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HomeMagazineInside SOTW Mag: Donzi 38 ZRC Profile—The Comeback Kid

Inside SOTW Mag: Donzi 38 ZRC Profile—The Comeback Kid

During the early 2000s, no sit-down V-bottom was more coveted than Donzi Marine’s 38 ZRC. Most sportboats of the day were set up with traditional four-bolster stand-up cockpits. With bucket seats on the sole and a much lower profile than its stand-up counterparts, the 38-footer quickly became the hottest ticket on the market. Dominating the Factory II class on the APBA Offshore, LLC circuit added to the boat’s popularity and mystique.

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At one time the hottest sit-down sportboat on the market, the new-for-2020 Donzi 38 ZRC returns with a vengeance, and a state-of-the-art power package. Photo by Mark Spencer courtesy/copyright Donzi Marine.

“That once-thriving class is long gone, as is APBA Offshore. But the Donzi 38 ZRC is back, and back with a vengeance.

In early December on the Pamlico River behind the Donzi production facility in Washington, N.C., we learned that firsthand with the company’s Billy Moore as our driver and on-water host. The new-for-2020 stepped V-bottom dazzled us in much the same way it dazzled the buying public almost 20 years ago.

Though we saw 119 mph on the recall of the helm station’s center-mounted Garmin GPS flanked by an array of privately labeled yellow-face gauges, we ran the 38-footer equipped with twin staggered Mercury Racing 860 engines to 113 mph. We were losing daylight by the time we got to that portion of our tests, but there was plenty of throttle left and we have no trouble believing the naturally aspirated, quad-cam four-valve engines can power the boat, which was set up with Mercury Racing CNC 17-1/2” x 32” five-blade stainless-steel cleaver propellers and 1.46:1 gear ratios in its M6 drives, to 120 mph.

To enjoy the complete feature, click the download link for the PDF of the November/December 2019 Speed On The Water magazine, and please share any feedback with us below, via email or on social media.

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