M  F  

our wise old Rhodie Jay, who sails the ocean off the NJ shore says, “know the weather, know the water, reef often, reef early, stay safe.”    David, who came back for his second

Rhodes after owning another boat, said:  “The task of sailing was so tedious I sailed only a few times.   The Rhodes with its IMF and captain chairs   is the only way to go.”

Go IMF with the Rhodes exclusive adjustable center of effort boom.



This is such a sensational feature  I would buy the IMF system even if I did not buy              the boat. Well, maybe a bit of exaggeration but it speaks for our enthusiasm of how easy it is to change sail area (throttle) on the Rhodes 22. . . underway.


             I have always been a lazy sailor.  The urge to go for a sail was always there.

But the thought of undoing the main sail cover, folding it up and stowing it away, untying the wrapped sail ties, putting them away, putting in the battens, then hoisting the beating assembly, dampened the urge.  And, if the urge survived the work at the starting end, it still had to pass the thought of all that work at the ending end:  Down with the sail.  Out with the battens.  Try to hold and fold the sail neatly on a reluctant boom while arguing with sail ties that the whole mess could fit comfortably under the weather-worn resisting sail cover.

            If the urge to sail prevailed, setting sails questions still had to be consequentially weighed;  Do I raise sail slip-side while tied up in our calm, active port; or raise sail in open water while freely bobbing in lots of margin-for-error wiggle room?  Do I go with full sail? Start off reefed?  Or attempt to reef under way if winds overpower my pre set sail size?  I know that once out there, sailing solo with conventional rigging, re-debating the urge is going to be academic.  Maybe I should just wait until someone else has the urge to sign on with me.  

            We wanted anyone to be able to sail his or her Rhodes anytime the spirit moved them - without having to first round up some minimum number of required crew.  Other scenarios were also prodding us to think “alternate sail systems’.   I recall one fine day with so many helpful hands on board, I was demoted to guest.  Then the rains came and the collective crew elected to drop sail and motor back ASAP

           Here, with ideas already churning for a different kind of Rhodes sail, watching   buckets of rain spilling from continuous pockets formed by each tug on the hard-to-lower standard sail, putting a wet blanket over the soggy cockpit crews’ promise that sailing is fun, that churning was put on a fast track.

            Skipping IMF’s evolution history, today Rhodies all over the land will tell you, Innermast Furling is absolutely wonderful.  Like the throttle of your car, you can match sail size to your expanding sailing savvy.  Easy cockpit control of sail size makes being out there by yourself in 3 to 30 mph weather, no big deal.  (OK, it can be exciting single handing in the 20 to 30 range, but with IMF it is a ‘yes you can’ moment.  With IMF the sail stores inside the mast which means much more onboard storage space for other gear.  No sail handling, batten fumbling, sail cover tying  -  sails stay neater, cleaner, live much longer.  The IMF loose footed sail and adjustable built in topping lift, allow complete sail draft control for superior sailing performance.  (As you look about at today’s pure racing boats you will be surprised to find that almost all have now gone to loose footed mains.)   If you are not into showing off your racing skills you will still turn heads when you dock under sail or sail onto your trailer, under IMF power.  Piece of cake.  And, at the end of the day, putting your sail away takes less time then it takes to read this last sentence.


Webster: “Furling” is the ability to “wrap or roll”  and so put the sail away.  “Reefing” is the ability to “cut down area, shorten” and so use the same sail at different sizes.  “Sally” is, “the sudden bursting forth out of doors in bright witticism for a besieging jaunt”.

The Rhodes IMF places all of this at your finger tips.


Editors’s Note:  We were nervous about our IMF thinking.  We wanted some more experienced builder to do it first.  We had brought it up with Phil Rhodes and he said they were thinking about a furling main outside the mast but that did not appeal to us.  Our reluctance paid off when the Ted Hood organization came out with their inside the mast main furling system and we asked what it would cost to put on our 22s.  They laughed us off with, “More than the cost of your boats”.   So, after lucking out at our own drawing boards, Hood came to us at the boat show to see if we were infringing their patent rights and walked away saying, “Maybe we should be buying yours”.   Of course our oversimplified, low cost solution would never work for the big guys.


If I required more evidence of the simplicity and functionality of the Rhodes design, such a demonstration was provided for me yesterday  I went to the boat with the intention to sail, and met my slip neighbor, who has an older Catalina 22.  He was in need of some assistance lowering the mast to do some maintenance and I offered to help.  Lowering and then raising the mast was tedious and took the two of us hours and I thought back to my experience with Elton when he delivered my boat and he and this absolute greenhorn set up my Rhodes.   With his mast vertical again I announced my intention to go out on the lake and at least do some sailing that day.  My neighbor went out with me, and as soon as the IMF main popped out of the mast I gave him the tiller.  He was amazed.  This is a guy who has sailed since he was eleven and comes from a very salty family with lots of long distance sailing experience on many boats.  We sailed into the slip and he was flabbergasted.  Folks in the marina told us that they were watching us come in and what a petty picture the boat made under sail,  While driving out of the marina I realized I had left something on board and returned to the dock.   Another admirer was giving my boat a critical eye and accepted my invitation to step on board.  He too fell under the genie’s spell.  This boat has made me more popular than the marina’s mechanic.” 

                                                                                           you might want to go to  Trailer  next