Any Gemini catamaran owners willing to take me sailing?
If there are any Gemini catamaran owners reading this:
I am learning about these boats - I've read what I could and visited a couple "for sale" to look at. One thing that would really help is getting on board while underway.
If any of you are in US/(better yet) on the East Coast/(even better)in Florida and would not mind an extra pair of hands for a daysail - I would be glad to come on board and learn more from you.
Are you willing to give up one third of your existing stability? At this rate you'll soon go absolutely nuts and ask about a-----------monohull. :)
Monohulls have this big lead thingy bolted down below :) I have no doubts about their stability.
Seriously - that's what I'd like to get a feel for. I've been on a large catamaran before and that was definitely more stable than a small "tri".
Gemini's layout looks good to me, and relatively modest size is a plus in terms of maintenance. But I never sailed one.
I'd love to hear about how these boats handle a blow as well. There's a lot to commend a Gemini for my sailing plan's but do wonder how one would handle a gale. They are pretty narrow in the beam by Catamaran standards so stability is a question for me, as are sail selection, reefing strategies and how the boat heaves to.
To be honest, I don't even go so far as "handle in a blow". I'd just like to see basic handling - i.e.:
- How does it get in/out of a slip (considering a single engine vs. dual engines for bigger cats)
- How does it go under sail/points etc.
- How does it feel in a chop - i.e. bridgedeck/pounding/handling
Basic stuff - things that seem minor but (to me anyway) create a lot of "boat experience"
I doubt any owner would like to take me out in gale force winds :)
I did take one on a test drive, 2008:
* Pounded on anything.
* Poor forward visibility.
* The owner had no docking problems. I think they are at least average, since the drive leg is steerable.
* The best livability for the size out there.
And from looking at older ones:
* Maintenance problems. Specifically the drive and the centerboards.
Narrow beam is both a strength and a weakness. They've been sailed far, so I won't through stones.
Since then, sailing my PDQ 32:
* Faster in light air with reacher.
* Same in heavy air, but will pound much more and is more tender.
* More rsik of breakage in heavy air (not mast or hull--accessories).
I bought something else, but I don't think they are a bad design. Every boat is a compromise.
Could you perhaps elaborate on this "pounding" issue? Meaning - under what conditions would you experience it, how does it feel, is it a problem only because it's noisy and unpleasant or something else etc?
As a mainly monohull sailor I am not sure what to make of it.
Sorry if I have this incorrect, but are you currently sailing a Tri - and you want to try out a Cat? I'm interetsed why, because Tri's have recently just started to appeal to me and I'm researching them right now. Is there anything negative you have to say about the Tri?
It's been fine for what its purpose is - but that purpose turned out not to match what I really want to do. Can't go back to small boats, I guess.
I am looking into something with more "interior space" :)
Basically, the bridge deck of a Gemini has very little clearance, perhaps only 3-6 inches, depending on the load. Most cats this size have 16-20 inches of clearance, although there are certainly other that ride low (Prout, Packet Cat). When going to the windward waves hit the underside of the bridge deck with a very solid "whomp" and the floor shudders. It does not slow the boat much--the Gemini is quite good upwind--and does not seem to be a structural concern. However, some find it unpleasant.
On a choppy day on the Chesapeake (20-25 knot winds) the Gemini will strike every third wave, while the PDQ will strike 1-2 times per hour. It less of a problem (all cats) with long period waves.
It is not as noticeable off the wind. It can occur at anchor.
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