Had my V17 out on the mouth of the Potomac the other weekend. 3-4 foot chop, a few 6' waves right in a row. 20+ mph winds. Nearly hull speed on a reach under worn out mainsail alone. YEE HA! I was certain I was going to break something but the old boat did excellent in what I'd consider rough seas. (when wave height is a third of the hull length I call that rough)
It wasn't without incident -- one of the battens slid out and blew away and the keel winch broke. (see new post, forthcoming)
But I was very impressed with my homemade Lowe's stays.
Having been out in that, I wouldn't hesitate to take her anywhere -- even the ocean on a decent day.
It wasn't even uncomfortable. Wouldn't want to try to cook a dinner in those conditions, but it was fun for a couple of thrillseekers. Not once did I get the impression that the boat didn't want to be out in that weather.
Definitely won't hesitate to take her out on the local lakes and rivers when I had previously thought it would be a bit too rough.
On a side note, the local lady who let us use her ramp had a boat sitting in the back yard... the mast was broken by a falling tree but in all other ways it was nicer than my own. It was a Venture 17! Even the trailer was nicer. She said her husband had plans to fix it up. Maybe I should make an offer on it and switch my good parts over to it.
Keep the expenses low and the good times high.
S/V Over Easy
PA Freshwater / Chesapeake