Join Date: Jul 2006
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Glad you are back
The Newport 41 is plenty capable for offshore. I don’t know why you don’t think so
other than perhaps some unqualified opinions.
1 The hull design has a very high static stability limit of 132 degrees with
a ratio of 7.5to 1 positive (upright) vs. negative (inverted) stability
2 The hulls are solid hand lay-up roving mat combo with 2 layers of finishing cloth under the gel coat. The forward sections have balsa core in addition. I have been hauled many times and I have taken precise measurements when the boat is blocked, hanging in the slings and in the water to find only tiny deflections.
I have also loosened the tie rod nut to see if the deck would rise when going to weather. which it did not. The force was not great enough to break the RTV in the mast partners..
I have also ran a tight wire bow to stern and measured the hull deflection on max backstay load of 3000. The deflection was 14mm. (pretty stiff hull) try this yourself.
3 The hull deck joint is epoxied together over a 3inch width and thru-bolted on 3 inch staggered centers. Bullet proof
4 The mast step is of excellent design (although I have heard of some standing water caused failures). A complete ring band for the uppers. Chainplates are solidly bonded to the hull with thick roving –mat layers over an area of several square feet.
5 The hull is easily driven with good shear and forward freeboard
6 The Sparcraft mast is very strong and the spreaders are solidly bolted
Every N41 I have seen on the West Coast here appears to be the same as mine, however I have never inspected them inside, I can’t imagine there is much difference. I was acquainted with a production supervisor after the company dissolved and received many favorable comments on the construction.
The boat has very nice manners in a sea. When going upwind it does not bury it’s bow as newer fat transomed boats do. Therefore the forward deck will stay drier and less green water.
A note on stability: Modern cruiser racers have taken lead out of the keel and made more buoyancy in the beam, especially aft. This is for enhancing downwind surfing ability. This is a bad thing for the offshore cruiser. In doing so the initial righting moment, say less than 30 degrees of heel, is greater and gives a sense of safety to the sailor. (stiffer boat)
The problem is that the righting moment drops off rapidly, crosses through zero early.
If caught in a really nasty sea, this is exactly what you don’t want. An example of a very unsafe offshore design is a J-35 where the ultimate static stability is only 108 degrees and even worse the ratio of positive vs. neg stability is a very scary 1.5 to 1. The J-35 is stiffer initially than the Newport, but that stiffness disintegrates rapidly when heeled more. The J35 was designed in the late 80’s well after the tragic Fastnet 1979 race taught us a lesson how not to design a boat for offshore use. In that race, no boat with over a 3.2 to 1 length to beam ratio was rolled. (N41= 3.7) I would guess Jeff’s Farr 38 is as bad as a J35. In addition boats with noodle masts and less ballast have less dynamic stability (roll inertia) which increases the chance of a roll. These are some of the reasons I bought the Newport and was not lured into the new (foolish) thinking just to get a little adrenalin going down a wave. I also don’t like pounding in a 2-foot chop to weather. And I also don’t like the idea of rolling gunwale-to-gunwale and slapping wavelets at anchor, which is what these newer designs do.
The N41 does need some mods for offshore.
1 rudder. New rudders are way better than old IOR designs. Mine, I could not be happier with
2 Port windows were cut to big. Better have a pretty good thickness of lexan over them Mine are small and have ½ inch thick and are opening
3 Cockpit drains are too small; my cockpit is smaller as the boat has a bridge deck so you have to step up before you go below.
There may be some other things for instance my steering sheaves are really big and I don’t know about others. I also have added vertical posts to hang on to below along with many extra hand rails and holds.
You are going in the right direction and if you want any pictures of the many things I have done I will send them to you. But in the meanwhile, beware of highly opinionated
people who are eager to give advise. As an example, our friend Jeff compares the N41 to a “superior” Bennateau 42. Which is berthed next to my Ericson so I have been onboard and the owner has many complaints including the spreaders breaking at their bases because of a single pin, which takes the entire load. You will not find design shortcuts on your Sparcraft. A last note; since I bought the Ericson 46, instead of selling the 41, I decided to keep her and ship her back to Florida to sail the Bahamas again and do the Miami to Nassau race which has been resurrected from the old SORC days. I did this because I trust this boat inside and out. I have too much technical background and experience to be told by some self-proclaimed expert otherwise. I hope this reverses any ill effects the intended browbeating Jeff gave you.