Please select your home edition
Edition
Sail Racing 2021 LEADERBOARD

Development of new fibreglass Zephyr feeds class renaissance

by Zephyr Owners Association on 26 Apr 2016
Rob Ebert sailing - New Zephyr building program Zephyr Owners Association
With recreational sailors being increasing drawn into dinghy sailing, many of the older classes have rejuvenated and are experiencing substantial growth.

The 3.6m Zephyr monotype dinghy is one of the classes undergoing this renaissance, sixty years after being conceived by one of New Zealand's leading designers, Des Townson in 1956.

The early boats were cold moulded using Pinus Radiata veneer, in his fennel surrounded shed in Morrin Road Panmure, and were either finished by Des or by the owners according to a strict one-design. All sails were made to the same pattern lodged Auckland sailmakers Boyd & McMaster.

Sixty years on and the supply of Zephyrs available for restoration is diminishing while the demand for hulls in any condition has increased.

86 boats contested the 2016 Nationals at Manly Sailing Club.

The decision to launch a fibreglass hull, fitted with wooden decks is a move to get more boats available and for the fleets both at club and nationals level to increase further.

Grant Beck is a Zephyr sailor, a former National Champion in the class, and with substantial experience in composite construction.


Beck explains the decision to change to a fibreglass hull.

“The class association which “owns” the Zephyr and controls the build of the boats was no longer able to source the correct timber veneers to build the boats with.

' Various timber options were considered, none of which gave the association the confidence the boats would be class legal, In addition there was a dwindling number of builders available who could build the boats in timber to the quality required and within the price bracket the Association had targeted.

'So to summarise, it was impossible to build the timber boats anymore.


'The best alternative was a fibreglass hull suitable for bonding a timber deck and internal bulkheads, too.

'Greg Salthouse and his Zephyr assistants designed an epoxy, core mat / foam glass laminate that gave much the same structural properties as the triple wooden skins of the timber boats and also had much the same weight/m2.

'Greg cleverly suggested the boats should be infused, a modern technique of introducing the resin to the structural composites by vacuum. This process is very accurate and means the structural and weight differences between boats is tightly controlled. It has further benefits for the owner as the boat comes with a gel coat exterior finish and is as close to perfectly fair as is possible,' Beck explains.

'To ensure the fibreglass boats are strictly to the Des Townson design, the mould was developed from the current timber building jig, in effect a perfect 500 series hull from which a mould was then taken, ” he adds.


The Zephyr Owners Association say they are hugely grateful to the voluntary time and effort, and the high level of expertise provided by Robert Brooke, Marko Scuderi, Brian Peet, Greg Salthouse and Grant Beck in the development and production of the fibreglass hull Zephyr.





38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - FOOTER - Sept2021Sail Exchange FOOTER New SailsUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER

Related Articles

Dalin: "The year couldn't have started better"
With victory in the IMOCA Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Charlie Dalin (Apivia) won the third edition of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race which in fact is his first solo victory in IMOCA and his fourth overall IMOCA race win since 2019 in all different formats combined.
Posted today at 4:32 am
Clipper Race 11 Day 20
The heat continues in more ways than one! For the Clipper Race fleet, Race 11 conditions have been hot, sticky and the winds fickle. However, the last 24 hours saw the competition heat up and get a notch more exciting.
Posted today at 2:24 am
Finn Gold Cup at Malcesine overall
Pieter-Jan Postma makes history by winning first Finn Gold Cup for The Netherlands Pieter-Jan Postma, from The Netherlands, made history today by winning the 2022 Finn Gold Cup, the first Dutch winner of this massively prestigious trophy in its 66 year history.
Posted today at 12:59 am
Australians at the iQFOiL Europeans overall
Scoring some of their best results to move up the leaderboard Australian competitors scored some of their best results to move up the leaderboard and end competition in fine fashion on their final day of the iQFOiL European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy.
Posted today at 12:40 am
SSL Gold Cup Qualifying Series 1 Day 3
Estonia signs another solid performance SSL Team Estonia made one more step towards SSL Gold Cup 2022 Final Series by winning their second race in Race 3 of Group 2, in Grandson. SSL Team Bermuda got their first win in a Group 1 where anything can still happened in tomorrow's Golden Day.
Posted on 21 May
52 Super Series 10th anniversary title wide open
This season seems to have more of an owner-driver focus than ever before There were just five points separating first place from fourth and only two points from championship winners Sled from third placed Platoon at the end of the 2021 52 Super Series season last November in Palma.
Posted on 21 May
Steering the Course 2022 kicks off
A week-long festival of women's sailing Hundreds of sailors across the world will take to the water over the next 10 days as World Sailing's Steering the Course global women's sailing festival gets under way.
Posted on 21 May
Finn Gold Cup at Malcesine day 4
Postma dominates to retake the lead Pieter-Jan Postma, from The Netherlands, found second gear today to dominate the 110 boat fleet from 17 nations on the fourth day of the Finn Gold Cup at Fraglia Vela Malcesine on Lake Garda, Italy.
Posted on 21 May
Australians at the iQFOiL Europeans day 4
Will McMillan and Grae Morris produced their best performance so far Australians Will McMillan and Grae Morris produced their best on Day 4 of the iQFOiL European Championships overnight, as Lake Garda, Italy continued to offer up conditions to appeal to the masses.
Posted on 21 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 12
Hatteras to Kill Devil Hills The expansive beach at ORV Ramp 49 in Frisco was filled with spectators; Most, here for the spectacle that is the Worrell 1000. Not because they're sailors or that they know anything about racing these F18 beasts... they just know that this is exciting.
Posted on 20 May