Some help with a 17

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Some help with a 17

Post by bamasailor70 » Fri May 08, 2020 1:44 pm

New to this site and thought I'd ask the experts for some help with my next boat. Having achieved geezer status and finding all my parts don't work as well as they used to but refusing to give up my favorite pastime, I've sold my big boat and have gone in search of a smaller craft. The potters of this world are way too rich for my blood but the smaller MacGregors are perfect. Right now I'm looking at a 17 and could use some guidance on the pros and cons of the boat.

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Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:43 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: New Mexico

Re: Some help with a 17

Post by Todd » Sat May 23, 2020 12:38 am

I haven’t seen the Venture 17 discussed much since I joined the forum so I went and did a search for older posts.

I don’t know how to link it so I copied it. It was posted fro user argonaut in 2004 and has a few comments. Maybe one of the admins can chime in On how to link The search function is decent so you might poke around there.

Here is the copied post That has a few points about the 17

“ User avatarargonaut
Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:29 pm

Ahhhh, fond memories of misspent youth... how little I knew.
I have yet to raise sails on my new-to-me X-boat, but I used to sail a V-17 into a slip we had in a protected harbor. It had wooden docks on two sides and a concrete seawall on the back. I wondered why everyone else's boat had those little outboards on them, they seemed like a lot of trouble and expense to my 16 year old brain.

I didn't try it single-handed though, and I'm sure everyone in the big expensive boats that edged the harbor dreaded seeing me coming in to dock, sailing right up to their sides then turning away at the last second to tack upwind to dock. I was lucky the slip was usually upwind in the afternoon. My mate was always forward to prevent total head-on destruction with his sneakered foot. I always only had the main up entering the harbor, and I'd let the sheet out once I was on my final approach the last 15 yards or so to stop powering the boat.
Then we'd just coast in for a silent stop& drop sail. I also had an oar ready next to me and it came in handy a few times when I didn't have quite enough steam up. With my brother onboard he usually needed a cold brewski afterward. Now I appreciate why. (he's 15 years older than me... I was 16 then)

Now that was sailin'.
The V-17 had a displacement hull and a heavy iron keel though, so it sailed a straight line with some keel down, and was a reasonably nimble craft capable of nice quick tacks and also sailed fairly close to the wind.

X-boats have a lot of freeboard which will make approaches more squirrely as the boat is blown off course. I consider this an advanced skill. Useful, to be sure, but it'll take a lot of patience and practice under varying conditions to get confidence. I'd practice with a buoy to start with, they're softer than docks. I used a clorox bottle with a little mushroom anchor to practice. When you're good at stopping where you expect to, take on an easy-approach slip. With plenty of foils down down, it shouldn't be too bad, but I'd still want someone (or two) on the bow to catch me, manage the dock lines and get the halyard(s) dropped. Just stay ready to turn downwind sharply and go around again.

The Venture had a tiller too that made the steering very positive and precise. So far my wheel-steering Mac handles a lot like a floating shoebox, I hope it (and I) will get better.

Don't think I could go back to engineless landings. Outboards are worth their weight, and on a 26 footer I'd say required equipment. I would never launch without one.

Good luck & let us know how it goes!”
'07 26M


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