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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:16 am
Posts: 10
Location: Jacksonville,fl
I am looking at getting a Hobie 17 and was wondering, is it just a racing boat? I am looking for a boat that screams and is single handed. I would like to race but near me in Charleston there isn't an active 17 fleet. I was wondering if they are still good for a rec sailor to have.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:18 am 
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Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4613
Location: Detroit, MI
Like all things, choosing a singlehanded boat is a series of compromises.

The 17 is good:
Upwind
In flat water / big wind
Racing (depends on your area of the country)
Durable
Cheap

The 17 is no-so-good:
Carrying a lot of weight (much more than 200#)
Downwind (underpowered)
Chop / light air

The 17 Sport overcomes some of the powering issues by adding a jib.

The best thing going for a 17 is its price (cheap compared to other options) and the availability of parts / support from Hobie Cat and other Hobie sailors.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:16 am
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Location: Jacksonville,fl
Thanks for your input, but i still have the question, would you recomend it for a recreation boat or is it too technical for a recreation boat?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:23 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
The 17 is not technical at all (compared to other singlehanded catamarans). It's more complicated than a H-14 or H-16, but not much more.

It's a good recreational boat if you don't plan on taking passengers with you.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:16 am
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Location: Jacksonville,fl
Thanks appreciate it


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:20 pm
Posts: 149
Location: Campbell, CA
I highly recommend it. I think the 17 covers both recreational and race usage nicely. However, I would not consider it a "screamer" measured against more recent designs like the FX1 or modern formula 16s, but it is full of the appeal that has put Hobie catamarans at #3 in the list of top selling sailboats (ever, in history). In other words, fast- sort of, a racer - yep, recreational/fun - oh yeah!

Racing comment: The SE (no jib) is the way to go. It is my understanding that the boomless 17 "Sport" with a jib is not race legal. It also has plastic rudders, and no mast rotation control.

The 17 is a brilliant design, and by far my favorite Hobie. The simple rig gets you out on the water quickly, and all four blades pop up automatically when you land on the beach. A good used H17 can be purchased for anywhere from 1k to 5k depending on age, condition and extras.

In my opinion the H17 provides more bang for the buck than any other one-up catamaran in existence when measured by the things I value, which are performance, fun, ease of set-up and use, durability, and cost. Sure there are trade-offs, but the net value picture is extremely hard to beat.

Peace,

Dan Peake
2003 H17SE


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 758
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
thephinsrule,Howdee. I bought a 2000 H17Sport in 2002 after sailing a H16 for 20 years and have no regrets. I like to solo and the H17 far exceeds the H16 for that (and its a faster boat). I do not race so getting the benefit of the jib is great (off wind speed and in very light wind the boat still moves, whereas the H17SE is akin to a statue). Also the boomlet is nice for the times when I have a second person on the boat (much easier to get from one side to the other. The boomlet also simplifies the rig, no outhaul or mast rotation control. As for the H17 overall, it is a sturdy boat that is easy to set-up and handle solo. The wings are great, they make a great back rest and when sat on allow you to get your weight way out there without trapping (I'm 54 and don't, as a rule, go out on the wire anymore), though I've sent others out at times. Hope this helps with your choice selection. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:36 am
Posts: 33
Location: Sandy Springs, GA
I got mine to sail w/ my 11 y.o. son. He'd been on the wire on a 420 in a bit of wind and thought it was pretty cool, so I knew he'd be very pumped going 2X faster. We're having a great time just fooling around with it. In 10-15 mph wind, I can take him and a buddy and pull one of them on a tube, planing behind the boat– hilarious!

We took it on a family vacation to the gulf coast and had a good time with 2-3 adults on board cruising the beach or on dolphin watch. It's sluggish with that kind of weight– but I didn't care and they didn't know the difference. The wings make it a lot more comfortable– there's no way my old knees can fold up all day on a trampoline.

Of course it's a rip solo sailing in some wind . Trapping off the wing is very cool, albeit still a little weird for me... you're waaay the heck out there. It may be the second most fun you can have in public. btw fastcat, I'm 54 too and 'as a rule' trapping off the wing keeps me feeling younger.

I have raced a lot, mostly on windsurfers, but only once w/ the 17 in very light wind at a local thing. It was not pretty, me trying to get downwind. (As you've read, this is not it's strong suit). I'll race some more with it I'm sure, but probably Portsmouth as there are no others nearby. That being the case (and since my sail is starting to delaminate), I'll probably go for a square head sail to boost the horsepower... plus they just look right. The 17 seems like the right boat for my style of sailing or racing– simple set-up, comfortable and not a lot of complex gear shifting. It puts the emphasis on strategery ;-) and tactics and keeps your head out of the boat.

The 17 is my light wind ride. By that I mean 10-15+. Under 10, it's kind of a snoozer. Over 20, I'm switching to a windsurfer (first most fun in public).


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