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I was born and lived all my life by the River Nile, Cairo, Egypt. I share many of my childhood memories with the Nile. I swam, fished, rowed, and sailed on the Nile. Building my Zip will reinforce my relationship with the river and make me happier.

A few years ago, I got introduced to a sculptor at a dinner at a friends house. The hosts were a very interesting couple. They are those kind of people that you want them always to be around. The sculptor has a side job as a sailing coach and he teaches sailing on the Nile. He invited me to try and I could not resist his invitation for many reasons: first it is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the Nile, second, I can’t stop myself from learning new skills/things, third, being surrounded by water is the best place for me.

I learned the basics of sailing but can’t keep my eyes off the beautiful wooden structure of the boat. It captured me as an architecture. A couple of years after, the same couple invited me to share with them rowing on the Nile. I agreed immediately. We met at Maadi Yacht Club, took a speed boat to reach Egyptian Rowing Club further north. it was not a long trip but it had a huge impact on me. Rowing was wonderful, it was the first time in my life to hold couple of oars and push the water in a beautiful steady rhythm while I’m very close to it. Since that day I go to the Egyptian Rowing Club on a regular basis not only to row but also to enjoy my eyes with those beautiful structures. I wished that I own one and knew deep inside me that I’m capable of building one.

The story of building the Zip just started and it will be continued…

Zillions of questions are in my head. I don’t know the technicalities, the know-how and the materials as well. But I still believe that I can do it. I made my search to find the stitch and glue technique is the most convenient. 14’ to 17’ feet is a good size for a family. Long days in searching before I found the Tango Skiff. I bought the plans and started my journey to find materials and I knew at that time that the marine plywood will be the problem, and I was right. Due to the non-existence of marine plywood I have changed my plans. I can not accept the idea of building a boat which depends entirely on the plywood. So I kept searching then I found plans for classic boats from which I liked the most was the Zip.

Since I came back I did not spend much time on the Zip but at least I finished fairing and roughly cut the back sides of planking.

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