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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 5:39 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 539
Location: League City, TX
Found this online. Hope it will help. 8) :?:
Old article. Prices are out of date, but info good.


Hobie 17
This single handed catamaran has become popular with people who wanted the freedom of sailing alone in a variety of conditions. The vertical cut mylar mainsail comes in a variety of colors. The wings provide a comfortable place to sit when the wind conditions are less than exciting. The boat is the most fun when sailed in the 125-175 lb weight range in 15 knots of wind or more.

When buying a Hobie 17 consider the following.

The newer H-17s are outfitted with an upgraded sail although many racers prefer the Neil Pryde mainsail over the brand new sails.

The wings should be checked for cracks at all of the welds.

The wing slots should be checked for gelcoat fractures.

The mast should be checked to be sure that it is straight.

The boat comes with a comp-tip and you should check to be sure that the sun has not badly degraded this composite tip. They are expensive to replace!

The centerboards should be removed from the hulls and checked for bubbles or signs of a major repair.

Check the rudders and rudder castings for abnormal wear.

Push on the deck of the hull just in front of the front crossbar. If there is flex in the deck, this is probably not a good boat for you. This area is critical to the boats structure!

Look underneath the hulls to see if there is a lot of beach wear. If you can see the hull beneath the gelcoat paint, that is okay. Of you can see fiberglass coming through the brown hull resin, the boat will need a $300 bottom job soon.

Check at the back of the boat where the rudders connect to the hull. The metal fastener housings are called gudgeons. If there is cracking around the gudgeons, the boat has probably had some problems when beaching. This can be a severe problem so look carefully at the back of the boat.

Look for worn wires on the mast. Look at the shrouds (side wires) forestay (front wire) and the trapeze wires for broken strands. Also check the bridle wires (very front, attach to bow) for broken strands. Ask the owner when he replaced the wires last. Most manuals suggest a five year maximum life for wires even if they have not been used.

Look for broken strands in the halyards (lines that pull up the sails).

Look at the sails for broken battens (solid pieces of fiberglass) in sail.

Look for tears in the sails.

Check the stiffness of the sail material. The newer the material, the stiffer the sail.

Trampoline condition. Tramp should have no tears or holes.

Take a very hard look at the gooseneck assembly. (boom to mast connection) Look for signs of breakage or wear.

Look for areas of discoloration in the hulls. This may indicate a repair of some type.

Ask if the boat leaks. If so, how much in two hours. A few cups of water are okay, but half a gallon or more is unacceptable.

Look all around the hulls for gelcoat (paint) cracks. Sometimes this is okay, but if the area around the cracks is soft, walk away and look for another boat! Press on the decks with the palm of your hand and all of your weight.

Ask the owner of the boat to rig the boat with you the first time to make sure that all of the parts are there. Make sure that you look overhead before you stand the mast to make sure that there are no electrical or telephone wires you may hit. Actually get on the boat and pretend that you are tacking. Move the sails, the rudders, and anything else you would normally operate when sailing the boat.

Ask the owner why he is selling the boat. How long has it been on the market? Are you the original owner? When was the last time you were sailing on this boat.

Ask the owner what model year the boat is. Then go to the back of the boat on the right hull and look on the back of the boat. There will be a hull number that will end something like "M79L". This would indicate that the boat is a 1979 model. Make sure that the title that the owner gives to you has a VIN # (hull #) that matches the number on the boat. Make sure that the person you are speaking to owns the boat. They must own it outright with no "legal owner" listed. If there is a legal owner listed, you must make sure that the lien on the boat has been satisfied. Simply call the lienholder. Make sure that the person selling the boat is the singular owner and that there are not two names listed on the title. If there are two names, then the other person must also sign off and date their interest in the item. To be really sure that this boat is as it appears, contact you local DMV and County Accessors office. Have the Hull numbers for the boat and the VIN # for the trailer ready along with the owners full name and address.

Taxes and registration. Ask the owner if he has paid his county tax on the boat for the current year. Call DMV and make sure there are no outstanding parking tickets or other citations on the trailer. If the boat and trailer are out of date on registration, it could be very expensive to get the boat and trailer back to current. The certificate of non-operation slips are much more limiting than they used to be so call DMV to confirm you will not halve to pay the additional registration fees and back penalties due.

If the owner no longer has or has misplaced the certificate of title(s), make sure you have them provide you with a "duplicate certificate of title" along with $14 per lost title to cover DMV fees and processing fees. Do not give payment in full for the boat until the title has been cleared with DMV!

You must also get from the owner a "BILL OF SALE" which is a standard document available at the DMV. A home made version does not do the trick. When you arrive at the DMV with the bill of sale you will be assessed State of California Sales Tax based upon the amount paid for the boat and trailer. You must get separate bills of sale for the boat and trailer showing correct hull and trailer numbers. It is payable at the time of registration.

What additional accessories come with the boat? Beach roller, lifejackets, harnesses, wetsuits or sailing gear, spare wires, pins, shackles? Extras are nice, but add no real value to what you should pay for a boat except for a cat box and beach roller. Does the trailer have a spare tire?

There are other things to check over and there is no way we can cover them all in this article. If you use this as a fundamental guide and some common sense, you can make a good purchase! Good luck and always wear your lifejacket

The following are some target ranges for Hobie 17 on the used market
Updated March 1, 2000
1986-1988- All colors, including trailer and related gear for operation. $1000-1800
1989-1990- White only, no gunsmoke blue. Trailer and all gear-$1700-2200
1989-1990- Gunsmoke blue, trailer and all related gear. $2000-2800
1991-1999- White only, trailer and all related gear $2500-4000

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