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Freedom Chip Counter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I’d post this in the live aboard section as I might receive a smidgeon more empathy.
After cruising Florida’s Southeast coast on and off for two years on our Tartan 31 my wife and I are now looking at living aboard full time.
Many of the “important” items that were at the top of our list such as new rigging, new sails, up wind performance, have now taken a second seat to counter space, shoulder width in head, hanging lockers and accessible storage.
We’ve come to the conclusion that “a” cat “is” the answer. We’re aware that cats come in many different flavors (hull, cabin, keel, rigging configuration etc.) and can not be shoe horned into one stereotypical category. We’re willing to compromise sailing ability for living ability, but not so much so that we’d be just as well off in a trawler. We still love and live to sail.
As we’re sitting in Islamorada surrounded by cats, one seems to be a little different - a Gemini 105MC, but maybe a little Small and I’m not too sure about the “sail drive” (tilting single prop). Are these well built boats? Are there other recommendations for quality built cats? We’re hoping to find something newer than 2014 for less than $400k somewhere in the 36 to 40 foot range.
Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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There's been some recent innovations to cats that are game changers... And these should be coming into the Used Market now.
Leopard cats have introduced a forward cockpit. You need to see these. I wouldn't but one without it now.

The other newer idea but maybe on slightly larger boats is a small seating are on the cockpit ROOF. These too are sensational. But reduce solar panel area.

Make sure you investigate marina costs. Some charge double for a cat as they take 2 slips.

Mark
 
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Freedom Chip Counter
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mark, we’ll have to check those out.
You’re right about the marinas....very tough to find a spot at a dock for a cat even in the off season. I suspect we’ll spend quite a bit of time at anchor (or sailing). Haul out is the same story, not too many yards can haul out a cat in our area. Those that can get a premium for sure. Aside from ticking the right boxes for performance and design, we’re wondering if there are any builders or models or model years to stay away from.
 

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Hi Scubadoo. After years of owning monos we bought our first cat in 2015. It was a Gemini 105MC. We owned it for six seasons, and sold it in October (to make way for a Seawind 1190 sport). I had been considering moving to a larger monohull, but the idea of buying a cat made its way into our heads and we followed through. We loved most everything about the Gemini - it was fun to sail and felt very roomy compared to the hunter 33 that we owned previously. We are not liveaboards, but it was very comfortable for my wife and I for up to a couple of weeks at a time. The stability and lack of heel and roll is a pleasure (relative to my previous mono) - my wife was concerned that I'd miss the feel of heeling but that certainly hasnt been an issue. I really like the drive leg / diesel combination - very maneuverable and the reliabillity of diesel for motor long stretches. But the lift/lock mechanism needs to be carefully maintained so it can be a pain in the butt. I some problems in season one, so the next year I had the lift lock re-engineered to use a mercruiser alpha one tilt system, which completely solved all problems and made the drive leg system a pleasure. Steerable thrust for docking, large efficient three blade which comes out of the water for sailing, no barnacles or electrolysis. The other thing that was great was the 14 ft beam and fitting in slips and travel lifts - this made life easy for us. Overall, Gemini ownership was wonderful for us. But again we weren't liveaboards, you need to check one out for yourself and see if the living space and storage meet your expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the excellent info Doug! Very helpful.
 

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As Mark said, a forward cockpit looks cool @ first glance. But there are several good reasons why cockpits on sailing vessels are traditionally aft. Number one was to see all the sails. #2 was to watch your crew in action, so the person on the helm could see a possible problem developing and prevent it.
But forget all that, how about creature comforts these days. It's pretty hard to design a good dodger and bimini set-up on a forward helmed cat, and a mono too. Every one I've seen has been a working cockpit, so definitely no room for guests, which leaves the crew separated from the passengers, not the best idea for a charter boat or your guests who came to spend the day with you, sailing.
 

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If you are looking at a Gemini you might to talk with Carolyn Shearlock at theboatgalley.com the went from a Tayana 37 to Gemini 105 34' . They are live aboard cruisers. My best friend has a Lepoard 39 it is a fabulous boat and very roomy, sails very nice from 60 to 120-130 off the wind. Above 60 she starts to side slip. Very easy to single hand if needed. biggest problem is haul out at 20ft wide there are limited places, also docking you either pay for two slips or end up on a tee head.
I have looked at the gemini and if I were looking at a Cat I would def. consider a 105.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are looking at a Gemini you might to talk with Carolyn Shearlock at theboatgalley.com the went from a Tayana 37 to Gemini 105 34' . They are live aboard cruisers. My best friend has a Lepoard 39 it is a fabulous boat and very roomy, sails very nice from 60 to 120-130 off the wind. Above 60 she starts to side slip. Very easy to single hand if needed. biggest problem is haul out at 20ft wide there are limited places, also docking you either pay for two slips or end up on a tee head.
I have looked at the gemini and if I were looking at a Cat I would def. consider a 105.
Thanks for the first hand info on the Leopard 39. That one’s definitely high up on the list. Has your friend complained about any quirks, design flaws, engine access, or things they’d like to change?
 

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Scubadoo
For the most part we have not found anything majorly bad or wrong with the design or access to anywhere with the exception if you need to get into the area at the stern of the pontoons that is next to impossible. Engine access is very good unless you are larger than the average bear. Priaprism is retired charter boat from the Moorings in Marsh Harbor Bahamas. So yes we in the last 5ys have made many repairs and upgrades.
 

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The forward cockpit on Leopards are not steering cockpits. Thats still aft or up top. The forward cock[it is just for leisure :)
 

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Thanks Mark, we’ll have to check those out.
You’re right about the marinas....very tough to find a spot at a dock for a cat even in the off season. I suspect we’ll spend quite a bit of time at anchor (or sailing). Haul out is the same story, not too many yards can haul out a cat in our area. Those that can get a premium for sure. Aside from ticking the right boxes for performance and design, we’re wondering if there are any builders or models or model years to stay away from.
One of the appeals of the gemeni specifically is that it's only 14 ft in beam and so fits into a traditional mono slip.

The drive leg setup is a bit odd, but really works well and provides excellent maneuverability. Probably not as good as twin screws, but then you also only have one engine to maintain.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 
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