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Bristol Pilot Cutters with title


  Venture of Newport 23 ==> SOLD 

Venture of Newport 23

Uniqueness: Few boats in this price and size range have such character and style. From the sheer-line that resembles a smile, to the colorful hull and vibrant sails, along with a distinctive bowsprit, taffrail, and deck house, this character boat captures attention wherever it goes. What's even more interesting is that the Newport 23 was built on a racing hull, making this boat fast and quick to accelerate. With the pop-top deck house and galley, this boat doubles as both a sailor and a camper!

Venture of Newport 23

Price: $3,500 including boat, motor, trailer, & mooring in Bristol Harbor (RI) June - July 4th. The boat is currently on the trailer ready to sail. Clean Title.

This boat has not seen much sailing since it was first purchased in 1980. Much of its service was in fresh water lakes in Maine and New Hampshire.

Promotional Photo
 from Catalogue

Equipment included in this sale: Trailer ( Okay condition), 3 Sails: (Original in Very Good condition -- still stiff, little used), Jib Bag; Sailcover; all Running Rigging recently eye-spliced; New Bow Chock/Cleat combination; New Tabernacle for Mast; New Mast Hoisting Rig; New marine quality Porta-potty; Battery; new Anchor, new Chain, and Rode (easy anchoring set up with New Hawser Pipe through deck for chain); Mercury Mariner Sailmate (long shaft) 2 cycle motor (recently serviced and little used), 2 cup holders in cockpit; Hummingbird Depth Sounder; two Fenders; Dock Lines; Portable Stove; Life Preservers.

Boat Just Prior to Launch

Venture of Newport Pop Top

Deck House with “Pop-Top” which gives six feet of headroom

Key features: Trailerable with medium powered vehicle. Swing keel (allows boat to motor in shallow waters or float away if grounded). Bowsprit. Cabin pop-top. Foredeck hatch. Sleeps 4. Dinette/bed. Head. Sliding sink/galley unit. Positive Floatation (will not sink!); Self Bailing Cockpit; Kick-Up Rudder; Self Righting from a knockdown.

Trailerability: I hauled this boat through New Hampshire mountains with only a small pickup [Chevy S-10, automatic transmission and 4 cylinder engine]; launches in 20 inches of water; takes 20-25 minutes to hoist mast, install rudder & mount engine prior to launch. Keeping it on the trailer for the winter behind your house means no shipyard storage and launching fees. This also makes it very easy for spring cleanup and any miscellaneous work you want to do on the boat.

Annual Economics:

     Maintenance (cleaning products, paint) 

     Trailer Registration 

     Boat Registration (annual) 

     Property Taxes  

     Gas/Oil (varies, my use was 3-4 gallons)

     Shipyard Hauling/Storage 

     Insurance (varies)  





$0 in Rhode Island






    LOA = 22' 7", Beam = 7' 2",

    Disp. = 2000 lb., Swing keel = 600 lb.
    Draft Keel Down = 5' 6", Draft Keel Up = 18"

    Sail area total = 253 sq' (125, p70, 68)

    Cockpit length= 6' 4"

    Year Built: 1980

Venture of Newport Interior

Interior View (sorry, she’s not included)

Forward Deck

Bow with mast-lifting gear in place

Commentary from the Venture Newport 23 Websites ( and others):

  • .......perhaps one of the most unique trailerable sailboats ever built. The Venture Newport 23 is a swing-keel cutter made by MacGregor from 1973 to 1984. With its raked mast, signature taffrail, bowsprit and classic lines, this versatile and practical boat evokes the nostalgia of sailing vessels from a century ago. Yet with a sturdy fiberglass hull and fully retractable iron swing keel this vessel is easy to maintain and at home on a trailer, beached in a quiet cove, or plying the inland and coastal waterways.
  • Overall Satisfaction (Quotes from Owners): Nimble yet forgiving, has righted herself from 110 degrees, with its 600 lb swing keel. I often sail it in 30 gusting to 45, but she gets legs in about 10-12 knots carrying about 20 degrees of heel. Inside it sleeps two in a very cozy in the V-berth, and 2 [children] on the lowered galley table. It has a balanced helm and the cutter rig is an eye catcher. As for boat handling: we love the cutter setup. With three sails up the helm is neutral we’ve sailed like this to about 17 mph true to windward and she settles in at 15 degrees. Any more heel and there is no gain so we reef. At 25 knots of wind, we use Staysail and Main. Then (over 30 knots) staysail and reefed main with no real problems. In the right conditions 12 to 15 mph winds and flat water we’ve beaten Mac 26c’s, Catilina 22-25s and a Hunter 26 in ad hoc races. Our real love is cruising, and we hope to haul it across the country in a couple of years sailing along the way. We've had it for 9 years and love it!. We've sailed it on local freshwater lakes, and trailered to the ocean. I use it for sail training of adults and children.
  • Strengths: A beautiful classic look with bowsprit and trailboards forward and reverse wineglass transom and a hint of tumblehome aft. The 2000 lb. displacement makes trailering easy. Fast. Cutter-rig (twin headsails) makes reducing total sail area easy. Rigged from trailer into water; 15-25 min. Pop-Top deckhouse gives 6 feet of headroom
  • Weaknesses: 2000 lb. displacement makes it a little on the tender side but I've been out in 20 knot winds before by reducing sail (main has one reef point.) Minimal interior conveniences.

Why Selling? My father’s old Bristol-27 that we sailed on together for 25 years came on the market, and I bought it for sentimental reasons. I only need one boat.

Interior Vee Birth

Interior showing forward Vee Birth

see a Venture of Newport under restoration

Download Original Venture of Newport Owners Manual & Brochure

Interior Galley

Interior showing Galley

Launch Procedure

Prior to Launch


  • Connect trailer
    • Check Hitch Lock
    • Check Cinch Straps
    • Connect Safety Chains
    • Connect Electrical for turn signals

 Truck/Car Contents

    • Oars for Dinghy
    • Engine & Fuel
    • Rudder
    • Wheel Chocks
    • Food & Drink & Ice

At Top of Ramp

  • Mount Fenders
  • Mount Engine
  • Mount Rudder
  • Hoist Mast
  • Remove Cinch Straps
  • Back Trailer down Ramp until Truck/Car Tires are submersed only 2” , Chock Tires

At Waterline

  • Bow & Stern Lines to Pier
  • Launch Boat
     – Release Winch Strap from Bow Eye
  • Tie Boat to Pier -- load food & drinks
  • Start Engine -- hoist sails -- go sailing!

Raising the Mast

  1. Position Mast: Position the Mast with base of mast laying on the tabernacle at the top of deck house, and the top third of the mast laying in the boom crutch. Place Tabernacle bolt in place into the aft holes of the tabernacle.
  2. Clear Lines: Ensure all shrouds are clear and untangled, spreaders are free, back-stay clevis pin is in longest/loosest position (top of the adjuster) to enable fore-stays to connect more easily.
  3. Baby Shrouds: Attached baby shrouds (to keep mast aligned during hoisting) with tang/bolt into mast and attach other end to deckhouse fittings with shackle.
  4. Lifting Pole & Tackle: Fit base of lifting pole into position at forward end of tabernacle, secure with bolt. Attach lifting pole blocks -- lower end with long lead line to center of bowsprit cleat, and other end to forward ring at top of lifting pole. Run the loose end of lifting line back to the cockpit through the port side fairlead at the top of the deckhouse, then through the cam-cleat. Put a stopper knot at the end of the lifting line.
  5. Attach Halyards to Lifting Pole: Position lifting pole in vertical position, and attach both yankee (flying) jib halyard (yellow) and staysail jib halyard (blue) to the top of the lifting pole. Shackle ends are clipped to ring on the aft side of the top of pole, loose ends are wrapped around lifting pole just below the ring and secured with knot. (be sure there is no looseness in the halyards, but they need not be taught)
  6. Raise Mast: Standing in the cockpit, facing forward with right shoulder under the mast, and lifting line in left hand, push the mast out of the boom crutch while pulling on the lifting line in left hand. Walk the mast upward while pulling on the line. Within a minute you’ll have the mast in full upright position. Watch all lines and spreaders as you raise the mast to ensure they are clear and untangled. Once the mast is fully up, cleat the lifting line to ensure the mast stays vertical while you set the forestays.
  7. Attach Forestays: Take the longest (blue) jib halyard and clip the shackle into the fitting at the end of the bowsprit. Pull the loose end of the jib halyard as tightly as possible and secure around the bowsprit cleat. Attach the outer (yankee) stay to the fitting at the end of the bowsprit with clevis pin and retainer. (If you need to pull the mast up a little more vertical to get the pin in, use your foot to push hard against the section of halyard secured to the bowsprit cleat like you were pulling back on the string of a bow and arrow.) Repeat this to set the inner forestay.
  8. Adjust Backstay: Remove the clevis pin from the backstay, pull down on the back stay to take out any looseness and reset the clevis pin (usually two/three holes lower). Remove the baby shrouds and links.
  9. Fit Boom: Clip the aft end of the boom to the topping lift, attach the main sheet tackle, and bolt the gooseneck to the mast.
  10. Remove Lifting Pole: Remove the lifting pole and lines, set the sails and sheets, and have some fun.