Comfort aboard does not only depend on the space and volumes available, the comfort of the sofas or the layout of the interior and deck. An essential part, often underestimated, concerns navigation. In particular, stability at cruising speed. Today there is a new and in many ways more effective solution on the market: the Zipwake interceptors. Imported in Italy by the BU Marine-SAIM S.p.A., they represent the evolution of the classic flaps.
You’re cruising with your friends or family on a planing boat. There is a wave or the weights are not evenly distributed on board. The result? A constant need to intervene to make the trim as acceptable as possible. Flaps have long been a key player in remedying this situation. Today, Zipwakes offer one more option with an affordable price and superior comfort. These trim tabs work on roll and pitch by giving an automatic response depending on the conditions the boat is in. The automatism is given by a software that analyses, according to length, speed and weight of the unit, a curve that tells the behaviour of the boat.
Zipwakes are resin blades contained in a panel that is installed on the transom. The position of the interceptors depends on many factors, mainly related to the boat, such as weight, length and shape of the hull, especially the transom. These blades come out of the boat automatically, adjusted by software by about 3 centimetres for the S series and 6 centimetres for the E series. They are designed for planing and semi-planing powerboats ranging in size from 20 to 60 feet, i.e. from about 7 metres up to 30 metres. The two series are designed to diversify smaller and larger boats. On the E Series it is also possible to install S Series blades as a supplement.
Once roll or pitch is detected, through a gyroscope installed in the display, Zipwake interceptors act directly to correct the boat’s trim. Zipwakes are faster than trim tabs because they are controlled automatically. There is no need to manually adjust the trim tabs while navigating.
Zipwake interceptors start to come into action between 8 and 10 knots because before that the boat would not have the necessary lift to get the hull up on the water. They play a role both in planing in and at cruising speed to reduce fuel consumption. When turning, the boat tends to stay level when turning with this system.
What about when the boat is stationary? Some might rightly ask how these systems work when fouling forms on the hull. The answer is easy. Zipwakes have an automatic cleaning setting that can be activated so that periodically the blades come out of the boat even when the boat is stationary, without the need for activation. The important thing is that the system remains powered at all times.
If you have already purchased your boat, you can still retrofit Zipwakes. The kit comes in a box with all the components, depending on the length, aft space and weight of the model. If you wish, the boat owner can also install the system himself, as the installation kit comes with all the necessary instructions.
What are the advantages of interceptors over flaps? First of all there is the greater hydrodynamic efficiency of the Zipwake. The submerged part is far less and generates less turbulence in the water passing under the hull. The drawing below clearly shows what we are talking about. Both these two devices (trim tabs on the right and intruder on the left) develop a vertical force in the aft part of the hull (as indicated by the arrows in the drawing) which is called lift. This helps to lower the bow of the boat and speed up the entry to the plane. The difference? That while the interceptor results in minimal resistance, that of the flap is much greater. Also, as we have already seen, the reaction speed and (automatic) precision of the interceptor makes it quite advantageous.
From an economic point of view, this solution varies in price depending on the size and series chosen. However, the starting point is well proportionate to the overall price of the boat and does not weigh particularly heavily on the overall expenditure.
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