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Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:17 pm
by Andy Garrett
The catalog indicates that these two boats (Zip and Flying Saucer) have identical beams. It also idicates that the 12' FS can be lengthened, but not shortened, while the 14' Zip can be shortened, but not legthened.

So..., if each boat is built to 13 feet, how are they different?

To the casual eye--even a fairly critical eye--they look to be more than just siblings. They look to share identical frames.

I'm sure I'm wrong, and I'm equally sure that someone will tell me why. :?

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:31 am
by Moeregaard
I've heard that the Zip is just a stretched Flying Saucer, using the same frames, which explains why you can stretch the FS, but not the Zip. Gayle and/or Glen can probably shed more light on the subject, but this has always been my perception. Build both to the same length and I suspect you'll have twins.

-Mark Shipley

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:20 pm
by John K
Frames for both Zip and Flying Saucer are the same. Zip is really just the stretched version of the Saucer.

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:13 pm
by Retroman
The frames are identical, that is a fact. As far as I can see, having built the FS, the big difference is that you cut the top of frame #4 and reinstall it 9 inches forward, and that becomes your dashboard. I believe that the zip uses frame 4 as the dashboard, in its original location. My stretched FS (10%) came in at 13'6, as opposed to the Zips 14' 3".

I couldnt put my finger on why I chose the FS over the Zip except that the line drawing was much nicer. There are limited pics of the FS as compared to the Zip, but still the FS looked better to me.

As I went along I realized that the occupants of the Zip seemed to dwarf the boat itself. They sit up very high, and in my mind (sorry, I do not want to offend any one), it makes the boat look like a toy. I believe this is because they lay the floor material on top of the frames, and then, put the seats up another 3 or 4 inches on top of that. To me, it just didnt look right.

By moving the top of frame 4 (your dashboard) forward 9 inches, you can now start the bottom, of your front seat, on top of frame 4, and then taper downwards, towards the rear at a comfortable angle. That 9 inches is the perfect distance between the front seat and your dashboard. Then you can install your plywood floor on top of the keel and battens, as called out for in the FS plans. This lowers your feet substantially, and makes it much more comfortable.

Of course this is not always the case. As Roberta looks fine in her Zip, but I do beleive she rigged some kind of set up to lower her feet.

Any how, long story short, if your somewhat tall or big, consider stretching a Flying Saucer rather than building a Zip, you will be a lot more comfortable, and look alot better too, in my opinion. Hopefully I did not offend any one, most of the zips on this forum, are far nicer and detailed than my flying saucer, the craftsmanship is truely impressive. I do not have the skills or patience to take it to that level. Congratulations to all you builders.
Jim

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:08 am
by Moeregaard
No offense take from a Zip builder, Jim. As drawn, the Zip plans shown a seating location and we followed this pretty closely. As built, we were able to locate the garden tractor battery used for starting the Merc under the seat. If I were to do it again, the seat base would be about two inches lower, or even placed on top of the chine logs, and the battery relocated under the bridge deck, next to the fuel tank. I haven't seen the Flying Saucer plans, but the line drawing shows the helm in the aft cockpit. I'd be interested to know where you placed your seat base.

-Mark Shipley

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:20 pm
by Retroman
Beautiful boat Mark. Im running the same motor, what year is it?
The bottom section of my front seat starts on frame # 4, the bottom section of my back seat starts on frame # 2.

This picture of your boat illistrates how the zip and F.S. differ. My front seat begins on the bottom of that frame, and the top (your dashboard) has been removed and reinstalled 9 inches forward. I see you dont have a floor in yours and your seat is installed low. Nice job.

Funny how my stetched FS came in exactly 9 inches shorter than a Zip.

It just dawned on me, looking at your picture, that it is also hard to tilt your dashboard. I was able to install mine on a bit more of an angle.
Jim

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:37 am
by Andy Garrett
I absolutely love Mark's boat!

Much of my interior structure will closely mirror his approach.

Its too bad its so far away, I'd pester him to come see it! :wink:

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:12 am
by Moeregaard
Appreciate the compliments, guys! I got curious, so went out and actually measured our seat height this morning. The base is angled upward for thigh support, but on average it's about 3" above Frame 4. As I mentioned before, I wanted to place the battery under there, so this drove the decision. If I were to do it again, I would probably place it on the same plane as the frames. As built, we sit a little tall in the saddle! I've since installed a sole in the front cockpit, that is bolted to Frames 4 and 5 1/2, and extends to the front of the seat. I wanted it to be easily removable for inspection purposes, and to be able to retrieve stuff that finds its way under there.

Regarding the dash, we just incorporated it into the Frame 4 deck beam, per the plans. As drawn, the Zip's front cockpit is large, and I actually machined an extension for the helm, when I adapted a Moto-Lita steering wheel to the Teleflex QC steering gear. The wheel shown above is the standard Teleflex wheel and I never really liked its looks in a wood boat. You could easily place the dash 4" aft of this and still have plenty of room.

Our motor is a 1956 Merc Mark 55 I found in Kansas City. We have tons of old Mercs here in California, but most have seen a lot of salt water. Not this one! The only downside is that the powerhead is pretty rattly and I think a rebuild is in our near future. I have a low-time Merc 500 powerhead and this may find its way in there. I matched the colors at our local automotive paint store, and the Mercury Sand Tan is a Ford color from the early '50s, and the Quicksilver Green is a 99% match to the metallic green Ford used on its trucks circa 1978--go figure! Boat colors are Sand Tan and Sunset Orange (another Merc/Ford shade from that era). Paint is PPG Concept urethane and I highly recommend it, but definitely wear proper breating apparatus when using it.

I'd like to comment on our decking. We used some 5.2mm luan mahogany ply for this, and the best thing I can say about it is that it's lightweight and cheap. It has absolutely nothing else working in its favor! We applied a layer of 1.45-oz. deck cloth and epoxy, that was followed up with a clear coat of PPG Concept for UV protection, and after four years we're starting to see a lot of weird discoloration going on there. It also has a very thin veneer, so it's easily damaged. If it gets much worse, we'll probably re-deck the boat.

-Mark Shipley

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:19 pm
by Retroman
mark,

I went thru all your build photos several times and I gotta say i am blown away and a bit embarassed. Your level of craftsmanship is outstanding, the fabrication, the cuts, even the way you layed on the fiberglass. Not to mention the trailer. And the motor!!!!!! From what I could gather, it looked like you did it all in 6 or 7 months. I thought I built my boat with a little integrity, Im not so sure now. You guys sit just fine in that beauty.
Congats
Jim

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:08 am
by Moeregaard
Thanks again, Jim--I'm blushing! Actually, our build took around ten months total, and several more to work out some bugs, mostly associated with the motor. We started cutting wood in August, 2007, and flipped in January, 2008. We built the boat in my folks' carport, and I can remember glassing the hull when it was about 40 degrees F in there--never a good idea. As for the craftsmanship, all I can say is that we had to hide a lot of sins! I mentioned in another thread that we had to cut out our first attempt at installing chine logs, and there was a lot of shimming needed between Frame 5 1/2 and the stem. This is probably why the Zip can't be lengthened, since the chine line would most likely go negative if someone were to attempt this. I should mention that we glassed the hull with a ply of 6-0z. cloth, sanded this to remove the lumps, and followed it with another ply of 2-oz. material. This makes final sanding a lot easier. Primer is PPG K36 urethane, which I understand is no longer sold in California (this is a terrible state to live in if you like to paint stuff).

I was looking at your boat--terrific job, by the way!--and it looks like you guys do sit a lot lower than we do in the Zip. That was one of the first things I noticed when sitting in the boat for the first time on launch day. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted the battery under the seat and its height determined seat height. I'd like to see some detail photos of your seating.

I built the trailer in my shop at work, where I'm employed as a machinist/welder/bottle washer, so I had access to a lot of nice tools. All I can say about this is that building the trailer was at least as much work as building the boat!

-Mark Shipley

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:44 am
by Andy Garrett
Ya know Mark, there are many beautiful Zips herein, and I have found things about each that I really like. What makes yours stand out to me and apparently others, is that it is so well documented in photos. You didn't use 'broad strokes' with your photographic efforts. You got down in there and showed the engineering of each area--how you solved problems. That's what newer builders need to see as they work their way through the issues we all encounter. So, thanks again for all that work!

As for Cali..., don't get me started. I'm a gun owner with concealed carry permit and a strong aversion to government over-spending and over-regulation. It sure is pretty out there though! 8)

Re: Zip vs. Flying Saucer

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:09 am
by Moeregaard
Thanks, Andy! We wanted to document everything, just in case we get the urge to do this all again. There's no point in making the same mistake twice. I also tried to maintain a build log, where I could jot down a few notes from time to time, but the camera was much easier.

Not much I can do about all the nonsense we have in California. There was talk in Sacramento about outlawing all over-the-counter sales of automotive paint products, but I haven't heard anything recently. We do have seasons, though: earthquakes, fires, floods and riots. I'm also a gun owner, but there's no point in even applying for a CCW here. Feel a rant getting started....

-Mark Shipley