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Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2019, 12:52:53 PM »
Well, I'll tell you what I know and witnessed during their startup. I spoke with Mike, the master mechanic at Stik, when they were first developing the boat. In fact we discussed and I ultimately ended up purchasing one of their demos. So, they had about three different boats at that time that they were making changes to. These were the stock boats from China.

One of the bigger problems from the original boat was the heat exchanger. I don't think it was originally stainless steel, and they were having issues with that. The fuel pump had issues as well for some people, and hot starts were an issue, so they ended up going to a Japanese carburetor, and then they had to change out or modify the joystick. I retofitted mine, so I know exactly was was involved.

The electronics box had issues as well, and they ended up adding greater ventilation. (I got stranded a a mile from shore due to this on my 1st outing with the boat). So, these were not changes being made by the plant, but rather changes Mike, the master mechanic was making, and I saw pictures of the boats, and the prototypes with the changes.

After they made those changes then they instructed the plant of their changes, and that's one they were met with some resistance. They personally modified 48 boats for the kick starter campaign or retrofitted them. After numerous complaints of cavitation and steering/tracking issues, then they started working on their own design. China I was told was working on the issue too. As it is the boat as horrible cavitation issues. I think the biggest problem is the boat is too buoyant. They tried all kinds of water scoops, but all of them just slowed the boat down. Ironically, this is just the opposite of what Mokai did by going to a heavier engine without increasing buoyancy. The whole boat is foam filled in the Stik, but is also flat bottomed. They need a real keel.

The boats from Croatia were the original Aquanami and surfango's and those had numerous problems. It's quite possible China copied the design (they tend to do that a lot) and started releasing their own version. That part I'm kind of sketchy on. I have seen photographs of the plant in China.  If the boat is not beige or white, it was made elsewhere.  Another thing that Stik did was to change out the gauges which had all kinds of issues with fogging. Sending unit is still is subpar for the gas. There's a number of fittings as well that are not stainless, and fiberglass is quite thin for the hull. I cracked the gelcoat leaning over the engine bay for example.

So, you're right that Stik is not producing parts here and then modifying every single boat that comes in, but that's what they did with their original 50 or 48 boats was the exact number they had for the kick starter campaign. They were trying to get China to make changes to future boats, and again I think that's where they ran into some issues. I don't think they were all that much in control, which is why they started developing their own boat.

Overall, I think you're right that they rebranded an existing boat and pawned it off as their own.  With changes happening with tariffs, it's not too likely that they're going to be real competitive in the future either. I guess I have my doubts though they will actually get a plant here, not with Trump in office.  Of course Yugoslavia/Croatia is not China, so not sure what will happen there.

I just see all kinds of red flags purchasing one of their boats right now. I was again around from the beginning, and also talked with their distributor over in New Zealand, and he was feeding me information that Chris, the CEO of Stik was telling him about the business to me as well.  So,  I probably have a little more inside information than most.

People can pretty much tell you whatever they want to sell you something. Until the plant is actually in place and the company has a solid footing and backing,  I would be steering clear myself.  Without support and a place to get parts, you're dead in the water.

One of the reasons I sold my Stik boat was the impeller seized in the housing. There is no wear ring in the Stik btw. They have gone to a stainless steel impeller, but it's not gonna be long before the aluminum housing gets all grooved up, and it's an hour job to pull the impeller and housing. I guess you could stick some JB Weld in there.

Anyway, I got stranded for the second time about 3 miles upstream. I then could not get a hold of Stik for weeks. When I finally got the parts, they were not machined properly and a critical component was not included, and Stik knew nothing about the part. If you simply tighten up the impeller against the bearing without the proper spacer, it won't move. The spacer is not not something you can go down to Home Depot and buy, but rather a custom part. My old impeller was seized as mentioned, so I ended up taking a 3 foot plus breaker bar, and buying a vice to break that thing free, and that was after soaking it with penetrating oil for three days. It was a royal PITA, but had to get the spacer that Stik knew nothing about or could sell me.

Once I finally started assembling the thing, the impeller would fit about  half way on to the shaft, and then bind. The machining was subpar. I ended up having to take a jewelers file, and filling to fit. It took hours. I missed most of the boating season with all the delays.

That pretty much was the last straw for me. I was done with Stik.   When you start really getting into that boat and looking at parts, and the thin gauge wire they use for electronics, sub-par clamps, pressed in fittings on the fuel pump  nipple,  ready to spray  gasoline all over the exhaust to name a few,  you may have a different opinion. I had gasoline going through a wire shroud that was going from the sending unit up to the fuel gauge. There is power running through those wires surrounded by gasoline. One spark, one short, and BOOM! game over. How long are those wires going to last soaked in gas? So, good luck with that boat. I wish you well.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 01:00:22 PM by Mokai Dreamin' »
Best,
Troy

Offline niteshft

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2019, 04:05:52 PM »
@Mokai Dreamin' Thanks for your detailed experience with the original Stik Boat but you have to take into consideration, it was the first original from the kickstarter. There have been numerous changes since then and Stik is buying hundreds of the JetAnglers, slapping on their decals and they are going out the door at a fast pace.
 Just like Mokai, there are issues with early models but Mokai just seems to dig themselves deeper into issues by not listening to those that provide them with proven improvements. Aquanami, on the other hand, has made improvements and, to me, makes the Mokai look like a cheap and limited toy in comparison. I just can't pass up the speed of the craft and the ability to stand up with stability while fly fishing in any direction.
  Thanks for the well wishes. I'll certainly keep everyone informed of my experience.

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2019, 05:03:19 PM »
I am not aware of "numerous changes" that you speak of. I've been watching the boat pretty closely.  I said to John (Rottweilerman) that I'm still interested in the next version the Stik releases. That's supposed to have off the shelf impeller parts, and be a tad wider. I was told more like a micro skiff. I really enjoyed the extra speed, but you'll see for yourself the boat has some pretty bad cavitation, and it took two hands on the joystick for me to steer.

I totally agree with you when it comes to Mokai. They seem to do whatever they want. Instead of building on a great design, they create something new, with a whole new set of problems. I guess it's nice we have some choices. I was not aware that Stik was buying "hundreds" of boats. Last I heard it was next to impossible to buy one.  They don't answer their phone or  respond to Facebook inquiries  often unless you bug them the death .   My understanding and impression was they were abandoning the jet angler in lieu of the new design, but then again I haven't spoken to them in months.  I's a pretty small operation.

 Anyway, sounds like you've pretty much made your decision and that's fine. I don't gain or lose anything  by your choice. I was just trying to provide my experience and  warn you of what to expect.  All the best
Best,
Troy

Offline niteshft

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2019, 08:11:09 PM »
The numerous changes are the ones you spoke of...carburetor, S.S. heat shield, etc.
 There is no "next version" of the Stik that I know of. Stik buys JetAngler and sells them as Stik. I spoke with Dan at Aquanami and he did mention something new is coming. SO, it's a new version of the JetAngler most likely.
 As for the Skif, I did see on another forum that someone "gave" Stik that design. Since Stik doesn't actually make the Stik and just applies their decal to the JetAngler, a jet powered skiff is unlikely, in my opinion. Who knows, Stik is making a bundle selling the JetAngler with their name on it, they might have the cash to develop something like that, if they choose to do so.

  Yeah, I know about getting through to Stik. They are so, busy they can't answer the phone because they are constantly making sales calls. All you get is a busy signal or answering machine that they never follow. The hundreds they are buying is easy, they are buying from Aquanami. That isn't the issue. It's the people trying to get through to Stik by phone, email or any other method to try and buy one and can't. Simply, it's Stik's phone and people that's busy.

You want to get through to Stik?

 When you call Stik and start getting a message, just hang up and immediately call back. It ties up their lines so they can't make calls. I got a call from Stik after doing that for a while and they said they would call me back soon if I stopped calling them. They did call back but he couldn't answer my question about the true nature of the Stik/JetAngler, other than admit that the Stik "is" the JetAngler.

Offline Rottweilerman

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #49 on: August 01, 2019, 01:17:31 AM »
Just a little update on my Stik adventures.  I took her up to my lake yesterday, not so much for fishing, but to see how she would run.  I added both skim to the ride plate for an experiment to see how it effected the cavitation, Troy (mokai-dreamin) had indicated this would make the cavitation worse.  The water conditions on my lake were perfect, little ripples to smooth.   I increased the throttle slowly to allow the water flow to catch up with the impeller speed.    For the most part it worked.   I found cavitation to be more prevalent when going with the current at higher speeds.
One of the reasons I put both shims under the ride plate, is I wanted to get the bow down on the water hopping the gator guard would get a better grip on the water at higher speeds so the boat wouldn't have a tendency to wonder.   It worked up to about 20 mph until I hit smooth water, then all bets were off >:(.
I would like to experiment with trying to glass some sort of keel to the bottom of the hull about 6 to 8 inch long, maybe 1 inch tall, but then were to position it on the hull so as not to interfere with the ability to steer.  Would need a little engineering help on placement of the keel.  Troy, you probably got the most experience with the Stik, so I would like to hear your comments.   Tom, you could also provide input with your vast inventive knowledge.
By the way Troy, when I emailed Austin about my parts concern, he said, let him know what parts I needed.

Overall the Stik preformed well, no motor problems like on my last trip.

I may be looking to put the whole setup with trailer for sale.  I just found out, Tracker Boats is making another run on a 2020 Bass Tracker Classic XL.  There putting a sweet deal together.

This next comment is for CC-coder, Chuck, I used my Nocqua Pro Power battery on my fish finder another 4 hours, with power still available after docking.  I've got maybe 8 to 12 hours on the charge.
You never did say if you checked it out, or actually bought one.

Look forward to comments on the keel.

John

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2019, 02:06:09 AM »
John:

I don't think I'm an expert on the Stik boat. I would say in general the biggest problem with that boat is the buoyancy. This is just the opposite of the Mokai with too much weight and narrow stern.  You've got enough speed behind the Stik, that that boat can actually get up on plane, and that's when you can really get cavitation, as the boat hops around on the surface and over waves and such. The two shims under the ride plate will bring the bow down and decrease speed, but I don't recall saying it would make cavitation worse. You've got more of the boat in the water with two shims, so more drag. That boat, compared to the Mokai is nearly parallel to the water, so completely different animal. The Stern would really benefit from sinking into the water more, but short of a lot more weight I don't know how to do that on that boat. I bet these guys in the 250 pound range would like the Stik boat a whole lot more. As an experiment, I'd be curious to know what happens if you say put an extra 30-50 lbs in the stern.

I think you're heading in the right direction with a keel or creating some kind of a semi V. Stik went to a really smooth bottom which improves stability, but kills tracking. And of course steering something like that can be a nightmare. I had to laugh when I was reading Tom's complaints about the joystick on the Mokai. He would be pulling out razor blades wanting to slice his wrist with the Stik! LOL. That boat is really tough to steer. I used two hands to steer.

I do think what is key on the Stik is getting more of the boat in the water, so just for giggles,  try some extra weight and see what it does to cavitation. You may lose some speed, but  that boat can afford it.  The more of the boat you can get in the water, the  more that's going to help both cavitation and  tracking.  The trade-off is speed.

Glad you're able to get parts and service. I think that's really important for any boat.  Any more word on the new design? I will take a look again whenever they bring that to market.

Best,
Best,
Troy

Offline Rottweilerman

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2019, 12:53:54 PM »
Troy,  Thanks for the encouragement,  as far as adding 30 to 50 lbs to the stern,  I'm not sure where I would place that kind of weight.
I'm 1/2" short of 6' feet and come in at 200 lbs.   
Another thought came to mine, possibly I could attach a couple of small fins somewhere along the outer edge of the hull, although not sure how that would effect the ability to steer.

I had a couple of email conversations with  Niteshft (Bob) about the Stik.  He was curious if I wanted to sell mine.   

John

Offline niteshft

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2019, 07:57:15 PM »
Hi John, I've got on the way directly from Aquanami. Yeah, when you said you were thinking of selling it I got a little anxious.

  I read somewhere that Stik gave or suggested to someone, a keel to use and it greatly improved tracking. I thought I read it here early on but I guess not.

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2019, 08:25:49 PM »
Troy,  Thanks for the encouragement,  as far as adding 30 to 50 lbs to the stern,  I'm not sure where I would place that kind of weight.
I'm 1/2" short of 6' feet and come in at 200 lbs.   
Another thought came to mine, possibly I could attach a couple of small fins somewhere along the outer edge of the hull, although not sure how that would effect the ability to steer.

I had a couple of email conversations with  Niteshft (Bob) about the Stik.  He was curious if I wanted to sell mine.   

John
Hi John:

Probably some lead spread around the engine compartment or on top of the lid in one of those kayak bags. It would just before a test.

I purchased a couple of small skeg's I was thinking about attaching to my stik, but never got around to installing. If you want to give them a try, just cover shipping and I'll send them to you.

Troy
Best,
Troy

Offline Rottweilerman

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2019, 02:32:48 AM »
Hey Troy, just what I was thinking of :).  What kind of material are they made of?
How were you going to attach them to the hull?

Do you mind if I ask, how much you got for your Stik?

I think I've pretty much decided to sell the Stik with trailer, all electronics and any accessories I bought.  Just got come up with a price.
Hopefully it will be a local sale so I don't  have to deal with shipping.

Anyway, get back with me on the fins.

John

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2019, 10:43:14 AM »
Hi John:

I think these are probably made from PVC, but not positive. I would not use anything permanent until you could figure out if they're actually going to work, and if you're going to sell the boat, I'd just axe the idea altogether. It's possible it could affect steering,  not to mention they're going to hit on the ground beaching the boat. I think a keel really makes more sense.

I told you what I sold my boat for in a private email some time ago, so you may want to take a look. The price on the Stik  has dropped since they did their initial introduction. I think they're selling for what $4850 now. They started out at nearly $6800. Considering the demand you could probably ask top dollar though. I don't know what you've got for accessories and such, trailer, so you'll have to do your own calculations. I would think maybe $4000 or $4250 for the bare-bones boat. You got to factor in your shipping too. Hard for me to really say because I don't know what you got into it, but demand for these boats is again pretty high right now.
Best,
Troy

Offline niteshft

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #56 on: August 04, 2019, 04:28:33 PM »
  The boats are in high demand, they get dozens of email orders a day. Two months ago, when I placed my order on line, they were selling for $4800. When I got a call, from an email I sent, they said the price is $5000 plus Texas tax. I got them down to $4800 because of my initial order but I balked at the 8.5% tax. I got mine from Aqanami, delivered, cheaper than Stik was charging for theirs without delivery. Anyone will pay whatever the asking price is if they want it enough. It all depends how quick you want to make a sale.

Offline niteshft

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Re: Stik boat kickstarter Campaign
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2019, 07:37:15 AM »
Aquanami told me yesterday they have secured a warehouse in Huston for distribution and will be shipping a container to it soon.