My wife and I moved up to a Rhodes from a Potter 19. We, too primarily sail
on a small inland lake and travel to the coast (Maine, Chesapeake Bay) a few
times each summer. You seem to have a pretty good handle on the advantages a
Rhodes offers, but I thought I'd offer my two cents as a previous Potter
Trailering - hands down, the Potter was easier to trailer - way lighter, no
trailer brakes required, etc. We towed it from our home in Southwest
Virginia to Maine and back with a 1990 Dodge Caravan. Hardly noticed it.
This is not to say the Rhodes is difficult to trailer, by any means. It just
means we had to get a larger tow vehicle when we bought the Rhodes.
Rigging - it took us about 30 minutes to rig and launch thePotter, and we're
getting the Rhodes down to just over an hour. The Potter had 3 stays, the
Rhodes has 9.
Quality - hands-down, the Rhodes is twice the boat the Potter was. Quality
of construction, hardware, rigging - everything about the boats speaks of
the time, effort, and care that Stan & Co. put into building her.
Pop-top - We never liked being below in the Potter. Too cramped. The pop-top
on the Rhodes allows me to stand upand makes all the difference on an
overnight, especially with the pop-top enclosure.
Sailing - hands-down, the Rhodes is faster and more fun for us to sail. With
the furling headsail and IMF, it's also easier to sail - it seems like we
get to spend more time sailing than anyone else at our marina. We have a
sailing association at our local lake who host a regatta 6-8 times a summer.
Two years ago with the Potter, we were happy to finish "not last". Last year
with the Rhodes we ended up 2nd in our class. We also like the keel weight
in the Rhodes. We never got all that comfortable with the way the Potter
felt when it heeled - OTOH, we've never (really - never) felt uncomfortable
with the way the Rhodes feels when it heels.
We trailered the Potter up to Maine and learned that, unless there was a lot
of wind, we couldn't buck the tide w/o using the motor. Last year we took
Raven and found that we were able to sail where we wanted regardless of the
direction of the tide (going with it was obviously faster, though ). Once
after a three day cruise on our way home, we beat along one side of the
Harpswell peninsula against wind and tide, then as we rounded the point, the
tide turned and the wind shifted and we again had beat against wind and tide
again to get back to the family's cottage. It was a blast! Six hours of
really fun sailing. We never could have done that with the Potter.
We bought the Potter for several reasons, the three primary ones being the
enthusiasm shown for the boat by the other owners on Trailer Sailer, the
price, and the ability to overnight. We owned the boat for just over a year.
We found that we were just too physically big to be comfortable in the
Potter. We only overnighted in her a few times and really disliked the
daggerboard arrangement. The cockpit was too small to bring more than a
couple of friends with us. We didn't enjoy being down below. We decided to
After a few months of searching, visiting other boats, etc., we finally
decided to visit General Boats and take a Rhodes out over night to make sure
we were comfortable sleeping in it. We took it out overnight (in terrible
weather - but that's another story), loved it, and decided we wanted one.
The following week Gary and Jennifer Sanders put Raven on the market. We
drove up to Syracuse, negotiated a price, and purchased her. We haven't once
23 Dec 2002