From the Portsmith tables, Offshore Classes
Newport 17 (L-N) NPT17 114.4 (116.8) (116.0) (113.5)
As Bill Murray says in Ghostbusters
: "Okay ... so ... she's a dog." That's the fate of any pocket cruiser. They're made for safe & dry sailing, and that means weight ... but they haven't got the waterline to supply hull speed. I.e., they are small displacement vessels, an impossible engineering bind.
You knew that, tho. You experienced the planing-hull alternative in the Buccaneer18, and you were wise to rule it out as a family cruiser. Your Newport 17 will never match my Bucc around the cans, but it's more likely to finish a windy sail upright, with all chill'uns still aboard. Much sturdier boat. Important question is how
If I was going to get caught offshore in bad weather in this class, I'd rather be cowering inside a WWP15 or ComPac16. Can the hatches, decks, and companionway of the Newport survive a breaking wave? Would the rigging be standing after a 70-knot gale? Could the deck eyes hold it at anchor? Will it heave-to? Can the cockpit and bilges bail faster than water comes in?
Dunno. Wouldn't count on it yet. You sail it enuf that you will
be given a chance to test it. How it grounds, how it deals with tidal surges, what happens when squalls come.... Hopefully in reasonably safe surroundings. Then you can extrapolate the boat's limits. Chief being waterline and ballast. A small boat in big breaking waves is in trouble.
You could take proactive steps -- beefing up the standing & running rig, reinforcing all chainplates & attachment points, adding lifelines, storm sails, etc. Might be pointless if the deck caves in. You got positive flotation, tho -- so even if you guess wrong, you can cling to the wreckage.
I figure the best kind of misjudgement is the kind that floats