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 boatâ€“ 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 weightâ€“ but I didn't care and they didn't know the difference. The wings make it a lot
more comfortableâ€“ 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 racingâ€“ 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).