Welcome to sailnut. Yes, there are some nuts here and I'm one of 'em.
My hat is off to you for choosing a 17' trailer sailor that a college student might be able to afford. You also deserve points for not stating your ambition for doing a circumnavigation in said boat.
The boat and the trailer both seem/sound fine but you did mention the Tennessee River in your post. The boat does not come with an engine as far as I could tell from your linked ad and you should have an engine and an anchor (also not mentioned in the ad) if you plan on sailing on a river where there will be currents. The asking price of $1800 for a 17' boat w/trailer but without a motor seems a bit high to me. Even a used outboard 5HP motor will cost you close to $500 if you are lucky.
If you are just planning to sail on local lakes you can use oars or paddles instead of an engine. An anchor is also a really useful piece of equipment.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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