ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Outboard designs up to 14'

Moderator: ttownshaw

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

After building cedar-strip canoes and a kayak (and airplanes and cars...) I decided it was time to put something in the water that is a little noiser than a canoe. I recently got reacquanted with Glen-L after building a slide-in truck camper this spring that uses bits and pieces of the Compact Camper design. I was pleased to see a couple of internet friends on this forum that I've known from the Vans Aircraft community....Hello Roberta and Ted! :D

One of Mark Molden's amazing Zip kits was delivered yesterday and of course my brother and I had to immediately crack the crates open and finish cutting out the CNC-cut building form. After less than six hours labor since opening the crates (almost feel like I'm cheating...) I think I have figured out where all the bits and pieces go. I've spent many hours in the forum archives--many thanks to forum members who have posted Zip details in the past.

This looks like fun. :)
Attachments
buchanan-zip-1.jpg
Sam Buchanan

User avatar
Roberta
Posts: 7663
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:23 pm
Location: East Troy, Wisconsin

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Roberta »

Welcome aboard, Sam. The Zip is great fun and a great project. You will enjoy it. If you can, come to the Gathering later this month. Should be several Zips there to ogle. Post pictures and ask away.

Roberta :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

Thank you, Roberta, we're planning on being at Dayton for one day of the Gathering.

A few more observations about the ZZZip Kit:

The hardwood components were securely packed and each component group was shrink-wrapped with its associated pieces. The flame joints in the plywood fit perfectly.

We inventoried the kit and all components were shipped and accounted for. All the parts are lableled with a discription and how the part is oriented on the building form. There were a couple of instances on gussets and battens where the label discription didn't match the part number on the parts list but this was quickly resolved.

The CNC machining of the parts is amazing in regards to precision and appearance. The parts are sanded with sharp, clean edges with no splintering or chips on the edges. The sapele hardwood is flawless and the grain is straight and tight.

Is the kit a good value? I'm looking at the photo I posted above just six hours into the project and can't imagine how many hours it would have taken me to source the wood, build the jig, loft the plans and cut out all those parts. I consider the kit to be an excellent value for someone who wants to use their Zip instead of stretching out the build process.
Sam Buchanan

User avatar
vupilot
Posts: 3813
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:36 am
Location: Indy
Contact:

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by vupilot »

Welcome and thanks for posting! I can tell you I had 102 hours in to get to that point! I think if more boats were offered in "fast-build" kit form more people would enjoy this hobby. Looking forward to seeing more progress and how you finish it out. Even though they are in kit form still lots of opportunity to customize and personalize. Look forward to meeting you at the Gathering.

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

Here is another example of the high level of design and fabrication of the Zip Kit. This is the transom, which is upside down in this photo.

transom-1.jpg

This photo with the top rail flipped over shows the slots the tongues of the blocks fit into.

transom-3.jpg

Only very minor tweaking of the interlocking joints was necessary to get everything to fit properly. Impressive. :)
Sam Buchanan

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

vupilot wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:51 pm
Welcome and thanks for posting! I can tell you I had 102 hours in to get to that point! I think if more boats were offered in "fast-build" kit form more people would enjoy this hobby. Looking forward to seeing more progress and how you finish it out. Even though they are in kit form still lots of opportunity to customize and personalize. Look forward to meeting you at the Gathering.
Thank you! I realize the "fast-build kit" may be a point of contention with the purists. I recall when fast-build kits became available in the R/C aircraft and experimental aviation communities there was some grousing among the old-timers about these kit "assemblers" not being real builders. But the kits blew the respective hobbies wide open and builders with limited time (or patience!) but the necessary resources were able to join the fun. And this kit is most likely cut to a higher degree of precision than I could attain (in this lifetime...).

Yes, attention to fit and finish is still necessary even when my Zip is 75% assembled but still 75% to go. :)
Sam Buchanan

hoodman
Posts: 2959
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Lafayette, IN

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by hoodman »

Nobody here is going to say you are not a real boat builder. Have a blast!
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

Here is another way the Zip Kit offers a helping hand to the builder. The CNC table inscribes fairing lines on the parts as they are being cut out and shaped. The CAD program has figured out how the part needs to be faired so the builder just fairs from the "good" edge to the scribed line. I ran a pencil down the line so it would be easier to see. These parts make up the chine brace which needs to be faired now because it would really be tricky after the parts are glued together.

chinebrace-1.jpg

Here is the part after it has been faired to the line.

chinebrace-2.jpg

The CAD software also drills index holes where pieces are stacked so perfect alignment can be achieved. During gluing 5mm wood dowels are driven into the holes, for fairing I inserted 3/16" drill rod. This made it easy to refine the fairing on both parts.

chinebrace-3.jpg
Last edited by Sam's ZIP on Fri Sep 03, 2021 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sam Buchanan

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Sam's ZIP »

Chine brace continued:

HA! Found something the CAD author overlooked. The fairing line was ommited on one part, but no problem, I just stacked them and scribed a line with a pencil.
chinebrace-4.jpg

Here is the chine brace showing how the parts interlock after it is faired.

chinebrace-5.jpg

It'll be interesting to see how accurate the fairing is when the parts are assembled and planking is begun. But I bet it's gonna be very close. :D
Sam Buchanan

User avatar
Roberta
Posts: 7663
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:23 pm
Location: East Troy, Wisconsin

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Roberta »

What an amazing kit. Some really great time saving innovations incorporated into the kit versus plans.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

User avatar
Milhouse
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:03 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: ZZZip Kit lands in my shop

Post by Milhouse »

Sam - Looks like great fun! Thank you for sharing your progress pics. Please post a bunch so we can all follow along. I imagine your detailed posts may get more people building them as well!
Jim
16' Ski Boat Restoration
17' Overnighter Sloop

I'd rather have a $h!tty meal than an $h!tty resume because a totally awesome resume will feed me steak one day - Steve Poltz

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

One week into the ZIP Kit project

Post by Sam's ZIP »

A week has passed since the crate was opened and even though the ZIP hasn't been worked on every day we have arrived at an important milestone. The most complex part of the hull sub-structure, and the reference point for the remainder of the hull is now assembled. The stem, chine brace, breasthook and forward frame have been fitted, faired, glued together and now reside on the building form. This sub-assembly is comprised of twenty discrete parts. The only hiccups I found were two frame gussets that had the labels on the wrong side. :lol:

I did the fairing prior to glueing everything together so I could put the parts in the bench vice for easy access.

stem-1.jpg


stem-3.jpg

I used the scribed fairing lines, trusting them to get me close to how the parts needed to be shaped. I think we are 90% there, only minor refining will be needed when we are ready to plank. The ZIP Kit continues to impress me with the fit and accuracy of the components.
Sam Buchanan

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Fairing and trim lines drawn by the CNC table

Post by Sam's ZIP »

Starting to get the transom ready for gluing but first a little finishing is needed in the way of prepping the cutouts for the floor battens. In order to make them stand out a bit more I ran a sharpened pencil down the scribed lines that are included in the kit. These lines make it possible to trim and fair before the transom and battens are put on the building form. Just fair or trim back to the lines and the part should be very close to what you need for final frame-up and planking. You can also see the slots that interlock the transom blocks and the holes for the index pins that assure alignment on the transom board.

More examples of what CAD software and a CNC machine can do to put a little zip in a ZIP build. :wink:


transom-4.jpg
Sam Buchanan

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

It's official....we have a boat!

Post by Sam's ZIP »

The keel has been fitted, so I guess we officially have a boat. :)

I spent a good part of the day trying to get everything lined up and straight. This was primarily my fault and largely due to trying to get everything to fit the building form. But the OSB form is just too flexible to rigidly hold everything in alignment by itself. I eventually reverted to my aircraft building background and reminded myself that we are building a boat, not a building form. The form can be as crooked as a banana as long as all the boat pieces are aligned. So I moved things around on the form until the penciled line down the middle of the keel aligned with the string I pulled from stem to transom. I also clamped the chine logs into place to make sure the transom was square with the longitudinal axis of the boat. Then, the keel was dry-fitted to the frames. Several measurements indicated all is straight and square, so final fitting and attachment of the keel and chine logs can proceed.

keel-1.jpg

Here are the 2 x 4's I added to the form to provide an easy way to clamp the frames in place.


keel-2.jpg


Note: While the highly engineered Zip Kit has been a pleasure to work with there is one aspect of building with precut pieces that we need to remember. When I initially fitted the chine logs and keel....they were 3/8" too short! I'm sure what happened is there was a stack-up of tolerances in my assembly of the stem/chine braces which did not precisely match the CAD design. The remedy was simple, I just trimmed 3/8" off the aft end of the building form to move the transom forward. We're good to go, now. :D
Sam Buchanan

Sam's ZIP
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:21 pm
Location: North Alabama

Houston....we have a problem.....(sorta)

Post by Sam's ZIP »

I was done for the afternoon and tidying up the shop after dry-fitting the first sheer laminations when I heard a BANG!.

sheer-1.jpg

I didn't steam the sheers just hoped they would be flexible enough as delivered but guess this one wasn't. What I'm considering unless a better solution arrives is to try to use the second lamination to pull this one back into shape as I clamp them together. I just don't know if I will get a curve that matches the port sheer. Since this sheer doesn't show in the finished boat I suppose I could try to source some cedar or something similar locally to scarf a new piece.

We'll figure this out but if anyone has ideas I'm all ears. :)
Sam Buchanan

Post Reply

Return to “Small outboards”