The Zingy tribrid motorboat, rowboat, sailboat


February 21, 2010

The Wide Open (with optional top), Sportboat and Sailfin versions of the Zingy

The Wide Open (with optional top), Sportboat and Sailfin versions of the Zingy

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So, you’re thinking about buying your first boat... What kind do you want - a boat for ripping around the lake, one for a tranquil morning of fishing on the pond, or something for catching the wind and bouncing across the waves? Whaddaya mean, all of those? Actually, inventor Clayton Turney would tell you he’s got just the watercraft for you. His Zingy boats were designed with first-timers/generalists in mind, as they can apparently be used as motorboats, rowboats or sailboats, they’re small enough to carry on the back of a motorhome, and are supposedly quite easy to handle. Oh yeah, and they’re also claimed to be unsinkable.

The first thing you might think upon seeing a Zingy is, “Where’s the rest of it?” They look rather as if someone cut the front off a regular boat, and decided the rest of it wasn’t really needed. This makes for a boat that not only looks kinda cute, but that is also relatively easy to store, transport, and get in and out of the water. Now here’s the kinda tricky part... Although one Zingy can be used as a motorboat, rowboat or sailboat, there are still two (or more like two-and-a-half) versions to choose between.

The Sportboat version has a removable windshield, a steering wheel, and an enclosed foredeck with a bulkhead dry storage compartment inside. It’s a Sean-Connery-as-James-Bond-type sporty cruiser, right at home on the French Riviera. The Wide Open is a lot more basic, lacking a foredeck and steering wheel, but gaining a lot more interior space for things like freshly-gaffed marlins... small freshly-gaffed marlins.

Both versions can be fitted with the Sailfin conversion kit, which consists of everything you need to turn them into a motorsailer. Both versions also come standard with padded floors, swivel seats, and removable rear step pods, for getting in and out of the water, and for improving the boat’s handling. The hull has a unique shape that Turney says adds to its stability, and is constructed from fiberglass lined with closed-cell foam - hence the supposed unsinkability.

Should you feel like pimping out your Zingy, optional extras include things like fully-enclosing convertible canopies, running lights, an underwater viewing port, and a collapsible beach trailer. A package that includes a Wide Open Zingy, motor, and road trailer will set you back $US9,000.

It's the second tribrid we've covered in a week.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Codswallop! It has the lines of a planing motorboat, and will sail and row like a garbage scow. is my reference, if you\'d like to know who says so.


In the late 1980\'s I created some artwork for an eerily similar product that was to have sailed under the name \'JARmada\', a brainfart by Jim A. Ryder, late of the Ryder truck rental company. The boats were to have been capable of motorised or wind-powered sailing, and would have been rented and sold from Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, FL. All of my language may lead you to surmise correctly that the project never left the dock. Ryder had a bit better success with his JARtran effort, a direct, if underfunded, competitor to his original company.


Wheres the rest of the boat? I get similar comments about my Smart Fortwo. :)

It looks like a versatile little boat. I would lean to it being motorized.

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