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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2006
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One thing I would say is that most modern cruising multihull capsizes are generally due to human error more than anything else.

Given that the Gemini and the Catalac are fairly similar in specification (14' beam), with the Gemini being a bit longer and heavier.... I don't see much of a difference in their abilities to resist capsize.

I know of at least one Gemini sailor that has rounded the Horn and has sent me the photos of Chilean waters, including icebergs to prove it. His photos are often used by the company that makes them in their ads.

Two good articles on the merits of multihulls are located here and here.

Of course, I'm a multihull advocate myself, being a trimaran sailor. I prefer the better sailing characteristics of the trimarans over that of the catamarans.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #12  
Old 10-22-2006
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Makes me wonder how good people's hearing is. Sometimes daggerboards can definitely make noises. If you're sitting in light air powerboat slop, they can rattle in their slots. The WHACK of the sails and boom slatting back and forth might cover this noise, or make it seem inconsequential. Often you can slip something in next to them (like the end of a line, or a sponge) to keep this from being too bothersome. Another noise could be a high-speed harmonic vibration - humming - that one or the other or both boards could start doing if you are going fast enough. This occurs frequently on Lasers, for example. (Not a catamaran, but the same idea applies.) The humming can be stopped by lifting the board(s) or by slowing down. (But who wants to do that??)
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Old 10-22-2006
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One Example

SD:
Since you asked,found one Gemini accident report when I found centerboard info
http://www.geminicatamarans.com/Info...p?TOPIC_ID=117

Owner admits he made several errors including too much sail for conditions.

BTW: One thing I noticed on the Gemini 105 was the large lock to lock steering movement.........seems like a combination of small wheel & small ratio. It would be hard to react by wheel to being overpowered vs the main sheet or traveler. Maybe it was misadjusted.
As long as there's a sail(s) involved = all good.
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Old 10-22-2006
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Yes the Gemini and Catalacs are similar size boats, but they sail very differently. The main difference is in the hull design, multi chine vs rounded bottom and those boards. Another difference is weight. I have solid fiberglass hulls, the Gemini has cored hulls.

I think everyone will agree that whenever a cat 'goes over' it's over powered for conditions, and sadly, events happen too fast to react.

Getting back to the discussion, a cat with a board down can 'trip'. Boats with boards perform better, but those boards prevents leeway even when you need the boat to slip. A sudden gust and over she goes. Cat's without boards slip sideways under these conditions.

Someone pointed out that Gemini has sold 900 boats. I will humbly point out that because they've been successful in the market, it doesn't make them safe boats.

So, better performance? Or safety? Only a boat owner can make that choice.

Rick in Florida
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Old 10-22-2006
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Rick-

Last I checked Performance Cruising didn't make any boats with cored main hulls. They do use end-grain balsa in their decks, but not in the hulls. The exception to the cored hulls are the amas on the Telstar, which are cored with Lantor Soric and made via a vacuum-infusion process IIRC.

I seriously doubt that a Catalac 8M is any safer or less safe than a Gemini. You seem to be biased against catamarans other than your Catalac, which is less than useful. The Catalac is relatively underpowered, compared to more modern catamarans of similar size.

If the Gemini catamaran had serious safety deficiencies, as you seem to be suggesting, I seriously doubt that they would be able to sell as many boats as they have.

I agree that a board can cause a cat to trip...but the decision to raise the boards or not is up to the captain of the boat...and proper seamanship and knowledge of the use of center/daggerboards is a necessity. The lack of such knowledge may contribute to a capsize, but doesn't indicate that the boat has a safety deficiency.

One thing a lot of monohull sailors don't seem to understand about multihulls is the reefing procedures. On a multihull you reef for the wind strength of the gusts, not the general wind level. On a monohull, you reef for the wind strength and let the boat handle the gusts.

Regarding the link that Chuteman has posted, the poster stated that he was fairly inexperienced, primarily a monohull sailor, and sailing with far too much sail area up. This all indicates that the boat was not at fault, but the sailor.... human error seems to be the primary cause of this capsize...as it is in most modern cruising multihull capsizes.

It is very likely that a Catalac 8m would have faired slightly better, given the same conditions and problems, as the Catalac is woefully under-powered with a total sail area of 348 sq. ft., compared to the Gemini, which has a mainsail of 340 sq. ft. alone...the 100% jib is likely over 200 sq. ft., giving the Gemini almost 80% more sail area, compared to the Catalac.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-22-2006 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 10-28-2006
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I believe they are cored hulls, at least in the older boats.

My marina neighbor tells the story of picking up his brand new Gemini at the factory in Maryland, granted, some years ago. He immediately brought his new boat to a boat yard for bottom paint. The next day he received a call from the yard as they wanted to show him something. When he arrived they showed him that on one of his hulls if they so much as pressed against it with a finger, the whole hull section moved in and out. My friend was very upset. He had them put the boat back into the water and immediately returned to Performance Cruising. They hauled the boat and opened that hull section to find zero fiberglass had been used in manufacturing. Just gell coat.

Now, I figure a mistake like this just can't be made if you're making solid hulls , right?

While on this subject, Neal Ensign, who circumnavigated on a Prout 37 a few years back, stops by my boat to chat from time to time. He tells the story of a brand new Gemini almost sinking on it's first trip across San Francico bay. It turns out that this new boat had a bad hull to deck joint with many gaps. The factory filled it with bondo. When the owner was on his first sail and hit steep waves, the boat began pounding, all the bondo broke out and the boat began taking on water. The Coast Guard towed the guy in. This guy sued.

Incidently, you're right, I do love my boat and I freely admit that I'm guilty of doing tons of homework before making the purchasing decision. It's interesting that when I first was attracted to catamarans, it was in fact via the Gemini's but was warned off of them for reasons stated above. I'd be the first to say that these stories as related to me, are many years old now, and deal with production runs of the late 80's and early 90's. I'm sure the boat is very solid now. I'd also like to point out that in the price point that the Gemini aims at, it has virtually no competition. It's a very large step up for a higher quality boat and unaffordable for many people.

For the size boat I shopped for, I made the right choice for me. Having said that, I'd love to be able to upgrade to a Manta 42, Lagoon 410 , ST. Francis 44 or even a Fountaine Pajot Tobago 35. And probably will do it in the next few years after much home work!!

Rick in Florida
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2006
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My friend's parents owned a Gemini for many years, and having sailed on it, I found it was a very solid boat. I've also sailed their trimarans in fairly heavy conditions and been pretty impressed by them. I wouldn't get a larger cat than the Catalac or Gemini as they are a bit more difficult to single hand and the costs of maintenance, dockage and such are much higher.

As it is, I'm very happy with my little trimaran. I prefer the sailing performance of the trimarans over the larger living space provided by catamarans.

AFAIK, the Geminis have never had cored hulls, but I could be wrong. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone could try to do a hull layup without any fiberglass. Even in a cored hull, it is almost impossible to get it to hold together over any large spans without the fiberglass to provide the strength to the resin matrix. A lot of things get distorted over time—and I've found that most stories like that are exaggerations of the actual reality.
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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 10-28-2006 at 07:29 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-29-2006
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I love it... now you're suggesting the Gemini owner lied?

End of my envolvement with this thread, and when I see the good doctor who owns the boat this afternoon, I'll mention this to him and we'll both have a good laugh.

Rick in Florida
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