The development of Stellar Kayaks and Skis started in the summer of 2008 with intense research over 12 months receiving input and advice from a number of paddlers as well as surveying market trends from around the world.
Ed Hofmeister and David Thomas have experience with a variety of water craft, and initially specialized in Rowing Shell manufacture and design, working with several renowned Naval Architects since 2000. Their relationship with the manufacturer of Stellar Kayaks, Flying Eagle, dates back to the spring of 2004, working closely with Klaus Filter, the World famous Naval Architect of WinTech Racing. To this day, they work closely with Klaus on a variety of projects, absorbing much on boat design and theory at the elite and Olympic level. Klaus was trained in Naval Architecture at the prestigious University of Rostock and has over 50 years of knowledge and experience being involved in many arrays of human powered and wind powered boats - with a focus on rowing shells. It is not uncommon to see technologies and design developments in one sport cross over into another and we have taken this opportunity when developing the new range of Stellar Surf Skis and Kayaks.
We believe that by understanding the unique characteristics of different styles of Kayaks and Surf Skis (understanding the drawbacks and advantages) we have been able to dissect these boats into various parts (such as the seat, foot well, stern deck, rudder, foot stretcher and hull design) to come up with a formula which we believe has delivered an innovative and successful design. We have relied extensively on feedback from paddlers from around the world to end up with a line of boats that has great primary and secondary stability, speed and comfort.
The design of any boat is a lengthy process which starts with much research, in depth surveys, professional feedback. Critical in any design is finding the happy medium between comfort, balance and speed. Knowing the general size of the paddler we are designing for we set about designing a kayak or ski on the computer with the beam, length, depth, freeboard etc. to a level we determine suitable. We use the construction water line for the set length and width and fair the shape to ensure the line is a smooth curve. Then we move to the maximum cross section creating all other construction cross sections of this one - a significant amount of time is involved getting the waterlines and the sections fair in all directions. Using hydrostatics software we are able to calculate the displacement and the stability and are able to make modifications as required. . . when it comes to speed we strive to get as close to a cylindrical hull cross-section as we can while being able to keep the boat upright. In the end our Surf Skis and Kayaks has a very low wetted surface area below the water line yet good secondary stability from the increased volume above the waterline.
In our Touring Kayaks, we temper the emphasis on pure speed, where more primary stability is needed. Still using the design concept of a low wetted surface area, our boats are very efficient in the water, thus using less energy to propel you forward. Typical feedback is that our boats have the speed of another boat 2' longer, but the stability of the shorter boat!
As mentioned above the program we use to design the boat includes Hydrostatics, which gives you many different ways to analyze the shape of the hull including wetted surface area, stability, volume, center of floatation etc. Knowing that computer models are not 100% accurate, we then make a fiberglass shell off of our new hull plug and test this to confirm whether or not the floatation was indeed along the intended waterlines. This enabled us to theoretically place the person in the boat and double check the accuracy with a real person in the water.
For the cockpit we used a 3D drafted body and proportionally scaled it to the maximum and minimum size person that we were targeting for the particular model. We then were able to figure out the general ergonomics of the cockpit for the initial design. Once the plug for the cockpit mold was roughed out to these dimensions, we were able to physically test out the comfort and fit. We then were able to modify the seat pan and cockpit length etc. to what we thought was perfect - the feedback to date has indicated our work in this area has been very successful.
For this process to be successful, it takes skilled hands, with decades of experience and years working together as a team. Since 2004 we have been able to keep this team of designers and master carpenters together, building some of the finest plugs and molds in the industry.
Some of the design components you may not notice, but you will appreciate. Our boats are continually improved, through innovation and response to customer feedback, as well as decades of experience from the Stellar design and sales team. This synergy creates a better end user experience along with the latest innovations for performance, comfort and durability. As always, we would appreciate your comments and ideas!
At Stellar, we realize that the difference between a good boat and a great boat is not only the method of the construction, but the materials used in that process. For this reason, we import premium materials from Global leaders, such as Dupont, Toray, 3M, Plexus etc. Paired with our advanced composite construction, developed from years for R&D and production, our boats are some of the lightest and stiffest on the market. As a certified ISO 9001 company, rigid procedures and quality control measures are in place to make sure that each boat meets our rigorous standards from the material itself all the way through the manufacturing process. This ensures that not only does the boat looks and feels good, but more importantly; it performs well and is durable.
- Each Surf Ski is designed to meet the rigors of the environment where it will be paddled. Every Surf Ski has a through running vertical stringer, fore and aft of the cockpit, to add stiffness to the boat when riding big waves or paddling out through the surf. The contoured stern deck and curved transition to the bow deck add structural strength to prevent stress fractures and the fiberglass taped seam reinforces the deck joint.
-Each Kayak is designed to meet the rigors of the environment where it will be paddled. The double fiberglass taped deck joint ensures a durable bond for those rough days, while the large rubber hatches provide dry storage for your cargo. Each piece of hardware is fastened to the deck has a nut bonded and capped to the boat for a water-proof seal and durable connection.
-This laminate is a single skin fiberglass with a gelcoat exterior, making it very tough, forgiving and affordable. The single skin laminate is more flexible than the other laminates which allow it to absorb impacts without serious damage. This is a great entry level boat and can take some abuse from less wary paddlers.
- This laminate is Soric cored fiberglass with a gelcoat exterior, making is stiffer and lighter than the Sport, but also at a good price point. This laminate has better performance than the Sport, but also similar toughness and ability to absorb some abuse. This is our most popular boat for touring and entry level surf skis for its combination of durability, stiffness, weight and price.
- This laminate is Kevlar with Nomex Honeycomb core and a gelcoat exterior, making it very stiff and very light. This is a performance laminate designed for those who desire a stiff and fast boat and know how to handle a boat on and off the water. The Nomex core makes for a light and stiff boat, but the impact resistance is much less than that of the Advantage or Sport. If you hit a rock or log or even tie down the boat too tight on unsupported racks, this could result in damage.
- This laminate is Carbon with Nomex Honeycomb core and a painted finish, making it extremely stiff and light weight. This is a performance laminate designed for those who desire the stiffest and fastest boat and know how to handle a boat on and off the water. The Nomex core makes for a light and stiff boat, but the impact resistance is much less than that of the Advantage or Sport. If you hit a rock or log or even tie down the boat too tight on unsupported racks, this could result in damage. Secondly, the painted finish is more prone to scratching than the gelcoat finish, so take care to clean the boat well and avoid running it aground when landing to keep the finish pristine.
-This laminate is an innovative offering, with a single skin laminate hull made of Carbon & Kevlar, with an EPS Foam stringer, which is flexible and durable, but creates a stiff boat that can take some abuse in the rivers and shallows. Tested in New Zealand, this laminate is at home racing down rivers through the rapids or in the ocean. The Surf Ski Multi-Sport construction comes standard with an over-stern rudder and fittings for an under-stern rudder, as well as a flush mounted Andersen mini-bailer, while the Touring kayak version has the usual features. This laminate is ideal for those who paddle in shallow rivers, lakes or even rocky shorelines where the boat will encounter the bottom from time to time.