different pressurized raw-water sources. One popular
installation method involves “sharing” cooling water with
the engine. The stabilizer heat exchanger is inserted into
the engine’s raw-water circuit, typically after the raw-water pump, where it transfers heat to incoming water
on its way to the engine. The heat transferred to the
incoming water rarely raises the water’s temperature
more than a few degrees, so there are no harmful side
effects for the engine’s own cooling. This approach
works quite well and, most importantly, it’s simple. No
additional pump is necessary.
Problems with this arrangement occasionally arise
with the engine manufacturer, who may be reluctant to
Even the smallest quantity of debris in the hydraulic fluid of a
stabilizer system is capable of causing a malfunction, as did
these small bits of a disintegrating rubber O-ring.
allow any installation that might compromise the flow
of cooling water to the engine because it may void the
engine’s warranty. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Electric or hydraulically driven pumps may be used to
move water through the stabilizer’s heat exchanger. This
method of cooling has one distinct advantage in that it
produces a telltale overboard stream of water that can be
monitored by the boat operator, whereas sharing the
engine’s cooling water does not. Nearly all stabilizer
systems include audible and visual enunciators that
will alert the crew to an overheating problem, but it’s
also helpful to be able to simply look over the side to
check whether water flow through the stabilizer’s heat
exchanger has been impeded.
The dedicated pumps used for stabilizer cooling,
whether electric or hydraulic, are typically not of the
self-priming variety. Therefore, it’s important that their
intakes be installed as far below the waterline as possible
IT’S TIME FO R
H AT BO AT
FIND YOURS AT THE
SAN DIEGO BOAT SHOW®
January 8–11, 2009
San Diego Convention Center & Marriott Marina
Enjoy 4 days of boating fun and once-a-year deals at
San Diego’s most complete boat show!