Zipwake’s dynamic trim control system is designed to make life on the water easier, safer and more comfortable by automating the process of trimming and stabilizing planing and semi-planing powerboats. The same can be said when it comes to troubleshooting and servicing a Zipwake system, as the built-in self-diagnostic tools can tell you exactly what part of the system is experiencing issues if the system isn’t working properly. Follow along for tips on how to troubleshoot a Zipwake system.
All Zipwake systems have built-in error codes that appear on the display if something within the system isn’t functioning properly. This is possible thanks to the CAN-Bus wiring Zipwake uses for all the components of a Zipwake system to communicate with each other so that the automatic feature can react in real time to changes in sea or running conditions. There are several error codes that range from simple diagnoses like the input voltage to the system being too low or too high to more sophisticated diagnoses like detecting that a servo motor within an interceptor is experiencing too much resistance.
So the first step in troubleshooting any issues related to your Zipwake system is to check the error code on the display. When an error is detected a red “i” or “x” will appear in the center of the main screen at which point you press the MENU button, then select “System Information”, then the device that has the error symbol next to it, then “Error message”. At the point, the specific error will show on the screen and you can consult the back of the owner’s manual for what the next steps are for that error code.
Many software related errors can be solved by simply upgrading the software, which is a straightforward process. All you will need for a software update is a computer, a USB thumb drive and access to the internet. Zipwake offers software updates on their website which can be downloaded onto a USB thumb drive. Then you just take that thumb drive to the boat and plug it into the USB port that is located on the back of every Zipwake control. The final step to complete the software update is to turn the system on, or restart it if it was already on, and follow the prompts on the screen.
Another diagnostic tool that Zipwake offers standard with every system is the interceptor check. The interceptor check cycles the interceptor blades up and down and measures the torque that’s needed to operate the blades, then sends that feedback directly to the screen. If everything is functioning properly, all the readings on the screen will fall in the green portion of the bar, but if any interceptor is facing too much resistance in one direction or another, the reading will appear in the yellow or red portion of the bar and further action must be taken. You should always run an interceptor check after a new installation or after any maintenance work is done to the Zipwake system.
The most common causes of an interceptor facing too much resistance are marine growth, bottom paint where the blade deploys, over-torqued screws, and being mounted on a curved transom. Marine growth and bottom paint interfering with the blades can be removed by scraping it off from the outside, and if that doesn’t do the trick, you should remove the front plate and pressure wash the inside of the blade as well as the back plate. Pressure washing should be done at least once per season in any case. To prevent further marine growth build up, Zipwake has an auto-clean function that will deploy and retract the blades at regular intervals while the boat is sitting at the dock or on the mooring so that they are not always static, promoting marine growth. To resolve an over-torqued issue, you need to use a torque wrench to re-tighten the screws to the proper tension levels.
If you’ve installed the interceptors on a curved transom, the issue will present itself on the system’s initial interceptor check. Interceptors should always be mounted on a flat surface, so if your transom has a curve to it, you may need to do some fiberglass work to make the mounting surface for the interceptor as flat as possible.
As is the case with troubleshooting any system on board your boat, it’s important to always consult the owner’s manual and installation guide thoroughly before doing any work on your Zipwake system. In the manuals provided by Zipwake you will find even more detailed troubleshooting procedures as well as all the torque specifications, wiring diagrams and more. Of course, if you’re stumped, the experts at Imtra are always happy to help, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions. You might also find answers to your questions in our Zipwake FAQs article.