Vakaros

nige

Super Anarchist
Has anyone got the "automatic low-power red backlight maintains your night vision" to work?   I've been walking around in the dark like a dummy trying to see if it will activate with no luck.....   (I don't see a setting anywhere)

 

ScowLover

Anarchist
772
51
Wisconsin
Has anyone heard anything from the Vakaros guys? I've inquired about the order for our boat via email and facebook. Our order number is in the 300's and the silence is deafening. Our sailing season is fundamentally over, but we hope to see the device we paid for. We really hope they are still chugging along slowly producing units. 

 

Clockwork

Member
79
13
Similar question.  We received our unit several months ago.  They posted an announcement that an update and phone app was in the works to be available shortly.  Now ... no news, no posts and unanswered emails concerning the update.  I really like the unit.  Hoping to get the features advertised through updates.

 

nige

Super Anarchist
Yeah they gave me a similar answer two weeks ago about the backlight  - the hardware is all in there but the functionality didn't make it into the firmware and that would be coming soon.

So I got a response a couple of weeks ago but no response to my response asking about ETA"s.

With any luck they are getting the rest of the orders out then moving forward with this stuff but it wouldn't be shocking if they just disappeared too!   Mine was order 150,  and I received it a couple of months ago from ordering at the end of Sept last year.  I really like the device, its the best single device I've used but I hope they at least stay around long enough to get an app to us to update firmware to get all the features implemented and change some of the pages.      We just did an overnight race and I had to duck tape a couple of red headlamps diagonally either side to use it.  (it worked and glad i had it, but could have been so much better!)

At best, I'll be excited if they thrive and come out with all the other sensors etc 

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
229
Looks like they shipped 234 on 12-July and 339 on 22-August.  That's 105 units in 28 business days or exactly 3.75 units per day. If they're working 6-day weeks, it's exactly 3 units per day or 18 units per week. That suggests they're still having horrible teething problems and haven't invested much money in manufacturing, which probably means they're hurting for cash or that orders have stopped or both.

This is week 34, there's 18 weeks left in the year. At this rate they'll ship 108 more units this year; expect unit 447 around Christmas.

Does anyone have unit 500? 400?

 
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nige

Super Anarchist
Looks like they shipped 234 on 12-July and 339 on 22-August.  That's 105 units in 28 business days or exactly 3.75 units per day. If they're working 6-day weeks, it's exactly 3 units per day or 18 units per week. That suggests they're still having horrible teething problems and haven't invested much money in manufacturing, which probably means they're hurting for cash or that orders have stopped or both.

This is week 34, there's 18 weeks left in the year. At this rate they'll ship 108 more units this year; expect unit 447 around Christmas.

Does anyone have unit 500? 400?
I don't know anything about manufacturing (wish I did as I have some GREAT/Terrible ideas ;)  )  but I do wonder what the appropriate level of investment in manufacturing is.   For sure shipping 3 units per day sounds like there must be a lot of manual input going on there but we dont know what is happening behind the scenes.    I'd also imagine shipping 3 units per day will be more than they need to be producing a year from now so could there be an argument that they might have an appropriate level of investment in manufacturing?  Knowing that you are going to struggle to fulfil a large backlog of orders but not wanting to waste/lost money in the long term from infrastructure that is oversized?

I'm not making a strong argument out of that, the poor communication certainly lends itself to thinking they bit off more than they can chew, at the same time given the long term unit sales/shipping projections,  would you want to scale your manufacturing to the burst at the beginning or long term?

I'm excited with the product and they will get away with it as long as the product is good, but (other than communication, which could be so much better) I find it hard to judge without knowing what cash they started with compared to costs and knowing what their long term projection of units per month is etc.     (finishing with the same statement that I know nothing of manufacturing...)

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
229
The economics of sailing electronics is that you either have to have a full custom business or a consumer business. There's no middle ground in terms of managing manufacturing capability.

This is why you see Navico's strategy with B&G is to manufacture cross market platforms and use the B&G brand for the sailing market, the Lowrance brand for the sports fishing market and the Simrad brand for the commercial market - but it's all the same kit with configured software. That's a strategy. Moderately high margins, moderately large volumes, that can work in the electronics business.

At 1299, discounted 20%, this isn't the full-custom price point. Their customers aren't full-custom customers. They're approach to the market isn't the full-custom approach. They're selling to a select audience but they can't deliver. The reason appears to be that they never had a plan to deliver - the product can't be built.

Their gross revenue for 400 units is $415K. By not investing in manufacturing they will have managed to piss of their customers by not delivering and piss away all that money by taking a year to build the 400 units. By investing in manufacturing, they could have solved both those problems and wound up with a fledgling business that might sink or swim based on the whims of the market. Instead, all they have is sweat. That's an investment that pays back twice.

 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,346
581
Myrtle Beach,
Their gross revenue for 400 units is $415K. By not investing in manufacturing they will have managed to piss of their customers by not delivering and piss away all that money by taking a year to build the 400 units. By investing in manufacturing, they could have solved both those problems and wound up with a fledgling business that might sink or swim based on the whims of the market. Instead, all they have is sweat. That's an investment that pays back twice.
One can argue that the product definition, development, prototyping, de-bugging and design iterations should have been done out of the market, and in well funded, going concerns that is expected.

If this is a startup, and as cash poor as most are, the deposits probably paid for the aforementioned work.

Tooling up manufacturing can be hideously expensive, especially to an IPX rating for the enclosure and associated bits and pieces, Tooling it up multiple times can be prohibitive. 

If they are left with hand assembly and testing, at the 3/day rate, then that can be scaled if it's a matter of hand tools and training assemblers. The time constraint may be testing, and that's harder to delegate, and automate. Once a design is stable and a few hundred are in the field to accumulate user experience and some yield/reliability history then final design/tooling makes sense. 

Not aware that there are many contract manufacturers who are suitable for the specialty aspects of daylight/marine displays, though here's one... 

https://www.3cems.com/marine-electronics-manufacturing_p20.html

 
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ScowLover

Anarchist
772
51
Wisconsin
We sailed with ours for the first time on Saturday. The race was from the pier at Lake Geneva Yacht Club to the end of the lake and back. In the pre-start, we used both the Vakaros and the Prostart, one above the other on the mast. The numbers on the Vakaros were far more believable. I was trimming jib, so after the start, I didn't have a good view of it upwind. Downwind, the numbers were readable where the prostart wasn't. I sit just behind the mast. Hiking, I couldn't read it, but not hiking, I could. The next guy back in the boat could read it upwind. I'm looking forward to using it more. We have one more point-point race this weekend, then the season is over. Maybe I'll get to play with it on my boats this fall after the A Scow season is wrapped this weekend. 

I'm looking forward to the app when it drops, but all in all, it is solid today. Basically, I think of this as it sits as a prostart combined with a prism (though I'd like the split screen). It certainly seems to be a quality device. When more functions arrive, I think the price will be justified.

 

cbulger

Member
257
169
Newport
Have posted critical comments a couple times while waiting for the unit and waiting for clear communication from Atlas.  I did receive a unit.  I bought it as a gift for my brother-in-law - who I sail 2 events with every year.  1st event was in June and we didn't have the Vakaros, next event is in 2 weeks... so I have not seen it action yet.  He reports that display is good, but damping is way too sensitive.  Tha's all i know so far.

It was not a scam - just bad communicators.

 

tt1963

New member
25
5
We are loving using the Atlas on our boat. 

 Communications with Vakaros, not so much. 

 Any update on the availability of the App?

 
Please share any contacts with private Sailboats to rent in Honolulu please for June 2020. I have sailed since age 7 and owned three sloops for over 30 years and can provide a sailing resume as needed. I do not require large sloops and mid 20s to mid 30s will suffice for a 7 to 10 day rental. 

John Van Lente [email protected]

 

European Bloke

Super Anarchist
3,407
825
Please share any contacts with private Sailboats to rent in Honolulu please for June 2020. I have sailed since age 7 and owned three sloops for over 30 years and can provide a sailing resume as needed. I do not require large sloops and mid 20s to mid 30s will suffice for a 7 to 10 day rental. 

John Van Lente [email protected]
Excuse me, I think you're lost.  This thread is for slagging off some chap trying to set up a new marine related business, feel free to chip in.

 

jackolantern

Super Anarchist
1,589
449
Not sure about the 'new hotness,' but I'm pretty sure you can pick up a Velocitek any day any time!! Just sayin'

 

Clockwork

Member
79
13
Working great.  The connect app is easy to use and the update went flawlessly.  Still no features as advertised.  Another update to add features was promised a couple of weeks ago but as usual not delivered.  Hoping it comes out soon and delivers the advertised features that sold me on the devise well over a year ago.  Not holding my breath on the wireless paddle wheel sensor that was 'going into production' a year ago.

 

Firstmaxx

New member
I bought one at the boat show.  The guys seemed very nice and promised the update soon, over a month ago.  Also promise to sent me a logo hat , still no hat.  I have used the atlas and it is a very nice instrument.  I am not in the software business although is have run a business for 40 years and you don’t make promises unless you can carry them out.  I’m keeping hope the updates are as promised .  

 
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