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Zip v.8 - a 23’ Tabloid Tri

A small racer/cruiser, Zip combines light weight with power: at 20’ (6.1m) wide, the ability to carry sail is greatly increased with the crew well upwind of the leeward hull... especially with two or three on trapezes!  Construction is of epoxy/wood/foam core/carbon (a little)/‘glass, with simple and strong rig and demountable (not folding) amas and cross arms.


Two features reduce weight and increase strength: the cross arms are bolted together at the centreline, and are socketed through the main hull side, creating a lighter, stronger and wider setup than with a folding system, and the almost-vee main hull shape above the spray rail provides more interior volume but has less hull surface area than that of a typically complex-curved tri topsides.  Lightweight coring may be used to good effect here, though the cruiser version may be all-plywood.  The spray rail provides good lift at speed (both forward and aft), and keeps the high pressure water from rising up the side of the topsides.  That is: it will increase speed and allow the main hull to fly easier than without the rail.  With 145% (of main hull) ama volumes, a racing Bruce Number of 178, Bruce Foils, and canted and fenced (to reduce cavitation at speed) rudders in each outer hull, it’s clear this boat is meant to be raced with two hulls flying.  The all-out racer has 3 boards.

But Zip is also a cruiser:  this version may have a main-hull daggerboard only (to keep the amas simpler), and a non-rotating mast. 

Length -

Beam -

Beam on Trailer -

Sailing Displacement -

Trailering Weight -

Mainsail -

Jib -

Gennaker -

Bruce Number (main + jib) -

Particulars - With cruising rig




1,400 lbs.

1,000 lbs.

215 sq. ft.

87 sq. ft.

267 sq. ft.


7.01 m

6.1 m

3.05 m

635 kg

454 kg

20 m^2

8.1 m^2

24.8 m^2

Definition of tabloid used - “concentrated, easily assimilable”

The living space includes 4 berths: 2 singles (a settee and a bow berth) plus a double under the cockpit, galley, and camping head - conveniently near the companionway.  The central daggerboard comes up through the forward berth, and may be completely removed by lifting it up through the forward hatch. 

With racing rig

1,300 lbs.

900 lbs.

280 sq. ft.

96 sq. ft.

354 sq. ft.


590 kg

408 kg

26.01 m^2

8.92 m^2

32.89 m^2

Stern View

Bow View

Copyright 2001-2021 inclusive   McGowan Marine Design, Inc.

Zip Movie

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