Boat Building Overview

Building hand-crafted boats since 1981.

Instead of building boats that would appeal to the widest possible cross section of potential owners, we decided instead to focus on one segment of the market: coastal cruising. We identified the following six requirements:

  • Seaworthy, safe, and comfortable underway. It has to start with seaworthiness. These boats are not meant for the marina, they must be able to travel across open water under a wide variety of conditions. That’s why we choose the Downeast hull designs.
  • Perform well at 8 knots or at 16 knots. 8 knots, because once you reach the cruising area, the ability to cruise at trawler speed maximizes economy and enables you to explore comfortably. 16 knots, because coastal cruising often requires some long legs, and covering 120 nautical miles in a day means you get to your cruising destination sooner, avoid overnight passages, and reduce the risk of rough weather.
  • Fully protected running gear. Cruising boats occasionally run aground. A good cruising boat must be able to touch bottom without damaging the shafts and props. Each of our boats has a full keel, with the propeller well protected from grounding.
  • Comfortable ergonomic seating while underway. Two people must be able to sit comfortably facing forward, protected from the elements, while underway.
  • Accommodations that include the view. Cruisers travel to scenic places. Going “below” means you are separated from the scenery. The living area must enable you to take in the view when inside the boat.
  • Lines and details that tug at your heartstrings. The boat must call to your heart – handsome lines from the outside, elegant details on the inside.

Zimmerman Marine is not a manufacturer – we build each boat to order, one boat at a time. When you call to ask a question you won’t be calling a dealer who then has to send a FAX to the factory (in China) and await a reply. When you have a request or a suggestion, you will be able to communicate directly with the builder. And no matter what level of involvement you choose, you’ll feel connected to your boat and her builder in a way that no dealership can provide. At Zimmerman Marine we’re creating relationships… not dealerships.