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A 1963 Chesapeake 33

We, like many other admirers of fine “classic plastic” sailing yachts, consider these little Rhodes Chesapeake 33s to be some of the loveliest of boats, with their spoon bows, low cabin houses, and old time charm. This 1963, GRACIN, is a well priced example.

The Chesapeake came from the desk of the great Philip L. Rhodes, born in 1895,  who was a prolific and versatile boat designer, with a career that spanned more than five decades from 1919 until his death in 1974. His range and versatility was amazing, crafting everything from 123′ motorsailers to 7′ dinghies, from hydrofoil racers to giant motor yachts. His clients ranged from the Rockefellers to Sears and Roebuck.  His 12 Meter Weatherly, won of the most famous yachts of all-time, won the America’s Cup in 1962. 

Robert Perry, a celebrated yacht designer in his own right, still speaks with awe at the memory of Rhodes’ pinup. Like a model with all the right curves, the Chesapeake 32 reportedly has been used in ads to sell Top-Sider shoes, Rolls-Royces and more.

Cruising World

Robert Perry was a high-school sophomore taking mechanical drawing when he spotted a sailboat on the cover of Popular Boating magazine. It was a Chesapeake 32, designed by Philip Rhodes. “I had never seen anything quite so beautiful designed by man,” he would later write. “To my eye there was not an ugly line on that boat. This design is the specific design that made me determine to become a yacht designer. I wanted to design things that beautiful. Still trying.”

Rhodes designed the boat for George Walton, a Maryland yacht broker, and 95 boats were produced between 1960 and 1965 by two Danish yards, Danboats and Sanderson. The boat combined the classic Rhodes sheer lines — a spoon bow, a traditional low cabin house, a dip amidships rising gently to long overhanging stern — in a fiberglass production boat that retained the old-time look of a wood yacht.

The boat was laid up with heavy, thick fiberglass, encasing a short lead keel and, in the practice of the time, embedding the chainplates. With an 8-foot-9-inch beam, a 4-foot-9-inch draft and 3,750 pounds of ballast, the Chesapeake 32 displaced 11,500 pounds.

Cruising World

GRACIN was built in Denmark, and remains in solid condition. Listed in Plattsburgh, New York for $19,500.

A 1963 Pearson Rhodes 41

WHITE WINGS is a well-maintained example of a truly classic boat, the The Pearson Rhodes 41. The 41 was derived from the earlier BOUNTY II, also designed by Phillip Rhodes with the aid of William Garden, and is one of the first production sailboats of this size built in fiberglass – a real classic plastic. Pearson Yachts acquired the mold to BOUNTY II and went on to build the Rhodes 41, which quickly became a hit.

Few designers ever see a set of lines catch on like those belonging to Phil Rhodes classic sloop Altair. Not only did the wooden masterpiece spawn a gaggle of sisters such as Thor of Oyster Bay, but in 1956, Rhodes son, Bodie, who was working for his father at the time, scaled Altairs lines into a slightly smaller sloop, a boat destined to become the prototype of the 40-foot fiberglass production racer-cruiser.

The Bounty II project was undertaken by Fred Coleman and Vince Lazzara at Aero Marine in California, using Rhodes design work and Bill Gardens engineering input. With all the talent brought to bear, its no surprise that the vessel became an instant success. Its heavy scantlings and the building teams precautionary approach with the new material called fiberglass paid off in the long run. Their “thick as a plank” hull skin may have been overkill, but the results speak for themselves-many of these classic plastics still easily pass survey today.

Practical Sailor

WHITE WINGS has been continually upgraded and well maintained by her last two owners; one being  a very well known Marine Surveyor. All important system have been replaced or upgraded, and she appears to be in sail away condition. She has been upgraded with a 2011 Beta Marine engine, Raymarine electronics, a bowthruster and even a washing machine.

She’s listed for $78,900 and lies in Milford, Connecticut.

A 1971 Rhodes Motorsailor

VALKAY is an absolutely bristol Rhodes center cockpit motorsailor, now for sale for the first time since 1979.

She’s been maintained in stunning condition – a fitting homage to her design heritage. All of her primary systems are new, including a Lugger main engine with only 423 hours, a Northern Lights Genset, new electrical throughout, new high-end electronic package, new hydraulic system for push button sailing, carbon fiber mast and boom, solid steel rigging, the list goes on.

Her interior, with her incredible joinery, has been upgraded by a $30K custom leather upholstery job that fits the yachts heritage nicely. She has all new teak decks that are simply beautiful and should last many more decades.

If you’re in the market for the family’s new world cruiser, VALKAY deserves a spot on your list. She’s listed for $599,000 in La Conner, Washington.

1947 Rhodes Daysailer

Douce Amie, this lovely little Rhodes daysailer, was originally built in 1947, number 524, at the Brigham Shipyard in Greenport Long Island. Most of Douce Amie’s life was spent sailing the shores of Connecticut and New York, only recently did the boat find it’s way to Maine. She received an extensive restoration at Old Lyme Marina during the winter of 1999/2000. Restoration included repowering with a reconditioned Yanmar 1gm 10, new fuel tank, batteries and electrical. Onboard electronics include an Icom VHF, Garmin small chart plotter, and she comes with a road ready Triad trailer.

Her sails were new in 2000 and include a mainsail, large and smaller jib set on a fractional rig. She has a Harken roller furler making her sails very simple to set and furl.

She has been most recently owned by a talented woodworker who has kept the boat up nicely and in ready to sail condition.

The boat is offered with a road ready Triad trailer. In Maine, listed for $27K.