Solar Stik reviews? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-17-2011 Thread Starter
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Solar Stik reviews?

Anyone out here using this setup? What do you think?

The Solar Stik - The New Generator
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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this widget has been discussed ad nauseum, both here and on other sites..search the archives for details..
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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To help the OP out, here, to the best of my knowledge, and recall, is an Executive Summary:
  • The Solar Stik is a well built solar panel mounting system that enables you to aim the panels in order to maximize direct sunlight exposure.
  • It is bundled with 2 50W solar panels (I don't recall what brand). [EDIT - SD's memory is better than mine]
  • It also includes a Blue Sky MPPT charge controller which increases the effectiveness of the panels when charging your batteries.
  • It is not magic that will bend the laws of physics to generate more power than the included panels are capable of producing.
  • It is expensive.
  • It requires that someone aim the panels at the sun throughout the day, as the sun travels through it's arc, and as the boat travels around it's mooring or anchor.

I hope this helps...

Last edited by eherlihy; 02-17-2011 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Correction on wattage
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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Eherlihy

IIRC, it comes with two 50 Watt panels, not two 100 watt panels. 100 watt panels are too big for the original design. Believe they were Kyocera or Sharp brand panels, but I doubt that really matters.

BTW, the manufacturer's claims are bogus and overly optimistic....and their number one promoter on this forum was a guy named ConchyJoe, who was banned for his behavior and the fact that he didn't disclose that he had a commercial relationship with the makers of the solarstik. Given his complete lack of ethics, how much would you trust the company that makes the product?

Conchyjoe also has a marine portal website that claims to be a technical resource, but has fewer posts since it was founded than most other sailing forums get in a day...

You can read a bit about how well received they were on this thread, and IIRC, Defender no longer stocks or sells the product, which says a good deal about what the product is really like.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 02-17-2011 at 08:07 AM.
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
IIRC, it comes with two 50 Watt panels, not two 100 watt panels. 100 watt panels are too big for the original design. Believe they were Kyocera or Sharp brand panels, but I doubt that really matters.
Yes, I wondered about my memory on all of that... 2 * 50W = 100W. I stand corrected.

This is the thread where the thing first appeared on SailNet (started by Xort). And here was a more balanced thread / evaluation (started by Hellosailor).

I was trying to spare the OP the gory details, but since the can has been opened...

Last edited by eherlihy; 02-17-2011 at 08:27 AM. Reason: spellin
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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You just couldn't resist, could ya...

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post #7 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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I don't get it. Hellosailor's review wasn't exactly derogatory. If it doesn't sell, it's probably because it's just too expensive. I agree with him that a "SolarStik Jr." probably would have had a better chance.

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Yes, but it also clearly doesn't live up to the claims that the SolarStik's manufacturer touts on their website, or the even more extravagant claims that ConchyJoe was making. If you're buying a SolarStik--it should be because you want a turn key solar setup with a very nice mounting system for your boat, rather than because you believe the power claims they make.

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I don't get it. Hellosailor's review wasn't exactly derogatory. If it doesn't sell, it's probably because it's just too expensive. I agree with him that a "SolarStik Jr." probably would have had a better chance.

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post #9 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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We have a stik and had been quite happy with it although it is really expensive. We are planning on replacing the BP 50 watt panels with two Kyrocera 100 watts. We'll build new horizontal bars to fit the new panels. The vertical is plenty strong enough to hold larger panels. We're still happy with the purchase since we use the stik for our Kiss wind turbine and a dinghy engine lift.

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post #10 of 31 Old 02-17-2011
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Derogatory? I don't think my comments on it have ever been misread as derogatory.

The SolarStik seems to be top quality equipment in every way. Best-of-breed solar panels, retainers on all the hardware that you might drop overboard, bumpers on the panels to prevent storage damage, welds that would look fit for the plumbing on a nuclear submarine. No corners cut in any way.

If you want a Kobe steak dinner, you can start by buying some calves and a ranch and a massuese and some beer and roll your own. Or, you can pay a lot more by the pound and just have the waiter bring it over cooked and sliced.

The SolarStik is how the waiter brings it in a five-star restaurant. That's going to cost you more than the "components" might cost, but the point is, you can just walk in and buy it. And having seen what top-quality welding costs, I would question whether you even COULD replicate a SolarStik for what they charge for it.

My only real reservation is that it is just too big for small craft. There's probably room for a "junior" model for boats 36' and under. 32-36' OAL is probably still going to feel a bit crowded with a SolarStik, unless it gets mounted outboard of the transom. (And it is worth noting, they offer all sorts of robust mounting hardware to make those jobs simpler, too.)

Part of that is because the panels take up space, but all panels of that capacity are going to take up that much space. And part of it is because the Stik is, well, more robust than the boom or mast on some boats. I remember putting "NO STEP" signs on my LORAN antenna because people would keep grabbing it as a handle for the boat, if you know what I mean. With the SolarStik...you could probably cleat off to it without doing any harm.

Maybe they'll make a carbon-fiber version for racers.

sd, I haven't seen their web site for a while but IIRC the "claims" that got everyone upset were changed a long time ago. The founder was an admitted non-techie and some of the technical stuff originally was jumbled, but quickly straightened out. Or have you seen something new lately?

Last edited by hellosailor; 02-17-2011 at 01:00 PM.
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