may not

be the




Your challenge, as the buyer, is to weigh what you get 
for what you give up -
to keep your eye on your sailing agenda -
to make the choices that do not dilute those goals
Do you want more of boat space to be down below, 
or in the cockpit.
Should you accept more pounding in choppy water to get more foot room in the “V” berth or go for the smoother motion of a sharp bow entry design.
Do your needs call for a deep keel boat for a stiffer ride and better pointing, that in turn calls for deeper water venues, higher maintenance costs and makes the safety of foam flotation as well as trailing to other waters, impractical 
vs. the more tender, safer combination keel/centerboard, foam-flotation hull that lets you sail in practically no water and trail almost anywhere.  See if you can find yourself in one of these 10 sailing life styles and then decide for yourself if the Rhodes is the boat for you.

“Sailboat design is, of necessity, the art of compromise - so it was explained to me with the arm of America’s legendary naval architect Phil Rhodes, around my shoulder as I showed him my sketches and declared I wanted it all.”

sailing the shoals of Tampa Bay

which of these 10 situations is you


         BIG ONE



  1. 1.  You have this gorgeous 41 footer sitting at the club accumulating billings and barnacles.  You

are mustering less and less time and energy for that casual spin and memories of small boat sailing

with a responsive tiller in your hand are invading your thinking.  Ah, for a single hander that could

have you sailing in seconds at the drop of a whim - yet does not ask you to give up the wonderful

amenities you have grown so accustomed to on your hibernating yacht.  You are a Rhodes Buyer. 

A buyer with cash from the big boat sale that lets you take advantage of the deposit savings program. 

A program that lets you spend less for sailing more. 

2.   You are “accountant” minded: Feet grounded by the numbers; soul itching to sail.  But the

purchase price must cross foot to balance with time-used-benefits.  Liabilities like down time for

raising and lowering sails can not be on your balance sheet.  Years of number crunching have shown

you time and again that investment in quality is less costly.  Tuned into tax codes you know the fully

equipped Rhodes interior qualifies for interest deductions of a second home.  You grasp the value-

added of no dealers, no advertising, in the cost of goods manufactured column.   And you know that

the bottom line is the day of resale value.  And you know that resale value is highest for boats still in

production - that even bank financing for your buyer will be lower for your in-continuous-production

Rhodes as against boats from manufacturers no longer in business. If the accountant/value hat fits,

You are a Rhodes buyer.

                “if I look at cost per hour of fun, the Rhodes is less expensive

               than anything else I could have purchased.”

                                                             accountant minded owner of a 1986 recycled Rhodes 22

  1. 3.    You are a new-to-sailing Sailor:      YOU ARE A RHODES BUYER.  PERIOD.

                                                                       whether learning to sail on a sky high Oregon lake . . .

        or  great Lake Michigan . . .                                                                                                             or any other body of water.









Rhodes 41

                                  Rhodes 22


We quip that the Rhodes is so easy to

sail, you can stay home.  Only a slight

exaggeration. Balance: You can unhand

the tiller to go below and grab a beer.

Age: Does not matter, nor does species.

I taught our dog to put a paw on the

locked tiller, retired to the cabin and

heard an anchored fisherman gasp,

“My god, the dog is sailing”.


The Rhodes is an ideal size for a learning boat.  It is not so small that your location

on board is important in keeping you from getting wet   And it is not that big that you can’t take it out all by yourself to go through all sorts of dumb maneuvers and come back an expert.  And when you need a learning break it can take over all by it self  to keep you on your learning course.  (more on best boat for beginners in “Report” link)

  1. 4.   You are an avid Racer - comfort be dammed.     The Rhodes is Not for You . . . . .

. . . . . .  unless you enjoy BLOODLESS COMPETITION

Then a Rhodes RCR (Rhodes Club Racer) may be for you.

        We are often asked how fast is the Rhodes.  Our stock answer is 60 highway, 8 surfacing.

The Rhodes 22’s  Phil Rhodes hull is fast.  Its 20 foot water line is longer than many larger LOA boats.  We have slowed our cruising version down with our many easy to sail comfort wiles.  The RCR

version gets back to racing basics.

                           One NC fiend who goosed up his antique Rhodes

                           for racing (boom vang, back stays rigged for mast

                           bending, battened main,etc.) reports that it paid off,

                           “We sailed to first place in our Spring series”.

        A Louisiana owner, who kept his cruising Rhodes

        and also bought a RCR, writes, “The RCR is a joy

        to sail. Easily beats 22s and have even beaten a 32

       under phrf.  You really should market the RCR”.

                                                                                                    an early eighties converted to a racing machine  



  1. 5.   You are a Sailor - Your significant other is not:


        At long ago boat shows the husband, spending too much time at the Rhodes exhibit, would be

separated from his fantasy by a wife saying, “we need a new couch”.  It is a different today with non sailing partners giving the sailing enthusiast half, sailing space - but just not joining in those sailing hours.  While some owners love their single sailing time without prejudice, sadly they do so without the fulfillment of sharing.   If “5” is your niche the Rhodes may be the boat for you because it offers more enticing features than any other small boat in helping woo the reluctant half in discovering what you

have already discovered - and they are missing - the joys of sailing.

        We find sailing hesitancy rooted in misunderstanding, expressed in fear and embarrassment. It

has to be shown that the Rhodes 22 does not sink or capsize under sail or blow up like a motor boat

can and the challenging threshold in learning to sail is so low in the Rhodes that it can be crossed in minutes, if you give it those few minutes.  Whenever we get the tiller into the hand of a hesitant soul,

a new personality almost immediately emerges;  Sailing a Rhodes is easy and fun and safe and you

are in charge.     

        We had an appointment to take a couple for a demo sail on Lake Okeechobee but only the wife

was waiting.  “He’s on the Lake somewhere on a friend’s motor boat”.  So we took the hesitant young new-to-sailing wife out, gave her a few pointers - and the helm and went into the cabin to get out of the sun.  By chance we sailed by an astounded husband.  “I didn’t know you could sail” he shouted over the

motor boat’s roar. “Neither did I”, she returned, “until I took the tiller.  And I love it”.   

        The following e-mail from a completely no-interest-in-sailing spouse to a hesitating soul mate is

probably valuable reading at this point if you are a class of Nich-5 alumni:

        “Dear Cathy, In the beginning I wasn’t at all that interested in sailing, it was my husband’s interest..  He wanted a recycled Rhodes.  We went to the Annapolis boat show where I had a

mini sailing lesson where I was able to man the tiller.  I have to tell you how impressed I was

with the quality and handling of the Rhodes 22.  The safety issues were my primary concern as

I can not swim.  It is not easy to impress me.  I was so impressed with the Rhodes, I talked my husband into getting a NEW Rhodes.  I do all the sailing now.  It is my sail boat.”      

     “After buying a used Rhodes we moved to a larger cruising boat for five years after retirement and

     are now back on an almost new recycled Rhodes and having a ball sailing shallow Florida waters.”

  1. 6.       You have attained sailing maturity (no matter your age):

You have come to realize that the dream of moving up to larger and larger sailboats and then sailing around the world is a lifetime achievement few of us will do.  And that you are not going to retire and live on your sailboat.  That chartering the big one is the way to go whenever you need to re-purge the early schemes.  You and your crew agree sailing is a big part of your life but still, only a part of it.  And your hard earned sailing wisdom tells you 22 is the ideal size for you - just find the most 22 available.   If you are “6” going on ”7”, You are a Rhodes buyer.  While many sailors move up and down, the Rhodes holds the record for moving the most sailors sideways (22 to 22) so, like you, they can be sailing the most 22 possible - and the 22 most versatile.   

  1. 7.       You are a Trailer Sailor, by choice or necessity:  If you want a boat to launch and

retrieve for a short sail after work, the Rhodes is not for you.   If your goal is for weekend

or multi-day outings, a trailer bound Rhodes is ideal.  A plant worker can rig a Rhodes in 20 minutes.  Of course you may take twice that time, particularly if you have a helper, since conversation adds drastically to rigging time. 

           from an article on trailer sailing in “Sail”:

           Marty Yurick of Ohio, has trailed and

          sailed his RHODES 22 some 33,000

          miles since he bought it in 1982: 

          ‘Everyone I know wants a bigger and

          bigger boat, but not me” he said.  “If I

          had a boat larger than a trailer can take

          and a tow vehicle can tow, I’d be locked

          into Lake Erie.”

            Rhodes special trailing features do make mast handling and launching relatively simple compared to other cruising boats.  For starters all steps can be done single handed and none of the operations require a single tool.  Where we once said, “one man can raise the mast, we just have not found him yet”, today, with the Rhodes mast hoist system, one lady can raise the mast.  Once the mast is up you are ready to go since the main sail, main furling system, genoa, genoa furler, the boom and al lines are all raised at once in one single step.  Gentle car braking self launches the boat.  With furling sails and the DOWN board for  under water centering, the boat can literally sail onto the trailer. Putting the Rhodes in and out of the water is stunningly fast, easy - and also fun if you have an audience.  The Rhodes radio controlled trailer winch option makes positioning on the trailer even easier. On the  highway the low profile and low external ballast make for a more comfortable tow vs. jettisoning type water ballast boats.  For active trailer sailors wanting to speed things up even more, fast pins and velcro ties are a big help.  The trailer life style really pays for itself when “dry sailing” at mariners where the boat is trailer stored fully rigged for just minutes in and out on sailing days.

  1. 8.       You can only afford only one boat - but want to do river, lake and ocean sailing. 

            You realize a boat designed for specific water is the best choice.  But that is a luxury you do not have.   You are a default Rhodes buyer because

of the Rhodes exceptional design features - exceptional

design features like the mast having 9 stays and 9 chain

plates so that each stay can go to its own chain plate for

safety that stretches your sailing limits.

           The Rhodes In this photo sailed the lakes of KY,

rivers of TN, trailed to the shores of FL and sailed the

ocean to the Bahamas where it fit that narrow opening

to spend the night in a protective shallow cove on the

Isle of Bimini - a log no ocean crafted boat could enter.

            We love that line from the book

           “Sailing Big on a Small Sailboat”:

            “from the deep blue ocean to the shallow coves, the Rhodes covers it all.”

  1. 9.       You are sold on sailing a Rhodes 22 - but your budget isn’t.

            There is nothing like a brand new Rhodes: The way it looks, the way it sails, the way it feels slicing through the water, the way all of its elements function.  But your first Rhodes does not have to be new.    Visit    and find your first Rhodes in the GB Corral   “The World’s Largest Selection of Used Rhodes 22s in a Single Location”  with in-house financing.  OR, if up to it, do the e-mail leg work checking out owners ready to sell privately.  They are listed in “Part Two” of the aforementioned used Rhodes site.

  1. 10.       You are a Single Hander Sailor:    You know your family is never going to share your enthusiasm for sailing.  Or maybe you revel in crew-less sailing.     You need:   All  lines cockpit controlled.  A variable tiller extension for anywhere in the cockpit control.  A tiller lock box that lets you sail hands free.  Sails that single handed re-size to your comfort level of the moment.  A variable height boom that puts you in control of your main sail’s center of effort to make single handing and change of mind winds, a successful marriage.


In this appealing scene, on a rather windy day; the genoa and the IMF main nicely trimmed, the boom is in its lowest setting for flatter sailing, the tiller locked in its hiking stick lock box and the loan crew,  as  part time captain, doing absolutely nothing as he and his Rhodes sail off, leaving all cares behind, turns something in you on - and you would like to change places  . . . . . . . . . .  You are a Rhodes Buyer.

WARNING:   If all 10 Niches are you, You are a Rhodes (company) buyer.

                                               -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

e-mail tapping that might help the “is the Rhodes the boat for you” decision making:

        An in-the-market Ohio couple e-mail some Rhodes owners:

“We are looking for a good boat for our retirement for both day sailing and cruising the Great Lakes.”

          And gets some responses:

“I got the books Sailing Small and another called Sailing Big on a small Sailboat with a Rhodes moving along at a good clip on its cover.  Both books reviewed leading boats in this size with upbeat comments about the Rhodes, like:  ‘flexibility, real cabin and galley and cooking and storage space, the right trade off of space and comfort versus trailerability, another Rhodes virtue is it also does very well under power’.  I even contacted Practical Sailor magazine who were nice enough to get back to me with, ‘Good choice of boat.’ (Editor’s note: Knowing Practical Sailor’s policy of not taking advertising - or prisoners - our vest buttons pop whenever we hear all the nice things they continue saying about the Rhodes.)

“We sail Lake Erie out of Cleveland and the Rhodes is a fine boat for most Lake Erie conditions. The IMF is a dream; makes the boat easy to get underway under sail power, easy to reef and easy to stow when you’re done.  We should be able to manage to take you for a demonstration sail sometime.” 

“If you can spend the money there is no better boat - from racing to day sailing to weekending or trailing to exotic destinations for long adventures, with ease.  I have taken mine to the Bahamas and the Dry Tortugas and can testify that, with proper planning, you can take this boat about anywhere.”  

“I thought the boat overpriced because of too many bells and whistles but it became my benchmark for comparisons with other boats.  Eventually evaluating the market changed ‘overpriced’ into good value for the quality and ‘bells and whistles’ into worthwhile features, giving me exactly what I wanted at a reasonable price:  Enjoyable to sail.  Easy to sail.  Fun to sail. Comfortable to sail.  I could not find a better sailing environment on any other boat under 40 feet. No boat owner should ever divide quality sailing time into boat costs.  Cost per hour of use of a Rhodes has to be the cheapest boat out there.  Other boats do not have features of the Rhodes, features I just don’t want to give up.  The Rhodes has ruined me on all other boats.”   

        And then gets a ride:

“My wife and I had a demo sail in a Rhodes on Lake Erie this weekend.  What a wonderful boat.  We are spoiled now - don’t even want to look at anything else.  My wife loves it and raved about it all the way home.  It balanced under sail perfectly, was very responsive, the swivel seats were VERY comfortable, the IMF worked like a charm.  I can’t say enough about it.”

And then buys a Rhodes - but not from General Boats:  (they should have had a V-8, or at least, for their own future self interest, and the lasting interests of the community who offered so much of their time, a C of S)   54 years of superior customer support and over 35 years uninterrupted Rhodes production make it easy for owners to source critical parts to keep their Rhodes sailable and sellable, as well as for future owners to buy in comfort - because of the support of all those sellers and buyers to the Rhodes Certificate of Support program.


Deciding on the sailboat that best meets your crew’s needs is a big but fun challenge.  Years later, or maybe sooner, you get down to the “short list”.   At some joyous juncture we have a winner. Then, for many of us, the decision is: new or used? Is this a new or recycled  Rhodes neatly coming in to dock?    With today’s recycled Rhodes it is hard to tell.  Simultaneously we are forming our must-have options List,  along with our “it would be nice to have” Wish List.   Is this Rhodes coming in under electric power?  Is that a fiberglass tiller he has in his hand?  “I can see that they have opted for the IMF sail system.”  There is the informal, ever changing “NEWSYSTUFF” page that may just possibly be of some help with some of this: