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post #6 of Old 09-03-2007
Old Navy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bethesda
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Dear TartanGreek,

From what I hear, Nauticat’s are fine, somewhat overbuilt boats (part of the reason they cost so much). Great in a North Sea blow. Most folks buy them for the creature comfort or sailing in chilly regions. I highly recommend that you bareboat charter one before buying to judge the sailing for yourself. All boats are a compromise –the trick is getting the most of what you want with the least that you do not want.

Another type boat altogether that has good creature comfort and protection from weather is a catamaran? Because they sail on the water rather than in it, you have a boat that passes everything in light wind while barely heeling in a gale (assuming centerboards are not fully down). In June, after about 18 months of research, we took delivery of a Gemini 105MC made here in Annapolis. We had a 7.5m Tanzer before buying KatMan2. The Gemini is quite a lot of boat for $200K. The bare minimum boat is under 150K, but if you add heat and air, beef up the electrical, add a screacher rig (a must have), add davits, solar panels, radar, etc. you are right at about 200K. Gemini’s will sleep 8 in a pinch, but it is really a boat for 2 with occasional guests. Full kitchen, toilet and shower. Queen bed for master cabin forward amidships – very comfy. Fit and interior finnish are not Finnish, but a new one is half the cost of an NC too.

You get more usable living space below and above decks on a cat than on a mono of similar length. With a 14 ft beam and 34 ft LOA, we have no problems berthing in a standard 40ft slip (which you need with a dinghy on the davits). Drawing 18 inches, we can anchor in the shallows, beach even, and gunkhole far up river. The drive leg lifts out of the water, for less drag and no stray electrical current eating at your metal bits in port. We have only been to 8kts so far. That was in 16-19 kts of wind. Last weekend we did 6.8 in only 11-13kts of wind.

Since you are interested in a motorsailing, one can mind the helm of a Gemini underway from inside using a Raymarine remote for the autopilot. I have been out with 10 adults on the boat and nobody felt crowded. You might check them out at Performance Cruising's website. There are over 1,000 Gems afloat (ours is #992). We have a Yahoo group too called Gemini_Cats.

Good luck with your search for the perfect yacht.

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