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 Post subject: 17 repair advice?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:25 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:24 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Grand Rapids, MICHIGAN
I sail a like new 16 and a 2000 18SX.

I picked up a 17 in a whim. They were asking way to much, I went to see it and did like that it had EPO rudders (were they stock?)
so I made my best offer and got it at what I feel is a fair price. Considering... it needs some parts and repairs

I like the lines and cut of the sail and almost reminds me of a "poor man's "A" class" boat. (little - kinda designed for one. So it's intriging.

The hull issue is on the insides. Under the forward spreader. They look horrible... and I almost walked, but they do NOT FLEX OR GIVE AT ALL.
the damaged looking area is VERY FIRM AND SOLID. But looks bad. I wondered how I should repair?

It appears I could sand down the gelcoat and lay some glass on the lower sides of the cracks and them a layer of glass over the entire area...
sand and I'd like to paint the boat white.

Being new to the 17 - i have no idea what the internal structure is - or what would cause this. (the wings I'm sure, but there has to be a lot of internal support for the wings?) I wish I could see a cutaway of a 17 to see whats inside these areas?

your thoughts? If it's to bad to repair, the price I paid was fine to part out. I'd keep the EPO's, well the sails, jib, spreader furler, has brand new tramp still sealed in the bag with a receipt for 320.00. and could sell mast and trailer. So I did ok, but I'd like to restore this. Here's some pics.
Inside shot of both hulls.



 Post subject: Re: 17 repair advice?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:31 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:52 pm
Posts: 110
That looks pretty scary. Not sure but it may be the result of some very high point load at the trailer rollers. The hull is very thin at the keel and thickens towards the gunwales. Perhaps the hulls have collapsed from the bottom up.
There are a lot of guys on this forum who can give a better account of what happened and how or if to fix.

 Post subject: Re: 17 repair advice?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:49 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 3309
Location: Jersey Shore
I've seen this damage on quite a few H17s (including the beginnings of it on my own boat). Unfortunately, I think it's a design flaw with these boats. Your boat isn't that bad considering some of the other boats I've seen have this cracking running almost stem to stern. The good news is that I don't know of any hulls that have failed because of this but still, it is definitely not good. My thought is that it likely develops from repeated loading when stepping the mast on the trailer, the hull is heavily compressed on the trailer supports right at the front crossbar. For the last few years, I've been stepping the mast with the boat off the trailer, and I haven't seen any increase in damage. This damage would also likely result from cranking the boat down on the trailer too hard - using ratchet straps.

The first thing I would do would be to cut a hole for 5" diameter inspection ports in the hulls behind the front crossbar. This will allow you to look at the inside laminate of the hull (which most likely shows crazing on the fiberglass skin). On my boat, I reinforced this area with a few layers of glass (but I caught it early and it's only about 6" long and barely visible). Having the access port will also allow you to reinforce or repair the front of the center board trunk where the actuating spring seats as this area also has a tendency to crack and allow the hull to flood.

The proper way to repair would really be to grind back the existing gelcoat and inspect the glass which is almost certainly cracked/crazed. The foam core is probably also damaged. You would need to grind out/remove all the damaged material and re-laminate. You'd also want to make fixturing to try to get the hull forced back into the original shape as closely as possible. To prevent the damage from re-occuring, I'd probably laminate some 1/8" divinycell foam sheet to the inside of the hull (through the porthole) and then laminate a couple plys of fiberglass over the foam sheet. This would substantially increase the laminate thickness (and therefore strength) in this area without adding a lot of weight.

All that being said, I would definitely fix and sail this boat. 17s are a lot of fun. This is just an unfortunate problem that I've seen with a lot of these boats.


 Post subject: Re: 17 repair advice?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:18 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 12053
Location: Oceanside, California
srm wrote:
Unfortunately, I think it's a design flaw with these boats.

This is one of those times where you see why Hobie Cat over-builds most of our boats. As a new model experiences time in the hands of the general population... we end up having to beef them up.

The 17 was designed as a light weight performance single-hander. These boats should have had trailer cradles from day one. An A Cat would have crushed right through the roller by now and would never be placed on a roller let alone with a 200+ pound skipper stepping the mast on it. We did end up changing to a heavier oz glass layup at some point early on.

It's not defective design though... its's how the boats get used.

btw... we also see damage like this from boat covers in snow areas. Snow stacks up and over loads the hulls. Spring comes and the snow melts. Sailing season arrives and you uncover your boat... hulls are cracked "how did that happen?"

Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Warranty and Technical Support
Hobie Cat USA

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