A few years ago I bought a Gemini 105mc , moving from Hunter 33 which I had a wonderful time on for 7 years. The Gemini is smaller than a lot of the boats being discussed, but it is a whole lot more spacious than the hunter, and has turned out to be ideal for my wife and I.
Once the idea of potentially owning a multihull got stuck in my head, I spent a lot of time researching on the internet, including the forums of course. There were a load of opinions out there. There was the 'you'll die a horrible death bobbing upside down' camp. Also there was the 'cats are a horrilbe idea, the motion is awful, they cant go upwind, etc. camp. Opposing them was some enthusiasts, and also a small number of cat owners who shared their experiences. I assumed the latter were the most credible (otherwise I'd be paralyzed with fear of an upside down death
After this research and a whole lot of shopping I decided to take the plunge. Thanks to all those owners who shared their experiences, without you it is very possible I wound't have taken the leap. So I thought i'd share my own experience for those who could benefit.
Here's how it's been so far:
1. I'mreally happy with the increased space and comfort, perfect for my cruising habits (a few weeks a year cruising plus weekends and daysails with my wife and i plus guests or my buddies and i) or daysails with crew ranging from single handed to 15 people.
2. It's plenty seaworthy, and handles our interesting seas and abundant wind in my neighbourhood (cape breton, brasdor lakes, gulf of st lawrence, pei, nfld) every bit as well as my previous monohulls.
3. I love the speed compare to my 33 ft monohull. 6 or 7 knots tight to the wind, crack off a little and 8 or 9 knots is easy if you have breze. 10-11 max sustained when everything is right and wind is howling.
4. upwind performance is comparable to any other ordinary cruising monohull that i've sailed on. Points a little better than the hunter (not a performance boat but a comparison all the same)
5. it fits nicely in the travellift at our club which really simplifies the overall ownership experience and reduces cost.
6. hard dodger is awesome for shade in hot summer days or in bad weather. canvas cockpit enclosure is phenomenal in colder weather in shoulder season (i manage to get 6 months out of season, from mid may to late november)
7 it is so much easier on passages with minimal heeling. You don't fight weather helm and can steer with one finger (takes getting used to as you have to rely more on instruments and sail observations to trim)
8 what can i say about on anchor ... brilliant. when rafted, most often the go to boat.
9 I'm pleased to say that, within reason, everything they say about not spilling drinks in a seaway is true
10 huge storage space compared to the hunter.
11 Kick up centerboards and rudder give it an incredibly shallow draft that lets me travel in shallow water with greatly reduced worries, and to anchor in way more places.
12 I love the bridgedeck diesel and steerable driveleg (point of contention with some I know). way more maneuverable than my old shaft drive mono. No barnalces or corrosion or drag while sailing. I did a mod on it adding power tilt/trim which made it way more convenient.
13. Dont have to go down a companionway while heeled to get refreshments from fridge. Did i mention they don't spill - oh yeah, i already did so
In fact I can really say that i dont have any regrets at all about making the move (which is really wonderful to be able to say because my last boat was a great experience as well).
Hope this is helpful to anyone thinking about buying a smaller cruising cat like the Gemini.