Found online a 1988 Hobie 17 or a newer Hobie Wave any advice for a newbie feedback would be great...
Is there any advantage or disadvantage to the older fiberglass to the newer rotomolded wave [/b]
17 is the best boat Hobie's ever built, but it's not for everybody. It has its quirks
I am a happy H17 1988 owner, but agree on the quirks. Here is a list of issues I know:
1. Leaky wind pockets. Water accumulates, freezes and the pockets crack
2. Mylar sail laminates over time and with UV exposure. Once delaminated, is basically a garbage
3. Cross-bars are on the light side and tend to crack. You would need to disassemble the cross-bars to inspect
4. Center-board hooks tend to break. You would need to take them out and inspect. There is relatively easy way to reinforce the hooks, you can do yourself.
5. Center-boards tend to jam if you park your boat on a gravel beach. I carry a short stick to push them out, but sometimes I sail with one board down only
6. I've had an issue with luff rope pulling out near the top of the mast. This also can be fixed with a luff update which is a piece of aluminum you can install (with pain).
7. H17 has a low load capacity for a catamaran. I sail alone about 50% of the time and otherwise with my wife and daughter (8). The boat is definitely faster if single handled, but sailing with a light crew in not out of question.
This is all I can think off. There are normal issues to check, such as soft spots, age of the trampoline, standing and running rigging, etc. There is a lot to learn as well, and definitely longer rigging time, as compared to the Wave.
To sum up, much depends on the condition of your 1988 H17. If the boat was well taken care off, got all the updates, decent sail, etc. it may be a better deal for you. A Wave is most likely to be in a good shape as it will be a newer boat.
Good luck with your shopping, and welcome to the family.