Interceptor systems have always been a viable alternative to conventional trim tabs, improving performance, comfort and fuel efficiency. But the cost of the best interceptor systems has been enough to cancel out operational advantages, until now. Zipwake has designed its interceptors for boats 20 to 60 feet LOA with planing or semi-planing hull forms. The Swedish company’s system is distributed in North America through Imtra.
“Most conventional trim tabs control pitch and then you add an auto-leveling feature for roll,” explains Chip Farnham, VP of Sales with Imtra. “Zipwake, by contrast, is a fully automatic, active trim control system that provides constant leveling in turns, accelerating or at sea. It’s a simple system that uses smart technology to deliver real advantages.”
Competitively priced with conventional trim tab systems, Zipwake offers faster reaction times for improved comfort and better fuel efficiency. The Zipwake system combines a GPS, 3D-gyro and 3D-accelerometer in a robust, easy-to-install package suitable for refits or new builds. “Owners who have never had interceptors on their boats are having very different experiences now when they’re out on the water,” says Farnham. “The system is pretty simple and straightforward to install, so we’re seeing a lot of installations at the local boatyard or even advanced do-it-yourselfers are able to put Zipwake on their boats.”
Interceptors are installed along most of the aft edge of the hull. While trim tabs extend out and upwards, the interceptor’s edge simply drops slightly below the hull to control the boat’s trim. Interceptors are fast too. “It takes a conventional trim tab about seven seconds to go from full up to full down,” says Farnham. “Because Zipwake drops just 30 millimeters (1.2 inches), it takes only 1.5 seconds from full in to full out.”
Having an automatic system that is constantly adjusting trim is a blessing when the boat is running in big seas or making hard turns. It also pushes the boat on plane faster. Zipwake’s 3D gyro and constant updates from the integrated GPS, make adjustments to trim every few seconds. “Another advantage is that Zipwake compensates for pitch and roll,” says Farnham. “Conventional trim tabs require an auto-leveling option for handling roll.”
“The auto-roll system was an R&D challenge,” notes Axel Lindholm, lead engineer at Zipwake. “We wanted to make sure the system compensates properly when the boat turns or rolls. Just as important is ending that compensation when the boat straightens up again. We used a lot of development resources designing the most optimal system.” The end result is a smoother ride and up to 20 percent gains in fuel efficiency.
Zipwake manufactures both V-shaped and straight interceptors in four sizes that can be integrated across different hulls with varying deadrise angles. Its helm and flybridge control panels allow for manual or automatic operation, showing the angles of pitch and roll on the screen.
“Interceptors have been around for a while, but they’ve mostly been used on custom projects,” says Farnham. “Zipwake is the first affordable and adaptable active-control system designed for most boats. The company is serious about getting this exciting technology to people who are doing refits or buying new boats. They understand its simplicity and multiple benefits will appeal to U.S. boaters.”
For more information, go to imtra.com