Lockley Newport 17 Sailboat Review, Modifications, and Parts Sources.
You found this page because you're considering a used Newport 17 or searching for parts.
I started writing this page on 7/3/22. It will be updated periodically. Join my Lockley Newport sailboat Group for answers to your sailboat questions.
Bill's Buyer's Guide to used Newport 17 Sailboats.
The Newport 17 Sailboat was manufactured from 1974 to 1980. It weighs 800 pounds. Waterline length, 16.17 ft (0%), the closest to 15 ft ; Maximum draft, 4.75 ft ; Ballast, 235 lbs ; Hull speed, 5.39 knots.
The N17 is basically the Dodge Aries "K" car of sailboats. Just like Dodge, Lockley Newport made the N17 with the basic essentials to keep the retail price affordable. This is why they're cheap to buy used today, which is appealing to 1st time sailboat buyers. You learn why it was cheap after you've sailed on other boats. It lacks a lot of refinements, but it's a great sailboat for entering the hobby. I've had my Newport 17 for three years and learned a lot about it's best and worst attributes.
What's good about the Newport 17 sailboats?
• Newport 17 hulls and decks are durable.
The fiberglass hull and top cover is very strong. I'm 195 pounds and stand on the 48 year old top cover often without any cracking. I haven't met anyone in the Lockley / Newport Boats FB group who's had to repair a hole in their Newport 17 hull. My first sailboat was a Surprise by the same manufacturer. It had been dropped on concrete by accident without any damage. Lockley / Newport Boats are like tanks.
• Newport 17 overnight cuddy fits two adults.
I'm 6ft 3' and can fully lay down on either starboard or port side in the Newport 17 cuddy. There is 13.25" diameter molded recess for portable toilet, under the forward berth, but finding toilet that will fit can be challenging.
Newport 17 molded recess for Portable Toilet. Samuel Klein posted these photos on how he modified the recess to fit this HASSOCK Portable Toilet.
• Newport 17 sailboats look great!
This is likely the reason why you're considering buying a Newport 17. It still looks good! The design has aged nicely over the past four decades. I'm often told my Newport 17 is beautiful and they're surprised when I tell them I paid only $600 for it with trailer.
• Newport 17 is great for new Sailors.
Everything is simple on this sailboat with only the essential rigging. After you get more accustomed to sailing the Newport 17, you can add whatever refinements to the rigging you want. It's great blank canvas for DIYer's to add and tweak things.
The Bad Things about Newport 17 Sailboats.
• Factory replacement parts don't exist anymore.
Lockley Newport Boats was a small family operated manufacturer. Rigging is Rigging. You can buy universal parts or adopt rigging from any other sailboats brands / models. The only factory specification replacement part you can buy for Newport 17 is the mast made and sold by DWYER MAST. You can buy aftermarket updated Newport 17 rudder design by Rudder Craft. The cuddy covers, deck rails, tiller, centerboard and any other mechanicals you'll have to fabricate yourself or repair.
• Centerboard / Keel prone to getting stuck or line breaking.
The Newport 17 centerboard keel tucks inside the hull. You raise and lower the centerboard with a line in the center of the deck. The line is held in place with a cleat. This line attaches to a retracting reel under the deck.
You can see the reel if you look under the floor from the cuddy.
Here's a photo by Richard Smith of the Winch and reel Assembly removed.
If your Lockley / Newport Boats Newport 17 centerboard line breaks, you need to either raise the boat or tip it on it's side to access the centerboard. You feed new centerboard line from the cabin attached to a wire (watch video) and attach new centerboard from the bottom of boat.
If you get late 70's Newport 17, the centerboard has updated hank crank with access cover from the cabin for repairs. (Pictured above)
This video guide shows you how to replace centerboard line on most sailboats including the Newport 17.
Newport 17 Main Sheet Traveler Rigging Layout.
This is the direction 3/8" diameter line in your Newport 17 mainsheet halyard line. Notice end of the line is attached to block at top of photo. It has halyard line eye splice, but you can tie your own knot instead if necessary. I like this Double Braid Polyester Sailing Line Rope for my sailboats and will tie my own knot. Otherwise Castobargains makes halyard lines with an eye splice for your Newport 17 Traveler.
Newport 17 Center Board / Swing Keel Dimensions.
Another common issue is over time Newport 17's centerboard develops corrosion causing it to stick inside the hull. We moor our Newport 17 on a lake with seasonal algae that builds up on the keel causing it to stick. If you've just launched your sailboat and the centerboard won't lower, let the boat sit in the water for a day or two and the water may break centerboard loose. If soaking doesn't work, you need to get the boat raised so you can pull out the centerboard and clean it's surface. I've seen people raise their sailboats with jack stands and lumber beams, two engine lifts, or use a tractor with nylon tow straps tied to the shovel to raise the boat. If you don't have these options, take the boat to a Marina with a repair shop and boat lift.
Dimensions of Lockley Newport 17 sailboat Centerboard & Keel taken by Dan Shaver. Left click to save and view larger photo of this image offline.
• No Navigation lights.
Under power of motor (sails down) or sleeping at night, You need one white light on the stern and one white light on top of your masthead and bi-color green and red light on your bow.
Under sail power at night, you need white light on the stern and tri-color white on top of masthead and bi-color green and red light on your bow.
See more details on Navigation Light Rules.
• Non-Reefing Mainsheet.
Newport 17's factory mainsheet doesn't allow reefing. This allows you to shorten the mainsheet in high winds. Getting caught in 16+ knots with 24+ wind gusts will get scary under a full sail. You can buy new mainsheet that allows reefing. I ordered my mainsheet for the Newport 17 with reefing points for $675.
• No Boom Vang.
A Boom Vang pulls the boom downward and removes the slack from your mainsheet. I bought this Boom Vang for my Newport 17.
• No Furling jib.
Not crucial, but very helpful for Solo sailing. Avoid your jib sail lines flopping around in the wind like two angry snakes on your deck.
• No Outhaul rigging on the boom.
Only crucial if you're sailing with aftermarket loose foot mainsheet. It allows you to adjust the position of the mainsheet along the boom on low wind days. You can easily make your own Outhaul with one block and a cleat.
• No Topping lift, (see guide here)
Topping lift is a line that runs from the top of your mast to the end of your boom. Without a topping lift, your boom will drop onto the floor or your foot when lower your mainsheet. Not having one will become annoying and it's usually first thing people add. I recommend adding shackle to your boom, so you disconnect the Topping Lift while sailing, otherwise it may obstruct your mainsheet.
• Wooden rudder ages and cracks.
Lockley Newport Boats saves money on using marine grade wood for their rudders. If you moor your sailboat on a lake, you need to preserve the life of your rudder and remove it or tip back out of the water when not sailing. People have used fiberglass to repair their cracked rudders.
• Wood cuddy covers age and develop rain water leaking.
Over time the wood used for the three cuddy cover planks will warp, causing rain to leak inside the boat. Many people make rain shields.
Best Gas Outboard Motor for the Newport 17?
Suzuki's 2.5hp model DF2.5L2 outboard motor is popular choice in our Newport 17 Sailboat group. It's a perfect choice for any sailboat that is 22' and smaller. At only 31 lbs, it's the lightest 4-stroke Suzuki long shaft model outboard ever built.
Best Electric Trolling Motor for the Newport 17?
You need a motor for several reasons on a sailboat. Maneuvering your boat to and from the boat launch. Back and forth to a mooring buoy and when you need to avoid catastrophes from happening like running into trees or rocks. Many people use gas outboard motors up to 5 hp. We sail our Newport 17 sailboat on a city lake that doesn't allow gas motors.
This Minn Kota C2 30 lb Thrust Trolling Motor will get two adults back to shore with 16 knot head wind under full charge. If you predict sailing with four adults, invest in the Minn Kota 55-lb Thrust.
I use this Mighty Max 12 volt battery in this battery box & power center mounted to floor inside the cuddy. I'm using this Trolling Motor Extension cable Kit that runs under crew bench seat.
The battery is charged with this 12V Sunar Solar Panel mounted on top of porthole on the stern.
Before I tell you everything that myself and my Newport 17 friends hate about it, let's remind ourselves it was sold as an “entry level” sailboat. Reasonably priced to get families on the water without breaking the bank. This is why you see Newport 17's selling cheaper than same size sailboats. Unless the dealer or previous owners added aftermarket parts, it lacks a lot of features and rigging. Many Newport 17 owners are DIYers like myself that have added these refinements on low budgets.
Release Mainsheet before you capsize your Newport 17 Sailboat!
Any sailboat can capsize with an inexperienced Captain. You simply don't sail in wind speeds beyond your skill level on any sailboat. The Newport 17 is 700 pounds with a small keel. It's sails like a Hippo on a Unicycle in high winds. The Newport 17 factory mainsheet doesn't allow reefing. Getting caught in 16+ knots with 24+ wind gusts in Newport 17 under full sail is scary. A high wind can push you over if you don't release your mainsheet! The individual who owns the capsized Newport 17 in above photo was inexperienced. If they could have reefed their mainsheet, this accident may have been avoided.
How to recover Newport 17 sailboat if you capsize?
Add floatation device to the top of your mast. Two or three milk jugs will work. If you don't have mast floatation when you capsize, you can loop a children's bouncy ball around the mast and drag it to the top to lift the sunken last. Then pull up the centerboard and have somebody tow your boat to shore, so you can bail out the cuddy.
Replacement and alternative parts recommendations for Newport 17 Sailboat.
Read about our experience ordering new sails for your Newport 17 sailboat.
Order this Replacement Drain plug for Newport 17 by Seasense on Amazon.
These clam cleats will replace factory 1/4 Traveler line cleats on the Newport 17. You can reuse factory screws to mount these new cleats. Factory cleats had worn out from years of usage and lost their bite. No more tying knots!
Best Mooring and Tow Line for Newport 17 and Sailboats 3000 pounds or less.
We use this Boat Mooring Pennant for our Newport 17 sailboat for the past three years. It's got Zinc plated heavy duty spring shackles. Our lake winds are constantly shifting and there's been no wear and tear on this heavy duty Mooring line.
What are the better alternative sailboats to the Newport 17 with overnight cuddy and centerboard?
Learn and Practice Tying Nautical Knots with this Hitch Cleat Kit Great for teaching kids how to tie the sailboat to the dock or your mooring buoy.
Craziest Internet Story I've found about the Newport 16 & 17 sailboats.
It’s very sad that Captain Robby Smith passed away. It would have been so fun to have met him and heard his Sailing stories in person. It sounds like he had a real passion for Adventure!
What a great story. I had read it a few years back when I first bought my NP17. Great site!