R 22

Rhodes 22



Not experienced enough to comment on the genoa size, but several people on the list have gone with a smaller genoa and seemed pleased with the results in strong winds.

I am not a fan of side rails on the Rhodes, but again there are others on the list who are. I agree with Stan that it interferes with sail shape and handling. I have a non sailing wife and a small child among others. On a Rhodes there is no need for them to leave the cockpit. The only time I need to go forward is when anchoring and docking. I'd listen to Stan & Elton, never known their advice to be wrong.

Mike Corley
SV Ranger
99 Rhodes without side rails
01 Jan 2001

Russ, get the rails. they look shape on the boat, give a nice handhold going forward, the double life lines work for the cockpit, Karin is very happy with them and the kids in the cockpit. The wide gates do not hinder or cause a trip hazard at the docks, They are high enough not to be a keen tripper. Much, Much Much, better then the straight life lines. Their is not problem with the sheet angles and the sails do not get tied up in them (just the forward lowers like most Rhodes :-), The only complaint I have is that my set have a base leg to close to the winch to permit the winch handle to turn 360. have to go back and forth, oh well thier goes my racing turns ;-), get them you will like them.

03 Jan 2001

[The top section of this email addressed the head sails, so the email was split and the paragraphs concerning the head sails were place under theGenoa Sails topic]

I would go with the new rails (I did :-), The Solid set mid ship and use life lines to connect them to the aft rails, I think I understand what you are asking but I would not do it, besides it looking ugly you asking for a custom rail job(not cheap, and you do what the boat in 2001), The 24 inch "standard" lifelines have never worked on the boat, also do not try to put anything from the mid ship rails to the bow puppet rails, That will foul the sails. Under sail you are rally on the fordeck and the stays do act as lifelines, Stan might be trying to talk you "polity" out of your design, might pay to listen. Bottom line, get the rails as pictured with the dual gated lifelines in the cockpit or leave it off altogether. I sailed Rhodes22 both ways and they are fine boats.

04 Jan 2000

[The top section of this email addressed the head sails, so the email was split and the paragraphs concerning the head sails were place under theGenoa Sails topic]

As I mentioned in my previous post, I custom built my own set of stainless steel railings. There are several pictures of Dynamic Equilibrium on the photo web site if you'd like to see what my railings look like. The stainless steel railings are all smooth & rounded with nothing to snag a line on while tacking. The pictures of GBI's stainless steel railings look like they are very well made. If they'd been available in 1987, I'd have probably bought them instead of building my own. My experience with sailing handling over my stainless railings is they are almost as easy to tack as with no railings at all. The lifelines are another story. With lifelines, there are places to foul sheets at each stanchion & they are not as slippery as railings. The problem is the worst in light air. My other problem with the standard lifelines is that they are too low for good safety & uncomfortably small in diameter to hang onto or bump up against in foul weather. My stainless railings are 30 inches high & about 1 inch O.D. so you can get a good grip on them. Yes, there is some extra weight & windage. But, it's pretty equally distributed around the boat & down relatively low. My railings have never caused me a problem in this respect & they've kept me on board all these years. The lifeline or railing height is one of those things you shouldn't scale down proportionately with the size of the boat because the people that depend on them stay the same size.

As far as sail trim with lifelines or railings, my experience is that the railings don't interfere with the genoa car sheeting location until I furl the headsail down to less than about 110%. At this point, the appropriate genoa car location changes from the outer track to the inner track. Rethreading the sheets to the new genoa car is a little more cumbersome with the railings than without them. Actually, I keep a set of sheets rigged up to each set of genoa cars with a snap shackle to quickly attach the sheets to the clew on the genoa. Then in puffy conditions, I can quickly switch back & forth.

Some people like to weave a fishnet in between their railings or lifelines to make the setup a little safer. It probably is safer, but it definitely interferes with genoa car location! With fishnet, you have to rethread the sheets every time you move the genoa cars even slightly. I had fishnet on the railings around my cockpit for a very brief time right after I 1st built them. The fishnet was such a royal PITA to live with that I took it off.

In 1987, when I built my railings, my sons were 4 years & 1 year old. The 3 of us frequently sailed with nobody else on board. My sons have grown up with our Rhodes 22. Could we have made do W/O the railings? Possibly, but you have to do what you feel comfortable with. This is something I felt so strongly about that I was motivated to build my own railings. My sons are currently 17 years & 14 years old. We all still love to sail our Rhodes 22.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
04 Jan 2001

Michael, thanks for the practical advice on sails and the furler system--given what GBI is likely to keep in stock without delays and extra costs. As far as rails, I didn't have in mind any special design. As I understand it, there are at least two "standard" GBI options. One is the rails that you like on your boat (although I didn't understand from your other message just what the lines to the cockpit rails and the gate are). GBI's current rail design is at


Any lines or gates to the cockpit must be on the "Cockpit Life Lines" option on GBI's "Super Options List". I have never seen these and wasn't planning on getting them. The other design, probably older, is just two vertical stauncheons on each side amidships, through the top of which runs a lifeline which then attaches to the deck near the bow. Pictures of this are on the enlarged versions of Bill Gallant's boat at

and at http://www.pathfind.net/rhodes22/pics/Gallant2.jpg

Under any design, I didn't have in mind any gate or connection of life lines from midships back to the cockpit rail that wraps around to the stern.

Your rails sound good, but I think it would bother me also if they don't leave room to rotate the winch all the way round--even when not racing.

Judging from all the reponses, views about rails, or the absence thereof, are all over the map. There are a lot of views about sails, too, even under similar sailing conditions. I appreciate everyone's responses, and I have learned a lot from them, even if I haven't made up my mind yet.

David Keyes
04 Jan 2000

forgetabout the life lines in the http://www.pathfind.net/rhodes22/pics/Gallant2.jpg, They are exactly the type that do not work on the boat and are better off without them, That Is my humble option.

http://www.pathfind.net/rhodes22/pics/ENCLOSURE.jpg is the type of rail on my boat along with the addition of a double life line from the rails to the rear rails, they work very nice, I made a mistake, it was not the lifeline rails that caused the trouble, it was the new rail for the CEO seat(the white seat in the picture) and maybe the upgraded winches I had installed. Some of the down side of being first to try. Check we stan might have been solved.

04 Jan 2000

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