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Joe Thurber’s Zip

On June 3, 2020, in Builder Blogs, Outboard Powered, by jthurber

Materials Arrive!

Materials Arrive!

Layout board - an under-rated amount of work

Layout board – an under-rated amount of work.  This took several hours.

Building the Frames

Building the Frames.  I elected to use genuine Honduras mahogany.

Frames, Stem, and Transom on the building form

Frames, Stem, and Transom on the building form.  I made the form tall enough that I did not have to bend so much and I could crawl under it if needed.

Wasn't ready to make the long/short shaft motor decision yet!

Wasn’t ready to make the long/short shaft motor decision yet!  I ended up with a short shaft Suzuki.

Bending the Chines. These bent without a lot of effort and no steam.
It takes some creativity to clamp everything!
Chines Glued In
Ready to steam bend the sheers. I found this method with the plastic sleeves to be quite simple and effective.
Steaming about done. Now I’ll bend it in and attach it.
I’m now adding the second layer to the sheers.
Sheers complete!
I decided to steam bend the bow end of the battens so that I could get more length out of them. I believe this may have afforded an additional 4 to 8 inches on the innermost battens.
Faired and ready for plywood.
This stuff bends nicely! No steam needed.
Building a home for my Zip.
This should last awhile. I really like the idea of concrete slats on deep, pounded in pilings. The water depth at the end is only about 4 feet, but the pilings there are 40 feet long!
Ok, back to work!
Port and starboard plywood on.
Meanwhile… As a footnote, this dock withstood a beating from a direct hit from Hurricane Florence. It was one of the few left standing.
Hard, Exacting work to get everything lined up.
Enough putty to sink a ship (I hope not).
Epoxy fumes again.
Fiberglassing was easier than I thought it would be. I elected to use the dry method.
Painting the bottom.
Painting complete.
I built this rolling cradle. It worked really well! Just had to block it up so it didn’t roll around when it needed to be stable and level. In retrospect, I should have cut a slot in the front board just like the one in the middle. When it came time to put it on the trailer, I had to cut the front board out!
The team is here to help flip the Zip. From left to right: My son, Travis, stepfather Sam, daughter Karla, me(Joe), mother Barbara, and brother Karl. Not pictured is the photographer, my wife Marci.
A flipping success!
On the cradle in the garage.
Strongback and Deck Beams.
More carlings.
Interior epoxy done.
Building the center cabinets.
Seat and floorboard support system.
I decided to extend the carlings and add a small cubby with a glovebox-like compartment.
Test fitting the motor. I decided to go with a new four stroke Suzuki 25 HP with power tilt/trim. This is a short shaft.
Motor well.
Added a wider dash and precut for all instruments.
Fitting floor boards.
Finishing floor boards.
Fuel tank test fit midships. The other cabinet will house the battery.
Yep, let’s wire this thing while it is still open!
I used no-feedback steering. It does track well without a lot of strain on the driver.
I know the Lowrance is not classic, but I’m really going to use this boat, in the saltwater no less!
If there was one easy part to this build, it was putting on this sub-decking!
I thought this was supposed to be a boat, not a spaceship…
Now for the fun part – the finished decking. I used genuine mahogany with maple strips inserted afterwards.
A clamping nightmare.
If you have enough clamps, you’ve done something wrong.
King plank.
Adding the maple strips.
Taught myself to weld. This was my first project. Not perfect, but good enough! The U-Bolt goes all the way through the stem. I like the size of the opening and the additional attachment point offered by this system.
System Three Varnish being applied.
Boat jewelry.
Tessilmare rub rail. I really like how this went on and the level of protection it provides.
Back seat. Not perfect, but I’m an amateur with a sewing machine. I do recommend the Sailrite LSZ for this and all the additional work on the Bimini and cover.
Anchor system has some pulleys and ends up here.
Shiny new 316 stainless anchor.
Bimini nearly complete. I bought a Sailrite three-bow kit. If you can sew, it is not too difficult.
Bimini cover and transom stainless edge.
First time outside on the new trailer. Motor tested perfectly.
Naming ceremony!
And it floats! It also rides very nicely. I’m still breaking in the new motor so I haven’t had it up to speed yet. But it looks and feels great in the water!
At home on the lift.
Cover I made, mainly for UV protection.
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Your Thoughts?

16 Responses to Joe Thurber’s Zip

  1. N says:

    Joe , Nice build . I currently building a zip . I am considering helms seat like you . Wha

    • N says:

      Joe , Nice build . I currently building a zip . I am considering helms seat like you. What seat manufacture and source


      • Joe Thurber says:

        Thanks and best of luck to you! I used Tempress NaviStyle Highbacks in white. I purchased directly from Tempress. You’ll need some very low mounts. The Zip is tight!

  2. Eddie Stephens says:

    Very Nice! I am not too far away in Durham. I am getting a zip kit soon but have a question about the motor. Are you happy with it? Would you get the same one again and is it loud?

    • jthurber says:

      Yes, quite happy. I built the transom for a short shaft and wanted a brand new motor for once. With remote steering and controls, it’s hard to buy new if you want to install it yourself – seems there may be some kind of liability fears. But I was eventually able to. It went on nicely. I would caution you to make a wide motor well in order to be able to attach the steering! This motor is 4-stroke and very quiet and uses very little fuel. 25hp is plenty for me. It runs about 27mph full bore. If you want to ski, you would need more. If you get to a point where you want to see my boat to help in your build process we can work that out! Best of luck!

  3. Andre says:

    Great work!
    How long did the build take you?

    • jthurber says:

      It took me two and a half years part time. It was very satisfying to complete this project and have such a great boat. I get compliments every time I take it out!

  4. HeathMac says:

    Beautiful build. Where did you source your lumber from?

    • jthurber says:

      Thank you! I had the lumber shipped in from LL Johnson lumber in Charlotte, MI. I used genuine mahogany.

  5. murphree flippen says:

    great boat i want to build one with inboard motor

  6. murphree flippen says:

    what is the number of this boat plan from glenl please respond

  7. Steve Bruno says:

    I really enjoyed all the pictures of the building process. You should be proud. That’s Joe Thurber perfection.

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