We equipped Furthur with Wesmar active fin stabilizers installed at JTM when new. They worked flawlessly for many years and many miles. We crossed the Pacific Ocean in comfort and made it halfway around the world.
As with any equipment they grew tired, for the last 3 years we have been replacing one element after another and not seen peak performance. As my system deteriorated technology improved. When the good folks at Wesmar told me, my system was now obsolete and that they would not be making more replacement parts. I had a few options. One I could stockpile every part they in stock in hopes of keeping the system working or I could replace the entire system and eat rice and beans for the next ten years to recoup the money.
With the doom and gloom of these options came the third and best. Wesmar could upgrade the entire system to the new digital operation with only replacing the electronics. Clearly the DSP5000 was the best choice. This was not a cheap upgrade, Wesmar had spent years developing the new systems and needed to recoup their investment, but vastly cheaper than an entire new system and much easier to install.
The claim and subsequent reports of customers was that this system not only replaced but significantly improved my old system. The new gyro was three point so it corrected pitch as well as heal. One of the features of the new system is that it intergraded with other nav instruments, such as GPS, to adjust for different speeds and turns. This was not much value to us, we go 7-8 knots, but I can see it working on faster boats for sure. I opted to not connect the GPS to the system.
So, with a big gulp, a wife saying "you paid what?" and knowing that doing such a job halfway around the world would be complicated, I hit the "buy now button" and told Wesmar to ship the goodies. One of the deciding factors is that I had the commitment of the best tech in the country to install the upgrade, Kuya Bhogs has been working on my system for a couple years so some familiarity, but not a Wesmar trained tech, not yet anyway.
Kuya Bhogs, best tech the Philippines
Day one Kuya Bhogs spent just laying out the parts and discovering what we had and did not have. He installed most of the major boxes. We were able to use the existing main cables; problem was there was no wiring diagram on how to do so. In subsequent days and many emails with pics back to Wesmar, we got the system running. Each question takes a day to cycle from where we are. The install took us five days but Bhogs could do it in two now I am sure.
gyro installed in pilot house
replaces the old control box and board
new junction box in pilot house
Now was time for a test run, we left on our annual All Souls Day voyage to Puerto Galera, a 95-mile run with a complete range of seas and wind. We encountered direct beam seas of about a meter on the first leg, increasing to 1.5 + as we crossed the entrance to Manila Bay. A perfect test with amazing results.
first dayfirst day
Day two took us into bumpier seas, 20 plus knots of wind either on the beam or head on. Donna went from "what did you spend?' to "I love these". The pitching was radically reduced, something I was skeptical about for sure.
things get a bit rougherthings get a bit rougher
The new system is extremely smooth and quiet, before we had not doubt when the fins were moving, bang bang bang, now the only indication is the real time read out on the control panel.
banging into the seasbanging into the seas
A big Furthur thank you to the good folks at Wesmar, Bob and Jason were very helpful and to Kuya Bhogs for his great work. We look forward to many more adventures and a smooth ride all the way.