Venture 17' not sailed since 2003 - SailNet Community

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Old 09-18-2009
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Question Venture 17' not sailed since 2003

My wife and I recently became aware of a 17' Venture (1972) that is for sale that hasn't been in the water since 2003. We are hoping to be able to view it this weekend. Up until this time all our experience has been with open cockpits or catamarans. This is a cruzer.

Besides looking for the obvious like 3 foot hole in the hull, mast in the shape of a pretzel, or there is no place to mount the rudder is there anything that you would advise a first time boat purchaser to look for.

In an email the owner told us, the sails are in good shape about 20 years old, The mast and rigging are also in good shape. There are no soft spots in the deck. The wheels on the trailer have pressure fittings. The boat can be sailed as is. Work required according to the present owner is none. Althought it could use new paint below the water line and varnish on the wood. These answers were all provided in response to questions I had posed.

I've done some research on 17' Ventures and understand they have a swing down keel. How do you swing down the keel. These keels weigh about 275 lbs. How does one go about lowering or hoisting them back up? That isn't a weight that most people could manhandle.

I sure would appreciate any advice you can give.

Thank you.

Have a Great Day,
Jim
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Old 09-18-2009
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You may wish to ask your questions here:
Ask A Macgregor Owner - SailboatOwners.com
Or here:
MacGregorSailors.com • View forum - MacGregor/Venture Discussion
for more model specific answers.
Some of the folks on these sites actually own a Venture 17.
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Old 09-18-2009
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. Have just joined one and posted there. Waiting for activation email on the second.

Have a Great Day,
Jim
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Old 09-26-2009
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I have a V17... A restore project at best, but it sails... sort of... The one I bought came with a non-original main sail (from an apollo boat, its close but not the real thing) and no jib. It has a crack in the side of the hull, but it doesn't seem to be leaking. Its not a very big boat, its probably best for 2 people, thought it says it sleeps 4...

HOWEVER, what you should look for, like all fiberglass boats, is look for soft spots by knocking all around, walk around on the deck, it should hold you with minimal bowing in. Also, I've heard of people repainting these with high quality house paint, and for the age, its a better, more cost efficient route.

Also, check the lines, they're relatively cheap, but it'll still cost a couple hundred to rerope the thing...

The keel has a brake wench that won't drop unless you crank it down. It's easy, remember its in the water. Also, there is a nut and bolt in the cabin that locks the keel down.

Its a good boat, but make sure they set it up for you and show you the ropes... pun intended.. Make sure all the rigging is good and the lines and sails are in good condition. Its a good little boat. I'm a little discouraged as I type this cuz I just got back from sailing mine with wife and 3 kids under 6... needless to say, it was pretty frustrating... They're a little young for sailing apparently.
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Old 10-02-2009
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I just came into two of these boats in various states of disrepair. The keel is raised and lowered with a cable and winch that is mounted on a board that straddles the cockpit seats. If yours doesn't have the winch contraption, you will need to rig one before trying to launch. Getting the keel up without the winch will be next to impossible short of driving the boat back up on the trailer and forcing it up on the trailer frame. Which,by the way is what you will need to do if the cable were to break.

What I've found on both of the boats that I have aquired is that the "radiator hose" that the cable goes through to get to the keel is deteriorated and has to be replaced. If yours is like this too, you will sink the boat fairly quickly if you launch before repair. Go in the cabin and inspect this hose carefully. I have also found that the through hull fittings on any boat that has been out of the water for a time need to be serviced or replaced for dry operation.

Other than that, the Venture 17 seems to be a rugged little day/lake sailor that is simple and easy to operate. Put as much or as little money in one as you wish but please, have fun!
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Old 10-02-2009
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Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. We decided to pass on the boat we were looking at. When we actually looked at the boat. The keel started to show initial cracks indicating that it was starting to delaminate. With all the other projects we currently have going on around the house. This was one project we decided to pass on,

Have a Great Day,
Jim
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