Zip Process to begin

Outboard designs up to 14'

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Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:48 am

So I have been lurking on this forum for way to long, planning and dreaming. I have always had a dream of owning a barrelback styled wooden boat and have been eyeing the GLen L designs for years now. I was recently offered a large selection of old but solid woodworking tools and think it is time to dive down this rabbit hole.

I am planning on building a Zip with the utility layout, mainly as a learning curve for a 19 foot Barrelback build to hopefully follow. Having 1 Nephew aged 2 and another on the way I figure they will need a fishing boat in a few years time so I can easily make space for the next build once I have learnt some more.

Few Questions:
1: I will be building in South Africa, so obviously importing epoxy and wood kits will be hugely costly so I will be sourcing stuff locally, are there any resources that you guys suggest not skimping and sourcing and rather just importing for eg: Epoxy or the bolt kits?

2: Tools- So I have been given the following:
Table Saw
Clamps-lots but i still think lots is never enough when it comes to these.
Jointer planer
Hand Planes

I have a drill,sander and a basic hand saw already but I will look at a new set of handsaws and chisels when I get back from a trip in 2 weeks.

Is there anything else recommended by you guys who have built boats?
I looked at the "I wish I had" but it seems more about actions than actual hardware. Also a big fan of the "He who dies with the most toys wins" philosophy so happy to buy tools(Mrs also supportive in that regard as she thinks she may get more furniture out of the deal).
Are the Japanese pull saws worth it? or should I stick to a normal Stanley fine tooth saw?

Space- I have a double depth single width Garage, is it going to be too narrow or can I make it work?

The Zip utility layout is not too common from all my reading and researching, I want to do the traditional styled front wooden deck, can you stand on that deck or will I need to beef it up a bit? I will have to put flotation under the front area to pass regulations this side.

As a utility I will likely run a short shaft 40hp with tiller steer to keep it simple.

Trailer: There are a lot of older boats disused here as the flotation regulations only came in about 9 years ago. To spend R4000 getting a flotation certificate on an old boat worth R5000 was a waste for many so there were a lot of boats just parked so there are lots of cheap deals available to buy just for a good trailer. I have built a motorbike trailer before but just weighing up the options of build vs buy and modify something at this stage. Any inputs or should I wait till that time comes?

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by vupilot » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:44 pm


The Zip as a utility outboard will be a fun, practical and good looking boat.

It sounds like you have the right idea and have plenty of tools. You have twice as many power tools as I used. A belt sander or oscillating sander I would add to your list. Not sure you'll need a lathe for much of anything. Two drills, is a must, one with the drill bit another with the screwdriver bit.

I agree use proper materials, ask again if you have specific questions on what you plan to use.

As a Utility I think a 25-40hp would be plenty.

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by JasonQ » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:20 pm

Welcome aboard!

Realistically, you can build this boat with a jigsaw, drill, sander and a hand plane. So you are way ahead of the curve. You will get a lot of use out of your bandsaw and table saw. Another tool you haven’t mentioned that I found very useful is my compound miter saw (if your looking to buy new toys). Unlike traditional woodworking, you will not find very many straight lines or right angle in this build. My miter saw has made very quick work fitting many parts with compound angles.

If you are looking to save money, buy your lumber rough cut and mill it yourself. In that case you will need a jointer, planer, and bandsaw (for resawing).

During this build, you will find yourself mixing small amounts of epoxy grip (glue). I don’t remember where I saw this, somewhere on the forum, but using condiment bottles and catheter syringes for mixing epoxy. This has saved me so much time and minimized wasted epoxy. Just last night I mixed a 8 ml batch for a quick glue up. See picture below.

Enjoy the build!

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:56 am

So back from running/cycling/paddling around Scotland for a week I decided to dive right in.

Plans ordered and are on their way, hopefully the SA post Office doesn't lose them in customs.

I managed to get hold of a really cool Chrysler 20hp outboard motor, still trying to ID the model but looks to be an early 70's model.
Needs a new impeller and a new gear on the pull start but the rest is in absolute mint condition.

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by Moeregaard » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:02 pm

Looking forward to seeing photos of your build. Regarding tools, you probably don't need a lathe or jointer, but a 14" band saw with decent blades and guides will make your life easier. A table saw will also come in handy for ripping chine logs and sheer clamps. I would also buy or borrow a decent 10" miter saw. For hand tools, you can't beat a good Japanese pull saw, and the hand plane I used the most was my David plane from Holland. They're only about $20 U.S., but you'll be amazed at how nice they work for fairing. As for clamps, buy all the 2" clamps you think you'll need--and buy some more. I think I have about 60 of them, and I occasionally had all of them on the boat at the same time. Grab a couple dozen 4" clamps as well. One final item: an eight-foot straightedge will come in very handy for keeping the keel batten straight. Have fun!
A boat is just a wooden box with no right angles.

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:47 am

So the hurry up and wait continues....
Plans still en route. I thought I would get going on the vintage Chrysler and it is all dialed except for an impeller and starter gear, which I have since been ordered from USA. Lo and behold they are also taking their time in arriving.

On the plus side the workshop is clean and ready

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:41 am

So the Chrysler has been narrowed down to a 1973ish model, somehow the serial numbers do not match any of the VIN decoders available, I assume this may be due to foreign registration. I have seen this before on motorcycle VIN numbers in SA.
It arrived as a bit of a basket basket case with the lower unit separated and the impeller and waterpump in an old margarine tub where all water pumps should be...
To do list:
  • Lower unit
    Starter Gear
    Engine cover clip
    Fuel pump and Carb overhaul
    Spit and shine polish

Visually I think this motor will really compliment the look of a Zip. I like that it is retro and fairly rare especially in SA, I may switch it back to a steering wheel set up away from the tiller steer but that is a decision for later.

It has been fun diving into an outboard engine, the last one I worked on was a little Tanaka 2,5hp back when I was 12 years old and my old man used it to teach me in the workshop, we had boats in the family for years, but the modern engines rarely needed more than a clean carb, good oil and fresh fuel...
roughly assembled to get an idea of the overall look before sorting out the lower
I pulled the lower unit apart and removed probably 200m of fishing braid, judging by the look of the impeller I think the braid wrapped the prop and went into the water intake as well and did the damage there. I replaced seals and checked for play and it all seems in good order.

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:56 am

I then re installed the lower with the old impeller for now, it is not totaled so it will be fine for me to use to run the motor for now until the new one arrives. It will allow me to get the carb and fuel pump dialed and get the motor running well while I wait.
The previous owner who took it apart had so many half assembled vehicles, it was one of those workshops where everything had a layer of grease and oil on it, so there is zero corrosion anywhere. But you can see once something has been cleaned and degreased.
I gave the plugs a quick clean and with a squirt of easy start through the carb, the motor fired perfectly so the electrics are all good which is a win.

Tonight I will hook up a proper fuel line, clean out the carb and fuel pump and see if I can get it running properly.

The starter gear is properly wrecked, but the new one will arrive with the impeller.
You will have to excuse the messy workshop, it is a work in progress, I had it set up, then moved it all around and then I had emergency repairs to do on the house and it all got messy again.

I don't plan on doing a full resto on the motor, I might paint the lower unit but I like the original unrestored look.

Other prep going is the little by little growth of the clamp collection. every 2 weeks I buy 2 more clamps, the pile is growing although from what I hear it may never be enough...

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Re: Zip Process to begin

Post by david303 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:03 am

Then I stumbled upon an old fishing reel I have had in a box for years, given to me by a neighbor who was no longer able to fish due to health.

It is a Penn No.180 and it will look at home on the Zip one day. I have the matching tigerfish rod to go with it.

Gave it a quick polish, rebuild with fresh grease, will chuck some new line on it in the coming week. These reels were definitely built to last.
The Mrs is away for a few months for work so smaller projects can be done in the warmth of the lounge on the coffee table :D (She would have freaked had she seen me rebuild the CRF Motor there last week)

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