Sage 17

An important part of the Sage 17’s pocket-cruiser DNA became evident the moment I deliberately stepped onto her rail with my full weight—and nothing much happened.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Sage-17-a

An important part of the Sage 17’s pocket-cruiser DNA became evident the moment I deliberately stepped onto her rail with my full weight—and nothing much happened. The rail dipped slightly and lived up to the notion of designer Jerry Montgomery, long a member of the pocket-cruiser set, that this tiny boat should heel to 10 degrees and stiffen up. If we’re going cruising, we want to feel secure.

Through the years, any number of people, young or old, have gone off cruising in boats not much longer than their prone bodies. Stability is not absolutely required but in the contemporary parlance of “pocket cruising,” stability and a cozy bit of shelter anchor the conversation.

The lack of breeze, however, was a big topic of conversation when I hoisted sails on Sage 17 hull #1 amidst catspaws on San Francisco Bay. I could see that I wasn’t going to come away with a notebook full of tacking angles and speeds. But I also knew I didn’t need numbers to share what needs to be shared about this boat. And before the day was out, we found just enough breeze to prove that the boat sails fine, with a nice turn of speed, and that the 7/8ths rig, with its working jib and loose-footed main, hauls her to weather quite nicely.

The working jib on the Sage 17 sheets inside the lifelines to promote pointing ability. Genoa tracks are an option for those who want a bigger headsail, and the standard backstay adjuster and traveler tell you that the boat is intended to reward savvy sailing.

Sage-17-b

I’ve already described the boat as stiff: credit hull form, plus 400 pounds of lead in the keel and 120 pounds in the centerboard. There is also the lightweight balsa-cored carbon-fiber deck, which is so strong the mast requires no compression post, thereby leaving the cabin open and clear. The carbon transom also helps lighten the stern.

The balsa-cored vinylester hull is lapstraked for added rigidity. The cabin works. You expect it to be tight, and of course, it is, but the V-berth provides 80 inches to stretch out on, and seating just below the companionway makes it possible for six-footers to sit, port and starboard. What more can you ask for in 17 feet?

The head is tucked under the aft portion of the V-berth, the forward part of which can be packed with one portion of the optional flotation package. I approved of small, smart touches, such as the way the hatch lockers can be dogged down from the interior.

On our test boat, the optional Tiller Clutch made it a cinch to lock off the helm, and with its pivoting centerboard and kick-up rudder, the Sage 17 inspires confidence in shoal water. It’s easy to like this boat. Anyone looking for a pocket cruiser more or less like this little one should ask for a dance.

Specifications

LOA 16ft 10in // LWL 15ft 7in // BEAM 6ft 9in

DRAFT 1ft 9in (board up); 3ft 6in (board down)

DISPLACEMENT 1,300lb

SAIL AREA 152ft2 (main and jib)

DESIGNER Jerry Montgomery

BUILDER Sage Marine, Golden, CO, 800-621-1065

PRICE $22,000 (with trailer)

Photo Courtesy of Debra Colvin

Related

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no chances  This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

ZK-Seaboot-900

Gear: Zhik’s Seaboot 900

A Better Sea Boot Following up on its successful ZK Seaboot 800, Zhik’s Seaboot 900 was created in partnership with team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team, the latter the overall winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Designed for serious, long-distance offshore racers and ...read more

01-LEAD-FP-Astrea-42-Gilles-martin-rajet---Navigation

Switching to Solar Offshore

No sensible bluewater sailor would consider setting off on a long cruise these days without some means of generating power other than by burning fossil fuels. The good news is that solar energy is becoming less expensive by the day, making it an obvious answer for providing the ...read more

190812-Tiwal-Video-600x

Video: Tiwal Cup 2019

Who says you need a superyacht to have fun? It would be hard to imagine having a better time on the water than these sailors recently did racing aboard a fleet of Tiwal inflatable sloops. ...read more