View Full Version : Philip L Rhodes

03-17-2000, 01:47 AM
May I venture to suggest that he was one of the very best designers of the last century - indeed, if Olin Stephens had not been around, he might have been the best!

Incredibly good looking, fast, seaworthy boats. I am a particular admirer of his keel centerboarders. Now, does anyone know what they are like to build - are they fiendishly difficult - "only Nevins and A&R need apply!" or are they "builder-friendly"?

Anybody know?

02-16-2001, 06:18 PM
I certainly agree about Philip L. Rhodes being one of the greatest. It is great to see the WoodenBoat magazine finally publish a decent story on one of his more accomplished designs, Kirawan. All too frequently an account of a race victory by a Rhodes boat is accompanied by some sort of explanation. The weather was too light (2000 Newport-Burmuda race), the weather was too heavy (Kirawans' 1936 Burmuda race victory), or the opposition were less than competent (12m Weatherly defeating Australia’3 Gretal in the 1962). In Australia this is called "cutting tall poppies" to make them look even with the norm. Perhaps the zeal to lionize Stephens, great as he is, has led some to diminish the great work of Rhodes.

I preach as a Rhodes convert, because my father built with his father a 45’*Rhodes centerboarder (#618) in Australia, commencing in 1958. She is a sister to Jane Dore IV, Olsching, Undina and Nutmeg. We still own this yacht, Scimitar, in the family today and cherish her. Rhodes plans are incredibly detailed and left nothing to the imagination. We had a professional boatbuilder working on the project, but he broke his leg when she was being planked. My father, what was 19 at the time, was able to finish the hull using Howard Chapelle’3 books and the detailed plans as his guide. The final product was beautiful and fast.

Damian Purcell