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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » V - Boats starting with 'V' » Venture
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Previous Product 
Venture 17
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 3856 Wed September 13, 2006
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $1,000.00 7.5












Description: Venture 17
Keywords: Venture 17
 


Author
Review Date: Wed March 19, 2003 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

If you are wanting a sleep aboard boat that is easily trailered...the Venture 17 is it.

Having said easily trailered, it isn't necessarily easily launched. The boat sits pretty high on the trailer and even with the trailer tongue extension, there still needs to be quite a bit of water to float her. It can be pretty disappointing to trailer the boat to a new lake only to find out the ramps are too shallow. Other than that, I have made every possible upgrade that you can imagine and learned a huge bunch in the process. I really like this boat and consider it a good transition boat on the way up to something larger. She will definitely take care of you in a blow.
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Review Date: Thu March 23, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Affordable, easy to sail and very forgiving
Cons: Swing keel maintenance, ramp operations

The Venture 17 is a great little microcruiser. We downsized to this boat from a MacGregor 26S to simplify our boating life. It is small enough to store in our backyard and is easy to rig and sail singlehandedly. We use a 50# thrust MinnKota trolling motor for auxiliary power, which eliminates the need for an outboard. The cockpit and cabin are fairly spacious for a 17-footer. The boat is well balanced under sail, has foam flotation and is very stable with the 270# swing keel down. This stability comes at a price, as keel maintenance is a pain and ramp work is complicated by the keel, which doesn't fully retract. We usually need a tongue extension to launch and retrieval can be tricky in any kind of breeze without trailer guides to center the boat and keel. The factory keel winch is sturdy and reliable, but the handle can freewheel and injure someone if released without the ratchet pawl engaged. Many owners upgrade to a braking winch. Our boat was in terrific shape when we bought her 31 years after being built. We are happy with Chiquita-Marie and would definitely buy a Venture 17 again.
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Anonymous
Review Date: Wed September 13, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,000.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good daysailer and overnight
Cons: Not good for long sailing - see Directional Stability below

Background
I have been sailing for 35 years on a variety of sailboats and have owned my V17 for 8 years. I sail in a variety of lakes in northeast Ohio about 50% of the time on Lake Erie.
This boat fits my needs today but I will be moving up to a 23-25ft boat in a few years.

Size: Great
Boat on the trailer can fit in my garage and it is easy to trailer.

Setup time: Great
30 Min alone, 45 Min if the kids help.

Launching: Good
I have a large SUV and have no problems launching the boat.

Stability: Great
During a good breeze (30 MPH) in a small lake (no real waves) my nephew and I tried to heel the boat as far as it would go. It got to about a 40 deg heel with no water in the cockpit. This excellent stability is due to the 4 foot 200 lbs swing keel that locks into place. I have taken the boat out many times during small craft advisories in open water on Lake Erie with no problems, just double reef the main and use a storm jib.

Directional Stability: Poor
The ability to lock the tiller and have the boat stay on course is poor compared to a full keel boat. The swing keel is only about 1 Ĺ ft front to back & 4 ft deep allowing the boat to pivot like a top when hit by a wave. I keep thinking about sailing across Lake Erie but having to hold on to the tiller the entire way (50 Miles @ 3 Knots is about 16 Hours) would be very tiring.

Pointing into the wind: Poor
Also due to the keel design the boat does not point into the wind well.
It points best if the heel is keep at about 15 Degs.

Speed: OK
Having a heavy keel and being 17 ft long the top speed in Lake Erie is about 5 knots.
Once as a test I have removed all extra weight in the boat, when out on a small lake during a good breeze and was able to plane (get the boat on top of the water) for a few moments. I would guess I was going about 7-8 knots for a few moments.

Over night: OK
The cabin is really a crawl space. It can sleep 2 adults and 2 kids but it will be tight.
Most of the time, I put a board down in the cockpit and sleep outside and have 2 kids sleep in the cabin. It is a lot of fun going out at night and watching the stars with the kids.

Wifeability: Poor
My wife does not like the boat because it does not have a head. So if you want to get way from your wife this is a great boat.
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