Imtra’s Zipwake Product Manager Jamie Simmons helps you size up the costs involved in buying and installing Zipwake interceptors.
The cost of installing interceptors on your boat depends on your type of boat and the performance benefits you want. Both will impact the number and size of the interceptors needed and the labor required for installation. If you are replacing an existing set of trim tabs, installation costs may be impacted, as well.
(To learn more about how interceptor systems work and how they compare with trim tabs, read “Trim Tabs Vs. Interceptors: Which are Better for my Boat?”)
If you have a 30-foot lobster boat and you say, “I need a little bit of lift” as you accelerate to higher speeds, you could add two 750mm interceptors and be happy with the resulting improvement in the trim of your boat underway. If you would like to have more significant lift and roll control, you will want to add as much coverage as possible, say four or six units instead of two.
The design shape and weight of your hull, plus the weight and power of your engines will factor in, as well. A typical center console boat with a planing hull shape and ample power may need only a pair of interceptors. A cruising boat filled with cruising gear and driven by engines that are already slightly underpowered will likely need as many units as you can install at the transom. Some boats in the 40- to 60-foot range already have trim tabs but can benefit from adding interceptors.
At Imtra, we have a database of all the models we’ve outfitted, including for those manufacturers who offer Zipwake interceptors as an option rather than standard equipment. We also have quite a bit of info on after-market applications we’ve done for other vessels. Using that extensive database, and even if we don’t know your specific boat already, with a little extra analysis, we can spec out a system for almost any boat, 17 feet to 100 feet long.
Product Cost: Series S and Series E Interceptors
For several years, Zipwake has sold its successful Series S interceptors through Imtra’s distribution network in the United States for boats up to 50 feet long. In 2019, responding to the demand for larger units on larger boats, the company introduced the larger Series E, which covers boats as long as 100 feet. The new series may be a better choice than the Series S for some boat models in the 40- to 60-foot range.
The Series E is more expensive than the Series S. It has twice the stroke length (60mm vs. 30mm) and operates at twice the speed. To provide the additional strength and power, dual servos are employed. The list price for the smallest pair of Series E interceptors (600mm wide) is $9,000. The list for the smallest pair of Series S (300mm wide) is $2,490. Street prices can usually be found at significant discounts from list.
Cost of Installing Zipwake
How much you’ll spend installing your interceptors depends on the difficulty of the installation, the number of units to be installed, and the cost of labor at dealers and installers in your area. Labor rates vary widely depending on the boatyard anywhere from $85 to $140 per hour, so be sure to check with a couple of nearby installers to learn the going rate in your area. The bottom line is that installation may be a fraction of the cost of the product, but if many hours of labor are required, it may be comparable.
In most cases, we can come up with a way to install interceptors that fit the space available with little fuss. But sometimes, the mechanics of mounting each unit and running connecting cables are complicated by the position of equipment on the transom, for example zincs or underwater lights.
The most labor-intensive complication often results from the curved shape of a boat’s transom. If the transom is not flat, some glasswork and gelcoat or paint will be needed to build up a flat pad where the transom meets the bottom of the hull. On other boats, you may need to fill in a trim-tab pocket that’s no longer needed, which could take a fiberglass-worker multiple days of labor.
To give you an example of different installations and costs, here are several different boats we’ve equipped recently. Product prices are quoted at full retail price; you will often find lower street prices.
Jarrett Bay 27—center console with a single pair of Series S 300s/450s
- Equipment: $2,650- $3,325
- Labor estimate 8-12 hrs. for flat transom
Palm Beach 42—cruiser with two Series S 750s and two Series S 450s
- Equipment: $4,875
- Labor estimate 12-20 hrs. for flat transom
Cruisers 60—flybridge cruiser with four Series S 750s and two Series S 300s plus additional control panel for flybridge
- Equipment: $7,790
- Labor estimate 20-30 hrs.
Scarborough 63—sportfisherman with Series E, either one pair 600s, 800s or 1000s or with two additional 600 tunnel interceptors. Additional controls many be needed for more than one helm.
- Equipment: $8,900-$20,000
- Labor estimate 8-30 hrs.
Sunseeker 95—motoryacht with 4-6 Series E units and additional controls.
- Equipment: $10,375-$30,000
- Labor estimate 10-40 hrs.
If you’re interested in installing Zipwake on your own, be sure to consult this extended installation video