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Old 02-05-2002
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gemini

Since no one else has jumped in with specific comments on the Gemini''s, I''ll pipe up with what I know about them. I''ve checked them out before because catamarans intrigue me. Just hard to find one I think is good looking.

For one, the newer 105MC is the old 105M with a new deck mold. Changes are subtle for most of it, with the big difference being that fiberglass structure over the cockpit you can now get as an option . Looks ungainly to my eye, but that''s just me. Hulls are the same as before.

Build quality is where you hear complaints about the Geminis. Every owner I''ve talked with has complained about shoddy details, poor cosmetics, etc. Some of the very early Geminis had more severe structural problems, but I think that issue has been solved.

Tony Smith appears to me to be a tinkerer, just short on execution at times. For example, one recent year at the Annapolis show their 105M in the show had a huge Westerbeke diesel crammed into the engine box, which they wanted to offer as an option for the smaller standard Westerbeke. Only problem was you couldn''t even get at the oil filter to change it with the bigger engine in that confined space. When I asked about it, Tony''s response was "We''ll have to cut an access port somewhere to get to the filter." No doubt that is a detail he could work out. I''d just appreciate knowing he had it worked out before he sold me the boat. It also begs the question of access to the rest of the engine.

One other aspect of the Geminis as a catamaran that hopefully Jeff H. can expand on -- the Geminis are too narrow for a catamaran to be stable offshore. The 14 foot beam, while great for getting into a regular slip, is too narrow by a couple of feet. I can''t give details, but only that I''ve heard this as a criticsm of the Geminis for ocean sailing. Of course, having said that, part of the current Gemini advertising campaign revolves around the trans-Atlantic trip Tony recently made in a 105. As with all this offshore stuff -- it''s what you''re comfortable with.
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