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.

Power & Motor Yacht - - BOATYARD -

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.

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