Friday, October 7, 2011


What is left of the hulls after taking saber saw to the whole thing.
 It is with great regret that I admit defeat with this project.   I got some advice from a few people in the know and learned that this Hobie 17 was not as good a candidate for the restoration I had thought it was.

I got as far as rebuilding the crushed port hull and was working on a few stress cracks when reality came crashing in.  

I first noticed that there were a few tell-tail surface anomalies that indicated the H17 had been repaired at some time in the past.  That puts into question the skill and quality of whoever did the work. 

The second issue was that I could not break it down.  The Hulls seemed to be permanently attached to the crossbeams.  If/when I ever needed to change the 1-piece tramp, I would have to figure this out.  I saw no reason to put this off any longer than necessary.   What I found in the process made me feel better about junking it.

A PO had indeed glued the hulls to the crossbeams which was part of the problem with breaking it down.  The second issue was the use of backing plates and nylon locking nuts.   There were no-factory backing place on the inside of each hull.  They were held on with Nylon bolts.  When I tried to take the crews out, the nuts simply spun in place.   I never would have been able to get them off no matter how hard I tried.   The PO also put lock-tight on the t-bars.   I snapped two Alan wrenches and stripped one bolt before giving up.   Who does this kind of thing without thinking of the future?  How they got them installed without cracking open the hulls, I've no idea.  

The aggressive use of grinder took care of that problem.....again this was all before I lost faith.

More remains of the day  
Not to beat this horse any more than necessary, but with several cracks in the mast that worried me of an at-sea cataclysmic rigging failure, I realized that the parts I could save from this boat could be better used to help some other Hobie 17 owner make theirs whole.  Also the money I may be able to make parting it out should go a good ways towards my next Hobie.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

back on the project

This project took a major backseat to other, more pressing issues, but I'm at last back on it.  I'll post a full breakdown of my progress shortly.    As a teaser, all I can say is that I had no idea this would be so involved, and I'm not even a 1/4 way through in putting all its problems to rest.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Survey of Hobie

I found this Hobie 17 on Craigslist.  The PO had two for sale, this one and a operational Hobie 18.  I should have bought both, but I already have a Hobie 16, a 1974 Clipper Marine 26, and a Sunfish.  Another boat in the yard and my wife would, rightfully so, have a fit.  The PO was kind enough to drop it off for me to look over, but for the money, I knew there was nothing that would deter me short of a hull crushed or the frame mangled.   Even then, I would consider the project.  After giving it a once over, I decided that it was something I wanted to restore.

I still have to figure out what year this thing is, the exact model, and if I'm due to purchase any significantly expensive parts to get it functional.  That could be an issue since it's the little nit-nats that end up costing you.

Before I get too deep in this thing, there are several aspects to this project that I'm more than a bit concerned about:
1) Kick-down dagger boards.   I've never dealt with them before, so I have no idea how to service or fix them.   The control rope for one already popped off and its stuck in the down position.
2) Composite mast - its got a crush spot a few feet from the top.  I don't know if this a  deal-killer or not.
3) Trailer - It's a mess.   I'll have to rebuild much of it from scratch.
4) Control Bar and rudder connectors are wrecked and will have to be replaced.
5) Stress cracks along the top of each hull.   This may be the worst problem of them all since it implies structural issues that can not be easily resolved.
6) Tracks & cars - none of them move easily.  At least one, the ball bearings are rusted out => money
7) Block and tackle are toasted due to them being run over my an 18-wheeler some time least that is what I was told.

On the positive side, a number of items I expected to be bad are really good to include the shrouds, the trampoline, swivel locks, fabric on the wings, and mast hardware & pulleys.

With any project of this sort, first comes a survey of the various problems and issues with the boat. 

Port pontoon crushed from a tree falling on the boat

Tiller bar - beyond repair - The connector snapped some time in the past

Besides the handles, the wings are in great shape

Front Cross beam - Trampoline is in good condition
Port Pontoon, Previous owner repaired some sort of major failure. Will require it to be torn down and checked out.

Mast Base - everything looks to be there....along with a lot of algae

Not sure if these port are new or add-ons.

Hulls are highly oxidized. but have never been painted.
It's hard to see here, but there are hairline cracks along the lengths of both pontoons
Port Pontoon, unrepaired cracks around wing mount. This wing was repaired at some time in the past