Designer / Draughtsman
Cuthbertson and Cassian Limited
Year of Design
Hull Gilbert Model
The Newport 41 is not based on the Redline 41 and is a distinct design.
All these articles are wrong on that assumption
Based on Red Jacket and Redline 41 Derived from C&C's Redline 41, this design had a long and successful production run. It lacks some of the amenities of 'full-volume modern boats below decks, but is a tough, fast, sea kindly boat offshore. Sailors over the years have invested large sums and enlisted eminent designers in search of the "dual-purpose boat," that rare craft that rewards her owner equally with racing performance and cruising capabilities. Season after season the major builders snatch up the rights to prize-winners, conduct focus groups, and expend marketing dollars on racer/cruisers, and cruiser/racers, in hopes of making the twain of racing and cruising meet. When we checked with owners of the venerable Newport 41, we found her to be not only a widely traveled cruiser but a boat that, though designed in the '60s, can still gather some silver on the PHRF and Beer Can circuits.
The surprise didn't last long; the Newport 41 began life from the parent molds of the Redline 41 from Cuthbertson & Cassian. In its heyday, C & C was one of the sport's foremost builders of production racing boats. When she was designed in 1967, the Redline was queen of that C & C stable. Today's boats have gotten longer on the waterline, shorter in the ends, wider in the beam, and flatter on the bottom. Fashion, technology, and function have all made them that way. So, too, have the rules under which they race. The N-41 is a good yardstick to measure the distance that boats have come. The Redline 41 was designed to the CCA Rule. (CCA stands for the Cruising Club of America. Those salts who were around at the time (and even some who have come along since) tend to romanticize that rating system as "open" in terms of the types of boat that it encouraged. It was criticized for rewarding beamy centerboarders like three-time Newport-Bermuda winner Finisterre, and even the good old days had their bad old rulebeaters... but today CCA boats are generally regarded as "healthy" boats. They were markedly heavier than the boats (IMS, IOR, et. al.) that have come since. They had narrow hull forms with smoother sectional shapes.
Originally designed to the CCA rule, which favored sea boats that wouldn't punish their crews, the hull of the Newport 41 shows moderate overhangs and fairly low freeboard with a graceful sheer.The philosophy of "if it doesn't break, it's too heavy," prevalent in today's engineering of performance boats, had yet to take hold. As the Redline 41, the boat was at the top of the heap in her day. Then C & C recouped its investment in her (making room at the top for the C & C 61) and sold the tooling to Enterprise Yachts of Santa Ana, CA. Their version of the boat was something of an "all things to all people" creation. Their ad copy emphasized that she had "several major series wins to her credit," but went on to describe how she sleeps seven in comfort and luxury and is distinguished by an interior offering sumptuous standards of finish and function. And back then, in 1970, the complete boat sold for $29,995!
But Enterprise didn't sell enough of them to make a go of it, and the molds for the 41 passed to Capital Yachts, Inc., an operation in Harbor City, CA, started by Bay area builder/sailor Jon Williams in late 1972. Capital added several inches of freeboard to the hull and put a greater accent on wood below, but the Newport 41 (as they introduced her) was still very much a boat that you could race, particularly offshore. With Capital's additions, and time, by 1983 a nicely equipped boat cost $85,000. For the next 14 years Capital turned out roughly a boat a month. This early racer/cruiser formed the backbone of a line that included several smaller boats. She continued to be built right up until 1993, when Capital closed its doors. Design C & C produced a startling variety of race-pointed designs over its three decades in business, but one hallmark of them all was minimum wetted surface. From easily driven swept-back keels through semicircular sectional shapes, smooth waterlines, and sweetly harmonized buttocks, the C & C hull shape was drawn to make a minimum of fuss as it passed through the water. Though decidedly heavier than the boats of today, and carrying a smaller, less efficient sailplan, the Newport 41 still has excellent "manners" because she's so easily driven. A key factor in that performance is her narrow 11'3" beam (another design element that makes her easier to sail than some of her broader-beamed rivals).
The hull is somewhat veed forward (owners report dry decks in seas up to three feet), regular and relatively tubular through the midsections, and tucked up slightly at the counter. The beam, however, is carried well aft for sail- carrying power and to provide an antidote to pitching. After 15 degrees of heel the counter adds a foot or more of waterline length and boosts the boat's top-end speed potential. Sail carrying power also comes from full stern sections which explains why the boat's best point competitively has been off the wind. The Newport 41 is stiff. She tends to lie down onto her sailing lines and stay there. Credit that to her 8,215 pounds of ballast. That's a lot of weight to be lugging. Some modern 40-footers don't weigh that much altogether. Toting all of that lead weight definitely limits the 41's speed potential, especially with only 750 sq. ft. of rated sail area. The weight does some good things, too, though. The boat's motion in a seaway is "old fashioned" and "substantial." She doesn't let the waves push her around. And she stands church like until the breeze gets near 20 apparent, without the need for a reef.
Expectations were different for offshore racers when the Newport 41 was born. It was thought that heads would have doors, that pipe racks belonged in outlet stores, and that a boat should offer sailors something solid to keep them safe from wind and wave. Consequently, the N-41 is far from stripped out. Her cockpit is a good example of the thinking that went into offshore racers of her vintage. It's big enough, the well is deep enough, and the functions are spread enough so that five or even six can race the boat with efficiency and space. On the other hand, the benches are long enough (67") to rest on, if not stretch out. The helmsman's area is separate enough to allow concentration, yet big enough for comfort. One of the most unusual aspects of the boat's interior is her offset engine. To reduce pitching (and to create a mega-locker in the space beneath the companionway) the inboard (originally gas but later standardized as a 35-hp. diesel) is tucked beneath the galley counter on the port side. This necessitates an off-center prop (whose drag would be lessened if it had some deadwood to hide behind) but it opens up that space below the shallow (three-step) companionway stairs. "I've got room for two inflatables in there, and maybe a few outboard motors, too," brags one owner. Most owners rate the engine installation "better than average" for access and some have experimented with folding or feathering props to reduce the drag. Gains of 0.4 to 0.9 knots are reported. Newport 41
Some owners rate their interiors "Chevrolet" for interior aesthetics. Others like what they have better than modern boats from the lower half of the price range. Several report that varnishing the teak below has brightened things up a lot. While the matched-grain precision of some of the high-priced boats isn't evident, Capital is reported to have done an honest job of fit and finish that makes the boats quite pleasant places in which to live. There are, of course, problems: "The settee in the saloon is too small." "The pointy end of the platform double is too narrow." "We've had two fires on our alcohol stove." "Ventilation is only fair." These are owner critiques of an interior that seems otherwise to do a good job of filling the bill. The nav station (starboard) and galley (port) are not only big, they're placed for optimal communication above decks. The head to port, and hanging lockers to starboard form a nice divider separating the forecabin from the saloon, enhancing cruising privacy. There's a quarterberth to starboard. One owner labels it "claustrophobic," but as a combination catch-all and secure sea berth, quarterberths are the best. We'd love to see them make a comeback against "aft staterooms" on smaller boats touted as comfortable offshore boats. Some boats also have a pilot berth to starboard, in place of lockers—another snug bunk when underway and heeled over.
Inch-thick fiberglass through the bilge area made up for what the builders of the '60s and '70s lacked in sophisticated mastery of their materials. The boat is heavy because she is heavily built. You might, today, to overstate an extreme example, build a boat twice as strong that weighed half as much. However, these boats have been around since the '60s—we'll see in 40 years or so how boats being built today have fared. "My wife and I frequently sail ours on 1000-mile cruises." "Ours has been sailed to Hawaii." "My boat has raced over 20,000 offshore miles." "I do my own deliveries to Mexico and back. We've run into some tough stuff and racked up over 8,000 nautical miles." These testimonials are evidence that the old-fashioned technique of layering cloth, mat, and roving into a "brick outhouse" has produced some sturdy boats. The decks are balsa-cored, but plywood is used extensively at the edges of the deck and in spots where hardware is attached. Sometimes not enough attention was paid to sealing the core. Several owners report having had to redo their decks, either in spots or entirely. Others report leaks around the chainplates. The hull/deck joint, however, appears to be have been done well. The deck is dropped onto an inward-turning flange in the hull. That joint is bedded with sealant and mechanically fastened with bolts on 4" centers. That seam is then sealed with the signature C & C aluminum toerail. "We've had our boat for six years without a single deck leak," a San Diego sailor reports.
The Newport 41 is at her best upwind in a breeze. She tacks in 80 degrees and stands up well under full sail, chomping along on her sailing lines at about 25 degrees of heel. A cruising sailor who doesn't race his 41 says, "When other boats have to power to weather, I can sail and enjoy it." Conclusions The N-41 makes an excellent case for the fact that a boat that was designed intelligently and built well in the first place has a good chance of standing the tests of time. One evidence of the thoroughness with which this boat was built and supported is the owner's manual supplied by Capital Yachts—a manual to put others to shame. It attempts, and in fact mostly succeeds, in instructing a new owner not only about the construction and fittings of boat, down to fairly minute detail, but what to carry in her, how to tune and sail her, and more. We downloaded the old manual to get details about the boat, and ended up reading large sections of it. It's a conscientious gift of experience from builder to buyer. Speed and maneuverability are significant virtues in a cruising boat, and the N-41 has retained them. Sailors who enjoy racing but are less happy about the expense, discomfort, and "to the edge" design of today's racing boats will find the Newport 41 to their liking.
I am pleased, VERY pleased to report to you a 40 minute!... conversation I had with Henri M Adriaanse. WHO is Henri Adriannse you might ask? Henri Adriaanse (initals H.M.A.) is THE guy at C&C (Cuthbertson and Cassian) who drew the Newport 41 in 1968. Henri emigrated to Canada in 1961, from Leewaarden, the Netherlands, landed in Niagara on the Lake, worked at Hinterhoeller, C&C, and was plant manager for 5 years for Hinterhoeller. While at C&C he designed, probably among others, the Newport 41, Viking 28, C&C 27, the famous C&C aluminum toerail, then while on his own, the Ontario series of boats, 28, 32 and Aurora 40. He cut his design teeth at the legendary design office of "van de Stadt" in Zaandam, just north of Amsterdam. I was seeking clarification or confirmation about the legend that the Newport 41 was a refried version of the Redline 41. It is not. The letter previously posted on this site, from GHC addresses the fact that the N41 was a separate and distinct design from the Redline 41. The Newport 41 was not built from retooled Redline 41 moulds. As Henri tells it, it would be prohibitively expensive and technically impractical to attempt such a thing. With that dispelled, how close was the N41 to the famous "Red Jacket"? Henri says, at the time, everybody wanted a "Red Jacket". She was very fast, good looking, and was a one-off! Perry Connolly, who commissioned and raced Red Jacket would not allow a plug to be taken of Red Jacket. However, C&C owned the intellectual property, and could do as they saw fit with the lines etc. It's plausible that C&C, being onto a good thing, sought capitalize on it. So, maybe the N41 was a contemporary (3 years after Red Jacket) California version of Red Jacket. Henri says that (this is 54 years later, and his mid is still clear) the the N41 was designed to be lighter than the RL41, a ton or so, for lighter California airs, with more freeboard and headroom for... stuff, and about a foot shorter. A "separate and distinct design" to quote GHC. On earlier posts, I posted the Red Jacket line overlaid on the Newport 41 lines... the similarities are striking... and compelling! At Kingston yacht Club there is a 1969 Redline MkII, "Bagatelle". "Bags" as we call her was one of three built for the Canada's Cup. She didn't make the cut. I've looked and looked at Bagatelle, trying to reconcile the myth of RL41 and N41 being essentially the same. They are very close, but they are NOT the same. How I hung on to the legend when the differences were right before my eyes is.... eyeopening... perhaps the power of a "Practical Sailor article perpetuating the RL41- N41 myth. .. with incorrect information! Having uncovered some of this stuff (thank you JohnKelly Cuthbertson), I am quite confident in saying that our Newport 41's are closer, at least in hull form, to Red Jacket than to the RL41, and are certainly not retooled RL41's. What we are sailing are luxury versions of a legendary Canadian racing yacht. A direct descendent of a thoroughbred. A powerful boat. A beautiful boat. A joy to sail. Here is mine.
Hope you have enjoyed this. Henri's call made my day. Cheers,
Peter Cohrs, N41 #182, mkll s/d "Clipper". April 2022
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