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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 2
I took my newly acquired 17 for a sail yesterday and it was not pretty. I am 230 and my brother is 250 and we went sailing off of atlantic city. I used to sail a 14 but have been off the water for 15 years. The sea was calm and the wind was light at 6 to 10 miles per hour. To make a long story short I got the boat in irons and couldn't get out for love nor money. A frustrating hour+. I look at the bottom of the mast and see it has swiveled to the starboard side and appears stuck. The stern of the boat was low in the water to submerged. Swallowing my pride, I accepted the assistance of a passing motor boat :( and he towed me about. The wind caught the sail and "snap" the mast finally came unstuck.

We limped back to shore without ever generating any real speed and the boat felt like I was sailing it in mash potatoes. Upon arrival at shore I emptied the hulls and found a significant amount of water in the starboard hull. I never had a problem with my 14 getting so badly stuck in irons. It was frustrating and embarrassing and borderline risky.

So, my question(s)
1) Was it my lack of experience?
2) Was it the mast being stuck?
3) Too much weight from two big guys and a hull full of water?
4) All of the above?

After reading the forum today it appears the 17's are known for some of these issues. I bought it because I thought it would be easier to teach my kids how to sail without a jib and I liked the wings. Now I am not sure what to think. Thanks for reading, responding and I wish you many days of fair winds, fair skies and great memories.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:36 am
Posts: 33
Location: Sandy Springs, GA
That's a lot of weight (I mean that in the kindest possible way) & not a lot of wind = mashed taters. No jib makes it want to vane into the wind and stay there. (Jibing is waaay easier). When it stalls in irons, push the sail away from you and as the boat starts to go backwards, reverse the rudders to fall off on the new tack. In light wind, get the crew weight forward. Remember max wgt on a wing is 350#. Link to leak detection here: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=169

It gets better.


Last edited by Chris Voith on Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2570
Location: Jersey Shore
Your boat was WAY overloaded. 480lb is too much for a 17. I'm sure that was a big reason that the boat handled so poorly, especially if the wind was light. Next time, take it out alone to get a better feel for it.

You need to figure out why your mast got stuck. Occasionally, the mast rotator bar can get stuck on the end of the boom if it drops down. But this only happens when going downwind and the mast is being rotated beyond 90 degrees, and even then, it's pretty rare. If your mast is getting stuck, it will definitely prevent you from completing your tack.

You should also become comfortable with doing a "K Turn" because regardless of how good you get on the 17, you can still blow a tack. It's very easy, just release several feet of mainsheet, push the boom over and reverse your rudders. The boat will go into reverse and swing around.

If all else fails, gybe.

sm


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:09 am
Posts: 6
Location: Delaware Bay
As others said, you had a lot of weight for an H17 which doesn't like to turn in the first place. One trick is to keep the crew on the windward-soon-to-be-leeward stern until the boat comes all the way around and then once the sail has snapped over, have your crew come over to the windward side. Which may or may not involve the stern (and crewmember) going a little bit into the water. Also, I found that in lighter air, you may not want to try and turn from close-hauled... rather come from a bit more off the wind and try to swing the bows around in a smoother arc. However, with 480lbs on board in light air, I'm pretty certain that you're gonna struggle to come about no matter what you do, so as someone else said, your best bet is to just gybe in those conditions.

_________________
H17


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:36 pm
Posts: 758
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
What everyone said is right on. What they didn't say is that you should of had a paddle on board. When all else failed you could have used it to get out of irons. In Washington State it is one of the three items required on any boat (along with a PDF/person and a horn/whistle). If you have center lacing on your tramp it stores well in sliding the handle up the lacing from below, or with the addition of a few gromets to the underside of either wing. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:41 pm 
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I did have a paddle but it was useless against the twisted mast and weight.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:20 pm
Posts: 149
Location: Campbell, CA
Beyond a certain (but low) speed threshold, that much weight should aid in tacking a 17! I took out a 260 lb friend and found tacking in light air to be easier than me solo at 185lbs (where "roll" tacking was essential.) The 17 is light, causing it to stop very quickly, i.e. there is insufficient momentum to "coast" through unpowered maneuvers. I believe this fact, among others, lends greatly to the 17's reluctance to tack.

With all that weight on my 17 (445lbs) the tacks seemed more about momentum than technique. However, drag reduction, by keeping the weight center and forward, also helped. I think the rotator being stuck in the opposite position was perhaps the primary cause of your trouble - in such light wind, with opposite rotation, I can not imagine there being enough lee side air attachment, which would likely prohibit pointing much above a beam reach. As such, even with all that weight, and brisk winds even, I do not see tacks happening.

Peace,

Dan Peake
Campbell, CA
2005 FXone


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:43 am 
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As mentioned, momentum and proper weight position are key. Had my 17 sport out solo one day (fair conditions, no jib, don't ask) and was trading tacks with a laser. He had a pretty good move which solved my irons problem for the day. After carving a nice entry, and at nearly head to wind, he let out a foot or two of main, pulled the main toward him and then used that arm position to sort of slide his body under the main. Coming up from under the main he was already underway on the new tack. I reckon by manually positioning the main at that crutial point he was preventing any weather vane effect. Anyway, after some practise with timing, I did the same and didn't get stuck the rest of the day. Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2570
Location: Jersey Shore
I've got to disagree with the "momentum theory". Tacking a 17 uni-rig is all about technique and you simply aren't going to be able to tack efficiently with two people on board, and certainly not when the boat is overloaded. I'm not saying you can't tack with two on the boat, but you're most likely going to have to K-Turn your way through them. There's just not enough room for two people to get under the boom and cross sides properly, especially not two 200+ pounders.

With as much weight that was on the boat, you can be just about certain the tramp was close to or in the water. The boat's just not going to be able to get up the speed needed to punch through the eye of the wind. In addition, weight placement is critical to getting the boat to turn. An experienced skipper may be able to manage through it- a first timer, no way.

hmya is absolutely right- there is a technique to tacking and it involves using your back to physically push the boom up as you pass under during the tack. This frees up about three or four feet of slack in the mainsheet, preventing you from going into irons. I'm 6'3", 220lb, pushing up the boom comes naturally to me because I physically can not fit under the boom if I don't push it up.

In any case, I recommend to connorsdad that you take the boat out solo. This will give you a much better feel for how the 17 is supposed to handle. And, you should check out the racing in division 11 (which includes the NJ area), there is a good group of 17 racers that can really get you up to speed on the boat.

sm


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