1959 Ackerman Newporter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: Woud YOU take a Newport 30 offshore?
This doesn't exactly fit the main question from a few years ago, but it's a crazy anecdote so I'll tell it.
I have one of the little Newport 20s as my smaller boat (very few were made - you can sometimes see the same boat with minor accessory differences as a Neptune.) I have sailed the everloving hell out of that little thing - added solar panels, a raymarine ST1000 autotiller, a color chartplotter and sonar, harnesses, auto-inflating PFDs and assorted radios. She even has a dinghy that's nearly as big as she is that I tow behind. I joke that she's the best equipped 20 on the west coast but it's probably not really a joke.
While I wouldn't necessarily call this offshore, it's much farther than most casual sailors take much larger boats: I've taken that little boat from MDR to Santa Barbara Island three times - around 40 miles offshore - and close to San Nicolas once (about 66 miles but I only went as close as I dared - it's a a naval base and once I could see the silhouettes of large naval ships catching light in the sunrise, it seemed like a good time to turn around and head back to SBI).
It's a little mortifying - I've raced storms and fog back to Marina Del Rey for the whole trip, surfing down swells the size of that little boat. Those long weekend adventures are why she's equipped so well for such a small vessel. The solar panels are enough to keep the batteries topped off with the chartplotter and autotiller running. I've steered her for the entire trip before but that's close to 12hrs each direction, usually, unless the wind is just perfect or I run the engine. There's usually a long lull in the middle of it where I'm just bobbing around wishing for a breeze. It's grueling - and doing it solo (as I have all but once) is a lonely but wonderful trip.
I have an Ackerman Newporter that I've taken out there a couple times as well and the difference is phenomenal. The trip becomes utterly effortless in a big cruising sailboat.