R 22

Rhodes 22



(1) Stan told me that my boat is estimated to be ready this month. For that to come true, I need my first New Year's resolution to be to make up my mind on options. Over the past six months or so, I've seen messages about the 175% genoa, vs. a 135-150% genoa vs. a 120% genoa, and other sizes--with comments on luff pads also. I hope you will give me your views on a good size for me to pick--given what seems to be the expected weather conditions for Lake Travis. Because the lake is long, mostly narrow, and has about 350 miles of shoreline, much of which goes though the canyon gorges, with 90-degree wind shifts common and lots of almost 180-degree switchbacks in the lake that traces the old Colorado riverbead--there is no one size that is going to be right for everything. My original view was to just take the 175% genoa and furl in as necessary--but then I read a lot of messages about how the aerodynamics of the sail becomes bad with very much furling, so that the 175% genoa becomes useless when the wind conditions are strong.

Here's what I expect at Lake Travis as to wind conditions: (1) The best sailing is October to June, when the prevailing southeasterly winds are 10-20 knots, with large variations in strength and direction as affected by the shape of the lake and shore (often, cliffs). The need to reef (or furl--or at least to be thinking about it if the wind gets any stronger) is common on one tack down a bend in the lake, followed by light winds on the next tack. Sudden cold fronts will flip the wind to northwesterly and much stronger--the kind you wouldn't go out in but might be coming back in if you didn't pay heed to advance weather reports. (2) The summer months are hot and relatively still--from, according to Sailing Magazine, mere zephyrs to 10 knots. So one possibility (more expensive--and raising the question of the ease of changing sails with the R22 furling system)is to get the 175% genoa and a smaller, say, 100% or 120% genoa, for the October-to-June sailing season.

But it would be nice to find one sail that will do it all :)

(2) On a slightly related question (and here my nautical terminology is probably bad), I was going to order the kind of side rails amidships that are really just the stainless steel vertical stauncheons witht the white-covered cable line going through, as the "rail" -- instead of the full set of stainless rails shown on some of Stan's new boat pictures. Stan sent me an email saying he did not recommend rails of any type because (a) they get in the way of sail trim and (b) they are not necessary due to the location of the stays for handholds. I am still thinking about this with several things in mind, including one of my sons having been born with bad balance, elderly guests, and maybe a need sometime to move suddenly along a lee rail. But this is only a 22-foot boat. Again, I'd appreciate your views on this.

David Keyes
01 JAN 2001

Before you take my advice or anyone else's, talk to the sailors in your vicinity. Find out what they use in their sail inventory and why. Roger's advice on the furler is sound. I have a Hood furler, and a sail change is relatively simple for me. I take one down and bend on the other merely by lowering and raising the jib halyard.

If you are sure that you will NEVER single hand, then by all means get the spinnaker. You might be happier with a big Genoa and a working jib/120% Genoa. In whatever case, specify luff pads. They prevent the sail from forming that horrible bag in the middle which tries to self destruct as you sail with a partially furled Genoa.

Your local conditions and your fellow sailors will help you make the right decision.

Happy New Year and Hook 'em Horns.

Dick Sheehan
01 JAN 2001

Like you, I sail on an inland lake that is relatively narrow and can have wind changes that will keep you on your toes. My personal choice, and recommendation is to go with the 175 genny. On lite air days you will be thankful for the power it provides. In big wind conditions, furling the genny and moving the sheets forward will help to maintain sail shape.

02 JAN 2001

I bought a used Rhodes that came with a 100% genoa. Until I got her she had spent her entire life (10+ yrs) in an open, salt water environment (New York, Chesapeake Bay, etc.). My home port is a fresh water lake (Hartwell) in Georgia and south Carolina. This is a 58,000 + acre lake at full pool and has large areas of open water, but the winds are still erratic. The frequent light air,especially in the summer, has convinced me that I need a 175% genoa. I am a recreational sailor and am not interested in the fine points of racing, etc. so a 175 that I can adjust easily as the fickle winds change is perfect.

Dan Hope
s/v Far Niente
02 JAN 2001

The 1st thing you need to do to make your New Year's resolution come true is make sure your new Rhodes 22 is being delivered with a head sail furling system that allows sail changes W/O lowering the mast. The standard CDI roller furler which has been used by GBI for years does not permit this. There was some talk about switching over to a Schaffer roller furling system. However, I don't know if GBI implemented this change or not & you should definitely check. Personally, I use a Harken unit 0 roller furler & have been very pleased with the system's performance, nearly frictionless operation, & reliability over the years. The Harken unit 0 has two grooves in the luff foil which permits sail changing on the fly. Actually, if you have two headsail halyards, you can hoist the 2nd headsail before you drop the 1st or even fly two headsails at the same time. (Useful for headsail wing-on-wing which is completely self steering downwind) The unit 0 also has upper & lower independent swivels which permits the use of foam luff pads in the genoa. You are definitely handicapping yourself if you don't take advantage of this technology.

For your situation, I would spec a 150% roller furling genoa with a foam luff pad. Then, as the budget permits, for my 2nd sail, I would get an asymmetric cruising spinnaker in a sock with a whisker pole for light to moderate air reaching & running. The combination of the 150% genoa & the asymmetric cruising spinnaker will be faster both upwind & downwind than the 175% genoa. My 3rd sail would be a 110% roller furling genoa with a foam luff pad for heavier air. If you are not getting the IMF mainsail, I would get 3 jiffy reef points put in the main & install the reefing hardware on the boom. This combination of 3 headsails & 3 reef points in the mainsail will handle 99% of all your sailing needs.

I spent a week's vacation sailing on Lake Ouchita (Wash-E-Taw) near Hot Springs, AR in the summer of 1990. Lake Ouchita is surrounded by the Ouchita Mountains & the sailing conditions are very similar to what you described in your post about Lake Travis. I had & used every sail in the above discussion except the 110% roller furling genoa. That week, there were two heavy air days when I wished I had the smaller headsail so I didn't have to furl the 150% genoa down so far. I also flew a tri-radial spinnaker that week & nearly broached the boat when a sudden Willawaw came screaming at us out of one of the mountain valleys. Don't fly the spinnaker shorthanded. You don't need that kind of excitment in your life!

I felt the permanent rails are so much safer than lifelines, that I built my own. If you're going to sail with small children, then get the railings.

Make sure your outboard motor is easy to start & is reliable. Keep an anchor & rode handy & ready to deploy quickly.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
02 Jan 2001

To clear up some possible confusion, the current CDI furler that GB supplies does allow headsail changes without lowering the mast. That said, it is NOT as convenient to change sails as with the Harken or Schaffer as the CDI uses an internal halyard. What this means is that the halyard pulls the sail up a groove in one side of the foil and (the halyard) travels through a block at the top of the foil and down through the groove in the other side of the foil and is made fast to the top of the furler housing. In order to accomplish this and not have extra line left over, a messenger line has to be bent on to the end of the halyard when lowering or raising the headail. It is removed when the sail is up. This makes sail changes more difficult than with the external halyard furlers and something that is not really possible while underway.

On the other hand, there is no need for a halyard swivel and no possibility of a wrap (the halyard twisting around the headstay as the sail is furled/unfurled. CDI furlers have gotten top ratings for years for small boat furlers from Practical Sailor, although the recent products from Schaffer and Harken although more expensive a now well rated also.

David M. Walker
03 Jan 2001

Thanks for your description of the CDI unit. I upgraded to a CDI FF2 a couple of seasons ago and it has been trouble-free. As always, there are compromises. For $250+ we don't get the swivels and high tech, and have to cope with the messenger line, but I think it's an improvement over the original aluminum tube unit.

Bob (Quinn),

Does your 150% genoa have a foam luff pad? If not, since there's not as much sail to wrap up, is the furled shape decent?

Gary Sanford
S/V Raven
Syracuse, NY
03 Jan 2001

First off, get the CDI fuller option, My self and Roger along with few others have a harken system, but we are talking about 1000$ worth of hardware and time (as in delay and money) for Gb to install it for you. Stans older system does not permit sail changes without dropping the mast, bad news in your case from what you describe as the weather. GB is using CDI on many of the new boats, they used to installing it, Their "standard order" bulk order of sails will have a matching LUFF tape for the CDI.

If you where to pick something else it might take months to get all the matching parts/sails/forstay/pins/hardware figured out, ordered, organized, installed, screw-up controlled and reinstalled. all at custom prices, Not Fun. So get the CDI, It cheap enough to replace in the future.

As far as sails, I am not a fan of the 175%, I had one for a while and only could get it to set right in 4-6 knots, I think it is just to big for the boat. It sheeted at the winch, reefed lousy, problem pointing high, etc... Right now I have a 100% that I taken out in winds up to 30+- knots and a 135% that I use below 15 knots, It is a little lacking on the lighter days (4-8) knots so I thinking of getting a 150%. But remember, I like the heavy days. sitting in 3 knots of wind "gosting" along "Bob and Frying" gets me to power up the motor and find something else to do that day, No the other hand I charge the dock when the red flags go up.

So what would I recommend, GB usually has 110% in stock (as in less delay), It seem to match this time of year for you and the smaller sail area will get you in less trouble learning the boat. I would also order a 150% for the next GB "batch", they usually have a big spring order. You should have it by the time summer comes around. With the CDI changing the sails should be no trouble.

[The bottom section of this email addressed the railings, so the email was split and the paragraphs concerning the railings were place under theRailing topic]

04 Jan 2001

I've been watching all these responses to your very reasonable questions for the last couple of days & I imagine you're getting pretty confused by now.

Going to windward, a masthead rigged boat, like the Rhodes 22, derives most of its thrust from the headsail. Thus, if you care about pointing ability (i.e. how close to the eye of the wind do you want to be able to sail) & speed, you will want to have the best genoa sail shape. In the 13+ years we've owned our Rhodes 22, we've sailed on several manmade lakes: Lake Dardanelle, Lake Ouchita, Lake of The Ozarks, Kentucky Lake, Barkley Lake, Lake Pymatuning, Sanford Lake, & probably a couple more. One thing all these manmade lakes had in common was they all tended to be long & skinny with frequent course changes as the lake follows the old river channel. Often, the navigible channels are narrow due to such features as sand bars, weed beds, stumps, etc when you get out of the old river channel. Often, one or both shorelines are high bluffs with intersecting canyons where old creeks & streams emptied into the old river & the navigible channel is not wide enough to get out of the wind shadow of the high bluff shoreline. These sailing conditions sound very close to what you described in your post. In these conditions, the ability to efficiently sail to windward can make the difference between making progress & motoring. Now, I raced my Rhodes 22 before & after I upgraded the genoa furler. The Harken furler with its independent upper & lower swivels & the matching 150% roller furling genoa with foam luff pad is worth about 15-20 sec/mile more speed & 2-3 deg better pointing ability over the standard furler & 150% genoa. The difference is all about sail shape. Whatever furler & sail you choose, sailing in the conditions you described involves a lot of tacking. All else being equal, a smaller headsail tacks more easily than a large headsail. The sail size/roller furler recommendations I gave you in my previous post are based upon my own experience with sailing on manmade lakes & my personal preferences. My personal preferences tend to be biased towards sailing performance. If your personal preferences are more tilted towards convienience, then get the standard 175% roller furling genoa & IMF mainsail. You won't sail as fast, you'll have to make a few more tacks getting to windward, & you will tend to motor a little more often thru the tight spots. But, the standard setup is as close as you're going to get to having a one sail for all situations configuration.

As far as the discussion of extra weight & windage aloft from a roller furler, yes it's true there is some additional weight & windage with a roller furler relative to a hank-on headsail. However, the Rhodes 22 has had some sort of roller furling for as long as I can remember. The boat has sufficient ballast to handle the extra weight aloft. As far as the extra windage, the windage of the furled up headsail is minimal compared to the full area of the hanked on headsail. The roller furler dramatically improves safety by allowing you to stay in the cockpit & reduce headsail area. Going forward in foul weather to change a hanked on headsail is one of the most potentially hazardous activities in sailing.

[The bottom section of this email addressed the railings, so the email was split and the paragraphs concerning the railings were place under theRailing topic]

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
04 Jan 2001

The 175 is a light wind sail, it can be reefed down but after a while is loose all sail shape, at that point you what to use a smaller sail that has the right shape for the winds.

Changing the sails is a propriety of the reefing system. assuming a CDI it is best done at the dock, takes about 10 minutes and most of the time is folding the sail. You want to pick a sail that is best match to the strongest winds of the day and the amount of heel the crew will take.

I have a 150%, 135% and a 100%, 0-4 knots (use the motor, I call it bob and fry sailing :-), 4-10 knot the 150%, 10-16+- 135% 16+ 100%, what type of winds are in your area?

Forgetabout the self tender, tacking a 110% on a rhodes22 is not that hard.

05 May 2001

As far as I can tell, the self-tending jib is still "under development". I think they have something they won't try to sell you, but if you insist...

The size of the genoa depends on the winds where you sail and how competitive you are. The 175 keeps youe moving pretty well when thers's notmuch wind. As the wind picks up you'll want to reef. It's easy to do but you loose some efficiency - the jib gets baggy. When the sail area is about 2/3 of normal the shape can get pretty bad. It is, however, a sail and it does draw. Saroj will have a better idea of winds in your area and can probably give you pretty good advise - or know someones else who has been sailing longer.

John and Nell Ward
New Bern, NC
S/V New Song
05 May 2001

The 175% genoa is so large it must of necessity pass the ends of the spreaders. The spreaders on the Rhodes are so long (for better mast support as well as ease of walking to the bow deck) that the genoa size sail is limited in the amount it can be trimmed in toward the center line of the boat thereby limiting the angle the boat can be sailed into the wind before the genoa begins luffing.

Sailing with the genoa closer to the centerline allows sailing closer to the wind but to bypass the spreader limitations the sail has to be reefed so it is short enough to just reach or pass under the spreaders - to do this the sheet has to be reset inside of the upper shroud - in some instances even inside the lower shroud.

New Rhodes have a second set of genoa leads and cleats on the cabin sides that do not require use of the winches and a third set of genoa leads and cleats atop the cabin for pointing even closer with an even smaller set genoa.

Michael will take from here .......... maybe even Alex.

10 May 2001

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