Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:40 pm

Hey all!
Last year I bought a 14ft Swiftcraft Stiletto, right at the end of the season. The intention was to do some tubing / wake boarding behind it, but I soon found that it just seems way too underpowered. It has a 70's Merc Blueband 85hp, which I thought would be enough on such a small craft, especially after the full service and tune I had done shortly after buying it. However, it just simply seems too weak to pick up with any sort of power with 3 people in the boat, let alone someone being towed behind.
Is this hull and motor simply too small? Growing up we used a 17' hull with a 70hp, and that was more than enough back then..
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Arron » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:46 pm

When I was a kid we had a stiletto as well although this one had a 115 evinrude on it and must say it had plenty of power, we'd pull 4 kids on a large inflatable with 4 adults on board or even 2 up on slalom with 3 on board. I would have thought an 85 would still be more than enough for this small craft, have you had the motor checked out properly?


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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:12 pm

Arron wrote:When I was a kid we had a stiletto as well although this one had a 115 evinrude on it and must say it had plenty of power, we'd pull 4 kids on a large inflatable with 4 adults on board or even 2 up on slalom with 3 on board. I would have thought an 85 would still be more than enough for this small craft, have you had the motor checked out properly?


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Thank you for that. I would have thought also that 85hp would be enough. With my fiancée and I in the front only, it picks up nicely (we are only small people), but with one extra person in the back/middle (back to back seats), it really just sits in the hole unless we all lean forward over the window to get it up on plane. Haha.
I had the motor serviced and tuned by Mike and Paula of Boating Solutions SA, with a full change of plugs etc, but still seems to respond the same, albeit a bit smoother ride.
I have had a play with the manual trim, but not much difference there either.
I am not very tech savvy, but is there a suggested leg/prop for this setup?
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby 82Juddcraft » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:17 pm

Honour wrote:Hey all!
Last year I bought a 14ft Swiftcraft Stiletto, right at the end of the season. The intention was to do some tubing / wake boarding behind it, but I soon found that it just seems way too underpowered. It has a 70's Merc Blueband 85hp, which I thought would be enough on such a small craft, especially after the full service and tune I had done shortly after buying it. However, it just simply seems too weak to pick up with any sort of power with 3 people in the boat, let alone someone being towed behind.
Is this hull and motor simply too small? Growing up we used a 17' hull with a 70hp, and that was more than enough back then..

Have u looked a re-proping it?
I'd go to the local shop and see what they think.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:35 pm

82Juddcraft wrote:Have u looked a re-proping it?
I'd go to the local shop and see what they think.


Haven't had a chance to speak to anyone about it yet, but the prop does look pretty rough.
Not sure how to put a photo up on here, but it is quite corroded, as well as the little corrosion tail thing.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby 82Juddcraft » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:20 pm

Use the (attachment) rather than (Images)
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:48 pm

82Juddcraft wrote:Use the (attachment) rather than (Images)


gallery/image.php?album_id=440&image_id=4770


Still wont work for me, but hopefully the above URL should show it.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby motard_mike » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:18 am

That was my first boat aswell! great little thing and will have plenty of power. i can wake board behind a 40hp and i'm not little....... so i doubt hp is your issue

Try moving your fuel tank/tanks up the front, trim the motor down as far as you can and if you are still struggling look at a perma trim or some kind of larger cav plate for the motor. prop looks ok....
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:48 pm

motard_mike wrote:That was my first boat aswell! great little thing and will have plenty of power. i can wake board behind a 40hp and i'm not little....... so i doubt hp is your issue

Try moving your fuel tank/tanks up the front, trim the motor down as far as you can and if you are still struggling look at a perma trim or some kind of larger cav plate for the motor. prop looks ok....


So glad to hear you say this, as I was pretty disappointed when we first hopped in it. It literally hardly moves initially, so am happy to hear there may be solutions.
I will look at moving the tank and battery forward, as they are both currently in the rear, against the transom. Would it pay for some other ballast up front?
It also seems that it just bogs down a lot. I would have thought that the prop would keep powering up as you increase throttle, however it seems to bog down, almost like a traction control feeling. However on my family's 140hp Yamaha on the Whitley, it seems to power up and make all the good noise, until the boat starts to accelerate. In keeping with the car metaphor, it is like it does a big bogan burnout before gaining traction. Which is the norm?
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Alastair » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:36 am

How are you starting, it's worth learning how to do a "proper" (for lack of a better word) deep water start.
Where your board is essentially under water like your sitting on a chair. less effort in pulling you out of the water. It keeps your handle and board nice and undamaged when your teaching beginners as well.

i know guys that use this technique to get pulled out deep water on a wakeskate behind 25-30hp tinnies.

would also invest in a cavitation plate/foil or whatever they are called.

plenty of videos floating around youtube.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:42 pm

Alastair wrote:How are you starting, it's worth learning how to do a "proper" (for lack of a better word) deep water start.
Where your board is essentially under water like your sitting on a chair. less effort in pulling you out of the water. It keeps your handle and board nice and undamaged when your teaching beginners as well.

i know guys that use this technique to get pulled out deep water on a wakeskate behind 25-30hp tinnies.

would also invest in a cavitation plate/foil or whatever they are called.

plenty of videos floating around youtube.



Thanks heaps for that mate. Unfortunately I'm not even talking about pulling someone out yet, merely just trying to get the boat moving. The way it is at the moment, the thought of getting someone up is laughable. But that's the plan!
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby ski351 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:03 pm

That prop has had such a hard life and copped some abuse...
All blades are showing damage and the blade on the left looks the worst.
I personally would be getting it looked at.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby themooch » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:52 pm

I don't know where in sa you are but give Wally stepanek a call at boating scene. What he doesn't know about outboards isn't worth knowing.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:26 pm

ski351 wrote:That prop has had such a hard life and copped some abuse...
All blades are showing damage and the blade on the left looks the worst.
I personally would be getting it looked at.


I thought the same actually. I've found a cheap second hand prop that appears in much better condition, and 19 pitch as opposed to the current 17. I might try that and see if there is any response change.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:28 pm

themooch wrote:I don't know where in sa you are but give Wally stepanek a call at boating scene. What he doesn't know about outboards isn't worth knowing.


Thanks for that. I seem to remember calling Wally last year, and from memory he doesn't do work on
Bluebands. Might be worth putting in another call though.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Arron » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:29 pm

19" pitch is a change in the wrong direction IMO. 19" means the prop will travel 19" forwards in one rotation (assuming no slip)
If you want more response and more grunt for pulling skiers out the. You will want a lower pitch.


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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:49 pm

Arron wrote:19" pitch is a change in the wrong direction IMO. 19" means the prop will travel 19" forwards in one rotation (assuming no slip)
If you want more response and more grunt for pulling skiers out the. You will want a lower pitch.


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Ah ok, thanks for explaining that. As you can probably tell, I'm quite a newbie when it comes to the technical side of boating. I was working from an old Mercury outboard chart, on which the pattern seemed to be a higher pitch on smaller crafts, and lower for bigger.
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Arron » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:00 pm

Honour wrote:
Ah ok, thanks for explaining that. As you can probably tell, I'm quite a newbie when it comes to the technical side of boating. I was working from an old Mercury outboard chart, on which the pattern seemed to be a higher pitch on smaller crafts, and lower for bigger.


Yeah that's right, a larger boat is heavier and has to move more water thus needs a lower gear (in car terms) a smaller craft can use a higher gear (pitch) for more speed but at the cost of low end bite/torque.


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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby Honour » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:03 pm

Arron wrote:
Honour wrote:
Ah ok, thanks for explaining that. As you can probably tell, I'm quite a newbie when it comes to the technical side of boating. I was working from an old Mercury outboard chart, on which the pattern seemed to be a higher pitch on smaller crafts, and lower for bigger.


Yeah that's right, a larger boat is heavier and has to move more water thus needs a lower gear (in car terms) a smaller craft can use a higher gear (pitch) for more speed but at the cost of low end bite/torque.


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Great - thank you for explaining it like that - so essentially I am reducing my gear ratio to get better low end torque, but at a small sacrifice to top speed - no dramas.

Also, I have been considering moving the fuel tank forward as suggested earlier. I have come up with a concept that includes moving the fuel tank forward, in between the driver and passenger's legs, and the battery also moved forward, in between the back to back seats. Housing all of this will be a centre console of sorts, with hinged openings to easily access the fuel and battery, as well as integrated cupholders, storage, etc. A quick doodle of what i'm thinking -

gallery/image.php?album_id=440&image_id=4772

Can anyone forsee issues here? Will having the tank at the front present issues in regards to fumes? Will the battery being centralised risk damage due to the extra bumpiness? Any input/criticism would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers!
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Re: Swiftcraft Stiletto - too small?

Postby themooch » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:15 pm

Personally I can't see a great benefit to moving either until you get your motor and prop issue sorted. You could end up chopping up the boat and spending dough on something that will offer marginal gains. Just keep in mind that as you run your tank dry, it's effectiveness as ballast up front diminishes. Try putting a stingray on your outboard. And not a cheap knockoff either. I had one on my old 120 johnson and it definitely helped the boat plane quicker. Only reason I took it off is because it had the reverse effect of what a wedge does! And to be honest, that 120 was on my old 16 1/2 ft runabout, and it had no problem pulling three kneeboarders, or two wakeboarders at barely half throttle. Big three person tubes were a struggle; we'd lean forward like you said earlier, but it still did it. So I don't think horsepower is the problem. And yeah, the extra thumping up front can't be good for a battery, or the fuel tank/fitting/hoses and clamps etc. plus, you'll need to run bigger cables to the starter motor ie voltdrop/fuse protection of the cable etc. food for thought.
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