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We were told that the rig was new, so I'm not sure how representative it is of other Newports. The story was that, while being transported, one of the stays or shrouds came loose and wrapped around one of the wheels on the trailer. The whole rig was dumped in the middle of Interstate 95 and was a total loss. The new mast is an anodized Isomat extrusion with a nice masthead sheave box with room for 6 (!) internal halyards. The winches and gooseneck fitting were mounted with screws tapped into the mast. The winches were spaced out with stacks of washers. The goose neck fitting may have been the original because it did not match the curve of the new mast. All in all, it was not a classy job. We had a local professional rigger install winch mounting plates and a new gooseneck. The Isomat parts are still available through RigRite.

Mast wiring in head Mast Step The mounting step for the mast had been rebuilt at some time in the past. It needed to be rebuilt again. We took it down to bare glass. The plywood filler was totally saturated with water. I made up a mold for a new step, glassed it several layers thick to create a rigid shell, and then filled it with filled epoxy. We bedded it to the deck using filled epoxy. I mounted a 3/4" PVC tube wiring channel in the center of the mast base that leads down to the inside of the head compartment. The mast wires are connected using a pair of 4 contact trailer connectors. The VHF lead also runs into the mast through this channel. This eliminates the external deck mounted connector for the wires (and the almost certain leakage).

The boom appears to be original. It was bare, un-anodized aluminum. We cleaned it and painted it with white Rust-O-Leum. It is set up for a single reef point (as is the mainsail). We added another block to increase the advantage on the outhaul. We set it up with the original three point main sheet system. The sheet leads forward to the mast, down to a block at the base of the mast (we added a stainless block mounting plate under the mast), over to a new 2 sheave deck organizer (in place of the old pad eye and block) and aft to the winch and a clam cleat. We removed the old cleat. We also removed the teak 'eyebrow' at the end of the cabin top. Its looks were dated and it interfered with the main sheet.

Traveller We re-mounted the traveler bridge a couple of inches forward of the original location (for more headroom when going below - I'm 6'2" and my son is 6'4" tall). While it was off, we sent the bridge to Schaefer and they bent a new track to replace the original T track. We now have a real traveler track, car, and control blocks. We ran the traveler control lines through some extra blocks at each end of the bridge so that they come back along either side of the companionway cover to clam cleats. That allows clearance for the dodger without having to cut holes through it for the lines. The dodger is attached to the back of the traveler bridge.

We did not find out until after the rig was up for the (abbreviated) first season that the roller furler (an ancient Hood unit) was totally frozen. We were able to sail OK, but it was painful to have to go back to the old days of raising and lowering the jib each time. When we got everything home in the fall, I removed the headstay and disassembled it. Someone had used the wrong bearing in the drum and had eliminated the grease seals (and the grease) from both the upper and lower units. Fortunately, I was able to remove the old frozen bearings without damaging either unit. I made new plastic shields to hold the grease in position to keep water away from the bearings. They are just plain steel industrial bearings. This has worked beautifully for several seasons. I don't want to spend another thousand dollars or more on a fancy new furler. New bearings only cost about $40 and it isn't too difficult to change them.

UPDATE: After around 15 years of good service, we gave up on the original furler. It was ready for its 3rd set of new bearings. We replaced it with a new Harken MKIV roller furler. We are very happy with the new unit.

We added a pair of slightly larger winches (used, from our Florida trip) in the cockpit and moved the existing winches further aft. We also added new cleats for each winch.

We added a backstay tensioner using the standard Johnson 5 sheave assembly and a couple of small (special order) Wichard blocks. The 4 to 1 advantage is plenty and allows the use of small (1/4") line. Everything anchors to the original backstay tangs with the lines running parallel to the backstay for a nice neat look.

UPDATE: When we added a radar (First generation SIMRAD Broadband) we initially tried hanging it from the backstay. We were told it wouldn't work and it didn't (it swings back and forth too much). But we had to modify the backstay in the process so we lost the tensioner. The radar is now mounted on a mast at the port corner of the stern.

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last modified: February 12, 2021