By Tom Thompson
Donzi 41 ZSC: Sea Trial
Donzi 41 ZSC: Hot number combines speed with luxury amenities.
A big, broad-beamed boat in a hurry is very thirsty. Sport cruisers that go fast are a tradeoff. To get the speed and a roomy interior, you sacrifice fuel economy. But, Donzi Marine may have a package that gives you the best of both worlds — the 41 ZSC.
Cruising at 3,300 rpm, it does 55 mph while burning 28 gph. Yes, that’s the total for two engines.
What makes it work is the pairing of Yanmar Diesel engines with Arneson surface drives. Diesels are inherently thriftier with fuel than gas engines, especially the latest generation of lightweight blocks such as the Yanmar 440s on the 41 ZSC.
Offshore racers long have relied on the efficiency of surface drives — such as the Arneson ASD 8 — to extract the maximum bite out of engine shaft horsepower. At the bottom line, the 41 ZSC can convert its 302-gallon fuel capacity into a useable range of more than 550 miles. This nearly 17,000-pound boat is no slouch when it comes to handling, either. The 41 ZSC uses Donzi’s Z-Tech step hull. It’s tight in turns and stays smooth when the waters get rough.
Sleek and Sexy
The 41 ZSC’s styling and amenities are as noteworthy as its performance characteristics. The hull has the classic Donzi look — sleek lines angling slightly downward from the bow. For an express cruiser, the shape is low and elegant, not big and boxy.
A stainless steel, curved glass windshield wraps around the cockpit, disappearing into the base of the forward angled electronics arch. The cockpit has a U-shaped seating area to starboard centered on a removable table. A bench seat along the port side is located forward of the wet bar, and an optional refrigerator or ice-maker is available for this location.
The helm is fitted with a pair of bolsters that can be used either standing or sitting. Both positions have flip-up footrests mounted on the bulkhead under the instrument panel. The helm has space for a large-screen electronics display to the left of the steering wheel, plus room for a couple of smaller ones on a separate panel above.
Our test boat had an optional Raymarine electronics package that included a 10.4-inch-screen radar/chart plotter, VHF radio, autopilot and fish finder. Gauges are mounted on an attractive silver-metallic-finish panel.
All Hands on Deck
There’s plenty of space for sunbathing aboard the 41 ZSC. The cockpit table adjusts to convert the area to a sunpad with the use of a filler cushion. There are sunpads on the foredeck and over the engine compartment, as well. The latter has a large storage compartment underneath it.
If it’s protection from the rays you want, the 41 ZSC comes with a standard Bimini top. Also standard are a canvas cockpit cover and snap-in cockpit carpeting. Our test boat, however, had Donzi’s optional teak inlay decking that covered the cockpit and swim platform as well as the cabin floor.
Speaking of the swim platform, it’s a bit longer because of the surface drives, so you have ample space for a tender or water toy. There’s even a molded pedestal on the starboard side to mount a davit.
Down We Go
The engine hatch is electrically operated. At the touch of a button, everything aft of the cockpit table raises to give you plenty of working room. A diamond-plate bulkhead separates the engines from the generator and other accessories. Pumps, fuel strainers and the like are mounted on it for easy access. There’s a diamond-plate walkway between the engines for sure footing.
The first thing you notice when entering the 41 ZSC’s cabin is the attractive high-gloss cherry wood cabinetry. There’s an elegant floor-to-ceiling console to port that houses the galley. It contains a two-burner electric stove, a refrigerator, a microwave oven and a stainless steel sink. The wood is complemented by a black-speckled countertop that has filler panels to hide the sink and stove when not in use.
In the starboard aft corner of the cabin, another wood cabinet has storage below and space for a 20-inch flat-screen TV — the latter of which is included in the 41 ZSC’s standard equipment list, along with a DVD player and a surround sound system. There’s also a Sony AM/FM/CD player, a multiple CD changer, a high-power amplifier and seven speakers throughout the boat, not to mention a remote control at the helm for the audio system.
The V-shaped seating area forward converts to a double berth by lowering the electrically operated cherry wood table at its center. The 41 ZSC has a second cabin amidships along the starboard side that sleeps two more passengers.
Although the berth has minimal headroom, there is standing room forward of it for dressing. A unique feature of this space is a corner vanity table with a retractable stool that swivels out from under it. Lifting the lid reveals a makeup mirror and suede-lined storage compartment. There’s also a wall-mounted flat-screen TV here that’s a standard feature.
Although Donzi provides a 7.5 kw generator standard with the 41 ZSC, the 12,000-btu air-conditioning unit with reverse cycle heat is an option.
The stand-up head compartment has a VacuFlush toilet. Despite only 5 feet, 6 inches of ceiling height, for this style boat the side-to-side dimensions are quite generous, and the toilet has a seat cover you can use to shower sitting down.
Donzi 41 ZSC Specifications
|Weight (dry)||16800 lbs.|
|Fuel capacity||302 gals.|
|Water capacity||50 gals.|
|Miles per gallon 55-mph cruising speed||1.96|
|Range at 55-mph cruising||550 statute miles (with 10 percent reserve)|
Bimini top, snap-in cockpit carpeting, pop-up cleats, cherry wood interior cabinets, generator, transom shower, K-planes.
Air conditioning, bow thruster, cockpit enclosure, custom graphics, stereo upgrade, teak decking, Raymarine electronics package.
Solid fiberglass hull to waterline with vacuum-infused coring above. Composite, glass-encapsulated stringer system. Glassed and chemically bonded hull-to-deck joint.
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