Just 10 years ago, Seakeeper was a fledgling company that had signed a deal with Azimut Yachts to offer its single-model gyroscopic stabilizer as an option. Co-founders Shep McKenney and John Adams believed in the new technology but were having trouble convincing U.S. builders that its space requirements, weight and cost would appeal to boat owners. That was then.
In the last decade, convincing non-believers that stabilization transforms the on-board experience has been Seakeeper’s mission, and it has paid off handsomely. The Maryland-based company, with its production facility in Pennsylvania, has now installed 6,000 gyro units and this year plans to ship 2,500 units. That’s more than a third of its entire production run in just the last year.
Seakeeper pioneered a category that has attracted competitors, but nobody else has done it as well. We chose this American success story because it didn’t stop at the high end of the boating market, but has progressively trended smaller. Its original Seakeeper 9 was joined this year by the Seakeeper 2, designed for boats from 27 to 32 feet. The company also launched the Seakeeper 5 HD for commercial and military applications, new segments for its gyro stabilizers.
CEO Andrew Semprevivo’s goal to design new units for boats down to 21 feet will keep innovation alive at Seakeeper. It’s an ambitious dream that Semprevivo, with almost missionary zeal, thinks his company can reach using lighter-weight and more cost-effective materials.
We also liked that its business model is factory-direct, so it can retain control over installation and servicing. Seakeeper is so serious about maintaining quality that it set up an office in Italy this year to service its growing European client base.
This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.