Bluewater Sailboat – Pearson Rhodes 41


This Pearson Yachts, a 41-foot Bluewater Sailboat Phillip Rhodes design is destined to be one of the finest yachts in any harbor, with her lengthy overhangs and beautiful CCA lines. She is a developer of the renowned Bounty II, the first fiberglass production yacht longer than 40 feet. Her interior layout includes a master stateroom forward, a master head to port, and a spacious sitting area. This assessment contrasts her features with those of her forerunner, the Bounty II.

Pearson Rhodes 41
Pearson Rhodes 41
  • LOA: 40′ 10″
  • LWL: 28′ 0″
  • Beam: 10′ 3″
  • Draft: 5′ 9″
  • Displacement: 18,800 lbs
  • Ballast: 8,075 lbs
  • Sail Area: 725 sqft
  • Designer: Phillip Rhodes
  • Year Introduced: 1963
  • Year Ended: 1968
  • Builder: Pearson Yachts (Portsmouth, Rhode Island)


The story of this Bluewater Sailboat begins in 1939, when Phillip Rhodes constructed the Bounty, a 38′ 9″ wooden sailboat for Fred Coleman of Coleman Boat and Plastics Company. Built on the Atlantic coast of the United States, the Bounty sold successfully for a modest price and acquired popularity by winning races until World War II. Fred Coleman chose to return to production boat manufacturing after WWII in 1956. Coleman decided to build in fibreglass because to the rising costs of trained carpenters and the shortage of wood. He founded AeroMarine in Sausalito, California, with the famous Vince Lazzara. The Bounty II would be their first offering. Despite the name’s resemblance to Phillip Rhodes’ Bounty, she is a copy of another Phillip Rhodes sloop, the Altair, designed in 1955. Due to the smaller scantlings required for fibreglass construction, the Bounty II has a foot lower waterline length of 28′, an improved rig, and a roomier cabin. William Garden provided advice on tooling and layup schedule. She launched at the 1957 New York Boat Show. In the years that followed, they manufactured approximately 100 hulls of the Bounty II.

Grumman Manufacturing, Pearson Yachts’ parent business, hired Coleman and Lazzara to build the Pearson Triton 28 on the West Coast in 1960, and later purchased AeroMarine. They closed the company in 1962, deleting all models except the Bounty II. They moved her tooling to their facility in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where Grumman produced a significantly modified version designated the Pearson Rhodes 41, which is the topic of this article, in 1963. Pearson is thought to have used the same mould with minimal adjustments. In his accounting, Phillip Rhodes determined that the alterations were so slight that the Rhodes 41 did not need a new design number. The Rhodes 41 bears the design number of the Bounty II. Pearson built fifty hulls between 1963 and 1968 when manufacturing ceased and the IOR era of yacht design began.


The Bluewater Sailboat Pearson Rhodes 41, like the Bounty II, is mostly a wood design encased in fibreglass. She is overbuilt since no one fully knew the strength of fibreglass compared to wood at the time. While William Garden’s extensive layup instructions for the Bounty II are available, little is known about Pearson’s processes. Yachtsmen admired the amenities, which, while narrow by modern standards, are vast when compared to comparable vintage wood ships with their intricate framing arrangements. Rhodes touted that she possessed the accommodations of a 30′ waterline boat with her 28′ waterline. The finish work below is a startlingly modern blend of white Formica and Gelcoat with traditional Herreshoff teak trim and joinery. The tanks are made entirely of fibreglass. To accommodate the taller rig, they converted from iron to lead ballast. For improved access and dryness, the engine was relocated from the bilge to behind the companionway.


The Bluewater Sailboat Pearson Rhodes 41 boasts beautiful CCA lines with longbows and stern overhangs. Waterline length was punished under Cruising Club of America (CCA) rules, but only when upright. When the boat heeled, naval architects constructed extended overhangs, which enhanced waterline length – and hence hull speed. They modified the yachts so that they could swiftly immerse more waterline length. The Rhodes 41 heels 25% rapidly and locks in for high speeds on reaching courses. Restless, a Rhodes 41, won the Bermuda Race in 2000.

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