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The Vagabond 17 Sailboat: A Comprehensive Guide

Michael Johnson

vagabond 17 sailboat specs

Vagabond ⁢17 sailboat specifications.

Are⁢ you⁣ ready to‌ set sail⁢ on ⁢your next ⁢adventure? Look no further than the magnificent Vagabond 17 ​Sailboat. With​ its sleek‍ design⁢ and ⁢exceptional performance, ⁤this sailboat‌ is perfect for both⁤ novice⁣ sailors and experienced seafarers​ alike.

Measuring at⁣ 17 ‌feet,⁤ the Vagabond is compact yet spacious ⁤enough ⁢to comfortably accommodate a⁣ small crew. ​Its sturdy construction and advanced engineering​ ensure a stable and smooth sailing experience‌ on both ​calm waters and​ challenging sea conditions.

Let’s dive ‌into the noteworthy features ‌that‍ make ⁢the Vagabond ​17 Sailboat‌ a top choice ⁣for many adventurous⁢ souls:

Impressive Features:

  • Durable Fiberglass ⁤Body: ⁣ Crafted with high-quality fiberglass material , the Vagabond⁤ 17 ‌is built⁤ to withstand the test of ‌time and​ the elements.
  • Easy Handling: The‌ sailboat’s user-friendly design allows for effortless maneuverability,‌ making it an excellent choice for solo or small⁢ crew sailing experiences.
  • Spacious​ Cockpit: ​ Despite‌ its compact‍ size,⁢ the Vagabond‍ boasts a roomy cockpit ensuring comfort‌ during long sailing journeys.

Additional Features:

These ⁣are just some of the remarkable features that ‌the Vagabond 17 Sailboat has to offer. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling day ⁢on the open waters‍ or embarking on ⁣an extended sailing adventure, this⁣ sailboat⁣ has everything you need and​ more. Get ready to chart​ your course and create unforgettable memories​ aboard ​the Vagabond 17!

vagabond 17‍ sailboat review

vagabond 17 sailboat ‍review

About the ⁢vagabond‍ 17 ​sailboat.

The ⁤Vagabond ⁤17 is a fantastic sailboat for both novice ⁢and⁤ experienced sailors‌ alike. Its sleek design and versatile features make it a popular choice among ​sailing enthusiasts. Whether you’re planning a leisurely day ‍sail or⁢ an adventurous coastal journey, the Vagabond 17 is ⁢ready⁤ to take you on your next sailing⁣ adventure.

Why ⁤Choose the​ Vagabond⁢ 17

Here are some reasons ‌why the Vagabond ⁢17 stands out from ‌other sailboats in its class:

  • Compact and‍ Easy to Handle: The Vagabond⁣ 17 is designed ⁤to be compact, making ⁤it easy⁤ to handle⁢ both⁤ on and ‍off the ⁤water. Its lightweight construction allows ⁤for ⁣effortless transport and ⁤launching.
  • Stability ⁤and Performance: ⁤ Despite⁤ its size, the Vagabond 17 offers​ impressive stability and ​performance, even‍ in varying weather‍ conditions. Its well -balanced ​hull design ensures a ‍smooth and enjoyable ​sailing experience.
  • Comfort and Amenities: The Vagabond 17 may be compact,​ but it doesn’t compromise on comfort. ​The⁢ spacious cockpit provides ample⁢ seating, while the cabin offers⁤ cozy sleeping quarters for overnight trips. With its well-thought-out amenities,​ including a marine head and ⁣a galley, the Vagabond 17 ensures a ⁤comfortable stay ‍on the water.
  • Reliable ⁤Construction: Built⁣ with durability in mind, the Vagabond​ 17 is constructed using high-quality materials that ensure the ⁢longevity of the sailboat.‍ Its well-engineered design guarantees​ a safe and reliable sailing experience.

The ⁤Vagabond 17 Sailboat: A ‌Comprehensive‍ Guide

vagabond 17 sailboat pros and cons

vagabond 17 sailboat pros and cons

Vagabond 17 ‌sailboat: exploring the pros ⁤and cons.

The Vagabond 17 Sailboat is a⁢ vessel that​ promises endless adventures on the open ⁤sea, but‌ like any ⁢boat,⁤ it ⁣has its​ fair share of​ advantages⁢ and disadvantages. Let’s delve⁣ into the world of this charming sailboat and⁢ explore‌ what​ makes it ‌a popular choice among sailors.

  • Compact ⁢Size: The Vagabond ‍17⁢ Sailboat may be⁤ small in size, ⁤but it offers incredible maneuverability and ‌can easily navigate ⁤through ‌tight spaces.
  • Easy to​ Handle: Whether you’re a⁤ seasoned sailor or just starting on‌ your⁣ maritime journey, ​this sailboat is ⁢designed⁣ to be user-friendly and can‍ be operated ‌with minimal ⁤effort.
  • Sturdy Construction: ‌Built with durability ⁣in​ mind, the‌ Vagabond 17 is constructed using high-quality ‌materials to withstand ‌rough waters ⁣and unpredictable⁢ weather conditions.
  • Limited Space: Due to its compact ​size, ‌the Vagabond⁢ 17 may not offer as much space for storage or comfort⁣ compared to larger​ sailboats. ⁣It’s essential ‍to pack‍ light ‌and make the most out⁤ of the available space.
  • Reduced Stability: ​ While the Vagabond 17 is known for its agility, its smaller size can make it ⁢more susceptible‍ to ⁤rocking in rough seas. It’s ⁤important ‍to be mindful ‌of the⁤ weather conditions before setting⁢ sail.
  • Restricted⁣ Accommodation: If you’re⁣ planning extended trips, keep in mind that the Vagabond 17 may not provide the same level⁤ of comfort‍ and amenities ⁤as larger boats.​ However, its simplicity can also ‍be viewed as an opportunity for a more‍ intimate ⁢and immersive sailing experience.

The Vagabond ⁤17 Sailboat: ⁢A Comprehensive ⁤Guide

vagabond 17 sailboat interior ⁤photos

vagabond 17​ sailboat ⁤interior photos

Step‌ aboard the Vagabond‌ 17 sailboat and ‍immerse yourself in its charming interior. Designed⁢ to maximize comfort and functionality, the cabin offers a cozy retreat for ​sailors⁤ seeking‌ adventure on the open ‌waters. Discover the​ serene beauty‌ of this sailboat’s interior through captivating‌ photos that showcase its‌ unique features and thoughtful design.

Featuring a spacious and intelligently arranged layout, the ⁤Vagabond 17 sailboat provides ample storage and living space‌ for⁣ all your⁣ nautical essentials. ⁣With its rich wooden accents⁢ and carefully crafted details, each⁢ corner of the interior ⁤exudes a sense of warmth ⁢and tranquility. Find ‌your favorite spot to unwind,⁣ whether⁣ it ​be in the comfortable ⁢sleeping quarters, the inviting ⁣dining area with adjustable ‌table, ⁢or the well-equipped galley ⁤with​ sink and stove.

vagabond 17 sailboat ⁣specifications

vagabond 17 sailboat⁤ specifications

The Vagabond 17 Sailboat is a⁤ true gem of⁢ the open waters, ‌offering sailors an unparalleled experience on the high ​seas. Crafted with ⁤precision and attention to detail,‌ this magnificent vessel ⁢boasts a ⁤range of impressive specifications that enhance its performance and durability.

  • Length ⁢Overall: ⁣17 feet
  • Beam:⁤ 7 feet
  • Draft:⁤ 1.5 feet
  • Mast Height: 23⁢ feet
  • Sail Area: 180 square feet

Designed⁣ for both novice adventurers and seasoned sailors, the Vagabond 17 Sailboat combines stability, speed, and ​comfort in one seamless package.‌ Its ‍sleek design‍ ensures optimal‍ maneuverability,‍ while ‍the spacious cockpit‍ provides ample⁣ room for ⁢relaxation during long voyages.

vagabond‌ 17 sailboat layout

vagabond 17 sailboat layout

The Vagabond 17 sailboat ‌offers a carefully designed layout‍ that ⁣maximizes comfort and functionality ⁣for both experienced ‍sailors and beginners.‌ Whether you’re embarking on ‌a thrilling solo adventure or enjoying a relaxing ⁤day on ⁢the water with friends,⁣ this sailboat guarantees a delightful experience.

Featuring a spacious cockpit, the‌ Vagabond 17 allows for easy maneuverability⁣ and comfortable ‍seating for⁢ the entire crew. The ergonomically designed seats ⁢provide excellent⁣ back‍ support, ensuring⁤ pleasant ‌hours ⁣spent sailing.⁢ The open layout fosters ⁣a sense ​of‍ freedom and ‍allows​ for easy access to all areas ⁤of the boat.

Key Features:

  • Secure Cabin: The Vagabond‍ 17 offers a ‍cozy​ cabin ⁣that lets you escape from the elements ⁣when needed. With a lockable⁢ door, ⁤you can store your valuables safely and retreat⁣ to a private⁢ space for a‍ quick break.
  • Ample Storage: This sailboat is equipped⁣ with well-placed storage compartments, allowing you to⁣ bring all the⁤ necessary⁣ gear and​ supplies for an extended ​trip. Stow away your provisions, equipment, and ⁢personal ​belongings conveniently to keep the​ boat clutter-free.
  • Sturdy ⁢Hull: ​ The⁣ Vagabond 17 boasts⁤ a ⁢robust yet‌ lightweight fiberglass hull, ⁣built to withstand the ⁢elements and offer excellent stability‌ on the⁤ water.‌ The ⁤hull’s design provides​ exceptional performance, ‍making each sailing experience smooth and‌ enjoyable.

vagabond 17 sailboat data

vagabond 17 sailboat data

The Vagabond 17 sailboat is⁢ a true epitome of elegance and ​adventure on the high seas. Designed to provide sailors⁢ with an unmatched experience, this beautiful ​vessel combines​ the ⁢perfect blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal. Crafted with precision and meticulous⁤ attention to detail, ‍the Vagabond 17 ​delivers‍ an unforgettable sailing ‌experience.

Equipped‍ with a range of​ impressive features, the Vagabond 17 sailboat is⁣ designed to‌ surpass expectations while navigating the ocean⁤ waves. Its ​notable features include:

  • Built-in ⁣self-bailing cockpit‍ for added safety and convenience.
  • A keel-mounted centerboard that optimizes stability and maneuverability.
  • Spacious cabin‌ providing ample room for⁤ relaxation⁤ and comfortable overnight stays.
  • Adjustable rigging options to harness ‍optimal wind power while ​sailing.
  • Sturdy handrails‌ ensuring secure movements on deck even in challenging conditions.
  • Cushioned seating in the cockpit ⁣area, enhancing ⁢comfort during ⁢long voyages.

Experience the‌ thrill⁤ of sailing ⁣the Vagabond 17 sailboat and unlock a world of endless possibilities. Whether ​you are seeking to‌ embark on exciting day⁤ trips or set ‌sail⁤ on an extended adventure, this vessel is sure ⁤to exceed ‍your expectations in terms of⁢ performance, comfort, and ‍style.

vagabond 17 ⁣sailboat diagram

vagabond 17 sailboat diagram

⁢ Welcome ⁤to the comprehensive ‌guide ​of the Vagabond 17‌ Sailboat. This ‌visually appealing diagram ⁤showcases the⁢ various ‍components ⁣and features of this exceptional sailboat, providing you⁣ with a detailed understanding ​of its functionality ‍and design. ⁣

⁣ ‌ Unveil the mysteries behind the Vagabond 17 Sailboat as you explore the​ intricacies of its ⁢structure. From​ the towering mast that holds the sails high to the sleek hull that effortlessly glides‌ through ⁣the ⁢water, this ⁤diagram highlights every element of this remarkable vessel. Discover the ergonomic cockpit,‌ designed for comfort and easy‌ maneuverability, ​and‍ the spacious cabin, providing a cozy sanctuary for those ​extended voyages. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a curious ⁤enthusiast,⁣ this sailboat diagram​ is your gateway to‌ understanding the essence of the Vagabond 17. ⁢

vagabond 17 sailboat for ‍sale

vagabond 17 sailboat ⁣for sale

Looking ​for your next adventure on the open water? Look⁤ no further than ⁣the‍ Vagabond 17 ‍sailboat!⁣ This remarkable vessel is‌ now ⁣available for sale, offering an exciting opportunity⁣ for sailing enthusiasts⁢ and​ adventurers alike.

The Vagabond‌ 17 sailboat ‌is ⁢designed to provide a‍ thrilling and memorable sailing experience. Here’s why ⁢you should consider making ​it your next nautical companion:

  • Durable Construction: Crafted⁣ with utmost precision and using high-quality ⁣materials, the ⁤Vagabond 17 is built to withstand the roughest of⁤ waves, ensuring your safety ‌on every ⁢journey.
  • Portability: With its ‌compact size, ‌the Vagabond 17 is easily transportable, allowing you to explore various bodies of water effortlessly.
  • Easy ‌Handling: The user-friendly design of ‍this sailboat makes it⁤ ideal⁢ for sailors of all skill⁣ levels. Whether‍ you’re a seasoned⁤ sailor or a beginner, you’ll easily navigate the waters with the Vagabond 17.
  • Comfortable Space: ‌ Despite its compact size, ‌the Vagabond 17 offers⁤ a surprisingly spacious cabin, ensuring‍ your comfort during long sailing journeys.

1. What ‍are the key features and specifications of the⁤ Vagabond 17⁣ sailboat? – The Vagabond ⁤17 sailboat is a compact ⁣and versatile vessel‌ built‌ for​ both ⁣beginners and experienced⁤ sailors. It measures⁢ 17 ⁣feet in length and features a sturdy fiberglass ⁤construction,⁣ ensuring durability ⁤and⁣ longevity. ​Equipped⁤ with a single mast and a ⁤sloop ‍rig, it ⁤offers simplicity and‍ ease of ​handling. The Vagabond ‌17 also boasts​ a roomy ‍cockpit, accommodating up ​to four passengers comfortably. Additionally, ⁣it comes with a swing keel for shallow-water exploration and an ‌outboard motor mount for ⁣auxiliary ​propulsion.

2. How ‌does the ‍Vagabond 17 sailboat perform⁤ in ‌different weather conditions? – The Vagabond 17 ‍sailboat⁣ is​ designed to excel‌ in ‌various‍ weather conditions, making it suitable for a wide range of‍ sailing ⁤adventures. With its‌ sloop rig ⁣and⁤ well-balanced⁣ hull, the ‍sailboat provides excellent stability even in moderate to strong winds.⁤ The swing keel adds ⁢versatility ‌by allowing for easy maneuverability in shallow‍ waters, while also‍ providing a solid and steady sailing experience. Overall, the ⁣Vagabond 17 is known for its reliable performance⁢ and⁣ ability to handle various ‍wind and water⁣ conditions.

3. What are some recommended maintenance tips for the Vagabond 17 sailboat? – To ensure the longevity and optimal performance ‍of the Vagabond ‌17 sailboat, ⁢regular ‍maintenance⁢ is essential. It ​is ⁢recommended to thoroughly clean the​ hull and ⁤deck after each sailing ‍excursion, as well as​ periodically ⁣inspect and reseal ‌any potential leaks.⁤ Checking and maintaining the rigging,‌ including lines, halyards, and sails, is vital to⁤ ensure safe and efficient sailing. ⁢Furthermore, routine checks of the ⁣boat’s⁣ mechanical elements, such as​ the engine, keel system, and electrical components, are advised. Lastly, ​proper storage and covering of the sailboat during off-seasons⁣ will ‌protect it from ⁤the elements and extend its⁢ lifespan.

To Wrap It⁤ Up

In‍ conclusion, The​ Vagabond 17 sailboat offers a comprehensive sailing experience for ​both novice and seasoned sailors​ alike. With its compact size and​ sturdy construction, this vessel ⁤proves to be a​ reliable companion on any⁢ water‌ adventure. From its spacious cabin to its versatile​ rigging, every aspect of the Vagabond 17 has been carefully designed with functionality and⁤ comfort in⁤ mind.

Whether you’re planning ‍a weekend ⁤getaway or ‍a longer expedition, this⁤ sailboat’s ‌excellent performance characteristics ‌will ‍not⁤ disappoint. Its easy⁣ handling and impressive‍ stability make it ideal for navigating various wind ‌and weather conditions. The Vagabond 17’s‍ keel design ensures a ⁣smooth and balanced ride, while its reliable engine provides an extra ​level of safety ‌and peace of⁤ mind.

Beyond its sailing​ capabilities, the ⁢Vagabond 17 offers ⁢practicality and convenience. Its cleverly organized interior provides ample storage space and‌ comfortable sleeping arrangements for overnight trips.⁢ The boat’s well-thought-out layout⁣ includes‌ a⁢ galley area and a compact ⁢head, ​allowing for essential amenities while maximizing⁤ the use of space.

Maintenance‍ and upkeep ⁤are also ​made simple, ​thanks ⁢to its⁣ durable construction​ and ‍user-friendly design. The Vagabond 17 sailboat ‍easily⁣ withstands the rigors⁤ of regular use, ensuring⁤ a long-lasting‍ and enjoyable ownership experience.

Whether you’re‍ a weekend enthusiast looking to‍ explore new⁢ horizons or an experienced sailor seeking a versatile ‍vessel,‍ the Vagabond⁢ 17 sailboat checks‍ all⁢ the boxes. Its comprehensive features, reliability, and overall performance make it a‌ wise investment for any sailing‍ enthusiast.

So, embark on your next​ sailing adventure with confidence,⁣ comfort, and ‌excitement aboard the ​Vagabond 17 sailboat. Experience the‍ joy‍ of ⁣gliding across ​the waves, the‍ thrill of exploring ​new⁤ destinations, and⁣ the serenity of ⁢disconnecting from⁣ the hustle ⁤and ⁤bustle of everyday⁢ life. With the Vagabond 17, the ‌possibilities are endless,⁢ and every journey is ⁤an opportunity to create ⁤unforgettable⁣ memories.

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VAGABOND 17 Detailed Review


If you are a boat enthusiast looking to get more information on specs, built, make, etc. of different boats, then here is a complete review of VAGABOND 17. Built by undefined and designed by Ron Holder, the boat was first built in 1976. It has a hull type of Swing Keel and LOA is 5.18. Its sail area/displacement ratio 24.38. Its auxiliary power tank, manufactured by undefined, runs on undefined.

VAGABOND 17 has retained its value as a result of superior building, a solid reputation, and a devoted owner base. Read on to find out more about VAGABOND 17 and decide if it is a fit for your boating needs.

Boat Information

Boat specifications, sail boat calculation, rig and sail specs, contributions, who designed the vagabond 17.

VAGABOND 17 was designed by Ron Holder.

When was VAGABOND 17 first built?

VAGABOND 17 was first built in 1976.

How long is VAGABOND 17?

VAGABOND 17 is 4.57 m in length.

What is mast height on VAGABOND 17?

VAGABOND 17 has a mast height of 6.1 m.

Member Boats at HarborMoor

Review of Vagabond 17

Basic specs., sailing characteristics.

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Vagabond 17 is 3.06, indicating that this boat would not be accepted to participate in ocean races.

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 5.2 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Vagabond 17 is about 67 kg/cm, alternatively 378 lbs/inch. Meaning: if you load 67 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 378 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.

Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?


Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale

If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.

This section shown boat owner's changes, improvements, etc. Here you might find inspiration for your boat.

Do you have changes/improvements you would like to share? Upload a photo and describe what to look for.

We are always looking for new photos. If you can contribute with photos for Vagabond 17 it would be a great help.

If you have any comments to the review, improvement suggestions, or the like, feel free to contact us . Criticism helps us to improve.

Vagabond 17

The vagabond 17 is a 17.0ft fractional sloop designed by ron holder and built in fiberglass since 1976..

The Vagabond 17 is a light sailboat which is a very high performer. It is very stable / stiff and has a low righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a day-boat.

Vagabond 17 sailboat under sail

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Vagabond or Holder 17

by admin · December 15, 2009

We’re preparing to write our review of the out-of-production Vagabond/Holder 17. If you own or have owned one of these boats and would like to participate, send us a e-mail and we’ll reply with one of our owner surveys. —Eds

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Discussion 3 Comments

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We’re sailing a Vagabond 17 and are looking to buy a depth finder. Is there a model that is particularly suited for our boat?

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Just bought a Vagabond 17……need to know where to find a few parts. Thank you, Mark Owens

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I own a Holder 17 swing keel and sail it in the Texas Bays off Port Lavaca. It has been a great little boat for the family.

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vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Vagabond 17 Lee Helm Sail Balance Problems

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

This is a dialogue between Harvey and Shorty, he contacted me about some issues sailing his Vagabond 17 and I twisted his arm to let me post our conversation along with some pictures.

Harvey: Hi. I am struggling with my newly acquired vagabond 17. I have never experienced a sailboat cursed with such lee helm. I have tried to rake the mast as far aft as possible even removing the aft stay adjusting hardware and shackling it directly to the chainplat! Surely I can't be the only v17 owner to suffer these problems. Maybe the orig owner (I'm 3) changed the rig or oversized the main. ANYTHING you can think of would be a Godsend.

[ NOTE: Lee helm is where the boat will want to turn the bow down wind while sailing. So that would indicate that the sails are too far foward of the keel (the CLR - Center of Lateral Resistance), so Harvey adjusting the rig so the sail rig is further aft is a very reasonable thing to do, assuming that there is a problem with a possibly replaced rig or faulty boat design ]

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Shorty: Mine balanced fine, I know plent of other HV17 owners who's boats balanced fine, so something is up with your boat! Is there any chance you could send in some pictures of your boat setup along with a longer description of what the problems you are having? Most older boats like ours have had their sails and rigs swapped or adjusted, so what you are experiencing could be a problem related to that. Or it might be something else.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Harvey: Thanx for getting back to me. I'll need to wait for a "windless" opportunity so I can have the sails deployed so it may take me a while. I welcome any suggestions as to what shots/angles and any other info would be useful.

Shorty: The most important picture I am looking for is a profile picture with the sails up, like shown on this page in the section Where To Place Your Leeboard or Centerboard which describes about balancing a sail around a keel and the center of lateral resistance. But also would like to have some pictures of what the underside looks like - one of the things I am wondering is if your keel is jamming when you lower it. Also you said you changed the settings on your stays / shrouds, how about including some pictures of those and description of what you did.

[ NOTE: I assumed that Harvey had her on a trailer, didn't realize she was kept in a slip ]

Harvey: The pics are all post hz modification. The modification started out with an attempt to sweep the mast aft by adjusting the backstay as much as it would allow but the lee helm persisted; essentially I could not sail upwind without jibing even with keeping my hand on the jib sheet to let it out.

I then removed the backstay adjustment and shackled it to the aft chain plate which resulted only being able to crab upwind and not terribly well. I don't know if the spars are original; i know the sails are not and she still sails like crap.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Harvey: As I have stated, I have owned this boat for a few months having sailed her only a handful of times and up until last week don't think I did anything to her that would have effected her sailing. I believe that all her spars are original as is the hardware. The sails are most likely after market and I have no idea if they are "right "for this boat.

It had a wicked lee helm, wanting to jibe in all but the lightest of breezes and even then would do so unless a light hand is used on the jib. I have tried sweeping the mast aft even to the point of removing the adjustment hardware and shackling the back stay directly to the aft chain plate for maximum sweep but that has only caused her to crab upwind although the lee helm issue may have been mitigated.

Funny, but now that I'm thinking about it, when I 1st got her and sailed her in PA, there didn't seem to be the leehelm problem. When I trailered her down to FLA from where I am now corresponding with you, the lee helm issue appeared and I had made no changes of any kind except replacing the winch (the clutch wasn't working) with a standard trailer winch with the "clicker" control. Maybe it is something with the swing keel although it seems that I am able to fully deploy it (the cable has a lot of play in it when it's all the way down.). Other than that, I can't think of any other changes I made.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Harvey: The more I'm thinking about it the more I'm leaning towards a swing keel issue (as you had suggested early on.) How many complete winch winds before your keel is either fully retracted or extended? I will try and get a mask to go under her ASAP and look but there are a lot p. man of wars in the water and I don't relish a sting.

However, I think I will reinstall the aft stay adjusting hardware and remove the shackle. Something must have happened to the keel during our 1200 mile towing that is not allowing its complete deployment.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Shorty: With the original worm drive winch, it takes somewhere between 50 and 52 million rotations. :) Before you dive the boat, I've got a couple of ideas for you. You say that the cable goes slack, a simple thing we can do is you measure the cable as it dissapears down in the hole while lowering. When the keel is up: - attach some string to the cable (like duct tape it on) - then as you lower the cable, the string will go down with it - when fully down, mark the string (like tie a knot in it) Now we will have something to work with for figuring out if the keel is going all the way down, or if it is getting stuck part way.

Another thing I have done with my cable is I painted a section of the cable for when the keel is retracted. That way when cranking up the keel, when I would see the painted section come up, I would know that I am almost done winching it up.

And while talking about winching stuff, after I get my vagabond 17 back on the trailer, I would lower the keel a little bit so that way the weight of the keel is sitting on the trailer, and not still being held by the winch. I am sure the winch and it's support structure is strong enough to hold it, just that letting the weight sit on the trailer made me feel better.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Harvey: There are approx 40 winds for full retract/deployment and the total cable length at full deployment is approx. 42"

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Shorty: I am currently inbetween Vagabond 17's right now, so I can't measure my cable. The next best thing I can do is make a guesstimate using the factory brochure drawing which looks pretty accurate.

First I want to show some more detail pictures of what the winch area and the underside looks like. Here is my first V17 with the factory supplied winch. Its not completely factory original, when cranking the winch my knuckles would bang the cockpit sole so I moved the handle up a bit on the arm and used a wooden dowel for the handle. But I know a LOT of other pocket cruiser owners have swapped their winches like you did, and that should not effect anything.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Here is the inside of the cabin showing the swing keel trunk. You can see that the keel pivot bolt is not in the center of the keel, it is near the edge.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

This is the underside of the hull, looking from the bow.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

Here is a picture from the stern looking at the keel. You probably can't make it out, but towards the aft end the trunk is very shallow and almost all of the keel is held externally.

vagabond 17 sailboat interior

So here is a copy of the factory brochure drawing with some creative artistic guess and expression. Assuming the drawing was created to scale, the hull being 17' long, that would make the scale of the drawing I printed 8.1" / 204". My guess at the cable length is 1.5", so that translates to 37" which is shorter than what you mention. So my fancy sketch really didn't reveal anything.

My best guess at this point is that the keel isn't going down all the way, so we need to figure a way to tell if it is or not. Is there a chance you have the trailer for her? Maybe she could be pulled out of the water and take a look in the trunk to see if anything is lodged in there?

Harvey: I went swimming yesterday to find that, as you first suspected, the swing keel deployed to 85% with cable slack. I had a long blade (probably 12") screwdriver that I was able insert without opposition up into the trunk at the pivot bolt end. Water too murky for me to see up inside.

When I pushed on the bottom of the trailing edge of the keel (near the attachment point) it would bounce back. It feels like the keel deployment is being impeded at the pivot bolt and my guess is that the pivot eye in the keel has been damaged or worn aft into an oblong shape which allows the keel to move forward at the pivot enough To provide a vertical "stop."

I think that perhaps during transport or wear over time the eye thru the keel thru which the pivot bolt passes may be damaged or have gone out of round. I am going to take it to a yard so that the keel can be dropped.

vagabond 17 keel locking and pivot bolt

Gene Heard: Was reading the article on the Venture 17. Most, if not all, Ventures have a "lock-down" bolt, for lack of a better description. The photo of the centerboard box looked like the bolt was in place, which would prevent the board from going all the way down ...INSTANT lee helm !!! The bolt goes through another hole in the board after it is fully down, to prevent the board from "crashing" into the hull in a severe knockdown (over 90 degrees), thus doing damage to the hull. I don't think the upper bolt is the pivot bolt. He can pull the keel (board) up and take the nut off...if he can wiggle the bolt then, it's NOT the pivot bolt, take it out and let the board down again and all should be well..............!! I would only put the bolt in when the wind was up and there was little chance of running aground. Let me know if that is the problem.....

Shorty: Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about the lock down bolt !! I'm gonna email Harvey right now...

vagabond 17 keel locking and pivot bolt

Harvey: I took some pics today. Aside from a through-the-trunk bolt ( maybe 1/2 in. Diam) which I assume is the pivot, there are only 2 other possibilities: A single small Philips head screw/ bolt mounted on the port side at the top and aft of the trunk at what I assume to be the keel's vertical position and A "swollen" area maybe 1 1/2" in diam on both sides of that same area that has been painstakingly painted/ epoxyed over. I have no idea what's under that mess but I suppose could be a bolt head and nut.

Shorty: Your locking bolt is on the top of the trunk. I put a big yellow arrow pointing to it. Thats not the original though, the original is a regular hex bolt that goes throught to the other side. Yours looks like a screw or something else wierd, and it has all that silicone around it which actually would sort of explain the bounce back you are talking about. As you press on the keel underwater, the top of the keel would press on the locking bolt and then twist it pushing it into the silicone, which would compress slightly and cause that push-back effect you were talking about.

1981 Vagabond 17 sailboat

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  • Sailboat Guide

1982 Vagabond 17

  • Description

Seller's Description

Go to Sailing Texas classifieds for current sailboats for sale Vagabond 17, 1982 swing keel, sail ready.

Length: 17’ Beam: 7’3” Draft: 1’8” up and 4’2” down Displacement: 950 lbs

Sailboat Trailer with working lights All standing and running rigging Mainsail and jib 2.6hp 4-stroke Kuda Sport outboard motor Kick-up tiller New masthead light New Dyneema lifelines Original cushions

Location: Conroe, TX Currently on the trailer Asking price: $2,000 (obo/negotiable) To be sold as is

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

A later version was called the HOLDER 17.

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Outboard motor

  • Thread starter Peter Schneider
  • Start date Jun 18, 2020
  • Forums for All Owners
  • Trailer Sailors

Peter Schneider

Peter Schneider

Looking at outboard motors for my Vagabond 17Ft sailboat. Any ideas on size of motor that works with the vagabond 17. also I see 15 inch and 20 inch shaft, I’m assuming a 15 inch shaft would work since the motor would be lowered down into the water. When looking at motors on line, what does “sail ready” refer to. Is it refereing to the propeller? thank you  

Timm R Oday25

Timm R Oday25

I'd opt for the 20" as you are going to want to keep the cavitation plate as low as possible. A 4 horse would be ideal . The less weight back there the better balanced your boat will be. The transom will thank you by not having to deal with any more weight than absolutely neccessary  

The cavitation plate should be at least two inches below the underside of the hull. Each boat is different and so are different sailing venues. If you stand by the mast how much does your stern raise up? What is the average height of waves or wakes in the lake.  

Thank you. Didn’t think of that. Very helpful when figuring out the motor needs.  

Crazy Dave Condon

What is the displacement weight of boat and where sailed? Photo of transom would help but concur from the standpoint as a former dealer a 20 inch shaft which we can verify with a transom photo  

I attached a photo of the transom. When attached to the motor mount and the motor lowered into the water would a 15 inch shaft work or would the motor and steering be compromised because it is to far down once once in the water. I’m thinking a 4 horse motor. Mostly sailing on lakes and reservoirs. Occasionally Tomales Bay (salt water) in Sonoma County, Ca. Thank you. Peter  



With the type of motor mount you have (one that lowers ) you might get by with a 15" . The outboard wont affect your rudder unless your prop . Often you need to turn both your outboard and rudder .  


My experience from my Clipper Marine days is that you can't get that propeller too deep. The real problem is how much that motor mount goes up and down, either heading into a chop or in power boat wakes. The prop coming out the water is maddening. I would buy the longest shaft available. The cost difference is probably next to nothing.  

No such thing as too deep. As the boat pitches when the wind and waves are up, the prop will stay in the water and keep driving the boat. You can also not have to lower the engine so far, and keep the engine itself a bit higher from the surface when in a bad chop while the propellor stays under water. Go for the longest shaft (20") Also don't over power. Any boat of less than 2500 lbs displacement only needs about 3 HP. My Sonar, 2300 lbs was fine with 3 HP and my Oday 25, 2500 lbs, was fine with a 6 HP (4 cycle) Tohatsu extra long shaft (25")  


I’ve been looking at outboards for awhile, and there are endless trade offs. yes, a 3 or 3.5hp is plenty for my boat, but some of them don’t have a reverse gear! To reverse you spin the whole motor around, which means you can’t lock it off, which means trying to steer with one hand on the tiller and the other on the motor, operating the throttle with your teeth I guess.  

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