Game of Inches
IMTRA’S NEW ZIPWAKE INTERCEPTOR SYSTEM IS A SMALL ADDITION TO YOUR TRANSOM THAT CAN ADD UP TO BIG GAINS IN PERFORMANCE.
DANIEL HARDING JR.
popular customer segment is [owners of boats in] the 20- to 60foot range, but we’ve installed our system on a 100-footer.”
In my hand, the Zipwake 750—the largest interceptor the company offers—felt strong, but I was skeptical to say the least. I began to think about how to test the product. “We have a new Hunt Surfhunter 33 we can take out on Buzzards Bay if you’d like to see it in action,” came the offer from Jamie. I was in.
On a perfect summer day I followed Simmons to the helm of the Surfhunter, where he was going to show me how to set up the system. I dug through my bag for a notebook and pen. “Just turn it on, click English, imperial units of measurement, punch in your boat’s length, beam, and weight, and it’ll take about 15 seconds to calculate the pitch curve,” explained Simmons. Then eight seconds later, “OK, we’re ready to go.” I didn’t need the notebook after all.
It was a bluebird day on Buzzards Bay during our test. Meandering out to the bay at 5-ish knots our Zipwake interceptors were retracted, tucked up neatly behind the transom where no dock line—or fishing line for that matter—could find them and get tangled.
Once in open water I began a series of speed runs with the Zipwake system off, then on. After a bit of number crunching I recorded the following results:
2 GPH reduction in fuel burn at 22.6 knots (3000 rpm) 5 second reduction in time to plane 5 degree reduction in bow rise when coming onto plane
Again, we had near-perfect conditions that afternoon; less perfect for testing a device that reduces roll. For that I jumped from the Surfhunter to a Boston Whaler 22 Outrage that would rock and role more significantly. The Outrage was a great test bed; it leaned from side to side depending on where I stood. Activating the Zipwake, I watched the display that showed the interceptor fire off and retract at impressive speeds to keep the boat planted.
Full deployment of the interceptor took about a second and a half; that’s down from the five to eight seconds traditional trim tabs typically take to deploy.
There was one function of the Zipwake that perhaps impressed me the most. In the event of a loss of steering at the helm, you can use the interceptors to steer your boat home by manually lowering the tabs. That kind of redundancy would
The ability to make tighter turns is just one benefit of Zipwake.