DAVE SENIOR’S BOATING TIPS: Maintaining Your Stabilizer System

Dave Gillen Sr


One of the most common failures of stabilizers is when the external seals start to leak. When this occurs, it takes some time, if ever, to show up inside the boat. Because this is unknown to the operator, severe corrosion damage can be taking place. This is why it is critical to have the service performed in the regularly stated service intervals (Usually 5 years). The other important consideration is making sure the hoses are replaced as soon as they show signs of cracking or rust leaking thru the hoses jacket. These hoses can and do break, allowing high-pressure oil to enter the space quickly, depleting all the oil in the reservoir then damaging the hydraulic pump. Most boats do not have provisions to isolate the system from the pump/reservoir.

The maintenance schedule usually involves replacing seals, checking and replacing pencil zincs in the heat exchanger, hydraulic fluid check, and inspection of hoses and mounts. Failure to maintain stabilizers can result in the shaft seizing into the actuator, which will definitely increase the cost and time of the yard period.

Maintaining your stabilizer and keeping all service records associated with the maintenance of this and all your mechanical systems will greatly improve the resale value of your yacht. For our customers, we retain your service records for any service performed at Gillen Yacht Service.