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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-24-2006 09:49 PM
Surfesq I just want to weigh in and make it clear that I am not piling on Jeff. I enjoy reading the things that he writes and I think he is very knowledgeable about boats. I don't always agree with what he writes but I don't question his knowledge and passion. Everyone on this site whether they want to admit it or not is expressing an opinion. So I don't think he is being arrogant I just think he really believes in what he is writing. And by the way Kevlar Pirate...I thought you joined because of Fight Club! lol.
07-19-2006 06:46 PM

My comments also were in defence of the boat to other readers too. Every now and then I Google a "Newport 41" just to see what is giong on, and this time
I came upon these posts, so I joined up to specifically negate the Jeff comments.
This is a worldwide post board and any potential smart boat buyer doing his due diligence will read as much as possible. When a potential buyer comes across a Jeff post he may believe it. and get a wrong impression based on nothing more than an anecdotal experience.
I have a list of boats which I would never buy because of design or structural or both, but I would never have the arrogance to broadcast it offensively. I made note of a couple here just for substantiation. In the case of the J-35, real racers know these things and If they choose to buy the boat or similar designs they know the risks. In the case of breaking spreaders, good engineering is often compromised by profit needs, remember the space shuttle o-rings.
Send a private message with email and i will send pics. From what you have said about your rudder i think you are fine. I have put in 100's of hours doing things to an already good boat. people think i'm nuts. Only do what is necessary and then if time and money allow, do more. Sail on
07-19-2006 06:20 PM
Newport41 If you think I'm saying she isn't capable of offshore work you're misunderstanding me. I picked that boat out of everything I looked at and as I said before there's very littel I would change regardless of my budget. I have expanded the cockpit drains, made her more water tight (mast boot, new ports, inspection covers over cockpit speakers, ect). I'm not sure about changing my rudder. I have a MKII so my rudder would be different than what was on your boat. I have no problems with what's there now but I'm curious if you have any pictures of yours. Thanks for bringing up the stability calculations. When Jeff first tore a strip of my boat that was one of the factors I brought up. I know she's fast, stable and stiff but I guess these boats have a reputation with some people.
07-19-2006 06:04 PM
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.
07-19-2006 03:54 PM
Surfesq Absolutely. Enjoy yourself and be careful fighting fires in the meantime. Check out that article I sent you a few comments back. It is a very good piece on sailing on a budget.
07-19-2006 03:45 PM
Newport41 Just got back from a fire. It's been a two week tour and all I wanna do is go for a sail but I'm heading out again in a day or two.

I can understand where you're coming from in pointing out the weaknesses of my boat. I appreciate the opinions. We've already talked about the resin pockets and the other problems in Newports. Liek I said before, mine's a later model and seems to have avoided these weaknesses. Between that and the modifications that she's already undergone and that I have planned I do have confidence in her. But, as you pointed out, being over confident in your boat adn not realizing it's or your own limitations does get people killed. As for myself, besides my experience I have always been a great problem solver. If nothing else I think this is what really defines a capable bluewater cruiser. As for my boat. I know what she was designed for. She's also been out in 50kts + and doesn;t behave like the "bargain basement racer" you say she is. With new mast step, chain plates, and rod rigging and the reinfrorcments to the steering I think she's tough enough. Now here's the part you may or may not agree with. These boats are a great value but even if I had a larger budget I wouldn't get anything different (maybe steel). Here's why. I'm not worried about strength. The fiberglass is primative but they made up for that by using lots of it. She is very stiff. The rig is now very strong. You said you've sailed on them so I find it hard to believe that you think they are uncontrollable on a wave face. If you were on one that couldn't be controlled in big rollers than it's your skipper no the boat cause this fairly green cruiser seems to be able to handle her and my monitor vane seems to be able to do it too. Now, let's consider other assets. Speed. She's fast, and in the Trades the tall rig is gonna be a life saver. I've always been of the shcool of thought that avoiding really heavy weather is the safest course of action. You can't run too far too fast in a lot of the heavy offshore boats out there. Having said that, she's no ultralight so she can handle a blow. I know her assets and her faults and they lined up with what I wanted and what I could live with. Practical Sailor Magazine has a good artical on Newports.

Thanks for saying your piece. I'm loving my Newport too. I still think it's an underappreciated boat, even if they aren;t designed for offshore.

Yes, young people don't need a high comfort factor. We'll do without all sorts of stuff. And we'll eat fish and fruit for months.(I used to be a fishing guide) I'm finding it hard to estimate our costs because of this. If we don't need to head into a marina everytime we make landfall, and we're happy without all the comforts of home I can't see it costing what it does for a retired couple. Having said that I always budget higher than I think, then I raise it another 10%. That's the joy of cruising I guess.
07-18-2006 08:16 PM
kevlarpirate To Snacks and Chris. All the power to you, Do it! Things always work out, Life is good ! Check this site, he is a friend of mine I have been dreaming of SP since I was a kid and somehow I found myself with 2 boats, 4 cars and a million dollar house looking out at the ocean I want to live on! I did live on my Newport when I bought her; those were good years. Lucky we don’t have kids and as soon as my dog croaks we will get serious! The cat is gone and the monitor lizard went to lizard heaven ONE to GO!!!
If you sail through LA give us a call, we welcome all cruisers!
To Surf… Amen & dittos
07-18-2006 06:22 PM
123snacks Hi, Chris!

My boyfriend and I live aboard our Tartan 34, and we're planning on cruising next year to the SP too! I'm 26 and he's 28, and it seems to me that we're at the other best stage in life to cruise-- when you're young, able, and still without kids, mortgages, etc to tie you to shore. Especially by living aboard and buying a fixer-upper outright, almost all of both our salaries can go right into the cruising kitty. I think if we were at the age that most cruisers seem to be, living in a "project boat" with no air conditioning, no fridge and a portipotti would be too uncomfortable, and cruising would be further delayed by getting a more expensive boat, paying off the subsequent loan, etc.

We're certainly not rich either, but I am cautiously optimistic that we'll be cruising by next year. You're not alone, and I think you have excellent timing!
07-18-2006 06:13 PM
Surfesq Cool, we have a whole 'nother fight brewing here and I didn't start it for once! As for Farr's look at the was very tender in heavy weather and essentially got its butt kicked by a superior design. But that doesn't mean the Farr is not a good design. Remember, they are based in Annapolis so any design coming out of that shop would tend to favor lighter conditions. They are really fun boats to sail I can tell you that from personal experience.
07-18-2006 05:48 PM
Here's a way

Excellent question, The best way is to remove some inspect it and purposely break it. I have done distructive testing plenty, as I have made many modifications reflecting my personal needs, and in doing so have saber sawed, hole sawed, drilled, tapped etc. In doing so you will get a feel for the strength and if it is brittle, delaminated, resin rich or poor. I have bent and crushed samples in vises to yield the material. Another way (non destructive) is to find areas where it has not been painted (inner areas of the hull,) and see that the resin has just covered but not swamped the glass roving so that the glass strands can be seen and felt. This will give indications of the overall lay-up. The more places you can find the better. I have done countless. Also take a thru-hull valve and try to break it off with force. Try this on a race boat and you may see the hull flex too much for comfort. Have you gone to weather in a big chop and started pounding ( on one of these surfing hull types) and felt the hull quiver?? That wil definitely get your attention when you are 50 miles out!! I have listened to so-called experts (non technical types mostly) only to find out they have few real data points to substantiate a broad claim, or they have a bias. A friend once said about people: If someone were driving in a Ford or Dodge or Chevy and you ran over a bump and heard a rattle they would say “what a rattle trap… those #@%$ US cars. Now if that same person were in a Beamer or Benz and it rattled, they would say” wow that must have been a really big bump!! I find most highly opinionated people are biased.
When Capital yachts made the Newport 41 they printed C&C in their brochure as the designers. That agreement between parties and was based on the boat being built to C&C spec. I do not disagree that there may have been exceptions, however I would say they were probably not that many. There is a lot to be said about design, construction, size and all. I have sailed long and fin keeled boats including canting keel twin foil. Boats in the ocean from 4 to 56000 lbs and I can tell you and all that size matters when you talk about comfort and tracking. I also own a 46 Ericson which weighs twice the 41 Newport and there is a very noticeable difference in behavior and fun and comfort. As I would expect between the Newport 41 and a Farr 38. I have never sailed a Farr 38 but I did a
Farr 36 and it was a very painful experience in Open Ocean trying to go up in a big sea with the bow submarining and horrible weather helm. I was surprised it held together with its twiggy noodle mast! To Chris: he did the right thing to buy the biggest boat
of good performance you can and then take care of her!
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