Should I be trying to find a similarly priced Hobie instead? It seems that the consensus is that these boats are fragile?
There is a 1986 Hobie 17 SE that needs new lines for 900 as well.
Did you decide on a boat yet?
Here is a bit of info on Hobie 17. There are two version of H17, one is SE and another is SPORT. It is kinda confusing, because actually H17SE is strict one design one manufacturer racing class and H17 Sport is recreational boat. They are basically same boats; however Sport version has boomless main and has a jib.
Overall H17 is one of the best older designs from Hobie, IMHO. It is low volume boat, hulls are slim.
Greatest feature is wings – outside racks. They provide nice lounging benches if weather is fair. They are also great for trapeezing out in a blow. It is really fantastic feeling being able to fly some 6-8 ft of the water.
Boat has centerboards – it is nice feature for shallow lake.
Being unirig, boat is very closewinded for a catamaran, and it is fast upwind.
However the boat is fairly technical, and possesses all inconviniences of racing craft – very low boom, many controls, tendency to pitch-pole(it is not as bad as H16 though). I don’t know your level of experience, boat is handful for novice.
Also it is very hard to right this boat after capsize, and it has tendency to turtle. Boat is heavy, about twice as heavy as Sea Spray.
There is a serious caveat. It is sail fabric. Boat was introduced quarter of century ago. They used then modern laminate fabric. It is light dacron fused with mylar film. Because the boat is one design racing class, sail’s fabric has never been upgraded. The fabric has very short life span and delaminates quickly. As soon as delaminations sets, sail is useless, neither Dacron nor mylar film has enough strength being pulled apart.
All things been equal, I’d personally prefer lighter and smaller boat. It is just a lot more fan to be in total control of the boat, both on water and on a shore. I know that many people would disagree with me, so make your decision and let us know. I can pull a lot more info on both boats.