|Boat weight||315 lb (143 kg)|
|Draft||1.50 ft (0.46 m)|
|LOA||17.00 ft (5.18 m)|
|LWL||16.75 ft (5.11 m)|
|Beam||7.92 ft (2.41 m)|
|Keel/board type||twin centerboards|
|Rudder(s)||twin transom-mounted rudders|
|Rig type||Cat rig|
|Mainsail area||168.00 sq ft (15.608 m2)|
|Total sail area||168.00 sq ft (15.608 m2)|
The Hobie 17 is a recreational sailboat, built predominantly of polyester fiberglass with a foam sandwich core. It has a catboat rig or optional sloop rig, with a rotating mast. The dual hulls each have nearly plumb stems, vertical transoms, transom-hung rudders controlled by a tiller and retractable centerboards. The boat initially was designed to displace 315 lb (143 kg) and can be equipped with a trapeze.
The boat has a beam of 7.92 ft (2.41 m), but can be equipped with hiking/trapezing "wings", giving a beam of 11.58 ft (3.53 m).
Early versions were delivered at the 315 lb (143 kg) weight, but suffered durability issues and the hulls were thickened, giving a weight of 330 to 350 lb (150 to 159 kg).
Upon introduction the boat immediately became a commercial success and racing fleets were quickly started in North America, Europe and Australia.
The International Hobie Class Association describes the boat's sailing characteristics: "the 17 is a heavy air machine. The added leverage of the wings for trapezing makes the 17 go upwind like no other catamaran, and the main is easily depowered with a 6:1 downhaul, the mast rotator, 2:1 outhaul and a 7:1 mainsheet. Downwind, the boat is pitchpole resistant (not “proof”) and a bit underpowered, which makes working the waves a high priority. Downwind, the boat is sailed at 90° to the apparent wind. The 17 is uncomfortable to race in under 7 knots of breeze, since most of the time you'll be sitting on the forward wing tube. Weight is kept as far forward as possible while keeping the bow tips out of waves and to keep from pitchpoling. In very light air downwind, racers will often stand out on the bow, holding on to the bridle wire to keep the sterns out of the water. Raising the windward rudder downwind is a common practice."
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