Rocket 22

(Click here for PDF version)This is not another sportboat designed to do nothing but scream downwind. The Rocket 22 is an update of the Gary Mull–designed Pocket Rocket that has commanded a loyal following in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. Don Martin’s design brief was to use cutting-edge materials and insight to turn
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Rocket22lead



(Click here for PDF version)

This is not another sportboat designed to do nothing but scream downwind. The Rocket 22 is an update of the Gary Mull–designed Pocket Rocket that has commanded a loyal following in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. Don Martin’s design brief was to use cutting-edge materials and insight to turn out a modern performance boat that does not demand expert crew—a boat that will go upwind, will be stable when you move around the deck, and can even take you boat-camping. And still scream downwind.

Under Sail

In a mild breeze on flat water in the channel between Oakland and Alameda, California, I
couldn’t test the outer limits of the boat’s performance. I could, however, assess the ergonomics of its large cockpit, designed for easy sail trimming, with double-ended control lines led out of sight to a central pod (for mainsheet controls) or to a pair of cleat trays on either side of the companionway.

  • The transom-hung rudder talked to me just right, and the boat sailed upwind at just a freckle under 6 knots in 8 knots of breeze.
  • The boat’s low center of gravity and high form stability make it feel larger than its size. It also allows for lots of sail to be carried, so the boat feels eager even in light stuff.
  • Downwind, the spinnaker made us faster than anything else in sight and had me wishing for more wind. Lots more wind. The boat can be ordered with either an asymmetric or a symmetric spinnaker.
  • Annapolis, Maryland–based Gale Force Sailing uses Rockets for its sportboat clinics. On Deck
    Attention is paid to shifting gears. There is no backstay, but a mast jack controlled by the boat’s multi-purpose running-rigging system adjusts rig tension, and the furling jib can be adjusted for luff tension. The tails of the double-ended control lines stow in hard pockets in the bulkhead, rather than in cloth bags hanging on the bulkhead. Side decks are angled for comfort. They put your weight well out there, and throughout the cockpit there are good foot braces. A built-in cockpit cooler keeps drinks and snacks handy. The rig is carbon fiber, which improves stability and makes it easy to step and unstep the mast. There is a winch for retracting the keel. Belowdecks
    You go there when you have to. Below you will find bunk space for four, a portable toilet, and enough beam to make it work. The forward V-berth is almost 7 feet long and 6 feet across at the main bulkhead. Lightweight foam-sandwich interior horizontal surfaces are finished in gelcoat; they’re stiff, attractive, and easy to clean. Twelve-volt lighting is an option. Conclusion

    Stable and manageable in a way that some small, fast boats are not, the Rocket 22 will appeal to class racers and handicap racers who want to sail with their friends, and perhaps invite hardier friends along for some fast gunkholing.SpecificationsPrice: $34,950 (base, FOB Vancouver, B.C.)

    Contact: Rocket Boats Inc., 866-379-7245; www.rocketboats.com

    Design: Tom Martin, Gary Mull LOA – 22'

    LWL – 21'6"

    Beam – 9'6"

    Draft – 5'10" (keel down), 20' (keel up)

    Displacement – 1,870 lbs

    Ballast – 780 lbs

    Sail Area (main and jib) – 392 sq ft

    Power – Optional Johnson 4-hp outboard

    Displacement-Length ratio – 85

    Sail Area-Displacement ratio – 39

Related

Waypoint.image.cd

Say No To Waypoints

Ever since they first appeared in my navigational toolbox decades ago I have been wary of waypoints. They certainly do seem helpful, these electronic flags we plant in the ether to guide us to where we want to go. But I noticed early on they also tend to distort our perception. ...read more

Lead-shutterstock_429247

A Cruise up Florida’s St. Johns River

The chart showed 45ft of vertical clearance, and I knew the boat should be able to pass under the bridge. Still, there was that nagging voice in my head that wouldn’t let me be. “What if your air draft calculations were wrong?” it said. “And if you’re just a little too high the ...read more

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more