In 2004, my wife and I purchased a 1978 DeFever 49 Pilothouse House Trawler that was in need of major work and we renamed her “ITINERANT”. ?Not only do we live on board during the summer months but we stayed on board through an entire winter in Plymouth harbor as we remodeled a home. The restoration process has been lengthy, however, our latest improvement has made a world of difference.
This boat had Gryo Gale stabilizers that were installed in 1984 prior to our ownership. When we purchased this boat in Stuart, Florida, we had many questions about the stabilizers. I contacted Maged Metwally, (Zeyad’s father), and he shared his knowledge of the boat and original installation of the stabilizer system. They were still serviceable but not maintained properly in her past.
We finally had to disable the old stabilizers due to compressor issues but after a few horrific trips across Massachusetts Bay to Maine without them, we decided to look at new stabilizers.
We contacted Gyro Gale again in the Fall of 2016. Zeyad Metwally surveyed the old installation and we all agreed a total new replacement was in order for Spring of 2017. The new installation was well executed and within (4) days we were at sea trial. While the seas that day were just choppy, a few rather large wakes proved the system was working well.
In a few weeks we will be departing for a trip to Maine and for the first time my wife and I are actually looking forward to rough seas!
In closing, we felt the attention to detail and follow through from Gyro Gale was impeccable. Zeyad and his wife Yasemin, (who had filmed the installation and sea trial), were great to deal with. As business owners’ ourselves, we are very proud that we are able to support a family business that has been around for generations. Our experience with Gyro Gale went beyond our expectations.
First major trip with stabilizers
The return leg on our vacation to Maine provided us with the ultimate test of our new stabilizers.
Perhaps unwisely we headed out of the upper end of Casco Bay with strong Southerly winds on our bow and a fast running outgoing tide. The Coast Guard was escorting a large fishing vessel back into port and we heard several other distress calls in our area. We encountered at least 8 to 12 foot seas very close together. It escalated quickly and I considered heading back to perhaps be more dangerous than continuing forward.
As we turned to head down the coast the seas were on our port bow and presented dangerous rolling and pitching conditions. The Gyro Gales performed beyond my expectations. As you know Itinerant is no small craft. At times I felt her bow might be out of the water all the way to the pilot house. Twice I had the distinct feeling as our bow came back into the water that the starboard fin was actually grabbing the water and holding us stable. The extreme conditions continued for about 2 hours until we got by Cape Elizabeth.
Mary and I are not thrill seekers. We love calm seas, but we know that will not always be the case. This experience was quite the test of our vessel and machinery. It was not comfortable. It was however comforting to be safe. To me the stabilizers are priceless.
-Jim and Mary // Plymouth, MA
Vessel Make: DeFever
Vessel Size: 49ft
Top Speed: 10 knots
Cruise Speed: 8 knots
Gyro-Gale System: Electronic Gyro Roll
Gyro-Gale Fin Model: Tab-Fins