate Seakeeper RIDE device is] $4,500.

For details visit:

A Montauk 190 owner has just had his boat fitted out with SEAKEEPER RIDE devices. Sea trial results have not been posted.
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Re: Seakeeper RIDE

Postby jimh » Thu Aug 31, 2023 8:49 am

The Seakeeper RIDE device looks interesting. But with regard to mounting to the transom of a Unibond hull, the usual problems associated with mounting trim tabs exists: you need a strong attachment to the transom, and for best results the device should be as far out from the centerline as possible. Again, a Unibond hull may not have embedded reinforcement material in those locations. That may be overcome in the case of the Seakeeper RIDE by the use of an adhesive as the primary bond to the hull; see below.

The unit that sells for $4,500 is the model 450, reflecting the width not the price. The unit is 450-mm or about 18-inches wide. Mounting two units on the transom is going to take up three feet of the transom width. Seakeeper says the transom surface for mounting must be "relatively flat."

On PANBO.COM there is an illustrated article with four photographs of the installation as done by a Seakeeper authorized installer. Part of the transom installation process is to grind off the gel coat layer and get to the fiberglass laminate layer in order to have a surface for the Transom Plate to form an adhesive bond to the hull.

The Seakeeper RIDE instructions for installation require use of a Methyl Methacrylate Adhesive (MMA). They approve three brands: Plexus MA590 (90 minute cure time); SciGrip SG300-40 (40 minute cure time); Partite 7425 (25 minute cure time). Two 400-ml cartridges are need, one cartridge for each of the two mounting plates. Once you have bonded the Transom Plate to the hull, I don't think removal is going to be very easy or simple. You are going to be committed to Seakeeper RIDE.

The nature of a Unibond hull is to NOT have a really thick layup of fiberglass as would be common on boats with conventional construction. And grinding off the gel coat is going to be a rather hard-to-swallow pill for someone with a newer Boston Whaler or an older one in like-new condition.

The installation instructions are extremely fussy about the angle and offset from the bottom of the hull. The installation is NOT intended for the do-it-yourself boat owner. Seakeeper has a special tool or jig to precisely locate the position of their gear on the transom for a particular hull.

To get the proper orientation of the blade to the hull, Seakeeper RIDE uses wedge plates to adjust the angle. This seems better thought out than the Zipwake installation method involving creating a shim on the hull itself with epoxy resin and filler and fairing to the proper angle.

The transom actuator device is electrical so a cable is necessary. This is normally routed through the transom below the water line, but perhaps can be routed on the stern face of the transom and up and over into the boat.

The electrical components consist of several modules and cables
  • Seakeeper proprietary CAN bus network backbone and drop cables
  • distribution module at stern
  • software module at helm
  • keypad at helm (optional)
  • main power connection with 25-Ampere circuit breaker at stern
  • network power connection for proprietary CAN bus at helm
  • Ethernet connection to MFD
  • NMEA-2000 connection

A schematic diagram of the interconnections of the Seakeeper RIDE system to other boat device is shown at ... -drawings/

The Seakeeper RIDE also needs 10-Amperes of 12-Volt power available to operate.

Looking at the overall complexity of the installation, I doubt the typical boat owner could accomplish it. Seakeeper RIDE seems to be intended only for professional installation by certified technicians, and perhaps installatoin only on hulls that Seakeeper has considered an approved.