Philip Rhodes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Philip Rhodes
OccupationNaval architect

Philip Leonard Rhodes (1895–1974) was a naval architect known for his diverse yacht designs.[1] He designed a wide variety of vessels from 123' motor-sailors to 7' dinghies, from hydrofoil racers to giant motor yachts. His work also included commercial and military vessels such as minesweepers and police boats. His clients ranged from Rockefellers to Sears & Roebuck. His 12 Meter class Weatherly (USA-17) won the America's Cup in 1962.[2]

Rhodes was born in 1895 in Thurman, Ohio. He attended MIT, graduating in 1918 in naval architecture and marine engineering.[3] He worked for the US Army Corp of Engineers during World War I. After the war he began work as a shipfitter in Lorain, Ohio. He later moved to New York where he opened a small office as a marine architect.[4]

Philip Rhodes joined the design firm of Cox & Stevens in 1934. He became head naval architect for the firm after the death of lead designer Bruno Tornroth in 1935. In 1946 the firm of Philip L. Rhodes succeeded Cox & Stevens Inc. It closed in 1974, following Rhodes's death.[3]

Rhodes 19[edit]

The Rhodes 19 is a 19-foot (6 m) long sailboat, designed by Rhodes[5] and originally manufactured by O'Day. Currently, the Rhodes 19 is built by Stuart Marine Corp. To date, approximately 3500 of the boats have been built[1].

Available with either a fixed keel or with a retractable centerboard, it is used primarily as a day sailer or for one-design racing. The Rhodes 19 is still actively raced throughout the United States.

Rhodes 22[edit]

Rhodes 22

Among typical Rhodes designs is the Rhodes 22.[6] It is a 22-foot (6.7 m) long sailboat manufactured by General Boats in Edenton, North Carolina. R-22 boats are easy to trailer and launch compared to most sailboats of this size. They feature a shoal draft keel and swinging diamond board combination that allows them to anchor AND sail in shallow water. The hull features flared sides which provide spray deflection resulting in a very dry ride. The flared sides also provide reserve flotation when heeled over. These features are similar to the earlier Lofland Picnic 17 designed by Nils Lucander around 1959 and sold by Lofland Sailcraft Inc. of Kansas.[7] The R-22 appears to be an enlarged and enhanced derivative of the Picnic 17, with Philip Rhodes as the naval architect, and years of user feedback and improvements. The specs for the Rhodes 22 cite a weight of 2,900 pounds, with 700 pounds of ballast, while a bare bones Picnic 17 weighs in at only 700 pounds.

Most R-22 boats are now equipped with Inner Mast Furling (IMF) as well as roller reefing jibs. The R-22 can be sailed single handed from the large, self-bailing cockpit. The cockpit features a flat floor bottom, comfortable seating, and an optional Boom Room. The boom can be raised or lowered, allowing the boat to be sailed with a Bimini top in place providing shade from the sun. The cabin features a partitioned V-berth, 4' long galley with stove and icebox, as well as an enclosed head. The cabin ceiling features two standing room hatches and an optional pop top and canvas enclosures. The sailboat also uses the swing keel as a self-centering feature when loading onto the trailer. Unlike most sailboats in its class, this boat features positive foam flotation that render it unsinkable, even if holed. The sturdy mast is supported by 9 stays and 9 chain plates: one forward jib stay, 3 stays on each side, and two back stays. The mast can remain upright with any broken stay, even the single forward jib stay. One R-22 boat[8] was caught in hurricane-force winds in Long Island Sound and knocked down 3 times. The R-22 is unsinkable and self-righting, but hurricane-force winds tested its mettle. It broke one shroud and one stay, but was never de-masted and sailed back to Mamaroneck Harbor when the winds died to about 30 mph.

Chesapeake 32[edit]

The Chesapeake 32 is a sailboat designed by Philip Rhodes and manufactured by Sanderson in Denmark from 1961-1965. Close to ninety boats were built, many are still in use today across the globe.

Other designs and ships[edit]

  • Launch 5.
  • Rhodes 33.
  • Rhodes Evergreen.
  • Rhodes 27 38 foot International Rule, racer cruiser.
  • Rhodes 'Seabreeze' class, a 33-foot sloop sold by Seafarer Yachts.
  • Rhodes Meridian, a 24-foot sloop sold by Seafarer Yachts.
  • Rhodes Pearson Vanguard, a 33-foot sloop built in Rhode Island by Pearson Yachts.
  • Pearson Rhodes 41 a 41-foot sloop built in Rhode Island by Pearson Yachts.
  • Rhodes Reliant, a 41-foot sloop or yawl built by Cheoy Lee Shipyard in Hong Kong.
  • Cheoy Lee Offshore 40
  • Rhodes Bantam, a 14-foot sloop (daysailer/racer)
  • O'Day Tempest 23[5] keel, weekender/daysailer (this should not be mistaken for the Olympic Class sloop of the same name which was also constructed by Oday)
  • Woodpussy
  • Grumman Dinghy, an innovative aluminum dinghy designed to use Grumman Aircraft's post-war excess manufacturing capacity
  • O'Day 'Widgeon', a 12-foot sailing dinghy
  • O'Day 'Sprite', a 10-foot fiberglass sailing dinghy
  • International 'Penguin' Class racing dinghy
  • 'Dyer Dhow', one of the first production fiberglass boats
  • 'Dyer Dink'
  • 'Merry Maiden', build in 1946 by Palmer Scott of New Bedford, Mass. She won a Bermuda Race and has been sailed around the world.


  1. ^ Henderson, Richard (1981). Philip L. Rhodes and His Yacht Designs. Camden, ME: International Marine Pub. Co. ISBN 0-87742-128-5. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Ben Stavis. "Analytical Biography". Temple University archive.Retrieved on 08-10-09
  3. ^ a b "Biography of Philip L. Rhodes". Mystic Seaport Collections.Retrieved on 08-10-09
  4. ^ Spurr, Daniel, Heart of Glass, McGraw Hill, 2000 pg 101
  5. ^ a b "Philip L. Rhodes Fiberglass Cruising Sailboats". Temple University. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  6. ^ Ben Stavis. "Legacy of Philip L. Rhodes". Sponsored by Good Old Boat Magazine.Retrieved on 08-10-09
  7. ^ Sailboat data on Picnic 17 and one of several user websites such as which feature a Picnic sales brochure.
  8. ^ Search for hurricane in the Owner's Speak page for the full testimonial.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]