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Trailerable cruiser advice sought

Sep 1, 2019
26
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
OK, here’s my attempt to get things back on topic.

At present, I haven't ruled anything absolutely out of consideration. That said, there are two boats that really appeal to me: the ComPac 23 and the Rhodes 22. I like that both have been around for quite some time, are generally regarded as well built and are still in production. In addition, most of the sailing community give high marks to both for their sailing qualities. Finally, there are quite a number available in my budget range.

Let me throw a few more thoughts about both boats out there for criticism and comment

The Rhodes 22 has a number of very appealing features: In-mast mainsail furling system, factory mast-raising system, the traveler location, large cockpit, decently laid out cabin with pop-top, robust rigging, floatation and an enthusiastic sailing base. At present, the only Rhodes 22 I’ve seen in person was a 1995 offered at auction that was not for me but at least I got a feel for the boat. I’ve since seen quite a few offered on-line that are worth considering.

The ComPac 23-3 also has some nice features but perhaps not as many as the Rhodes. From what I can see, its biggest advantage is its performance. It may be a bit more difficult to trailer and launch than the Rhodes because of its displacement however. Like the Rhodes, ComPac also has an enthusiastic base. And like the Rhodes, there are more than a few being offered for sale.

I'm headed to the Annapolis Boat Show later this month and hope to demo a Rhodes there (GB is not sure they'll have one there this year). Regardless, I've arranged to meet with the rep to get some better insight into the Rhodes. Not sure if ComPac will be there but hopefully they are and can also provide some insight.

Look forward to hearing what the sailing community has to say on this topic.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,001
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I am partial to any Clark Mills design. He was a brilliant designer who worked by the K.I.S.S. philosophy. I was also at the Tampa boat show when the plug for the 23 mold was being displayed. So you have one vote for the ComPac.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,001
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
On the other hand. I own a Mariner 19, which is built on the Rhodes 19 hull. A very nice boat with a devoted following that can couch for the sailing abilities of a Rhodes design.
Both are great choices. You can't go wrong.

-Will (dragonfly)
 
Sep 1, 2019
26
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Are the ComPac and Rhodes similar in build quality?

On the subject of build, I've seen several older (1980's) Rhodes offered for sale that were recently recycled, including one done in 2015. My understanding is that recycled Rhodes boats are completely refurbished and upgraded to the latest design. This would seem to imply that a '87 Rhodes recycled in 2015 is more like a four year old boat than it is a 32 year old boat. A misinterpretation on my part ?
 
Last edited:
Oct 19, 2017
6,001
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I'm afraid I couldn't speak to that.
By all reports, ComPac builds a quality boat and my '73 Mariner is well built.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Sep 1, 2019
26
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Some more information for comment/criticism. I've put together a preliminary short list of boats in matrix format (below).

Of those in the matrix, the only one I've seen in person is the Rhodes but plan on looking at a ComPac and Precision in the near future (both are located nearby). I'm also working on finding a C22 and given the numbers out there, should not have too much trouble locating one in easy driving distance. I'm sure some will note that there are no water ballasted boats shown. This is deliberate: From what I've read, what you gain in ease of trailerability with WB boats, you give up in sailing qualities.
Would welcome thoughts on this - as well as the matrix in general - from those with experience


BuilderBeneteauCatalina Com-PacPrecision BoatGeneral BoatsHake Yachts
ModelFirst 235C2223 Mk 3Precision 23Rhodes 22Seaward 23
HullFinSwing KeelFinFin/CBFin/CBFin
LOA
23.33​
21.5​
23.92​
23.42​
22​
24.5​
Beam
8.17​
8.3​
7.83​
8.5​
8​
8.33​
Draft (in) Min
46​
24​
27​
23​
20​
25​
Draft (in) Max
60​
64​
48​
Ballast
825​
800​
1,340​
850​
600​
900​
Displacement
2,826​
2,490​
3,000​
2,450​
2,000​
2,700​
Ballast/Disp
29.2%​
32.1%​
44.7%​
34.7%​
30.0%​
33.3%​
Inverse B/D
3.43​
3.11​
2.24​
2.88​
3.33​
3.00​
Sail Area
248.00​
205.00​
219.00​
247.00​
203.00​
265.00​
SA/Disp
19.9%​
17.9%​
16.9%​
21.8%​
20.5%​
21.9%​
CR
12.6​
12.8​
14.0​
10.4​
9.4​
11.2​
CSF
2.10​
2.26​
2.15​
2.36​
2.32​
2.22​
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
151
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
Regarding the value of water ballast, I would say it depends on two things: how often you launch and recover and how fussy you are about sailing qualities. If you launch and recover every time you sail then you'd better be pretty fussy about sailing qualities for it to be a good trade off. But if you tend to leave the boat in the water and only trailer occasionally then you can easily justify the added difficulty launching and recovering by better sailing qualities. (I'm accepting your premise that water ballast boats have inferior sailing qualities but I don't actually know if it's true.)
 

Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
172
Catalina 22 Firefly Wilmington nc
One of these kids is not like the other ones..... now it’s time to play our game, it time to play our game..... (apologies to Sesame Street)
 
Sep 30, 2013
3,064
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
For a trailer sailor, I'd scratch that Beneteau off the list. The 46" draft disqualifies it.

(Maybe that's what @Grotto meant)
 
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Likes: Grotto
Jun 25, 2004
821
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
The First 235 is available as a shoal keel with CB and a draft of 26”. Calling the others “fin keel” is inaccurate. They all have shoal keels, not fin fin

CSR (capsize screen ratio) is meaningles when extrapolated from offshore boats down to Boats as small as these. It’s statistically irrelevant.

CR (comfort ratio) isn’t a great guide to trailer sailors that won’t be sailed in big waves and storms. It’s supposed to reflect how abruptly the boat motion changes when it hits waves in a rough seaway. All light trailerable weight boats have similar CRs that don’t tell you much. You can pretty well ignore it when comparing Trailer sailors who are all the same length, similar beam, and very light weight before you load them up.

I really think you should spend less time worrying about the minute details. In the end, those details don’t help you differentiate on Trailersailor from another, other than draft and weight (so you can tow it with you biggest vehicle)

See the boats and decide how big you need to go to be comfortable enough. Watch somebody rig it. It would be far more illumination to go look at all the boats near you that you can. Find a trailersailing club near you and look at a bunch of boat’s at the dock when they go sailing. Check out the trailer sailor forum at The Trailer Sailor for people who can answer your questions about lots of different boats.

Just my 2 cents.

Judy B



.
 

Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
172
Catalina 22 Firefly Wilmington nc
For a trailer sailor, I'd scratch that Beneteau off the list. The 46" draft disqualifies it.

(Maybe that's what @Grotto meant)
You get the prize Gene. I have actually sailed a beneteau first 235. It never struck me as a trailer sailor. Sweet sailing boat for sure though. It was a wing keel draft was just shy of 3’
 
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Likes: Gene Neill
Jan 17, 2013
322
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
Some more information for comment/criticism. I've put together a preliminary short list of boats in matrix format (below).

Of those in the matrix, the only one I've seen in person is the Rhodes but plan on looking at a ComPac and Precision in the near future (both are located nearby). I'm also working on finding a C22 and given the numbers out there, should not have too much trouble locating one in easy driving distance. I'm sure some will note that there are no water ballasted boats shown. This is deliberate: From what I've read, what you gain in ease of trailerability with WB boats, you give up in sailing qualities.
Would welcome thoughts on this - as well as the matrix in general - from those with experience


BuilderBeneteauCatalinaCom-PacPrecision BoatGeneral BoatsHake Yachts
ModelFirst 235C2223 Mk 3Precision 23Rhodes 22Seaward 23
HullFinSwing KeelFinFin/CBFin/CBFin
LOA
23.33​
21.5​
23.92​
23.42​
22​
24.5​
Beam
8.17​
8.3​
7.83​
8.5​
8​
8.33​
Draft (in) Min
46​
24​
27​
23​
20​
25​
Draft (in) Max
60​
64​
48​
Ballast
825​
800​
1,340​
850​
600​
900​
Displacement
2,826​
2,490​
3,000​
2,450​
2,000​
2,700​
Ballast/Disp
29.2%​
32.1%​
44.7%​
34.7%​
30.0%​
33.3%​
Inverse B/D
3.43​
3.11​
2.24​
2.88​
3.33​
3.00​
Sail Area
248.00​
205.00​
219.00​
247.00​
203.00​
265.00​
SA/Disp
19.9%​
17.9%​
16.9%​
21.8%​
20.5%​
21.9%​
CR
12.6​
12.8​
14.0​
10.4​
9.4​
11.2​
CSF
2.10​
2.26​
2.15​
2.36​
2.32​
2.22​
Displacement for Rhodes 22 is actually about 3,500 lb. When I bought my R-22 in 2001 I narrowed the choices down to the R-22 or the Compac 23 just like you. Major deciding factors for me for the Rhodes were standing headroom, marine head and in-mast furling none of which were available with the Compac. I suspect the Compac would be a little less tender and think it is a quality boat with nice finishes.
 
Sep 1, 2019
26
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
Displacement for Rhodes 22 is actually about 3,500 lb. When I bought my R-22 in 2001 I narrowed the choices down to the R-22 or the Compac 23 just like you. Major deciding factors for me for the Rhodes were standing headroom, marine head and in-mast furling none of which were available with the Compac. I suspect the Compac would be a little less tender and think it is a quality boat with nice finishes.
As you note, the Rhodes has quite a number of features that make it a very good - and probably the better - choice compared to the others on my short list (ComPac 23 and Precision 23.) I hope to demo sail the R-22 at Annapolis later this week and will ask about the rep about displacement, which could be a concern.

There seems to be a disagreement in in the published displacement numbers for the R-22. The number in my matrix is from the sailboatdata website; other sources cite 2,900 lbs. If it's actually 3,500 lbs, that may be an issue. Someone on the Rhodes forum also mentioned this and was of the opinion that the 5,000 lb towing capacity of my vehicle may not be sufficient once the added weight of the trailer, O/B and accessories is factored in.

A related question: Are the published displacement numbers for other boats equally suspect? It looks like it wouldn't hurt to contact the builders directly just to doublecheck.
 
Last edited:
Sep 1, 2019
26
ComPac Sun Cat On the Delaware
The First 235 is available as a shoal keel with CB and a draft of 26”. Calling the others “fin keel” is inaccurate. They all have shoal keels, not fin fin

CSR (capsize screen ratio) is meaningles when extrapolated from offshore boats down to Boats as small as these. It’s statistically irrelevant.

CR (comfort ratio) isn’t a great guide to trailer sailors that won’t be sailed in big waves and storms. It’s supposed to reflect how abruptly the boat motion changes when it hits waves in a rough seaway. All light trailerable weight boats have similar CRs that don’t tell you much. You can pretty well ignore it when comparing Trailer sailors who are all the same length, similar beam, and very light weight before you load them up.

I really think you should spend less time worrying about the minute details. In the end, those details don’t help you differentiate on Trailersailor from another, other than draft and weight (so you can tow it with you biggest vehicle)

See the boats and decide how big you need to go to be comfortable enough. Watch somebody rig it. It would be far more illumination to go look at all the boats near you that you can. Find a trailersailing club near you and look at a bunch of boat’s at the dock when they go sailing. Check out the trailer sailor forum at The Trailer Sailor for people who can answer your questions about lots of different boats.

Just my 2 cents.

Judy B



.
Thanks for the advice Judy. I'm not really "worried" about the minute details, it's just that the the engineer in me likes to look at data . . .

I will see the R-22 later this week in Annapolis and with any luck, get out on a demo sail. I've also located a ComPac 23 and Precision 23 not too far from me and hope see both next week.
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,067
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
The First 235 is available as a shoal keel with CB and a draft of 26”. Calling the others “fin keel” is inaccurate. They all have shoal keels, not fin fin
Ummm, no it is not. They are available, vast majority in the US, with a wing keel that drafts 2'-9". There are a few rare versions in Europe with a lifting keel, and there are the fin keel versions that draft 3'-8". You can find that info here Beneteau F235 Specs - Builder Info, here for the swing keel SailboatData.com - FIRST 235 SK (BENETEAU) Sailboat, and here also for the wing and fin keel versions SailboatData.com - FIRST 235 (BENETEAU) Sailboat
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,067
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
For a trailer sailor, I'd scratch that Beneteau off the list. The 46" draft disqualifies it.

(Maybe that's what @Grotto meant)
That is for the fin keel which, is difficult to find here in the US. Most are wing keel that draft 2'-9". I own one, trailering it about can be done.
 
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Likes: Gene Neill
Jan 17, 2013
322
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
As you note, the Rhodes has quite a number of features that make it a very good - and probably the better - choice compared to the others on my short list (ComPac 23 and Precision 23.) I hope to demo sail the R-22 at Annapolis later this week and will ask about the rep about displacement, which could be a concern.

There seems to be a disagreement in in the published displacement numbers for the R-22. The number in my matrix is from the sailboatdata website; other sources cite 2,900 lbs. If it's actually 3,500 lbs, that may be an issue. Someone on the Rhodes forum also mentioned this and was of the opinion that the 5,000 lb towing capacity of my vehicle may not be sufficient once the added weight of the trailer, O/B and accessories is factored in.

A related question: Are the published displacement numbers for other boats equally suspect? It looks like it wouldn't hurt to contact the builders directly just to doublecheck.
You are correct in that the published weight of the Rhodes 22 is indeed 2,900 lb and I think that is pretty accurate. I was recalling the weight that I guesstimated as my actual weight when fully loaded-worst case. I towed my Rhodes all over with a 4Runner that has a 5,000 lb towing capacity and it was sufficient. My guess is that including the trailer I was pulling ~ 4,400 lb. I had a single axle trailer but if you are going to tow the boat long distance I would highly recommend a dual axle trailer because it is just easier to balance the boat and tracks better on the road. Rhodes 22 plus a dual axle trailer is probably going to weigh 4,500 - 4,700 lb all-in. My estimate only...
 
May 24, 2004
6,115
CC 30 South Florida
Before you decide on a boat, first review your intended use for the boat. If you are going to be towing frequently, you may want to stick with a boat with a swing keel or a fixed fin/center board combo. I Think the ComPac 23 is a little cumbersome to rig so for moving the boat frequently I would go with the Rhodes. But if I were going to keep it in the water The ComPac would be my choice. We trailer a Starwind 223 all over the country and its design is very similar to the ComPac and that boat is most seaworthy. Everything is compromise sailing performance vs comfortable accommodations; chose the boat that best fits they way you will use it the most.