Zipwake Trim Devices

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
Jefecinco
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Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Jefecinco » Fri Aug 18, 2023 10:25 am

A Panbo article discussing the installation of Zipwake interceptor hull attitude devices was very interesting. The devices appear to automatically maintain boat trim while under way. I would like to know if any Continuouswave participants have installed or have experience with the Zipwake [vertical blade intecepter actuators].
Butch

Masbama
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Masbama » Sat Aug 19, 2023 2:57 pm

I recently read about them. Intriguing though they are expensive and I wonder how long they will last.

Goodnyou
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Goodnyou » Tue Aug 29, 2023 1:06 am

I just put a set [of Zipwake Trim Devices] on my PURSUIT 3480 deep V-hull, a long and skinny boat. The PURSUIT 3480 hull loves to ride on one side then flip back to the other. The boat is hard to drive and [the helmsman must be] always [adjusting] the [trim] tabs [to correct the hull lean].

I replaced the LENCO trim tabs with the Zipwake chine units. The system is fantastic. A [gyroscope mechanism] makes constant corrections. [The boat lateral trim] stays level.

On my last boat was a REGULATOR 26 EXPRESS, and the trim tabes rarely needed [adjustment to level the lateral trim]. ]I would] set [the trim tabs once] and forget [about them].

Jamie Simmons at IMTRA is great, and maybe he has information on Boston Whaler boat installations of Zipwake Trim devices.

My guess is [if a Zipwake Trim device were installed on a Boston Whaler boat the results would be] great .

Jefecinco
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Aug 29, 2023 10:10 am

I expected some owners of larger Boston Whalers may have installed the devices, but as none have chimed in I was clearly wrong.
Butch

jimh
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 30, 2023 9:46 am

Jefecinco wrote:I expected some owners of larger Boston Whalers may have installed the devices, but as none have chimed in I was clearly wrong.
Considering the price of larger Boston Whaler boats, the people who own them, or should I say the people making the $3,000-a-month payments on them, probably are NOT checking into continuousWave every day to see what's new with 30 to 50-year-old Boston Whaler boat restorations. If the Zipwake Trim device were available as an option on a larger Boston Whaler, those owners would have just checked the box and had the boat built that way, as the monthly payment would have only increased $100. When you own a recently built boat that is worth $500,000 to $1,500,000, you probably don't do any major modification to it at all, let alone make some major change to it yourself in the backyard while the boat is on a trailer.

jimh
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 30, 2023 10:13 am

From what I can gather by visiting the website ZIPWAKE.COM, the product is from Sweden and dates back to 2014. The mechanisms attach to the transom of the hull, and operate to lower or raise an "interceptor" or vertical blade into the water stream coming off the hull at the transom. A servo system controls the interceptor blade extension or retraction, and the system appears to be able to very rapidly alter the amount of blade inserted into the water stream to correct for pitch and lateral trim on the boat. The system control unit needs to be mounted very close to the hull centerline, as that unit appears to contain the sensor that can deduce change in the pitch and trim on the hull. A GNSS sensor is also need to input boat speed, as the servo control mechanism apparently includes boat speed into its algorithm of how much depth to insert the interceptor blade into the water. At low boat speeds more blade insertion is used than at higher boats speeds.

One problem I anticipate with installation of these interceptor devices on the transom of a Boston Whaler boat's Unibond hull is the need to have substantial embedded backing material in the location where the interceptor and the adaptor plate or backing will be located. The transom surface at the location of installation of the backing plate must be completely flat. This could also be a problem on some Boston Whaler hull transoms.

Each unit requires six or eight or 12 machine screw fasteners to attach to the hull, and at least two units will be needed.The diameter of the drilled holes will be 3/16-inch or 5-mm. A control cable must be connected to each unit. If the cable is to be routed through the transom, an addition hole of 3/4-inch-diameter through the transom must be made; otherwise the control cable can be run up the transom and over the transom.

The instructions indicate the installer is to "prepare for machine screws per [boat] builder preference." The preference of Boston Whaler for their Unibond hulls is probably not for the owner to drill 12 to 24 holes in the transom of his Unibond hull, at least not without probably voiding the ten-year-warranty on the hull against defects in manufacturing. For boats with conventional hulls, the adaptor units are to be through-bolted onto the transom. Through-bolting won't be possible in most installations on a Unibond hull.

When the blades of the interceptors are lowered into the water stream, they are going to be subject to significant forces tending to pry them off the transom. So the attachment to the transom must be very strong.

I suspect that the difficulty in attaching the interceptor blade units and their hull adaptors to a Unibond hull may influence their use on a Boston Whaler Unibond hull boat. If Boston Whaler were to adopt these mechanisms, they would probably modify the hull construction to provide very strong embedded material into which the adaptors would be fastened by multiple machine screws threading into tapped holes in the embedded material.

I was a bit disappointed with the ZIPWAKE website because it did not show their product as installed on a boat with the boat out of the water so a clear view of the installation could be seen.

I found a very short youTube recording that does show the interceptor devices on a boat transom:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnyjudYh7C8

A 36-minute-long recording was created by youTube channel content creator Center Consoles Only, and demonstrates the installation on the transom-mounted interceptor devices: See

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtBBOfyRrG8

The actual installation only covers the mounting of the interceptors on the transom. This ends at 17-minutes 40-seconds into the presentation. After that no further installation is shown, and the presentation jumps to a demonstration of the use of the ZIPWAKE. During installation it appears that the machine screws fasteners are just driven into the transom and not through bolted. Or, if they were later through bolted, it is not demonstrated. Almost all the fasteners must be tightened to specific torque values, so a very accurate torque wrench (or two) is needed.

Also in the interceptor installation presentation, a MAJOR amount of work was skipped over. The surface plane onto which the backing plate or adaptor plate is to be mounted must be perfectly flat. This is probably required to prevent any binding of the mechanism contained in the backing plate or the interceptor module. Both seem to be molded of a thermoplastic material.

On the particular hull in the presentation, the installation apparently required that the gel coat layer on the transom, in the area where the backing plate was to be installed, had to be ground to create a rough surface, then the area was built up with epoxy resin and filler, and then faired to be perfectly flat. The epoxy build up has a wedge shape, thicker at the bottom than at the top, which apparently is needed to get the orientation of the backing plate to be more orthogonal to the hull running surface. This is not shown or explained in the presentation, but someone (evidently familiar with the product and its installation) explains the skipped steps in the comment sections. They describe the omitted part of the installation as "the most labor intensive part of the installation." (I can see why the tedious labor and transom modification needed was omitted; the presentation seems intended to be entirely positive regarding the ZIPWAKE product.)

The comments from viewers of the presentation include several very negative remarks about the ZIPWAKE system. Of course, that is to be expected on any sort of open comment situation on the internet.

The ZIPWAKE system seems like a re-invention of the Volvo QL trim system that was introduced in c.2008, also from a Swedish company. I believe that Boston Whaler at that time actually offered the Volvo QL trim system as an option on their 230 DAUNTLESS model. The Volvo QL trim tab system was discussed at that time in a thread on the old forum. This thread is still archived--like all threads from the old forum--and has some interesting comments. See

Volvo-Penta QL System
https://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/015758.html

Jefecinco
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Aug 30, 2023 11:03 am

Yesterday I read a post on "The Hull Truth" by a 22 foot Boston Whaler owner who had installed the system. He was very pleased by the result. I invited him to specify the model of his boat and asked if was aware of other Boston Whaler boats with the system installed. I've not yet checked for a reply. If he responds I'll post anything of general interest here.
Butch

jimh
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 30, 2023 2:24 pm

Jefecinco wrote:...a post...by a 22 foot Boston Whaler owner who had installed the [ZIPWAKE] system...[said] he was very pleased by the result.
I have been running a Boston Whaler 22-foot hull for probably about 700 to 800-hours of underway time. My boat has no trim tabs.

When on plane and there is a strong cross wind, the hull tends to lean into the wind. When this occurs, we compensate for the lean by redistributing the crew weight. The crew consists of just two, me and Chris.

If the boat leans to Starboard, I just move to Port and steer from the center of the boat with my right hand on the wheel. Chris remains seated on the Port side. This small change in position will almost always even out the lateral trim.

If the boat is leaning to Port, I ask Chris to move out of the Port helm seat and come to the Starboard side, standing either on center or behind me. Or she can go to the aft wraparound seat and sit on the Starboard side.

My 22-foot hull may not be as sensitive to leaning because it has a Whaler Drive. The Whaler Drive itself acts like a very large trim tab, and any tendency for bow rise is greatly reduced, and I suspect the Whaler Drive also inhibits to some extent the roll to Port or Starboard, not as effectively as trim tabs placed as far outboard on the transom as possible, but effectively enough that the change in crew position side to side will be enough to affect the lateral trim.

Regarding the shape of the transom on Boston Whaler classic hulls, there is a very good article that shows several approaches to installing trim tabs on those hulls in the REFERENCE section; see:

Trim Tab Installation
https://continuouswave.com/whaler/refer ... mTabs.html

The most effective location for mounting a trim tab (or a ZIPWAKE interceptor) is as far outboard from centerline as possible. But a problem with a Boston Whaler hull and mounting far outboard is the presence of a hull strake in that exact spot. See the photographs of the transom of the OUTRAGE 18 with twin engines in the above article for an example of this situation.

As a general rule, boats that MUST use trim tabs to be able to quickly get on plane without having a huge bow rise are just boats that are either not very well designed or have been fitted with far too much weight in the stern. Boats the are not stable on a even lateral trim are boats with a V-hull design that is probably not very good or the V-hull is very deep and only effective at high speeds. All V-hull boats at very low speed or at drift have some tendency to rock side-to-side.

Finally, I have never met or heard from anyone who spent $6,000 on a modification to his boat that did not say something positive about the effect created by the modification. That is just human nature. No one is likely to confess: "I just spent $6,000 on my boat on some new system to improve something and there was no improvement or barely any improvement or not $6000-worth of improvement."

Goodnyou
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby Goodnyou » Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:16 am

[A ZIPWAKE device] may be harder to mount on an old Boston Whaler boat hull [than on the transom of some other boat brands].

ZIPWAKE and a couple others are changing the trim tab market.

REGULATOR, FREEMAN, WESMAC and other quality boat builders should be looked at.

A ZIPWAKE device will give most boats a lower planing speed, instant auto leveling, and instant auto roll [suppression].

The mounting area for a ZIPWAKE device needs to be flat to a straightedge . In some boats [the transom mounting area] is flat. Others boats [have a transom mounting area that will] need some work to get [the mounting area to be flat].

On boats that have a "bad" camber transom, scraps of G10 are attached to the transom to achieve a straight mounting surface so the ZIPWAKE device is not bent.

jimh
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:47 am

Goodnyou wrote:[A ZIPWAKE device] may be harder to mount on an old Boston Whaler boat hull [than on the transom of some other boat brands].
Yes. Your observation is the same as mine.

With regard to attaching ANYTHING to a Boston Whaler Unibond hull, if the attachment will be exerting a great force onto the hull, there must be and embedded material pre-molded into the outer hull laminate to provide the necessary stiffening and strength to the hull to tolerate the forces being applied, and also to have suitable material to hold screw fasteners. Due to the double-hull foam-filled design, use of through-bolting fasteners to retain something to be mounted onto the hull is limited. Non of these problems exist in boats that are not using the Unibond method or other similar methods of embedding foam an reinforcements as used by boats developed by Bob Dougherty after he left Boston Whaler and started several other boat companies.

Your comment was somewhat vague; you used "harder" which is a intrinsically a comparison with something else. I had to infer that what you mean was that there were some other boat brands for which the transom would be more easily adapted to mounting a ZIPWAKE vertical blade intercepter assembly. I am sure that is true, there can very well be some other brand of boat whose transom is more adaptable to installation of a ZIPWAKE vertical blade intercepter.

You also categorized the Boston Whaler boats having a hull that was "harder" to adapt to the ZIPWAKE as being "old" boats. Perhaps you are not aware that Boston Whaler is still building hulls the same way as they did in 1959. They use the Unibond hull construction method. The Unibond hull method generally uses thinner laminate thickness because the use a double-bottom type hull, entire space between the outer hull and the inner hull (or liner) is filled with foam as the laminates are still curing, allowing the foam and the laminates form a strong and continuous primary bond between them. This gives the Unibond hull much more strength and rigidity than a boat without the double hull construction.

There is really not a marked difference between a Boston Whaler boat from the 1960 and one made today in terms of the hull construction. If there is any accessory to be attached to a Unibond hull which will be exerting high forces on the hull, the hull will need to be build with those embedded reinforcing material in place. There is nothing about a 2023 Boston Whaler boat that eliminates the need for having embedded reinforcements at points of attachment of high stress. So in general, your distinction that only "old" Boston Whaler boat will have this drawback to using a ZIPWAKE vertical blade interceptor on their transom is not true--all Boston Whaler boats with Unibond hulls will have this drawback to using ZIPWAKE

Boats using conventional single-hull laminated fiberglass construction tend to use a thicker laminate layup schedules to create the needed strength. They can easily adapt to through-bolting for greater strength of the fastener and to adding backing plates to stiffen an reinforce the hull where needed

Goodnyou wrote:REGULATOR, FREEMAN, WESMAC and other quality boat builders should be looked at.
Your advice is not really cogent here. This forum is about in Boston Whaler boats. This forum does not discuss REGULATOR boats or FREEMAN boats, or WESMAC boats.

Also, I have to infer from your comment that those other boat builders are offering ZIPWAKE devices as options from the boat builder. Your comment would be much stronger if you actually said that. Relying on the readers to go in search of the information you want the reader to be aware of is not as effective as just giving readers the information directly. I am not particularly interested in going hunting to see what other brands are using the ZIPWAKE. It would be simpler for you to make your point if you just clearly indicated which boat builders are using them already.

If Boston Whaler decides to offer ZIPWAKE devices as an option on their boats, I am sure they will figure out the best method of installing them. They will incorporate the necessary reinforcement embedded in the hull, and perhaps even intentionally change the hull mold to make the surface area where the ZIPWAKE vertical blade interceptor units are to be installed to be perfectly flat and at the exact abgle needed. But for now, I do not believe that Boston Whaler is offering these devices.

jimh
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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:36 am

Goodnyou wrote:ZIPWAKE and a couple others are changing the trim tab market.
My reaction to this statement: what are the two other brands that are changing the market for trim tabs?

How do you think the market for trim tabs is going to be changed?

Will trim tab sales immediate decline? Will trim tab makers go out of business?

The cost of the ZIPWAKE devices and their professional installation is certainly going to be substantially higher than adding trim tabs. Trim tabs are an accessory that can be added by a Do-It-Yourself boater. That is a disadvantage to ZIPWAKE.

With regard to Boston Whaler Unibond hulls, there is ample evidence that attachment of a trim tab is possible with the existing transom and hull structure, due mainly to the physics involved. I explain my thinking:

Unlike a vertical blade interrupting the water flow at a 90-degree angle, a trim tab skimming along on the water surface will not generate nearly as much tension force trying to pull out horizontally from the transom fastening as will the vertical blade. Also the actuator force is applied to the trim table is a manner that creates compression forces on the transom, not tension. The nature of the trim tab seems to me overall to be putting less strain on the attachment points to the transom than the ZIPWAKE vertical blade interruptors.

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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:52 am

Goodnyou wrote:A ZIPWAKE device will give most boats a lower planing speed, instant auto leveling, and instant auto roll [suppression].
Those are very broad claims, particularly the qualification of instantaneous actions.

The ZIPWAKE vertical blade interceptor actuator is said to be able to alter the position of the blade very rapidly. But the effect of a change in blade position on the motion of a hull that might weight 3,000-lbs (or more) is not going to be instantaneous due to momentum.

In terms of the bow pitching up and down or porpoising, any control system must be very careful that its action suppression the movement instead of amplifying the movement by inappropriate application of force at the wrong instant of the motion oscillation. How ZIPWAKE is going to do that for every boat hull remains to be demonstrated.

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Re: Zipwake Trim Devices

Postby jimh » Sat Sep 02, 2023 9:07 am

I also want to observe that part of the attraction of the "older" Boston Whaler boats is their simplicity. My 1990 24-foot Boston Whaler boat has only a few systems to be maintained.

The fuel system is very simple: a tank, a hose, a filter, a primer bulb.

The electrical system is very simple: two batteries, a primary battery disconnect switch, a circuit breaker in the feed to one secondary power distribution panel, a permanent on-board 120-VAC operated battery charger. There are two navigation lamps, two cabin lamps, a lamp in the compass, two centrifugal pumps, and a voltmeter.

The more systems you add to a boat, the more complexity created, the more opportunities for problems.

I think the goal of an automated system like the ZIPWAKE is to reduce the amount of operator intervention needed in performing basic boat operations like getting on plane, setting fore-and-aft trim, setting side-to-side trim. Automation of those functions might be very appealing to some boaters, but for me, those tasks are just part of the operation of a boat done by the helmsman.