Building the Glen-L Zip (Cont'd)

by Paul Vernes, Bluffton, South Carolina

I got my screws, etc. from Glen-L and I also used Glen-L two-part Poxy-Grip throughout.

For flotation, I made up forms and pre-poured the foam into shaped blocks that fit into the spaces between frames and rest on top of the battens. This way the foam does not block the limber holes and allows any water that gets into the bilge to drain back. Total flotation is 5 cubic feet, which is good for about 300 lbs. of crew/cargo. The floor caps all this and is ½" exterior grade and provides a flat floor throughout the cockpit.

I added the windshield this past winter at my wife's request when she objected to the wind blast coming in over the front deck. It is two laminations of ½" red oak, epoxied together with ¼" Lexan for glass.

When I was putting on the decking, I at first could not decide between screws and ring nails for fasteners, but finally chose the nails. This proved to be a great choice. The bronze nails heads look great and I have had people who come over to look at my boat remark how nice they look. Most people think they are rivets. I would definitely use them again and would never cover them up.

I did not use any fiberglass covering. I don't like working with fiberglass and feel it is entirely unnecessary if the boat is properly built. Also, once the covering is breeched water will get behind it and rot the hull.


The engine is a 1997 40-HP Mercury Classic in-line 4, the last year this engine was built by Mercury. It is basically the same as the 25-HP KG-9 introduced in 1949, the first Mercury I owned, although vastly improved. In the 1960's I also owned the 40-, 45-, and 50-HP versions of this engine.

With this engine, before adding the windshield, my Zip would do 41 MPH, according to my GPS. After putting on the windshield, speed has dropped to just under 40 MPH. This is with a 16 inch pitch 3-blade Mercury prop with the engine turning 6000 RPM. At 188 pounds, however, the engine is probably too heavy for this boat, as it sits stern deep at rest and when I am in the back of the boat freeboard is only about six inches. Great care is necessary in a following sea. Other than that, performance is excellent.

Presently I am working on adding a step into the bottom of the boat, similar to what was used in the 1930's on the old Gar Wood Gold Cup boats. This is strictly an experimental project designed to break the hull free from surface tension with the water, and if it works should up my speed substantially. Or, more importantly, allow for equal speed with a smaller engine that uses less fuel.

I will keep you informed of my results.

See photos of Paul's build here