R 22

Rhodes 22


Rhodes 22 VS Other 22's

Just a quick reply in response to your post. I am in the position of soon-to-be Rhodes 22 recycled owner. Discount my last name because it does have an affect on my decision to purchase the Rhodes 22. I will also be selling my older Catalina. The Cat is a sturdy boat, but has been for me less than desirable due in part to the lack of ease preparing for launch. Raising the mast is definitely not a one-person task.

My other reasons for going to Rhodes are: unsinkable even when full of water, is a comfortable boat with large cockpit, will not roll over under sail, in mast and roller furling, a system to raise the mast assembly by one person (the four additional side stays provide the "anti-sway of the mast" while raising or lowering). As a cruiser, not a racer, I was impressed with the feel of the boat during a 2 hour demo on Lake St. Claire in the Detroit area. The claim that the boat will not roll over under sail is something which has definitely been a plus as far as my wife is concerned.

Just a few comments, wish you well as you go about deciding .

Don R
Soon-to-be S/V Summerplace II
Mar 14, 1999

I don't think you'll have much trouble making a choice once you decide what you really want. I wanted a trailerable (to locations all over the Eastern half of the US), shallow draft (under two feet), easily handled by one person (62 years old), with adequate accomodations for two, boat. I did not look at water ballast. I thought something around 25 feet would give me what I wanted for accomodations and not be more than I could handle. (handling includes launching and recovering)

I looked at (and sailed) a twenty five footer, a twenty eight footer and the Rhodes 22. To my surprise, the Rhodes 22 was the clear winner. It had the best cockpit. (I wanted to take friends and relatives daysailing.) With the Innermast furling main and roller reefing genoa, it was the only one I feel confident of handling alone when the wind starts to pipe up. The accomodations were better than the 25 footer and as good as the 28 footer. Stan's "swell head" was more useful than the 28 footer, too. All the boats were easy to launch and recover, so that's not really a factor. The Rhodes will probably take longer to rig, but I think it's a better boat. If I were serious about much offshore cruising, the Rhodes 22 would not be my boat.

Finally, factory support was far better than any other boat I even thought about. And I think the owner support group (Rhodes list) is invaluable.

Take Ron's advise. Check the General Boats website at http://www.rhodes22.com/home.html. There's a lot of info there. As far as I can tell, there's no BS. It is long winded though. And do let us know where you are. There may be someone close to you.

Nell and John Ward
Mar 14, 1999

The Rhodes 22 is a very good boat. Feature for feature, I think it is unbeatable. The recycle program is an enormous plus representing a great value. What is not immediately apparent is the fact that General Boat will build you an essentially custom boat by putting on the boat the things that you find most desireable. The dockmaster where we keep our boat was enormously impressed by things like the cleats that are standard on the boat. Apparently many manufacturers skimp on the hardware which means upgrades along the way.

Working with Stan and the crew at General Boat, they redesigned the interior of the boat for us. For our purposes, the galley was just not necessary so GB removed the galley and added more seating. The increase in seating space can be converted to larger sleeping accomodations. I am not aware of any other manufacturer who would have done as much.

Paul C.
On Sun, 14 Mar 1999

The Rhodes are overbuilt, over engineered, over safe and just maybe over your head. We don't worry about things like sinking cause we carry foam flotation, etc. The list of why we would prefer a Rhodes over a Catalina would be too long for this fourum. You have no appreciation for what kind of boat we have. We like the overbuilty reliability, the neat Over engineerig that results in great user friendly features and the fact that our boat won't sink. Perhaps you should find a different list to pick on. Your Catalina won't measure up to our standards.

Alex Bell
03 Aug 1999

Last week I joined this list as a R22 wannabee. With this in mind I went to look at 2 boats. Sadly, I was greatly underwhelmed.

The first was on a trailer with a 8hp Yamaha, $7600, advertised as VGC. I think fair condition would have been more appropriate. I was most struck by the lillipution interior. I'm only 5'8" and I don't see where I could have slept comfortably. Also, the cockpit seats are so low as to be uncomfortable. I also have concerns about the construction of the boat. On both models, when I stepped on the cockpit seats they flexed and creaked. I suspect that a real heavy person could have damaged them. The wooden deck inside both boats were beginning to show signs of rot. Finally, the second boat had fiberglass peeling up forward of the keel in the bilge.

The first boat was at a boatyard so I also looked at a few other models. The boat with the nicest interior was a-dare I say it - Catalina 22 (but the dinette felt like I was sitting in a doll house). On the other hand, the salesman, also a sailor, said that since I sail a Rhodes 19 now, I would be impressed by the R22 and disappointed by the performance of the C22.

Boat #1 is still under consideration (but I wouldn't offer more than 5K). On the plus side is sailing performance, trailer, mast furling and generally high level of equipment. The negatives: interior volume and construction. So I'd like to ask the owners: what makes you think that this boat is worth a premium? Also, Are their any problem areas that I should look at when inspecting a R22.

09 AUg 1999

The cockpit seats are low until you add the cushions which bring them up to a suitable level. I'm 5'5" and have no problem sleeping on the Rhodes. I don't have an answer to your other questions, except to sail the Rhodes is to truly know it. Granted, the cabin is smaller than the Catalina, but where do you spend the majority of your time. My wife and I actually sleep on the cockpit seats when the weather permits.

09 AUG 1999

My opinion is that if you're looking at 22 foot boats and you feel cramped by the R22, you'll find nothing that you'll be happy with. It's both wider and longer than the C22.

You failed to mention the years of the models you were looking at. I would also warn you that if the epoxy is peeling or cracking up in the bilge, that it might indicate a bigger problem. The wooden sole can easily be replaced. The original furler that came with the older R22s (I don't know about the newer ones), is not of the best quality, but the rest of the gear is great (I suppose the winches could be bigger and there could be two cleats on the bow as opposed to one - but that's not a huge deal).

I spent a lot of time looking at 21 to 26 foot boats. I'm 5'10"/11" and I found the Rhodes 22 to be the roomiest. The cockpit is larger than that found on most 26' and even some 30' footers. The seats on m R22 also makes a cracking sound when I step onto them. It is the result of the teak border not being tightly screwed in. An easily fxed problem.

In terms of price, you should have the boat surveyed, determine how much money and work you'll need to put into it and then make an offer. If I were to choose a 22' boat in terms of space alone I can't think of another boat I's choose over the R22.

Peter Buchenholz
09 Aug 1999

I agree with Rummy about the cockpit seats... they are best used with the cushions.

As for the cabin, granted it feels smaller than the C22, but I think there is more usable space. I'll point out a few more obvious things, but to get the feel for it, you may need to experience it yourself. Last time I looked, GBI had a rental program set up. It might be worth the investment to take a vacation and rent a boat for either a weekend or a week to see how well you like it. Even $5K is a lot of money to invest without a "test drive"

Potty: you can use the potty at night. In the C22, the potty is under the v-berth cushions, so you can't use it if someone is sleeping up there. We do not have the enclosed head on our R22, but someone in the v-berth can still use the potty without disturbing someone sleeping in the dinette berth. It is also much more private than the C22's I considered. You can swing the curtain out and people in the main cabin or cockpit don't watch you use it.

Dinette berth: I'm 6'0" and fit very comfortably in the dinette berth. It is plenty long enough for me. The v-berth would be too short, however, without adding the cushion over the potty. I don't want to do that, however, because of access problems to the potty.

Galley: The galley is a very usable space. Granted, I need to have the pop-top up to use it, but it seems more functional than a friend's Catalina 250. It has excellent storage, lots of counter space, and the workspace is nicely organized with the sink, stove, and cooler. I do plan to make a small, auxiliary table to use instead of the large dining table inside the cabin while I cook, but I haven't had the chance, yet. I still need to have the larger table for when I make the dinette into a berth.

Headroom: I was initially a bit concerned about seated headroom, in the cabin, but have not had any difficulties in practice. Standing headroom is only possible with the pop-top up, but that is equally true with the C22. The poptop on the R22 is superior to the C22, so I think the R22 easily wins on this dimension.

Seats: As Rummy already said, the seats are high enough with the cushions, and the fact that you can put your feet underneath makes them the clear winner, IMHO. If anything, the cockpit is a little TOO big. See recent posts on heeling and how our shorter crew members have learned to brace themselves. It is sometimes difficult for short crew members to reach the lee seat edge. There are a number of ways people deal with this, and I'm glad that my major concern about the cockpit is that it might be too big! I hear what you say about the flex and creak. I don't think there is any damage occurring. It is a bit unnerving, though. Eventually, I will probably stiffen the seats, myself. Perhaps they are stiffer on newer models? Ours is a 1986.

I have occasionally wished for a larger battened main, available only with a standard rig, but everytime I furl the main into the mast, I remind myself that it is worth the small performance cost to be able to do that!

In short, I believe that the R22 is a wonderful boat. The C22 is also a good boat, but I think that it isn't nearly as good for my needs as the Rhodes.

I hope this helps,

s/v Fretnaught
09 Aug 1999

There were a couple of things I wanted to add to my earlier post, regarding your concerns about construction.

I looked at a many boats, before buying the R22. These included several C22s, a San Juan 23, Precision 21, and many others I don't remember names for.

There were two things that really sold me on the R22, and both were construction related.

1. There were no spider cracks on the deck or around chain plates. This was not true for ANY other boat I examined.

2. There was absolutely no visible flex in the hull where it sat on the trailer bunks. This was also not true for ANY other boat.

These two things suggested to me that the construction of the R22 was superior to any other boat in this size range. The rest was just icing on the cake.

BTW: I did have leaking ports which had resulted in rotten cushions in the cabin. I reduced my offer accordingly, bought the boat, then sealed the ports (Steve L. still has my report on that) and made new cushions. You can see the results on the photo site Gregg maintains: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=16166&a=63582

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. I can't guarantee completely objective responses, but I think everyone here tries to give good and objective information, whenever possible.

Good luck,
09 AUG 1999

Everyone has pointed out the qualities of the Rhodes, and I have little to add except to go ahead and visit the Rhodes website and see the features for yourself. One thing not mentioned was the use of options like the boom room and pop top enclosure. The pop top enclosure lets you use the area of the deck around the pop top for your personal gear during sleeping hours, has nice ventilation that can be closed in the event of rain and just makes the cabin larger in general. The boom room makes the whole cockpit a sleeping area. You completely fill the cockpit area with cushons and make one very large sleeping area. You can have it covered with a boom tent or open to the stars.

I am 6'0" and tip the scales somewhere between 200# and 208#. The cockpit seats may flex a bit, but there is no support under them so as to allow more storage for your gear. There are neat engineering features all over the boat which make sailing and using the Rhodes a real pleasure. Best of all, she is very well balanced anc can be tuned for excellent performance. Most Catalina 22's I've been on exhibited a nasty weather helm when the wind piped up. You should test sail these boats to appreciate the Rhodes.

Alex Bell
09 AUG 1999

I'm 5'8" and John is 5'10" and more importantly we are girthful. We slept quite comfortablly for two nights in a row in our new (99 production) R22 on the main converted settee berth. It was a bit close inside with the pop top down which was needed because of the Albemarle bugs. That caused us to purchase the pop top cover before we left Edenton so we could stand up after dark and not get bugs in our teeth. We have not spent the night aboard since then. It is lots like a small camper. There are not big aisles. We also have a bimini and expect to fit some screening around it to encourage the dogs to stay in and we will likely sleep outside also. I slept on the hull side and appreciated the carpet covering on the wall. I suppose it could have been smooth fiberglass or even unfinished fiberglass behind the sette cushions in another. I apprecitated GBI's attention to comfort. Who wants to roll into rough fiberglass in the middle of the night?

On our maiden voyage having owned the boat less than 24 hours we succesfully cooked, washed dishes, read after dark and navigated. Also the motor ran out of gas as we were docking and John docked under sail power to the cheers of the hastily assembled audience.

John investigated and test sailed several boats in the 22-28 range and chose the Rhodes for lots of reasons including that it had the biggest cockpit. We do not expect to have overnight guests but do expect guest day sailors and want the bigger cockpit.

I think you will like it better if you can really try it out in a test sail with Stan or a guest sail with someone near to you.

Nell Ward

John and Nell Ward (johnward@iquest.net)
S/V New Song
Fountaintown, IN (near Indianapolis)
09 Aug 1999

My brother and I have sailed a 1980 Compac 16 for the past year or so mainly on inland lakes but with one coastal excursion on the North Edisto river and Bohicket Creek. As a first boat and easily dry sailed day sailer it is a very good choice. Used ones can be found at very reasonable prices and they are easy to sell on the used market when you are ready to move up. We mostly kept it on the trailer rigged at the marina so it could be launched and sailing in 15 minutes.

Compared to similar sized pure day sailers or racing dinghys the Compac is very stable and forgiving. It is not a good light air boat with standard jib and main but with decent sailing breezes, ideally 8-12mph, we typically averaged 3 to 3-1/2 knots over distance as calculated from waypoint measurements on charts and also using a hand held GPS. Best speed in breezes of 10 to 15 knots was about 5 knots. With the main eased out a little to reduce heeling and weather helm 17 to 20 knots of wind was manageable under full main and jib, mine was not rigged for reefing. I think their reputation as slow sailers has more to due with rig tuning and weight distribution than design limits. When the rig was properly tuned for helm balance and sailed at moderate angles of heel she moved quite well. THey are very sensitive to too much weight in the stern. Sitting far enough aft in the cockpit to drag the transom really slowed the boat down. Keeping the 30lbs or so worth of mushroom anchors forward in the bow to counterbalance the outboard made a difference too. Any thing larger than a 3hp motor is a waste and the excess weight on the stern definitely degrades the sailing capabilities. Mine had a 2.3 hp evinrude which was quite adequate to push the boat against a 4-1/2 knot tidal current and a 12 knot headwind, though net speed over ground was only 1-1/2knots.

I spent several nights on the boat in reasonable comfort, my brother would not; it was too claustrophobic for him. Getting in and out of the cabin and berths would be a difficult excercise for anyone who is overly large, stiff, or obese. Unless you are a contortionist, sex is out of the question. The previous owner was from the Keys and had sailed the boat out to the Dry Tortugas! As primarily a day sailer the cabin is a great place to stow an ice chest and picnic goodies. The cockpit is comfortable for two, adequate for 3 , crowded but workable for 4.

The Rhodes 22 is by comparison a luxury yacht if you anticipate any extended camp cruising. It is much faster in all conditions, especially light air, more stable, and the cockpit is incredible, more comfortable than any I have experienced on a boat under 30'. It is 2-1/2 times the boat that the Compac is. 2-1/2 times the weight, interior volume, cockpit area, and sail area. The only conditions under which I would consider this a negative is towing, rigging, launching and retrieving. The weights and rig complexity involved make this much more of a chore. Hopefully someday soon I can afford one.

I traded my Compac 16 to an older gentleman this summer for a Gloucester 22. He was looking for something he could easily trailer, rig, launch, and sail by himself as he had no one to sail with on a regular basis, and the 22 was simply too much to deal with. All in all it was a nice step up for me for very little cash outlay and a good deal for him as he will be sailing a lot more. The Gloucester is by no means a Rhodes, but I like it better than the Catalinas, it is a shoal keel/centerboard boat like the Rhodes and the interior and cockpit are much more livable for camp cruising. This one I rented a slip for so winter sailing will be easier.

Good luck on your choice,

03 NOV 1999

Tom is right. While I do not yet own a Rhodes, the afternoon light air test sail I enjoyed with Stan at Edenton plus the chance to inspect older and newer Rhodes 22's in various stages of construction convinced me. The boat is head and shoulders above anything near its size and price, even the price of a tricked out new one. Sailing ability, quality of construction and finish, comfort, useful features, you name it. The only reason to go larger would be to get better long term or liveaboard cruising accomodations at the sacrifice of trailerability. Or on the smaller end , easier trailer sailing at the expense of comfort and serious camp cruising capability. For general pleasure sailing and cruising on inland lakes or protected coastal waters I can think of no other production boat that provides the all around well balanced capabilities of the Rhodes at any price. Before finding the internet site and taking a factory test sail, I considered my only option to be designing and building a custom boat. The Compacs ran a far distant second place. Forget Hunters and Catalinas. A custom boat will still be a long term goal, I really do love the woodies. But the Rhodes really turned my head as no other plastic boat has.


Alan:Saw Roger's response but thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. We have an '86 with the innermast furling. Our tiller is just right - no pull either direction when the winds are right. When things pipe up, we do have some weather helm but nothing significant. Actually I like playing with the tiller when things brisk up trying to keep the boat on her feet

We chose the boat because of the furling main and Genoa as we were tired of hanking on jibs and fussing with halyards and sail covers. No regrets for any trade off in performance but we just like sailing up and down the river (out to the ocean now and again). If you are really into racing or love to grind out that extra .25 knot then a standard rig may be what you need.(Please note that we are able to run with most of the boats in this area: Catalina 22's and 25's, Columbia 22, most other cruising types. The J22's and J24's, the Sonars, and the like, do leave us behind. Frustrating at times.) But, it sounds like an expensive way to go at this point. Have you gotten any quotes on a standard mast, boom, sails, etc.

Great sailing to all in 2000 We were out on Thursday afternoon with my son for a great sail, and today, Kathy and I got out to welcome in the new sailing year.

Bob and Kathy on the "NoKaOi"
01 Jan 2000

You will be getting numerous answers on this one. AS for me, it was a case of wanting a very large cockpit for day sailing. It was only after I had the Rhodes that I discovered all the other nice features that attract others. I wanted a boat that I could take friends out for a sail and not have an uncomfortabely crowded area. The Rhodes 22 has the largest cockpit of any 22 foot boat that I know of.

It doesn't hurt that it is one of the very few boats in this size range that has foam floation that ensures that your boat won't sink, even if holed. Matter of fact, that's a major feature for some owners.

The engineering that has gone into this boat must be seen to be appreciated. You should visit the Rhodes22 website and read all the factory propoganda, make notes and ask the questions that come to mind. I have Intermast Furling (IMF) which means that the mainsail rolls up inside the mast with the ease of a furling jib. Of course the Rhodes has a furling jib too. So if you are concerned about safety and the ability to reduce sail in a blow, the Rhodes shines.

The mast is a very heavy duty unit, and the rig is secured by 9 shrouds, which means that if one fails, it is not a catastophic failure most boats would have occur. The mast can stand up with just the side stays. Of course you would have to reduce the sail area or douse completely, but there have been instances where sailors have lost one or two stays and sailed in. This boat is built and rigged to be as safe as possible.

The Rhodes 22 carries 300 square foot of sail in the 170% genoa and the 100 sq ft mainsail. She can ghost along in very little wind. Yet that massive amount of sail can be doused in seconds with the furling system. She can perform with the best of the boats in this size range. The standard rigging is of very high quality and placement has been worked out for maximum effency and ease of sail. As an example, check out the mainsheet system and the traveler. The traveler is mounted to and between the two backstays. Unconventional at first glance, but very pratical because the traveler and the mainsheet system is out of the way of normal use in the cockpit. You can easily control the mainsail with this arrangement.

The seats are very comfortable and are open beneath, for easy storage and comfrotable seating. The deck and gunnels are comfortable to walk or sit on, while the built in toe rail provides safety. There are grab rails or handrails at the right spots for safety. The lazerette storage area is the full width of the boat and is lockable. The motor bracket is decades ahead of anyone elses's and is an exclusive design of General Boats. Your average 5 year old can raise or lower a 10 hp engine, so it should be no problem for an adult.

I have not mentioned the cabin as yet. You will find a very comfortable cabin with well over 6' headroom when the pop top is up. You can sail with the pop top up with no problems, and in the event that you feel the weather is too extreme, you can lower the pop top easily. That would allow for you to lower the sail by about a foot or so as the whole furling rig will slide down to lower the center of effort. I call this my first reef point because it effectively brings the boat back on her lines. With the pop top up, you can stand and cook at the galley, use the sink and do those domestic chores I steer clear of. The head is useable and (depending on the year of the Rhodes) may have a tri-fold door that makes for more room. You can have a hatch just above the head that is useful for several reasons. The setee is comfortable and it converts into a nice double berth. The v-berth is not adult friendly, but fine for kids.

You can load up options that make the boat feel larger than any 22' boat. We have the pop top enclosure that makes for weatherproof camping aboard. It has windows that roll up and screens to keep the no-see-um's out. We also have the bimini top, which makes fornice day sailing in sunny hot weather. Additionally, you can rock the bimini forward to mate up with the pop top enclosure and keep the cabin dry while leaving the companionway open.

You can go all out and get the cockpit filler cushons which make the cockpit a very large bed. You can enclose that with the boom tent. Many of us have some of the options listed, and have used tarps and made their own items to make more use of the boat.

That sums up my opinions of why we ahve a Rhodes 22. I had a Chrysler 22 some 20 years ago that I loved, but when I got back into sailing, I discovered the Rhodes 22 and did not try to find a Chrysler. For one thing, I did not want to deal with an 800# swing keel, the pivot, the cable or the winch associated with it and most other 22' boats. I like the shoal keel/ centerboard combination. I did not mention Phillip Rhodes, the designer or why the hull has the shape it does. You can read about that at the Rhodes22.com site.

Alex Bell
25 May 2000

The factory currently has an inventory of used boats available starting around 6k. These are not factory refurbished. General Boats buys back a lot of the used ones that come on the market and refurbishes them. They sell the reconditioned boats for about typically about 1/2 the cost of a similarly equipped new one, depending on age and what they do to it. But it comes with a new boat guarantee and they can customize it to suit you with options available on new ones. Apparently Stan and Co. have so many orders in hand that they are currently willing to part with some of the used ones "as is" (no guarantee).

I currently own a Gloucester 22. Similar size and keel/centerboard configuration, but not as well designed and built as the Rhodes. I like it better than the C-22 because it has a larger more comfortable cabin for overnighting, but it doesn't have a galley or other cruising amenities like the Rhodes. The G-22 is also faster and better balanced than a C-22, and the price was right,(really cheap). Be that as it may I am going to trade up (sideways?) to a Rhodes when funds permit acquiring a used or factory refurb with most of the current goodies installed, typically 15k-20k+. Why? Hear is the short list:

1. Sailing qualities: speed, excellent light air performance, ease of handling, balance, easy to single hand. I find this last quality important even when I have company as most of my companions tend to be passengers instead of sailors.

2. Its the cockpit stupid: all kidding aside the R22 has the most confortable, best laid out, most functional cockpit of any boat I have ever been on under about 30' length. Head and shoulders above any production boat anywhere near its size.

3. Stout construction,excellent quality hardware and rigging, unsinkable. Read the owners speak section of the website for a couple of harrowing sea stories.

4. Accomodations comfortable enough for extended vacation cruising for two adults, + kids (or dogs)if need be. Especially with options like the pop top enclosure. Able enough for inshore coastal cruising. 5. Easy to trailer, rig, and launch.

11 Jul 2000

Just thought I'd add my opinions and praises of the R22 . . . Your request for clarification of 'tender then stiffens', I think requires consideration of a few points.

As Bob Quinn pointed out, the R22 has built in positive flotation; in the v-berth, the cockpit sole, and I believe may also be present in the upper cockpit coamings (??? can anyone clarify this ???). I had the opportunity (?) to 'test' the positive flotation when my centerboard cap had a major leak, and water flooded BlewDaze. There was about 2" of water above the cabin sole, but the boat was still floating. We carefully motored her back to the ramp, put her on the trailer, emptied water, and effected repairs. Lots of inconveniences, but amazing that she was still floating at her buoy after flooding, and not at the bottom of our lake! Only occasion I've heard of an R22 staying turtle was during a very frightening storm when a rogue wave hit in NC, and the mast stuck/dug into the bottom. The crew stayed with the capsized hull, and everyone was fine. These R22 owners had their vessel repaired, and are still happy sailors on their same boat. I think this sings very high praises for this Phillips Rhodes design!

As for tender, I think alot of this has to do with both the reverse curviture of the hull, and amazing sailplan of this 22' boat. The hull curviture allows easy healing up to about 10 deg, then begins to stiffen due to the reverse hull curve. In addition to the flared hull providing great healing stabilization, this has the benefit of providing great wide cockpit gunnels for storage and fanny hiking space :-) Also, our sailplan includes furling main and genny totaling 300 sq ft. Not typical for a comfortable 22' cruising sailboat to carry this much sail. Lots of power, but hull design, engineering, quality, and sailhandling allows for very fun, and SAFE, sailng!

Currently, our sailing venue is a high mountain lake in Colorado with very unpredictable winds. Last summer we had very 'spirited' conditions almost all season. Frequently, we were the only sailboat heading out into the fun, or the last to hightail-it back to the security of the mooring cove. We experienced shifts from 3kt floating, to 25kt gusts with 180deg windshift all within less than a minute. Given the convenience and security of adjusting sailsize in less than a minute, and the 'stiffening' characteristics of the R22, we were able to enjoy the wild season. It was very fun to enjoy the ride, while many larger sailboats were not up to the challenge of the conditions!

One other major consideration of the Rhodes 22 is the wonderful boat builder, General Boats. They have been producing the R22 for about 30 years. Don't know of any other boat model that has stayed in production for that long . . . It's a small company, VERY geared to customer satisfaction, that LISTENS to it's boat owners. This has allowed them to refine their 22' boat design to an amazing product. I can't say enough about the efforts made by the GB crew to satisfy their customers.

SO, there you have it --- my soapbox preach. My advice, is to take a test sail on an R22 and decide what best fits your needs. As a Catalina owner confessed at the recent Chicago Sail Expo while visiting the R22 display, 'I've heard many disgruntled Catalina owners, but have never heard a regretful R22 owner'. We can be obsessed at times - but this boat is indeed wonderful!

Regards, Pamela s/v '97 R22 BlewDaze
25 Jul 2000

I can give you a few differences that make a difference.

1. foam flotation. The Rhodes 22 is unsinkable. It has foam in the fwd area under the bunks and it has foam under the cockpit. It works, as at least one list member had the bad luck to find out. One other list member witnessed a Catalina 22 sink on an inland Lake. He can chime in and tell about it.

2. the shrouds. The Rhodes has an abundance of shrouds which make it a very sturdy rig. There are two backstays, six side stays and a forestay. You can loose your forstay and the mast will not come down. Same applies to side stays. One of the list members had the misfortune of being a rookie and not securing his shroud as he tightned the turnbuckle. It caused shroud failure later in the year. The mast did not come down, even with multiple failures.

3. strength and girth. The Rhodes weighs in at around 2900# and has 700# of ballast. Last time I looked the CAtalina 22 was 1850#, of which 550# was ballast. Even if you allow 200# for all the goodies we carry as standard equipment, when you do the math, there's at least 700# more fiberglass in the Rhodes 22.

4. 7'4" cockpit. The Rhodes has the largest cockpit of any sailboat I know of up to 30'. You can truely lounge around when the wind is not up and you're drifting around.

5. Well tuned rig. The Rhodes 22 will not let you get into trouble. Even if you get hit with a major puff, the boat rounds up into the wind and saves your bacon. It has a very well balanced helm and does not take two hands to control the tiller. Some boats will challange you when on a beat with the amount of rudder pressure. Not the Rhodes 22.

6. IMF furling. Lots of boats have a headsail furling system, but very few have a mainsail furling system. The Rhodes 22 has that available, and most owners have it. It allows you to roll up your mainsail inside the mast with the mainsail furling line. This comes under the heading of safety, since reducing sail is a major factor. The IMF has another feature that I call the first reef point. Under normal conditions, the mainsail furling tube is at the top of the mast and the mainsail reaches all the way up. When it gets a bit strong, I lower the gooseneck and boom by pulling a pin and bringing the assembly down to near cabintop height. This has the effect of lowering the mainsail's center of effort by something like 2'.

The Catalina 22 has some benefits as opposed to the Rhodes 22. It is lighter, and therefore easier to trailer. The mast is not as big, nor does it have the IMF of the Rhodes, so it is easier to hoist. I'm sure as a Catalina owner, you could add to this list of benefits.

I think I covered most of the highlights as to differences between the Catalina 22 and the Rhodes 22, If you have not yet visited their website, go to http://rhodes22.com/. It is a fun site, with lots of information on the Rhodes and General Boats.

12 Aug 2000

Alex made reference to someone telling about a Cat 22 being sunk on an inland lake. That was me. I was sailing about 100 ft or so behind a C22, in very light wind. The wind just stopped, totally calm, and we sat a waited. Suddenly a gust, which was the worst gust I've experienced in 13 years on the lake, came over the port side. I watched the rail and winch of the Rhodes go under water. The R22 immediately started to accelerate and point towards the wind. The rail came up and the whole scene was over in seconds. The C22 wasn't so lucky. It went over and stayed there. It sunk in about 5 feet of water. All the R22 had was wet cushions on the starboard side.

Re moving up to a 25-27 for space: Off hand, I can't think of a 25-27 footer that has a more usable cockpit than the R22. In fact, most are smaller. That cockpit is one of the boats (many) great assets. The cabin is a different story. Although I think the R-22 has the best cabin of any boat in the 22 ft class, (and much better than the C22) you just can't get the cabin space in a 22 that you will get in a 25. If you spend a lot of time below deck, the 25 has to be a better bet.

Re the head: On most 25-27's you can stand when using the head (guy thing) and the head area is generally greater. Again, the head set-up on the R22 is much better and more private than on any other 22. But I suspect a 25-27 will be more comfortable. So I guess the question becomes, "Which do you use more, the head or the cockpit?".

Warren Gehrig
14 Aug 2000

I find the real limitation to inside space of the Rhodes22 is the lack of standing head room - not length. This is a design constraint more over making the boat trailerable than longer. The classic example is the Pacific Seacraft Flicka. At 20' (24 with bowsprit) it has interior standing headroom and an inboard diesel - but don't try to trailer it. The bad news is a used Flicka costs more than a new Rhodes22. It and the Island Packet 27 are my dream boats.

Dave Walker

Frankly, I think the boat has the best camp cruising accomodations for one or two people of any 22 foot production boat of similar displacement that can be easily trailered. The galley unit itself provides a lot of storage space. If the standard settee arrangement were substituted, you would have to fill it up with storage containers and ice chests to provide the same storage space with far less utility and convenience. The drawer under the companionway step would by itself store a week's worth of canned foods for more extended cruises. Sitting headroom with the pop top down is comparable to other similar sized boats. With the pop top enclosure, one has full standing headroom in a well ventilated, bug proof and weather tight cabin. The cockpit hardware layout makes single handing as easy as any sloop rig with an overlapping headsail can be. The neutral, balanced handling, and superior comfort of the cockpit make a day at the helm a lot less tiring and stressful than say a Catalina or Hunter. Plus that large cockpit is far more comfortable than most for day sailing with a crowd.

Any small boat will represent a balance of design compromises based on the designer's vision of the boat's function. Cabin space vs cockpit space, headroom and interior volume vs hull drag and sailing performance, size and weight limitations for trailering and launching. The prospective buyer has to choose the design that represents the best set of compromises for his intended use. For extended solo cruising one might pick a Flicka over the Rhodes; for competitive racing a J-boat or Sonar. But as a general purpose 22' sailboat that can do most everything well, the Rhodes is hard to beat.

20 Aug 2000

Roger races his boat competitively. I think he said he was rated PHRF 236 or so. Catalinas rate a PHRF 270 or so. That would make the RHodes about 35 seconds per mile faster.

21 Aug 2000

Against the swing keel Catalina 22's, I need to drag my outboard in the water or reef down in order not to sail away. This really annoys Catalina owners! The PHRF handicap difference is on the order of 15-20 sec/mile. The fin keel Catalina 22's & swing keel Catalina 25's are fairly evenly matched with the Rhodes 22 with the standard mainsail & 150% roller furling genoa.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
21 Aug 2000

I think it's hard to make a generalization and say that one of these is faster than the other. On Lake Lanier where we sail there's a very active C-22 fleet, and many of them are hard-core competitive racers and have their boats set up accoringly. New expensive sails every year or two, spinnakers, all excess weight removed, expensive bottom jobs, tiny, lightweight outboards, etc. It's hard to compare a boat like this with a C-22 that's used for cruising or daysailing, much less a Rhodes. There are actually 3 different types of C-22s. The original was made up until about '85, then the second type was made until the mid-late '90s when they came out with the Mk II model. The later ones are also split between retractable keels and wing keels. The go-fast group likes the retractable better. According to Catalina, the underwater part of the hull and the rig are the same, but most C-22 sailors view them as completely different boats. Apparently the oldestones are the fastest!

and the Mk II is the slowest. Judging from the discussions on the list, it seems that most Rhodes sailors have their boats set up for comfortable cruising and daysailing rather than all out performance. Roger seems to have more go-fast gear than most, e.g. full batten main, spinnaker, upgraded winches, etc. so it's not surprising that he's much faster than a C-22. But some C-22s are much faster than others, so a 'racing' C-22 might be a close match for a typical Rhodes.

August 22, 2000

Sure hope you can make it to Annapolis - many of your questions could be answered. I think GB will have a demo boat at the show available for test sails (Stan, can you confirm this?), so you can see/feel yourself just how the R22 sails, and form your own opinion about IMF.

As for the continuing IMF debate, BlewDaze is equipped with IMF and we wouldn't want it any other way. True, the sail shape may be abit compromised. However, the advantages of safely, quickly, and conveniently being able to size the main anywhere from 0 to 100% more than compensates for no battens. We're often the only one out, or last to come in, when conditions get really nuts on our high alpine lake.

As for performance, I think us R22 owners enjoy surprising the observers who see our boats sail so well. I know all the formulas and numbers give us a hull speed of low-6 range, also that this is a displacement vessel.

However, many of us have hit above 7, and have also experienced the lightness when 'almost' getting up onto a plane. This past weekend we hosted friends who have never sailed. The husband is taking flying lessons, so perhaps this helped him get 'into the groove', but he was a terrific skipper. At one point, BlewDaze was so pleased she seemed to glide so smoothly (at about 6.8 !), and sure felt like we held an 'almost' plane for a few minutes.

We've been very pleased, and surprised by the exceptional R22 performance. As you mentioned, the proof is in comparison with that other boat you happen to see on the water. Must be some genetic similarity with sailors, but we do tend to race whatever other sailboats are in our vicinities! This is very gratifying, when it's a bigger boat that finally tacks away because we've embarassed them! At our recent KY Lake gathering, there were a couple Hunters, about 28', that 'joined' us on the water. BlewDaze loved that lake, and was really showing her stuff. The bigger boats just couldn't compete, and tacked off.

Great performance is important, but safety and comfort are higher priorities in my book. The R22 is a highly thought-out, and refined boat. This high evolution provides an incredibly comfortable cockpit, well designed deck, clever use of space in the cabin - better than on some boats much larger. And . . .the positive foam floatation, balanced helm, sailhandling, and reverse curviture in the hull, make for a very enjoyable and stable ride.

Best suggestion is to 'try it' - Take a R22 test sail at a boatshow, or solicit a ride with an owner. We a pretty friendly and interesting (???) bunch, and quite fanatical about our sailboats! At the recent Chicago boatshow, I was chatting with an attendee at the R22 booth. He's a Catalina 25 owner, who had considered buying the R22 15 years ago instead of his Catalina. Said every year he comes to look over the R22, and many times wishes he had made a different choice. His comment . . . 'I know lots of Catalina owners who are unhappy with their boats, but have never met an R22 owner who's not pleased'. I think this says alot!

Regards, Pamela
13 Sep 2000

We looked at Hunters Precisions, Catalina and anything else that you can think of. We decided the boat of choice would be the Rhodes for quality and you can't find a better group of sales people to work with other then Stan and Elton. We didn't see any other type of boat to even compare with the Rhodes to better fit our needs. Although we have not gotten to use our enclosed head yet, we thought it would be a great investment and a lot more comfortable then a Porta Potty buried under neath the V-berth in other boats that you couldn't use without waking others in the boat up. The IMF is definetely a nice feature to have. a LOT better then the sail on the old Hobie. You don't have to worry about sail everywhere after you take it down. The Rhodes makes better use of its interior space then any other boat we've ever seen. and has wonderful sailing capabilities!

- The Bulldog Crew-
22 Sep 2000

Your post caught my eye since we are fortunate to own both an R22 and a Mac26x and at the risk of getting flamed for blasphemy, wanted to share our experiences.

First off, my father-in-law bought a 1973 R22 (RC 55) in 1981 and we have sailed this gem every summer for the past 18 years out of Cutchogue, Long Island NY on Peconic Bay. This 27 year old all original equiptment boat still sails great, still out paces most Catalina 22 and an occasional Cat 25, and is ideally suited to the always changing weather patterns of the area.

Because of this, we bought a recycled 1995 R22 in July, 1998 and and enjoyed great sailing on the Chesapeake out of Galesville, MD on the West River. However, the summer of 1999 had too many windless days and my 14 year old son was getting the need for speed. We wanted to try something different. We brokered out boat through Stan which he handled quickly and and perfectly. We had seen and test sailed the Mac26x earlier and took delivery this April. For us, it the perfect family fun boat, which explains why old Roger is selling about 750 a year and over 4000 so far. No, it does not sail as well as the R22, you have to point far off the wind, but we have hit over 8 knots on beam reaches. The quality of production jokes are about 20% accurate, after all, you don't sell this many boats by building garbage.

As for powering, the 50 Honda is a real advantage for outrunning a thunderstorm (which we have done twice), sailing late into the day until the wind dies and blasting home at 18 Knots, and tubing and slow skiing.

We know the traditional sailboat crowd hates the Mac ,that is until they go out for a day of Powersailing, and the opinions usually change quickly. So for what its worth, our feeling is that the R22 is the finest 22 - 25 foot classic sailboat available and is priced accordingly and that the Mac26x Powersailor is a unique family fun boat that gets us on the water much more often.

Dave and Teresa Scofield
s/v TeriLu 1973 R22 RC55 Cutchogue, NY
s/v Winds or Knot 2000 Mac26x, Galesville, MD

Your comparison of the Rhodes vs. the MacGregor 26's was outstanding. You hit the nail square on the head. One of my sailing buddies at the marina has a Mac 26C and I have sailed on it several times. It is fast, tender, and no match for the R-22.

MacGregors quality of construction is from fair to poor. When you push on the side of the Mac hull, it oilcans. Push on the side of the Rhodes and it pushes back. The Mac has 6 stays going to four chain plates and the side plates are attached by 3 stainless bolts going thru the side of the hull (true for both the 26 and 26x). The Rhodes has nine stays going to nine chain plates all internally secured to bulkhead fitments. All the cleats, winches, and hardware are as small as MacGregor can get away with. All the Rhodes equipment is oversized. As you stated, MacGregor gives you a lot of boat for the buck (say cheap), and you do indeed get what you pay for.

When Floyd hit last year the marine had about 25 boats sustain serious damage. The majority were MacGregors. One got into a tussle with a Catalina 25. The Cat received rub railing damage and some substantial gouges in the side. The Mac was totaled. You could look thru the ruptured hull into the cabin on the starboard side. Almost all the Mac's has hull structural damage. This would not fill me with confidence if I owned a Mac.

I also agree with your comment regarding Yugo and Lexis except I think Yugo and BMW would be better. In it's class, the R-22 is certainly the "ultimate" sailing machine. We do a lot of sailing on each others boats at the marina. When out on the Rhodes, I always let the other owner take a turn at the tiller. They are all amazed at how balanced and responsive the R-22 is, what a joy to sail. Their admiration (and envy) is obvious. These are mostly Catalina, Hunter, and Macgregor sailors. Sunday we were sailing close-hauled in steady 8-10 knot winds, full 175 genny and main, doing about 5- 5.5 knots with a 20 deg heel. The boat was so perfectly balanced we were not holding the tiller and she tracked absolutely straight. Try that in a Mac!

If you want to do serious sailing the Rhodes is the clear choice. The 26x is a great boat for family boating where occasional casual sailing is the intent and room (it has loads) and speed are most important. In that context, the Mac 26x is hard to beat.

05 Oct 2000

I feel compelled to add my two cents to this thread. My R-22 was seriously damaged by being dropped once and run a ground hard. The area just forward of and down the front of the keel was broken. The scouts filled this crack with putty and continued to sail her for two years with no problems. I am currently sailing,learning really, on our 1975 Hunter 27' while I rebuild our Rhodes. I spent less on the hunter with an I/B than I have budgeted on the re fit for the Rhodes. This is because I intend to complete the Rhodes right. We have four children ranging from 6'1" to 4'2" so the Hunter will be used for family vacations. Being a 1975 she is over built and pretty tough. I have noticed the hardware is lighter than the stuff on(in storage now) the Rhodes! I am not much of a sailor yet but I have crawled over, under, through and around more than a hundred boats this summer. I have seen abandoned, neglected and damaged boats of all makes and models except Rhodes 22's. I can't wait to sail mine next spring. I don't think the R-22 is built like a tank or an oil can,not that I admit remembering what an oil can was:) but is built right. From what I have seen, read and heard they are still being built right. I don't reply to often because I get so long winded. I guess this reply countsfor a few:)

Sailing on my Hunter while planing work on my Rhodes
John D LeClare
06 Oct 2000

When we were in "the Market" at Annapolis we wanted a new boat, Hunter,Catalina or possible a precision or maybe a Seaward or what did the market have to offer in about the largest trailerable boat. In fact we were guests of Hunter at the '98 show!!.

We saw the Rhodes22 did the test sail thing with Stan, spent a huge amount of time talking with Elton over 2 days and finally decided on a new R22 with all the bells and whistles.. Then Elton took over and convinced us since this was to be our first sailboat larger than a Sunfish maybe we should tone down our requirements a bit and go the recycle route which we did keeping in mind the GBI promise of full purchase price toward a new one.

After sailing for several weeks we decided what we knew all along, we love the boat and want a new one with everything on it like marine head, captains chairs, boom room , etc., etc. so we bit the bullet and said yes, yes we want new - 2001 vs '94. and we want a green hull with red trim. And although due to my heart surgery, our season was short and started late this year, we a happy with our decision. In fact the "Bulldog" currently is resting quietly on her trailer waiting for the trip to Edenton next week for the few things that were not available last summer iee. side rails.

Russ & the Bulldog Crew
09 Nov 2000

Michael has given you lots to look at. I don't know if he has this angle mentioned or not, but the Rhodes 22 WILL NOT SINK. It is unique in the 22' sailboat market in that it has foam flotation below the V-Berth and under the cockpit floor. This might seem to be overkill unless you hear the story about a Catalina 22 sailing along with a Rhodes 22 in New Jersey when a major puff put them over. The Rhodes 22 recovered and the Catalina sank. Warren Gehrig witnissed this.

Just look at the specifications. The Rhodes 22 weighs in around 2,900# with a keel weight of about 700# (the specs changed a bit but are close to those numbers). If you subtract the keel weight from the boat displacement, you have 2,200# of fiberglass and rigging.

The Catalina 22 weighs in at around 1,850# and has a swing keel of 550#. That leaves 1,300# of fiberglass and rigging. In other words, the Catilina is built 900# lighter than the Rhodes.

Besides being built heavier/beefier, the Rhodes has very favorable sailing traits. Like the lack of weather helm. The helm is more or less neutral. I have been on Catalina 22's that required both hands on the tiller in what a Rhodes 22 sailor considers moderate conditions.

We are a group of proud owners who feel the Rhodes 22 is the finest trailerable cruiser made. No boat is perfect, but the compromises made by the Rhodes 22 never affect safety and stability.

Alex Bell
Nov 20,2000

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