If you google
"sailnet boat check" you will find boat reviews
Here is my entry for my Venture 17 that I had for 8-9years
I paid $900 US for the boat, trailer
Pros: Good daysailer and overnight
Cons: Not good for long sailing - see Directional Stability below
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.
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
I have a large SUV and have no problems launching the boat.
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 ½ 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
Also due to the keel design the boat does not point into the wind
It points best if the heel is keep at about 15 Degs.
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.
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.