I have a 76 Surprise which needs new lines. Do you have your surprise back together? I live in Stafford and make frequent trips to Richmond and would like to see how your surprise is rigged. Does anyone else have a surprise in northern or central Virginia? Did anyone get the rigging PDF?
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Re: Surprise!


We have a Newport Suprise we purchased on Long Beach Island in about 1978, named the "Aargh!" We have sailed her on Barnegate Bay, New Jersey, Lake Norman, in North Carolina, Smith Mountain Lake, in Virginia, and on various ponds and lakes in Connecticut. She is currently at a friend's house on the ICW in Wilmington, NC. I originally had to make a new rudder assembly, because the dealer who sold her to us did mostly power boats and apparently threw in a bunch of parts which didn't work.

She measures just under 16' long (doesn't have to be registered, unless you use a motor), and draws about 1' board-up. The solid steel centerboard drops to about 3'. We are currently using the original sails, main jib and spinnaker. The spinnaker was original equipment, but I had to rig the pole.

It takes two people to rig her, although one can do it with practice. Two is a comfortable crew. I have single-handed her extensively, and we occasionally sail with three. The normal crew is my wife Carole and me, and after 30 years we are pretty good at it.

She is the best training boat I've ever seen; a marconi-rigged sloop with spinnaker, and I have sailed her quite a bit with novices. We have only capsized three times; once when we first bought her and didn't realize the centerboard was in the mud bottom, once when I was single-handing at night and was taken aback, and once when the bottom drain failed and she took on water.

She is easily righted by standing on the centerboard.


We added the spinnaker, with a ring on the mast, additional block on the mast for the lift for the pole, two new cleats and two new fairleads.

I added an outboard motor pad; we havent used an outboard on her in 20 years, but a 2-horse Johnson fit well and moved her right along. She does so well in light air that we found the motor to be more in the way than useful.

I added a tiller extension for singlehanding.

I installed lights and a battery for night sailing.

Gear Failures: Once, over the winter, the cockpit drain cracked, and the first time out in the spring we took water into the hull, became unstable and capsized (more like, "fell over") before we realized what was going on. Embarrassing.

After 20 years, the double blocks operating the centerboard wore out and separated, so the centerboard control line jammed in the block; I replaced them.

I have replaced the halyards once.

We are now undergoing our first "major re-fit," and have ordered a new sheave for the main halyard at the top of the mast (the original jammed and is worn flat; it still works, though). The rinky-dink turnbuckle on the forestay bent (after 30 years) and we have ordered a new turnbuckle and Norseman fitting for the forestay.

We have waxed the superstructure twice, and she still has the original bottom paint. She is on her original trailer.

We are using the original sails, although they are a bit limp and misshapen. We, too, after 30 years, are a bit limp and misshapen. The sails have retained at least as much of their original function than we have.

We were experienced "large boat" sailors before we bought her, but I love the handiness of a small boat. I can back her into a slip if the wind is right (a useful trick for your first time out in a new neighborhood).

I will answer questions to the best of my ability, though taking measurements might take a while since the boat is now 4 hours away. Feel free to contact me at

We've bought a 39' cruising sloop on the Chesapeake bay, so we plan to sell her. I plan to list her on e-bay as soon as the "refit" is completed. We'll be sorry to see her go, but feel even worse about letting her sit unused.

Wayne Roberts

I am new to the forum.

I have a 1980 Lockley/Newport Surprise.

I lost my keel in the Barnegat bay when I capsized her last week.

I am looking for a Surprise owner who would be willing to let me trace a template and take measurements off the keel of their Surprise. I am planning on having a new keel fabricated from stainless, but need accurate measurements to give to my fabricator before he can proceed.

I am located near Allentown, PA in the Lehigh Valley. I am willing to travel to wherever the boat is located to retrieve the measurements.

I really miss Surprise and am anxious to get her back in the water.

Thanks in advance!
I have the manual for the 77 Surprise and will scan and post soon.

I lost my Centerboard today in the muck of the Potomac. Can anybody with one of these boats provide specs? The paperwork doesn't indicate them.
Okay ... at long last, the Rigging and Handling instructions for a Lockley Newport Surprise. I scanned this at 300 dpi and cleaned this up a bit too so it should print quite nicely. Even tagged it so search engines can index it a bit better (since ultimately the pages are big images).

Now ... back to my centerboard (or lack thereof). I'm finding very little info on the Web about the specs for these. With Lockley Newport out of business, I'm not even sure where to turn.


I found somebody only about 20miles away with his Surprise out of the water and keel out of the slot. He's going to try to help.

Incidentally, to the forum moderator, I can't edit the above post, so I'm attaching a fresh copy of the attachment. OCR has been added so it can be searchable. Please feel free to delete the post above in place with this one.