Report on the Rhodes twenty two


AS AN ENGINEER who drifted into sailboat sales, first as a dealer for most of the trailing cabin sailboats on the market in those days and then as a builder of this category boat; and as a boat show spokesman who has trailed and demonstrated, ocean to ocean and bays, rivers and lakes in-between, absorbing the feedback of critical prospects; and as second mate in a family of 5 who managed tight quarters family cruising in 17 feet, I have come to be saturated with the facts and fears, the physical and emotional needs and the dreams and fantasies that embody what the seeker of a family trailerable cabin sloop wants and should look for

Over more years than I care to believe, we have handled and studied other pocket cruisers that have come and gone or remain and can make some interesting comparisons with the Rhodes 22.  So, as a serious looker, the 13 minutes it takes to read this report may just turn you into a minor sailboat buyer genius.

Trailing Cruising Sailboats in the 20 - 25 range are easy to trail. They do, however, vary in ease and safety of raising the mast and lowering the keel, ease of launching and retrieving, use of space, sailing performance, features and appeal.  This report coves these 7 variances. 


RAISING THE MAST is easy on most boats because the base of the mast attaches to some sort of deck mast step hardware.  Stay away from misleadingly simple systems that rely on a pin in the mast being slipped into an open slot in the mast step because they require a helper to prevent deadly mast jumping from the deck step during raising and lowering.  Most boats use the Rhodes captive pivot bolt system.  They differ in that with the Rhodes set up, the mast can be raised or lowered in either direction - a handy choice if there are other boats or buildings or power lines in front or back of the boat. 

It takes me and a much stronger-than-me helper, along with some huffing and puffing, to physically raise the mast assembly aft from the foredeck.  My daughter can raise it by herself - using the Rhodes Crossover Mast Hoist option.  I say “assembly” because with the Rhodes you are raising it all in one step: the mast, boom, main sail, mainsail furling system, the genoa, the genoa furler along with all the sheets and control lines. When the mast is up it all blossoms and you are just minutes from cast off.  So, if mast raising is a more than once a year chore because of low bridges, dry sailing, vacation trailing or a lightweight crew, the hoist option is a toll worth considering - or sharing.  Of course, lowering the mast is much faster - just pull the pins and run like hell.

LOWERING A KEEL, has been solved in one of 4 ways:

  1. 1.     Make the keel fixed so you do not have to lower it.  But then neither can you raise it. OK, then why             not make the fixed keel smaller so the boat can still trail?  In sailing math that won’t fly because a keel’s effectiveness is proportional to its area and the smaller fixed keel would have too little area.  So make the shallow keel longer for more area. NG. Under water fins, like above water sails, work because they develop a difference in pressure between the two sides.  The shallower the fin the quicker water slips under to the other side to depreciate the pressure differential.  Putting wings on the keel to defer a neutralizing flow partially reduced the problem but opened new ones: Additional fixed wetted surface dampens downwind performance.  Getting on and off a trailer becomes more cumbersome.  Run aground and the conventional shifting of crews‘ weight to decrease draft, backfires.  (You may not have thought about it but shifting crew weight to induce heeling on a wing keeled boat actually increases draft.)  Hitting bottom with a winged keel can anchor your boat and call for a tugboat.   Most wing keels are cast iron requiring continual rust control.  Many small boat builders have discontinued using wing keels. 

  1. 2.        Put the keel on a pivot so it an be deep for sailing and shallow for trailing.  This “swing keel”  solution, now phased out by most builders, was 500 to 800 pounds of rustable iron, straining a single pivot pin, which invariably leaked, lifting it by means of a large, inconveniently positioned straining winch which in turn became inoperative when a single strand of its twisted cable frayed. When the cable lets go the big keel swings fully dow making trailer retrieving impossible.  I can tell you from first hand experience, fixing a swing keel under water is possible  -  and a horror. 

  1. 3.        Use a dagger board (as day sailers do) only make it larger - maybe even electrify it and just live with its floor-to-ceiling trunk that cuts up cabin space.   A few popular boats opt for this style fin.  Its trailing advantage can outweigh its cabin incursion.  But it does not pivot so I shudder to contemplate what happens when the boat hits bottom.  The dagger board has one of two choices:  Convert to a pivoting board and sink on the spot.  Or stop the boat on a dime while the crew continues in motion.  I suspect dagger board sailboats generate their profit from board replacements.  

  1. 4.       The old fashioned centerboard is now being rediscovered by many builders who have gone through dagger boards, shoal fixed keels, swing keels and winged keels and are now into water ballast.  Water ballast boats have no keels at all and rely on a long, thin board that, in most designs, retract into the hull space.  This allows floating in shallow water but requires deep water for sailing.  And, since these light weight boards are no longer “swing keels”, water ballast boats have no external ballast.   And internal ballast equals lower stability efficiency.




        Every magazine I have ever read evaluating the best fin for the shoal draft or trailing boat concludes that the way to go is the combination keel/centerboard.  This is the most expensive of the fin solutions and found on higher end boats.  There is no keel appendage bolted to the boat’s bottom so no leak potential.  The molded-in keel adds tremendous “T” beam strength to the bottom of the boat. The boat can be more effectively sailed (not just floated) in shallower water than any other configuration:  Hit bottom, or any underwater obstacle, and the centerboard automatically retracts into the keel.   Sail onto a sandbar and have a second chance at sailing off to deeper water.  Beach the boat without fear of damage, step off the bow without getting wet.  Trail with more comfort from a lower center of boat weight.  Sail or motor onto the trailer with the board down, automatically centering the boat and the trailer automatically raising the board at the right moment.  Lower the indestructible diamondboard at the proper moment when sailing up to a shoal dock or into a shoal slip, for a perfectly timed stop and hear onlookers say, “How did you do that?”


        With its ballasted fixed keel and light weigh solid fiberglass center board (cb) combination built for any challenge you sail into, over or through; its reverse cross section cb shape for greater pressure and smaller turbulence areas; its trunk’s internal leak proof slot pivot system; its winch-less direct pull special thin control line (long outlasts steel cable) that any size crew member can set; its cleverly designed cb cap that allows cb removal from inside the boat on its trailer and its cb trunk inside the ballasted keel for a flat cabin floor with no cb humps, the Rhodes combination keel/diamondboard has taken trailing and shoal draft fin design close to perfection.  You can even skip adding a depth finder. When the handle on the cb control line starts doing a jig, the centerboard is warning “thin water ahead, change course”. 

        With our focus on trailing, or at least being able to sail in shallower waters, we have not mentioned deep keel boats.  But if you are under the impression there is a safety trade off, let’s see: If a deep keel boat runs aground it can be stuck there long enough for waves to break it up.  If the big keel boat springs a leak it goes to the bottom. Even the fact that the heavy boat is less tender is another trait that makes boats like the Rhodes safer - it is the more responsiveness of the hull to heel further under equal wind that relieves the strain of the wind on sails and rigging. While I have heard of winds taking down spars and rigging on heavy boats I do not know of a single Rhodes losing its mast or sails due to wind because the very force that could do that damage is reduced as the boat heels over.  It is this ability to heel enough under wind pressure to reduce that pressure, along with the flare in the hull that increases buoyancy the more the boat heels, that makes the Rhodes non-capsizing under sail. The boat reaches an angle beyond which it will not go. Of course the crew may roll into the water but the boat will not turnover.   One owner summed up a Rhodies verbal keel conclave: “I had a xxxxxxx 16 with a shoal keel and it pointed like a guy with no arms.  So far I haven’t found a better design than my Rhodes diamond board”. 

LAUNCHING AND RETRIEVING: This third of the variances is mostly covered in the Link page for the Uni-Matic Trailer:   Down ramp, apply brakes as stern lifts. And boat self launches.  Coming out:  Sail, motor or pull boat onto tailer with center board down, trailer raises board at proper moment, reach over bow and snap trailer winch strap to boat bow eye, take slack out of strap with foot action on winch handle or by pushing button if have electric model winch. Waiting boaters will  appreciate how quickly you have cleared the ramp.

USE OF SPACE: How big is a 22’ boat.  Designs with large overhangs are misleading. Length at the water line more accurately gives potential usable space as well as potential speed. The Rhodes has a 20’ L.W.L. (length water line), long for a 22 footer. In planning the R-22 it was decided to mess with convention: Reserve more of the L.O.A. (length over all) for the cockpit since this is where most sailers are most of the time. Rethink the conventional floor plan of pocket cruisers to end up with more livable room in a shorter cabin trunk. Keep the foredeck big and comfortable for more than just the birds. 

        The traditional reasoning for small cockpits was fear of trapping too much water when swamped. Look at boats that have left off their transoms completely so that if they do get swamped the water can freely leave the cockpit.  However, with no transom, a wave can also freely flood the cockpit. And guests can frequently leave the cockpit...before their time.  Boats without transoms make me uncomfortable.  With the Rhodes’ hull flared to deflect waves (as opposed to having a wave strike a flat surface and break over the gunnel into the cockpit), its high freeboard, its high transom with no cutouts and 3 separate self-baling 1 1/2 inch cockpit drains, this logic no longer holds water. The Rhodes huge 7’-4” cockpit provides room for more than 6 rears and 12 feet.

    THE DECK:  That was easy.  The temptation to slope the cabin roof down to the bow was avoided   A usable bow deck is a necessity for grabbing moorings so why not also make it a luxury spot for kids, retired skippers and other pretty things to sun on.  Getting there turned out to be easy with the flared hull providing exceptional walking space around the cabin trunk side decks and the mast’s extra stays acting as vertical life lines.

    THE CABIN:  Standing, sitting, sleeping, cooking, dining, a fully enclosed head plus lots of storage - to offer all this meant designing for double and even triple duty from the same unit of space.  And coaxing multi functions from the same piece of equipment like the table that slides from its storage tracks under the fore deck for lunch in the cockpit, dinner in the cabin and to fill in the “U” shaped dinette seating for a 6’-6” double bed when day is done.  The companion way closure, instead of being strips of wood looking for a home, is a beautiful acrylic hinged door where the top half lowers to form a chart table, serving bar or galley work counter extension.  The air scoop on the bow deck not only provides access to an under deck anchor rope tray but also provides way forward ventilation.  A sense of spaciousness, light and additional ventilation comes from two adjustable locking cabin top hatches, one over the head so half of us can use the “john” standing ...and waving.

The fully enclosed head has a strange three panel door that expands the compartment when in use.  The sea cock water feed to the porcelain marine head means no more need to carry water in to load a head.  The 9 gallon holding tank means no more carrying out smelly anything.  Holding tank waste is dockside pumped out or macerated for overboard discharge. The efficient head compartment has LED lighting on both sides of the mirror above the cosmetic shelf covering the toilet paper holder, a 110 AC outlet for hair dryer or electric razor, dual “medicine” shelves, a clothes or towel wall hanger, even a magazine rack for those who like to read on the head; all in all, an unexpected luxury privacy primping facility for a 22 foot trailing sailboat.

Although a wonderful idea for letting you put on pants standing up, or sit out a rainy day by occasionally standing, few boats have full pop tops.   Those that do, use pivoting arms that displace the top from over its opening when up, decreasing shade and whether protection and limiting the resulting headroom.  Their mechanisms require raising the entire heavy top in one step requiring a strong head, neck and arms - not a task for many of the crew.  And most disappointing, you cannot sail with the top up.  The Rhodes’ inimitable variable height pop top can be raised a few inches for extra ventilation when harbored for the night or underway; or raises in two 1/2 weight steps with telescoping arms automatically clicking into position at its 6’-4” height so most of us can raise it and so most of us can have full cabin standing head room.  You cannot imagine how being able to sail with the top up alters the whole concept of a 22 foot size boat - until you sail a Rhodes 22.  The mere going from cockpit to cabin and cabin to cockpit becomes inviting rather than a chore.  Being in the cabin and sharing cockpit society, rather than being in a cabin cavern, becomes a delightful new boating experience that, coincidentally, effectively makes the Rhodes large cockpit even larger  The Rhodes pop top, with its feather touch sliding hatch for comfortable entry when sailing with the top down, the stainless steel upper pop top arm providing a full width grab rail in rough passage between cabin and cockpit, the sliding hatch’s extended peak and built in push button lock for the companion way door weather protection and locking, are all suggestive of the Rhodes singular good industrial design.

People often ask, “How can the Rhodes have so much more cockpit than even larger boats yet still have a dinette that converts to a giant 6’-6” double bunk, a bigger galley, and more head room (both meanings apply)?”.  The answer came by moving the Head to the galley side, doing away with wasted hall space and resisting conventional under cockpit seat coffin-like berth traps found in so many small “cruisers”.  While the Rhodes sails 3 couples in great comfort and could sleep 3 couples using the 6’ V berth and the 6’-6” dinette bed and the 7’-4” basket ball players cockpit accommodations (under a boom tent or boom room option if not a starry night), three couples cruising surely would end up with all relationships shattered beyond recall. On course a single family could possibly have a half dozen kids sleeping in the cockpit port to starboard.  Realistically one couple is ideal.  With the boom boom, two couples are doable.

The standing galley with its: Loads of storage, water on demand lifting and swiveling faucet, deep sink, 15 gallon deck filled water tank, butane gas cooking stove (which on latest model slides out for more counter work space and electric cook top for dockside use), built-in ice box (or electric fridge that comes with a 5,000 foot extension cord) and cabin door that makes more work counter area, is amazingly large for a 22 foot sailboat.  The kitchen is better seen than read so visit the Rhodes Galley Gallery page.

    THE COCKPIT:  Boat Show lookers invariably head straight for the cabin. Builders recognize this phenomenon and cater to it with space from their cockpits sacrificed to make cabin space as appealing as possible.  Seasoned sailors spend their show time scrutinizing cockpits - because that is where 100% of their sailing time is spent.  We agree 100%.  That is why so much of our design effort is in the ultimate utilization of Cabin Space:  To be able to create a sailboat cockpit that makes You feel at home.

It is Huge:  7’-4”.  It is Comfortable:  Sitting up on the curved gunnels there are no rails to cut into thighs when hiking out. Sitting on cockpit seats, they are flexible and deep and open under so legs can turn back. (Next time you sit in a chair look at what your legs do automatically - then look at where your legs are forced to be when you sit on a typically molded sailboat cockpit seat.)  Sitting face to face there is no meshing of starboard and port knees to share a cramped foot well.  Sitting, back against the back sloping aft cabin trunk wall, legs fully extended on cushioned cockpit seating, arm resting on a curved gunnels - or sitting in one of the two Skippers’ Swivel Seats - there is no more decadent seated sailing to be found aboard any other sailboat.

It is Practical:  The traveler bar:  It is behind the skipper so the man sheet does not cut across crew. It is easy to reach. It can be centered and left alone for simplified sailing or fined tuned for performance sailing.  It is mounted between the back stays for shock absorber jibing (Jibing on the Rhodes is not a “no no” whether intentional or accidental). The traveler can be across the cabin entrance or across mid cockpit - but try it the Rhodes way and you will not want it located in ay other position. The seats:  The old fashioned feature of open space under the seats provides quick access to life jackets, lines and fenders in containers that easily pull out.   Coaming compartments with balcony shelves keep handy sailing necessities; items from sun glasses and cellphone to food and drink from flying about the cockpit.  Under the aft seat is a gas spring-assisted key locked lazaret cover over a 6’ storage “cabin” for incarcerating mutinous kids and as part of the Rhodes “access to all hardware” policy.  The self-bailers: Instead of depreciating the mammoth lazaret for a devious self bailing transom cut out, the Rhodes has three (3) un-noticed 1 1/2” self bailing cockpit systems.  The controls:  To sail or motor a Rhodes no need to ever leave the safety and comfort of the cockpit other than to leave the boat. Before your boat choosing decision, make the cockpit test because sailing is not the fun it should be if you are not at home in that cockpit . .

SAILING PERFORMANCE: is the Naval Architect’s forte . .so ask about the designer.

Philip L Rhodes is one the most famous names in Naval Architecture history.  MIT educated, his design of the 12 meter Weatherly won the Americas Cup. On a becalmed demo day at the Stamford Show an old timer boarded saying, “any boat can move if there is wind.  I want to see how she sails if there is no wind”.  The Rhodes low wetted surface design moves through water under seemingly windless conditions. We glided past a racing keel design Ensign 22 whose skipper wanted to know if we were under motor.  You may not be interested in racing but the fact that the Rhodes hull moves easily is the sign of good design and good design means an easier boat to sail.  While this good design may be hard for the new sailor to spot, good feel is not.  It is amazing how differently different boats feel.  Are all your body parts comfortable?  Are all controls easy to reach?  Is it an effort to hold the tiller on course? (the Rhodes feels like it has power steering.)   How hard are you working to have fun sailing?

FEATURESWhere the Rhodes really shines ...and why

Production boat builders make the big money on the big boats.  They build small boats to attract you to their line with the hope of moving you up that line ASAP. To get you to start your sailing career in their family, the price of their entry boat is kept low.  To keep the price low the boat is made as basic as possible. The Rhodes 22 is the end of the GB line so the obverse approach: To give you the most 22 you can sail.  Of the 10 niches we have talked about, three predominate:  Those who say, “22 is as large as we want to own so we want as much 22 as we can get”;  Whose philosophy is, “charter the big one and own the small one”.  Those who own a big one and want to get back to the fun of singlehanded small boat sailing - But who do not want to give up the good stuff they have grown accustomed to on their larger boats.   And those new to sailing, attracted by exclusive features that make the Rhodes easy and safe to sail.  The old saying that goes something like, “A motor boat gets you there fast but with a sailboat you are there already” speaks to a kindred spirit that brings you to this site.  You want a boat that is not a strain or a pain.  A boat that relaxes you, not taxes you. A boat that, when you step on board, you are there.  GB had the great good fortune in being able to draw on the collective brilliance of three broadly distinctive sources in bringing all these wonderful features to the growing community of Rhodes 22 sailing:  Phil Rhodes, the great grandaddy of sailing design - for hull shape, Ten Eyke Associates of Wichita, famed for industrial design in the aircraft industry and, because from the very start we sold direct to the ultimate user, decades of actual hands on user feedback telling us what needed to be changed, added and improved - the valuable opposite of desk top engineering.  For a sailboat entry to succeed in today’s world wide market it must have at least some special features to justify its entry in this sales race. The Rhodes has an overwhelming combination of features to justify its entry. Popping up throughout this rambling web site you have been and will be getting the Rhodes standards that never stop coming.  In this section on Features you will be looking at a few of the support players who normally do not get feature role attention.

       MAST SUPPORT: The jib stay. On most all 22s this is the only stay forward of the mast pivot point. Lose this single  support and cockpit crew get headaches - maybe concussions.    Yet this is the stay most likely to fail from metal fatigue.  Sailing a Rhodes, a lost jib stay is a possible inconvenience, not a danger.  Two more stays support the mast forward of its pivot pin.  The Rhodes has 9 (count them 9) stays supporting its mast - more than just a safety redundancy since each stay goes to its separate chain plate for superior mast-to-hull loading. This double set of lower shrouds provide mast raising from either direction and, under sail, prevent “mast pumping”. The walking space around the cabin of a small boat is small yet often made more useless by diagonal shrouds and chain plates growing in the middle of this inconvenient foot path, turning it into an obstacle course. Rhodes’ lower shrouds (which of necessity are diagonal) connect to 4 cabin top chain plates so they do not cut across the side decks at all. Upper shrouds connect to gunnel chain plates and are set vertically to the cabin trunk by oversized mast spreaders. The result is a clear pathway to the foredeck, aided by the spaced out stays acting as vertical life lines. The Rhodes topside is all walkable, sitable, livable and safe.

         LIFE RAILS:  We try to talk buyers out of life lines.  They are just the right hight to flip over, are sail handling unfriendly and encroach on limited cabin side decks. They are not needed on the Rhodes.  The standard copout is, ‘We want them for the children”, who of course are sure footed and never fall off the boat - it is the adults we lose.  For those buyers who win the argument, we suggest our stainless steel Life Rails. They are sail friendlier, strong enough to sit on and take up no walking space.

        THE EYES OF THE RHODES:  The Rhodes comes with three hefty stainless steel “eyes”; one on the bow and two on the transom - so strong that several Florida owners hang their boats from backyard davits using only these 3 eyes.  While not our original intent, they say, “no problem, been hanging around like this for years”.  We do not know another boat gutsy enough to try this or another boat that has such hardware. The eyes are for your towing, mooring, bow or stern second anchoring, snap shackle docking lines or motor chaining; and our plant moving, bottom painting and setting finished boats outside onto trailers.

        SAIL CONTROL: The standard sails include a 175% deck sweeping genoa and the IMF main, which is so sensational it has its on its own IMF link page.  Both sails set to a variety of sizes so no separate storm or working sail inventory is needed, a blessing for on board storage, and lazy sailors.  The genoa has a window for seeing what boat you are about to destroy, leech and foot lines for when you are more advanced, padding for more efficient reefed sail shape and a self cover for when fully furled. At twice the size of the main it comes aft enough of the mast for balance to allow the Rhodes to be sailed on either genoa or main alone, if need be.  While pointing is better when both sails are performing in harmony, pointing gets even better when switching genoa sheet leads.  When you are ready to step up to better sailing techniques there is no need to buy another boat; it is all there on the Rhodes, waiting for you - from the traveler bar controls to the IMF controls to the built-in genoa sail controls to the three separate genoa lead systems controls.

When the wind picks up, your shouting and Rhodes sail control offer 5 options: Shorten genoa - easily done from cockpit.  Shorten main - easily done from cockpit. Lower the fasted pop top in the west (or east) and lower the boom (another amazing Rhodes hallmark) which automatically lowers the main sail’s center of effort for less heeling moment without giving up sail area - easily done from cockpit. Shift live ballast. Have crew sit on opposite seat or, more effective, toss cockpit cushions below and plant crew on gunnels with heels planted in the seat drain channel and hands on the Rhodes hallmark aft cabin grab rails and stern rail returns.  Shifting live ballast is more effective than you might imagine since you are taking weight from one side and adding it to the other for twice the weight shift. Sitting on the Rhode’s flared hull’s built-in hiking seats magnifies the ability to level the boat without giving up sail area.  Watch the knot meter explode.  The fifth option?  Go home (if none of the above brings down the crews’ discomfort level enough to avoid mutiny).  The winds you sail your Rhodes in are a matter of how much fun you are prepared for.  Rhodes’ sail control allows sailing fun a new level as well as more days to spread the fun over.

        THE MOTOR LIFT: For the size boat we are considering, the impractical alternate to an outboard motor is an inboard motor - expensive, takes up valuable space, hard to service and subjects the whole boat to new rules and regulations.   So trailing sailors go with an outboard and live with the transom bracket it requires: Ugly, awkward, ill tempered - no redeeming features. The motor still has to be tilted once past the raising struggle.  A motor bracket is standard equipment on the Rhodes, although so different, it is called a Lift: Good looking (for an outboard bracket), sets at any height to match shoal conditions, raises AND tilts automatically, at the touch of a button - particularly welcomed by aching back sailors who purchased  9.9, 4 stroke, long shaft, high thrust, electric start 100 pound monsters.  No wonder non-Rhodes owners are buying them.  (GB does not sell motors and recommends your motor be purchased and serviced locally.)

            ELECTRICAL SYSTEM STANDARDS: Marine grade high capacity wiring with soldered and heat shrunk insulation connections,  Dual batteries with 4 position battery switch (1, 2, both, off), Dual 10w Solar Panels each dedicated to one battery, LED and fluorescent lights,  30 amp 110 AC Shore Power inlet fitting with AC circuit breaker and GFI protected cabin outlets, dual 12v outlets with circuit breaker control panel (as opposed to a fuse type panel). In addition to the outstanding electrical standards, Rhodes buyers have an unusual amount of electrical and electronics input in outfitting their boats - from wind generators to air conditioning and all sorts of less esoteric stuff in-between

            STORAGE GALORE:  Space not needed for sail bags, space not needed for an inboard, space made to do double duty, space used ingeniously, all add up to lots of space for the cruising couple.  Much of the Rhodes’s awesome storage is unusually handy: Cockpit coaming compartments with secondary shelves.  An under the entrance step drawer that keeps coming and coming for fast drop in storage.   The locations go on and on but we don’t want our reader lost in space and not getting to important web pages still ahead.

APPEAL:  The Rhodes is not in the Clorox bottle look category but its aesthetic appeal is not that much broader than other boats.   To some it is beautiful.  To others, like a naval architect that visited us, it did not have that classic look he envisioned when he started his shopping.   He did buy a Rhodes because it met all the other requirement on his printed shopping list. I suppose for those who go Rhodes against their imagery, its looks do grow on you since said naval architect, many years later, bought his second Rhodes.  Judging a sailboat on a trailer is neither fair to boat or you. View your finalists in their natural habitat, dockside or under sail.  If you liked what you saw high and dry on its trailer, chances are you will love it in water. The low cabin trunk on a reverse shear flared hull is a pleasing profile with a purpose. Inspired by the early Olympic racing 505 class, its flare has so much to offer that many of todays racing class designs are rediscovering this “wine glass” shape.

The Flare makes the Rhodes stronger:  Compound curves creates the strongest of hull sides (easy to prove at shows - just push on other boats).  Recall how a Rhodes is safely hoisted by just its end eyes.  The flare make the Rhodes drier:  The same waves breaking against a flat hull and over into the cockpit, are turned away by the Rhodes.  The flare makes the Rhodes potentially faster:  Live crew ballast can seat further outboard for carrying more sail area (think sea saw) on the flare’s built-in hiking seats.  The flare makes the Rhodes non-capsizing when under sail:


This is easy to “see” when you realize that the force that makes the boat lay over (wind pressure) spills as the mast tilts and keeps decreasing the further the boat heels.  The same with all sailboats. And the further a boat heels, the more effort is exerted by its ballast to bring it back up.  The same with all sailboats.  What is not the same is that when the flare of a flared hull sailboat starts being submerged, its increasing buoyancy force counteracts the remaining wind force until all forces come to the equilibrium angle beyond which the boat will not go. A guest or two may roll into the water but the Rhodes does not go over.  This is easy to prove with our capsize it challenge: Sail a Rhodes in the worst weather you want and if you can turn it over under sail - and survive, we give you the boat free.  Of course if you cannot turn it over under sail, you bought it.  In the pictures above three crew, using the mast as a lever, turned the boat until it was floating on its side.  When two let go the boat righted itself with such enthusiasm that it heeled over in the opposite direction catapulting the third crew over the mast - we retrieved him but missed that shot.  Per our truth in advertising policies, we have to reiterate that this is an under sail characteristic not applicable if impossible weather loads water inside the boat negating the hull’s flared buoyancy areas.

        INTERIOR APPEAL:   Many production built boats have fiberglass hull liners and finish the  ceiling with carpet.  The Rhodes does the opposite: A beautifully designed, one piece glass headliner provides a bright easy to clean, mold-free ceiling that adds insulation and stiffness to top sides.  Then a blend of teak, plastic, metal and marine carpet make for an interior that is most appealing - and interesting in that the “furnishings” are not glassed into the hull (no hull liner) and therefore the aesthetics are receptive to owner input redecorating, anytime.  The Rhodes interior design engineering allows flexibility others cannot permit.  The Rhodes interior is also available unfinished for those wanting to save $s or just be creative.  Over the years interiors have varied based on buyers customizing and GB’s added features, as covered in these:


        Note:  “Report” page is under construction beyond this point.

                            dinette seating                                       backrest cushions down to make up

                                                                                                        6’ - 6”  double bed

    6‘   V  Beth

with removable

privacy door

can be extended

to 8’ with panel

over the head.

until we get back to this page’s construction we will end  “Report on the Rhodes 22” by listing some of the magazines and books that have reviewed the Rhodes:

Practical Sailor

        Northern Breezes


                        Small Boat Advisor

                                    Good Old Boats


                                                    Sailing Big on a small Sailboat

                                                            Trailerable Sailboats

                                                                    Sailing Small