Rhodes 22 People

May 01, 2024

The Velvet Elvis crew is coming to terms wqth the fact that our Atlantic crossing is going to end up taking much longer than we had hoped.

I had a comment on a Facebook post the other day from my buddy Slim that keeps coming back to mind:


I never met Slim in person, but I've known him for probably 20 years. The first Velvet Elvis was a Rhodes 22, and that sailboat had a pretty active owner community, via email group.

Slim is the only one from that group that I still know anything about. He's a musician, and a pretty entertaining one. He posted some tracks to the email group, and at least one comes up in the rotation in some of my playlists.

The only one from the group that I met in person was my buddy Rummy. He sailed on Lake Hartwell, which wasn't especially far from where my sister lived back in the day, so on one visit, I abandoned the family to drive a couple of hours and sail with an internet stranger. We each brought a bottle of Mt Gay out on the lake, and the only way I know we got home is that I'm still here to tell the tale.

Unfortunately for the sum total of world generosity, Rummy is no longer with us. I still pour a little out for him when I'm into the Mt Gay and start getting sentimental.

The Rhodes 22 is a great little boat. Other than bringing one to the Annapolis boat show on a trailer, they didn't advertise at all. The owner of the company was an ancient guy named Stan, and his most visible employees were his wife Rose, and his brother Elton, who were genuinely the nicest people.

We went to Annapolis for the boat show a few years ago, and I was shocked to see the Rhodes 22, up on her trailer where she belonged. Even more shocking was Stan, sitting there in the cockpit at the age of 99. I climbed aboard for a chat. He didn't remember me, but he remembered the boat that had been rolled over and flooded (but not sunk!) by being in the eye of Hurricane Katrina.

I talked to Stan after we decided to sell the Rhodes 22 to buy the Beneteau. He told me, "Congratulations. Remeber us when you're on your way back down."

I definitely will.