Join Date: Nov 2005
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Buying a ''''77 Newport 30
These boards are always interesting because of the different perspectives. Perhaps Sailmc can talk about how close the N-30 and N-31 hulls are in shape, because the N-30 that I know about is a pretty forgiving boat. The Annapolis Sailing School has a fleet of N-30''s (most probably from the late "70''s to maybe the early ''80''s) they use for all kinds of cruising and weekend "learning to sail" classes. The school uses the N-30 because it is roomy, reasonably well built, and also easy for students to sail. I took 3 different classes on N-30''s way back when, and the instructors and students alike loved the boats.
In fact, a friend of mine, the current editor of a well-known sailing magazine published in Annapolis, served as an instructor for the sailing school in his younger days. He loves to talk about the many Kent Island Circumnavigations he did with students on N-30''s. He was thinking about buying an N-30 as a stable cruising platform for his young family. (He ended up with an Alerion Express 28 in a sweetheart deal he couldn''t refuse.) The N-30 is not fast, but it is solid.
I can''t reconcile all this with the above comments on the N-31, a boat I also have sailed on quite a bit as racing crew for a friend. One Governor''s Cup race (an overnight race down the Chesapeake)we had 15-22 knot apparent winds on the nose most of the night and the boat did great. Nothing amiss in its handling, primarily I think because it takes a lot of wind to move that boat. I did quite a bit of steering that night, too.
The Catalina 30 is also a fine boat for your purpose and price range, but also is known for wanting to round up in a hurry in a gust. They can be a handful in a blow. Been there, done that, too.