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Pinning the Mast Newport 17

Aug 7, 2014
7
Lockley-Newport Newport 17 Decatur, IL
I am a beginner/novice sailor. My boat is a Newport 17 (1978) in better than average shape for its age, and I am learning to sail it on a smaller, sheltered lake in the Midwest where I have joined a club with good teachers. But a question has arisen that puzzles everyone. It concerns stepping the mast. The source of puzzlement is this quote from the owner's manual:
"Although there is a pair of holes for an additional pin located on the front end of the mast step hinge, we do not want a second pin inserted through these holes when the mast is up." The manual also explains that the mast is to have a slight back-rake (no degrees given). The previous owner always sailed the boat with both pins in place. If the manual means what I think it means, the mast should be pinned only through the back of the step (perhaps to accommodate some flex and accommodate the back-rake??). What do other owners of the N17 do?

Thanks for the help,
gburling
 
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Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
2,667
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I had a Newport 17 a couple of years ago. It was my first boat. Like you, the PO of my boat used both pins thinking it would hold the mast up until the forestay was connect. Nope, the fiberglass was crunched under the step. The step and fiberglass underneath only holds the bottom of the mast from slipping out of place. The shrouds and stays are what hold the mast up.
The holes front and rear are just to let you raise the mast from bow or stern.

So, your thinking is correct, follow the manual not what the PO said.

I used the jib halyard to hold the mast up until I pinned the forestay to the bow tang.
 
Aug 7, 2014
7
Lockley-Newport Newport 17 Decatur, IL
Ward, Thank you very much for the reply. I will unpin the front. The boat is in a slip, mast up and ready (after I repainted the bottom and the uppers and rebuilt the keel lift system).

My boat has a very solid arch under the mast and does not seem to suffer from the problem you describe, but it could do so. I am not sure what the arch is cored with, or even if it is cored. I plan to drill a small exploratory hole to find out. If it is cored with wood, I will inject "Get Rot" as insurance, but if it is solid, I will leave it alone. Meanwhile, this fall I plan to replace the coring in the bow deck and in the cabin roof (the area just forward of the mast step is [was] cored, the area from the mast step to the back of the cabin top is not cored). All other cored portions of cabin floor and cockpit deck are solid. I have made one change I hope proves to work well (nervy for a non-sailor with zero experience in this boat, I know). I moved the pendant for raising the steel keel from a point about 18" behind the pivot to the end of the keel, making it much easier to raise the keel. Right now I have a winch installed in the cockpit to raise and lower the keel, but the mechanical advantage gained by moving the lifting point appears great enough to raise and lower it by hand. I will make that change this fall too, thus doing away with any winch in the cockpit to make the cockpit less cluttered. It appears that over the years there have been two or maybe even three different modifications to the keel winch system; each getting further and further from the original and less and less viable. If you (or anyone else) thinks my keel system is a huge mistake, I would be glad to hear about it. I have a lot of experience refitting power boats, but none on sailboats, so I am open to critique.
Gary
 
Jun 4, 2009
13
Ocean Yachts Islands 20 Paradise Cove
Guys,
I have an interest in the answer to this question. My '79 Islands 20 has a similar mounting and I have been using both pins. I don't have any owners manual as I am probably the sixth or seventh owner of this boat. I have in the past put in the rear pin, raised the mast, attached the forestay, and put in the second pin. Getting the second pin in place is usually a chore and if it is not necessary or even desirable to have the second pin installed, I would be happy to find out for sure.
Thanks,
Ray
 

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Aug 7, 2014
7
Lockley-Newport Newport 17 Decatur, IL
Ray,
Apparently not all boats use only one pin. For example, I have an owner's manual for a West Wight Potter 19. It offers two alternative ways to step the mast, but in both instances it expressly states that after the mast is stepped, the second pin may be inserted. Looking at the other boats in the marina where I am, I see they also all have two pins inserted. There is no other Newport 17 where I am, so I don't have anyone else to ask. I believe Ward's answer above makes sense and is in line with what the owner's manual for this boat says. New at sailing, I would not be the one to say whether or not one should/could apply this method to any other boat.
 

Ward H

.
Nov 7, 2011
2,667
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
I agree. Just because the Newport manual suggests one pin doesn't mean that would apply to all boats. It just made sense to me to follow the manual.
My Newport was a 73 and it didn't have any deck leaks that I recall but I didn't spend too much time in the cabin looking. I don't remember any core under the mast tabernacle. I did pull mine off, sealed it with butyl tape and reinstalled putting larger washers under the nuts.
Some photos show a compression post under the mast area but mine was like yours with the stiff arch.
For the keel, I remember reading lots of mods to make it easier to raise the cable. One was to replace the steel cable with one of the newer super strong ropes like dyneema. They are as strong as the wire but bend around the winch much easier.
I had the original setup with the small drum for the wire and larger drum for the rope pendant that ran to a clam cleat on top of the trunk. I didn't have any trouble raising the keel.
The best mod I did was to put a block at the bow stem and ran a jib downhaul back to a cam cleat on the cabin roof. This allowed me to pull down the jib from the cockpit.

If you have not found it yet, there is a Lockley Sailboat group on Yahoo Groups that covers the N17. There is a late of good info and photos posted in that group.
 
Aug 7, 2014
7
Lockley-Newport Newport 17 Decatur, IL
Ward,
Thanks again for several good ideas and for the information. This fall I will post some pictures of the re-core project. In general, it does not look too difficult: cut the skin and set it aside, dig out the bad stuff, clean, back-fill (resin and plywood or something like SeaCast?), reapply the skin, and finally paint over the works with KiwiGrip overlapping the cut lines enough to hide them).

I redid the keel with wire (because I had it on hand and because the hardware available to me for a rope line would have made the whole thing too big to pass into the keel trunk). Where it is attached, I can get to it by jacking the back up on the trailer. In the fall I will remove the wire, countersink the attachment point to allow for narrow hardware and rope clamps to be applied and then do away with the winch as the rope can be handled bare-handed.
 
Jun 26, 2020
1
Lockley Newport 17 Lake Nokomis
I am a beginner/novice sailor. My boat is a Newport 17 (1978) in better than average shape for its age, and I am learning to sail it on a smaller, sheltered lake in the Midwest where I have joined a club with good teachers. But a question has arisen that puzzles everyone. It concerns stepping the mast. The source of puzzlement is this quote from the owner's manual:
"Although there is a pair of holes for an additional pin located on the front end of the mast step hinge, we do not want a second pin inserted through these holes when the mast is up." The manual also explains that the mast is to have a slight back-rake (no degrees given). The previous owner always sailed the boat with both pins in place. If the manual means what I think it means, the mast should be pinned only through the back of the step (perhaps to accommodate some flex and accommodate the back-rake??). What do other owners of the N17 do?

Thanks for the help,
gburling
there is a small FB page for the lockley Newport’s. Do a search for Lockley and Newport Daysailors