Over the past two and a half years the collegiate and post collegiate market has changed quite a bit. While other companies worked to freshen up the 420, the Zim team was not content to put a new deck on a boat designed in 1959. These introductions are not new, but based on old designs and old technology. The market deserves better! We enlisted the expertise of long time performance sailor and former owner of Vanguard Sailboats, Steve Clark, to design a new “forward thinking dinghy” using the technology of today. Over the past several years, ex college sailors have been settling for slow keelboats or expensive one design classes after graduation. The North American small sailboat marketplace is eager for a performance based dinghy that is a blast to sail. The Zim 15 is all new cutting edge technology for production sailboats, and will move dinghy sailing forward.
The target market:
We designed the Zim 15 as a performance dinghy for the 20-30 year olds looking for more excitement. The high drop off rate after college is not new, and we feel a more exciting product will help keep more young sailors on the water. The Zim 15 will appeal to the growing team race market as well as being a great boat to fleet race. The Zim 15 is the perfect boat for yacht clubs to purchase fleets and provide organized team and fleet racing. This model will provide outstanding value to young members. The easily tunable rig, and large sail plan, will raise, and widen, the competitive weight range of the sailors relative to other products, making the boat a far more favorable option with a broader appeal.
Features and Benefits:
•The typical rolled lip hull to deck joint, which is highly prone to stress cracks, has been eliminated.
•The rig, designed by Southern Spars pushes development to a new level. The spars and sails, designed by North Sails, have been tuned with complex modeling software to provide spar to sail synergy.
•The mast is designed with specific flex characteristics that enable a large upwind sail plan without the boat being heavily overpowered in higher wind speeds.
•The large sail plan increases the boats potential performance off the wind, eliminating the need for a spinnaker or genniker.
•The gnav strut and cunningham are the primary sail controls and are led to the thwart between the sailors for easy adjustment.
•Mast & sail combination is very tunable relative to the current boats in the marketplace. The ability to adjust the rig tension while sailing will allow the boat to be powered up or depowered easily.
•The incorporation of the dangle pole is not only to be used as a whisker pole downwind but greatly improves the jib effectiveness upwind and reaching by providing leach tension, while keeping the crew more engaged.
•The integrated bow and corner bumpers will provide additional durability.
•We have included the ability to raise the centerboard pivot position. This reduces draft and moves the center of effort closer to the waterline. Lighter teams will be able to “reef" the centerboard as part of depowering in fresh conditions and allow for a wider crew weight range.
Manufactured in Rhode Island, the Zim 15 is built using a fully cored, resin infusion process. This allows a very repeatable build in terms of quality and boat weight while reducing the styrene emission and exposure for the workers. The hull to deck joint is bonded with Plexus to ensure maximum strength and durability. The foam core enables a far stiffer panel to weight ratio relative to non-cored laminates. In short, the construction process is environmentally friendly and will provide a very stiff and light boat that will stand up to the demands of today’s performance dinghy sailor.
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