R 22

Rhodes 22


Why a Rhodes?

Sounds like Joy is a lot like my wife. I used to go up to the bow of my Compac 16 to raise the jib while she manned the tiller. She was very nervous with me up there and power cruisers with big wakes going by. For her, the safety and simplicity of operating the Rhodes was it's most endearing feature. For some reason, the flared hull isn't often mentioned, but is a unique standard feature. It keeps you drier, stops you from healing beyond a certain point and gives you added deck space.

I must have been looking at the Rhodes 22 and other boats at boat shows (Michigan City, IN & Strictly Sail / Chicago) for the last 15 years. I almost bought a used Pearson 30 in marvelous condition. Elton talked me out of it. I'm glad he did. I bought a used (1989) Rhodes 22 in 1998 and upgraded to a brand new one in 1999. In fact, I think I have the first dark green hull they ever produced. I sail on Lake Michigan out of New Buffalo, MI.

This boat offers more "big boat" features than any other boat of it's size that I've ever seen while retaining the good features of a small boat. I wanted to make sure it could handle the chop on Lake Michigan without bobbing around like a cork. No problem. I also wanted to be able to trailer it so I could take it home between seasons. I can putter around on it there and not have to run to the harbor every time I want to work on it.

When I first launched and motored to my slip, most of the other sailors with larger boats (Hunter 27 & Catalina 30 for example) congregated around my boat and marveled at the huge cockpit. It was bigger than those of much larger boats. Don't take my word for it, check for yourself. Even if you have a large boat, you still spend a majority of your time in the cockpit. Think about it. It really is important.

The mast hoist system is a dream. The first time I used it by myself I was really nervous, but it works every bit as well as advertised.

The roller furling main & jib are wonderful. We'll be sailing along on a hot day and decide to take a swim. Five seconds later, the sails are in and we're in the water. Back in the boat (the flat step ladder is really nice) and we're sailing again in no time.

The Captain's Chairs are also a great feature. They're incredibly comfortable and provide a superior view of surrounding activity than you can get from the cockpit (without standing or stretching all the time). My wife sits in the other one and constantly swivels to get the best angle of the sun.

The pop top is terrific. I'm 6'2" and I can stand straight up with room to spare. I'll hand my wife the tiller and go below for a cold beverage. Then, I'll just stand there awhile with my arms on the deck, in the shade with a nice breeze and a full panoramic view, while she sails.

I could go on and on. The boat has so many nice little "creature comfort" features like the mainsheet traveler being out of the way, the space beneath the cockpit seats, the outboard motor mount, the keel / centerboard design, etc...

I guess you could say we like the boat.

Best Regards,
30 Nov 2000

Kathy and I had sailed small boats (i.e., Snipes, Cal20s, Rhodes 19s, Lasers, Catalina 22, a Victora 18 with cubby, etc.), mostly day sailors for many (near 30) years when we ran into the Rhodes 22 at the Miami Boat Show in '91. After Elton's (General Boats Mister Showman) tour of the boat, we were sold.

It has a self furling Genoa, an in the mast furling main (standard if you prefer), a centerboard/keel arrangement great for gunk holing, a large cockpit, a nifty set up in the cabin, the ability to lower your boom to reduce heel on heavy wind days, either a porta potti or full head option, a great trailer arrangement with an easy to use mast raising option. I could go on and on.

We have had our boat well over seven years now and have a reputation as being on the water sailing more than any other boat in the marina. I really cannot find too much to complain about other than I'd like to have fifteen more feet of boat for when I hang it up and "go sailing" instead of going to work.

The R22 has proven to be virtually maintenance free (cleaning and bottom painting excluded). The biggest job, replacing the centerboard pendent, which took most of one afternoon. Not bad when you consider the boat is fifteen years old (or is that young). The boat still looks great and we gather compliments just about anywhere we go.

We were out this weekend with what I call some heavy winds (18 to 27 MPH). With the pop top down, the boom lowered, and jib sized Genoa out, we sailed with no problem. A bit sporty on the gusts, but we would describe it as "a great sail." The point - you can configure your R22 for conditions. She will behave like a sedate lady with proper sail set, or she will act like a sport boat with more sail. Your choice.

Bob and Kathy on the "NoKaOi"
19 Mar 2001

When I first looked at that web site, going on three years ago now, I thought just about the same thing you just said. Too good to be true??? Not really. You'll find that Stan isn't exaggerating. This boat pretty much does what he says it will do.

I'd been cruising the internet for about 4 months looking at anything I could find about sailing and sailboats and had just about made up my mind to go out and by another brand of boat, when I stumbled onto the general boat page. I may have read through that whole site 3 or 4 times that weekend. I was smitten. My wife and I have ambitions to cruise and while this may not be the ideal boat for long term ocean cruising, it is great for the shorter term cruising we have time for now. You just won't find another 22 foot boat that is packed full of the cruising type amenities that this boat has. Believe me I have done some comparing.

As far as simplicity goes, the R 22 is the first boat I have ever owned, so I'm not what anyone would call an expert sailor. My wife and I always go out alone. Since we don't get a whole lot of free time, we have to take whatever conditions there are when we're out, if we want to get any sailing done at all. We have had conditions from flat water with 5 - 10 knot breezes to 20 - 25 with 30 knot gusts and 3 - 4 foot waves. I am happy to report that the boat has handled it all pretty much flawlessly, even though the skipper takes a while to catch on sometimes. You'll find that if you try to drive the boat too hard or catch an unexpected gust and it gets to heeling too much, it'll "round up" into the wind. At that point, if things were a little too wild, it's a simple matter to just roll up a little sail, bear off and start out again. I do have both the furling Genoa and the IMF main, so reefing for me is a simple matter of pulling 2 lines. Might take 30 seconds, if that. I know that the boat you are looking at is a 76 (?) or so, but the design of this hull has remained unchanged since they started building these boats in 1969. So, your boats sailing characteristics should be pretty much the same as all of ours, given a comparable sail plan.

This boat has what is called a combination shoal keel/centerboard. The actual keel sticks down from the hull about a foot. This is where the ballast (or most of it) is. In the middle of the bottom of the keel, from front to back, is a long slot. Inside this slot hides the centerboard. The centerboard on my boat looks pretty much the same as the rudder. At the top (you can't see this) it has a pivot point so you can let it swing down by releasing a line in the cockpit. This is pretty important for sailing anywhere to windward as it controls your leeway. When it's down your boat will draw about 4 feet of water. The advantage of the swing centerboard is that, when you want to go into shallower water, you can pull the centerboard up and you will still be able to sail till the water is around 2 feet deep. You can't do this with a swing keel or dagger board that pulls all the way up into the hull, leaving nothing but the round shape of the hull in the water. This is great for slipping into a shallow bay to anchor for the night, or just exploring shallow waters, etc. You will hear a lot of folks with pure shoal keels complain about the windward sailing abilities of their boats. The pure shoal keel just isn't efficient enough. The centerboard cures this problem.

The boat is unsinkable because it has a large foam block both under the cockpit floor and under the v-berth.

There have been many options added over the years. I believe most of them can be added to almost any R 22, since the basic design of the boat has always stayed the same.

The simplicity of the mast raising process is mostly due to a pretty nice mast hoist system built by General boats. I have this and I can easily raise my mast, on the trailer, or in the water, by myself.

Yes, I sit in my boat sometimes too and just dream. It's sorta like a mini vacation. We refer to this as "zen sailing" on the list. :-) Some of us are expert zen sailors :-) :-)

Hope this helps,
16 Sep 2002

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