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Offline niteshft

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StikBoat/JetAngler review
« on: November 29, 2019, 04:33:22 PM »
 I've had to weigh my options before writing this review. Dan, at Aquanami, said that if I gave a bad review it may impact any future support. That, in itself, tells allot where this review is heading.
  First, when I unpacked the boat, there were no manuals or instructions on how to put things together or initially run the boat. There was only a check-off list that checked off the manual and instructions were included with the crate...it wasn't. I emailed Dan and he said the manual was a PDF and hasn't been included for 6 years. A couple of weeks later I received a package with the (2019) manual, assembly instructions and shims for adjusting trim. The only thing I didn't need were the shims because they redesigned the jet with a more downward angle to keep the bow down and shims are no longer needed.
 There is a heat sensor bracket located on the bend of the exhaust that was welded in place crocked so it wasn't able to hold the sensor in place. It vibrated out soon after the engine was started. When I mentioned this to Dan, he said I must done something to pull it out as it couldn't have just vibrated out, even though I provided a picture of how loosely the fit was. After a few argumentative emails he said he ordered a tube of thermal paste on E bay and sent it to my address. This was a couple of months ago and still hasn't arrived. That doesn't matter. I've built PCs since 2000 and thermal paste is used to help heat transfer but must be used sparingly or it won't work. It's not intended to "glue" things in place.
 It wasn't until I told him I was expected to write a review for a couple of sites and these issues need to be addressed and gotten a warning of non-support that I received a fix...fit a piece of rubber between the sensor and bracket to hold the sensor in place. But, I won't know until Spring if that will work.
 Another issue is the finish. There were several areas that had residue of a polishing compound and paint was worn off in several areas. It appeared as though it was a reconditioned boat. Most of the wear areas were where you place your feet on the adjustable foot rests. There are also scratches that seemed to be to deep to buff out in other areas that shows signs of buffing.
 I've had the boat in the water for less than 15 minutes, mainly because of time and temperature constraints. When at low speed, the vibration from the engine shook my butt from side to side and the "Wet Well" covers rattled so badly it was more than annoying. The one lung engine piston sits horizontally and haven't run it long enough to see if it's the nature of the beast but I'm concerned it is. That would be a shame because I fly fish and like to cruise the shoreline.
 I also had water leaking into the engine compartment. There was about a quart in the short time on the water. I tightened some clamps but haven't had it back in the water since. Another concern until Spring.
 All in all, the boat isn't worth the $4700, (Aquanami), asking price...the Stik in Texas is $5000. That's without the Tariff, which brings the price to $6600. Although I think it's a better boat that the Mokai for my purposes, I wouldn't value it for more than $3700 as it is.

 I will try to add pictures in the near future of the issues.

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 08:37:26 PM »
For what it's worth, my heat sensor fell off of the exhaust as well, so it's not an isolated incident. I would use some high temperature silicone, and not rubber that's likely to melt to mend that.

I would also say to check your fuel pump on the outlet. That fitting is pressed in, and it's an accident waiting to happen if it vibrates loose as fuel will spray all over the hot exhaust. I took some JB Weld to mind for added insurance.

Second, make absolutely certain you don't overfill your tank or even get it close to full. In the heat, that gasoline will expand, and fuel will go up into the sending unit wires. The wire gauge on the Aquanami is very light. I'm guessing 22 to 24gauge? How long do you think that insulation will hold up when it gets soaked in gasoline? And once the insulation is gone, you can (probably will) create a short, and spark, and well, there's a nice recipe for an explosion. Bottom line is don't overfill your tank!

I think a lot of us think that all fiberglass boats are created equal, but just as Tom about this or go to a website like boatworks.com and  read about proper  techniques.  I was suspect at first about the quality of the fiberglass when I cracked the gelcoat around the engine compartment from just my upper body weight. There's no way that should happen if it was done correctly. While I'm not 100% positive, I'll bet Aquanami just sprayed chop strand from a machine over a mold, and never went with any 1708, which requires a lot more handwork. I would think a minimum  of two layers would be required to give the boat good rigidity. I'd be real curious to hear from Dan on the composition of the fiberglass, but just because something is made of fiberglass doesn't mean it's the same as a high-end yaht or speed boat. I think they go cheap. No proof here, but I don't sense it's a high end job. I had several inserts come loose, cracks form, flaws in the gel coat, etc. You don't get this on a high end job.

And I'd love to hear back from you after you get about 30 hours on the boat, and things like the bearings overheat in the impeller, solenoids and relays break on you, etc. That's when the quality or lack thereof shows up.

While I certainly don't like everything about the Mokai, the overall build quality is far superior to the Aquanami.  Nice to see a review of the Aquanami just the same. Nothing you said surprised me.
Best,
Troy

Offline niteshft

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 07:47:09 PM »
  As far as the heat melting the rubber, you have greater problems if that happens. The heat sensor shuts the engine down if the temp gets too, high and the sensor is between the rubber and the pipe. When I took it out for a ride, the pipe felt cool when I checked. The engine was still running at that time. The exhaust needs to be kept cool or it will overheat the engine compartment. Tom knows all about that!

 The hose from the fuel pump is clamped...no problem there either. I checked every connection when I first got the boat because I've heard of problems from other sites as well. Aquanami has been listening and has been taking care to address issues with problems they have been made aware of. The main issue is, it's made in China and factories there put a lot of pressure on their employees to put out products...it's essentially a sweatshop. That's where the issues lay. It's quite possible they misses the clamp on yours or it may have been a design error at that time.

 As far as the fiberglass goes, I see the weave of cloth so it isn't just a fiber blown into the mold. It may have been at one time but not the case, now.

 The drive unit has been overhauled, it no longer needs shims to adjust trim and the bearing issue has been resolved with it. The boat takes off like a rocket when given the throttle and rides smooth at high speed. The only issue I have is at low speed, the boat shimmies left to right because of the horizontal position of the piston. I'm hoping that will ease as the engine breaks in. If not, I'll be putting the boat up for sale because, I like to cruise the shoreline while fly casting and that will definitely spook the fish as well as make it uncomfortable riding for me.

 I've taken the rubber nose off and making a mount for a remote control anchor hoist. It'll be an vertical aluminum plate with a platform on top that will house a battery and the hoist. The nose will fit back on over the vertical plate. I'll post pics when done as it's difficult to explain everything here.
 I'm going to try to add pics of the issues I first explained now. If they don't show, I failed.  >:(
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 07:49:10 PM by niteshft »

Offline niteshft

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 08:02:38 PM »
 I wish I had listened to my brother when he said he was going to make his own jet boat! He bought 2 Jet Skies for parts and a 14' boat. I have a couple of pics of the progress and I was paid well for my assistance. Allot of work left but it's early winter yet! We still have to install aluminum angle around the front and back of the stern and many other options, such as the placement of the fuel tank and battery placement. He will be bypassing the auto fuel/oil mixture and will be using mixed fuel in place for additional assurance.

                         
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 08:09:58 PM by niteshft »

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 10:00:15 PM »
  As far as the heat melting the rubber, you have greater problems if that happens. The heat sensor shuts the engine down if the temp gets too, high and the sensor is between the rubber and the pipe. When I took it out for a ride, the pipe felt cool when I checked. The engine was still running at that time. The exhaust needs to be kept cool or it will overheat the engine compartment. Tom knows all about that!

 The hose from the fuel pump is clamped...no problem there either. I checked every connection when I first got the boat because I've heard of problems from other sites as well. Aquanami has been listening and has been taking care to address issues with problems they have been made aware of. The main issue is, it's made in China and factories there put a lot of pressure on their employees to put out products...it's essentially a sweatshop. That's where the issues lay. It's quite possible they misses the clamp on yours or it may have been a design error at that time.

 As far as the fiberglass goes, I see the weave of cloth so it isn't just a fiber blown into the mold. It may have been at one time but not the case, now.

 The drive unit has been overhauled, it no longer needs shims to adjust trim and the bearing issue has been resolved with it. The boat takes off like a rocket when given the throttle and rides smooth at high speed. The only issue I have is at low speed, the boat shimmies left to right because of the horizontal position of the piston. I'm hoping that will ease as the engine breaks in. If not, I'll be putting the boat up for sale because, I like to cruise the shoreline while fly casting and that will definitely spook the fish as well as make it uncomfortable riding for me.

 I've taken the rubber nose off and making a mount for a remote control anchor hoist. It'll be an vertical aluminum plate with a platform on top that will house a battery and the hoist. The nose will fit back on over the vertical plate. I'll post pics when done as it's difficult to explain everything here.
 I'm going to try to add pics of the issues I first explained now. If they don't show, I failed.  >:(
As to the fuel pump I was talking about the entire barbed fitting. It's pressed into the fuel pump itself and has an O-ring on it. I was trying to take the hose off, and the whole thing came out. That's how I know it's pressed in. It could, operative word could, potentially vibrate lose and then you would have fuel spray onto the exhaust. Because the exhaust is water cold, nothing may happen at all, but I sure didn't feel comfortable with gasoline potentially spraying on the engine. I put some JB weld on that, and problem solved.

That exhaust can get quite hot in a matter of seconds if it's not in the water or you don't have a hose hooked up to it. So, again as a precautionary measure I would use a high temp silicone for the heat sensor. The hose clamp in the photo looks fine as well.

I would say in general the quality control is not nearly as high as what Mokai is using, and that's ultimately what soured me on the boat. I did have pretty bad cavitation problems as well. It sounds like at least they did some work on the drive system, and that would be a welcome change. I found the boat perform best at high speed (full throttle) and was pretty horrible at slow speeds just like your finding. Not to mention you have to use the squeeze lever to control. Mokai ES-Kape isn't much better in this regard, but I'm hoping to hook up a potentiometer to control that.

Mokai should have given us a cruise control. On the Stik, short of making your own throttle lever I'm not sure how you could comfortably control the throttle at slower speeds. I too like to cruise at slow speeds, and especially like the clutch!

I even looked into one for the Stik, but the smallest one I could find was 4 inches and there's just not room. You would also have to figure out a way to pump water through the engine when at idle, but I felt that was a solvable problem at least. The lack of a centrifugal clutch was the issue.

There's also some metrics splines the the joystick, and impeller, so if you wanted to switch over to say a steering wheel and throttle lever, it could be a little tough, but I guess there's other ways to do that to. A spring pin for example through a go-cart steering wheel might work. I never cared much for the joystick. Don't care for that much on the Mokai either.

Sounds like they made some progress on parts of it at least. Dan told me most of the upgrades were on the upper deck, but said nothing about the drive. I'm glad they did a little modification as the cavitation was really awful. Still sounds like tracking is an issue though. Did they add a keel or skegs?
Best,
Troy

Offline strick

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 02:10:34 PM »
Seeing the weave of the fiberglass on the finished hull is called bleed through and indicates not enough mat was used during the skin coat before they put down the structural glass (woven roving, 1708,1808 etc)  you will see this on order boats built during the oil embargo days...

Strick

Offline niteshft

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2019, 07:22:39 PM »
Seeing the weave of the fiberglass on the finished hull is called bleed through and indicates not enough mat was used during the skin coat before they put down the structural glass (woven roving, 1708,1808 etc)  you will see this on order boats built during the oil embargo days...

Strick

  The weave I mentioned is in the engine compartment not the outside of the hull.

Offline gink

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Re: StikBoat/JetAngler review
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2019, 06:01:03 PM »
On my stikboat the hull split midway between engine and bow.Upon inspection I found only plastic shell not much stronger than an eggshell. There was a crease approximately 12 inches long letting in enough water to overwhelm the sumps. I  installed a 12 inch wide patch 24 inches long patch.The quality control on the hull is extremely disappointing and substandard.I will be selling the boat this spring. Other than crazy vibration I havenít had any other issues.