My Vagabond 17 review

Discussion in 'Trailer Sailors' started by RussC, Aug 27, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. RussC


    Joined Sep 11, 2015
    1,233 posts, 578 likes
    Macgregor 25
    US Oregon lakes
    A quick set-up time was high on my priority list, and the V17 did not dissapoint. the mast is fairly beefy for a 17 footer, but still easy enough to hoist without the additional use of a jin pole or any type of winch. A rope on the forstay, for an assistant to tug on from the ground, would be beneficial however. there are no lower side wires or spreaders on this design, just uppers, plus forstay and backstay. the PO provided nylon straps with pelican hooks to serve as baby stays, for insurance when raising, and only take a moment to attach. I'd say, once practiced, a 30 minute single person setup time would be a very easy goal to meet.
    The first impression of stepping on the boat at the dock was that it felt like a much larger boat. weather standing on the rail or going over the cabin to go forward, the boat feels very stable. going forward is also made quite easy because there are no lower side wires to negotiate around.
    5 of our group (mostly women) had never been on a sailboat before, so I tried to keep each sail as mellow as possible for them, but winds were generally light to moderate, so that was easy enough to do.
    I put a 4 hp Evenrude kicker on the boat, but never fired it up all week. sailing off/on the dock was a piece of cake for several reasons. for one, the boat sails very well on main alone. the boat ramp/dock area at this lake is VERY shallow, so it was also a great revelation to learn that the V17 sails quite well with keel fully raised. even when raised there's some keel protruding.
    Our first sail was with just the wife and myself on board. winds were in the 6-10 mph range, so I couldn't really push the boat, but it felt very predictable and well mannered with what I could throw at it. weather helm was light, and pointing ability actually seemed quite impressive to me. No electronics on board yet to verify, but speed and pointing ability actually seemed to exceed my expectations.
    Our next couple times out were similar experiences, but with an additional body or two aboard, and I was already finding the boat very easy to get comfortable with. our last sail gathered increased interest in coming aboard from our group, so we ended up with 5 on board. I'm estimating 700b of live ballast, but winds were again quite light and I put a reef in the main as well as keeping the jib mostly furled, so felt confident. didn't want to risk the wrath of a bunch of novice sailing women ;) . The most fun of the trip! the V17 handled the added weight with no complaints whatsoever.... the water fight with a rival power boater was deemed to be a tie, and everyone came back with huge smiles.
    Conclusion: She's a definate keeper. I'm sure she'll have some faults, but I sure haven't seen them yet.

    The water fight :)

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
    ArchivalAudio likes this.
  2. waterpirate


    Joined Sep 6, 2015
    110 posts, 20 likes
    Unknown snipe
    US delaware bay
    Glad you are enjoying your new sled!

  3. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    9,356 posts, 4,174 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Russ sounds like you got a keeper.
    Stout Mast... Suspect you raise it by lifting from the cockpit and cabin. That is the way I did my Montgomery. I installed a hinged foot for the mast. It helped to stabilize the mast base. Then I ran a halyard to a block on the bow. Gave the line to anyone who wanted to help. Start walking away from the boat pulling the line. Don't stop till the line stops. Then hold it while I secure the jib to the bow. Worked great. Was my more timely task. You'll get that time down to 20 minutes in no time. Biggest time consumer will be choosing which of those lovely crew members to help onto the boat first....

    RussC likes this.

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