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Characteristics - speed


22 May 2019 | Last update: 23 Dec 2020

What makes Gemini fast? Primarily, 4 features.

1. The top speed of a sailboat is limited by friction with the water, so designers try to minimise the wetted surface area of the hull. In modern boats, they do that by making the hull broad but shallow. With Gemini, the design is for a narrow but relatively deep hull.

2. The narrow hull means Gemini leans over rather easily, compared to the stiffer behaviour of modern broad-hulled boats. To counteract that effect, Gemini has a heavy keel – 5 ½ tonnes of lead! This means that although she starts to lean over rather easily, she rapidly resists leaning over too far. Ultimately, this means she can carry more sail in stronger winds without leaning over excessively. This makes her fast in heavy weather – she can keep pushing hard through a gale.

3. A very tall rig, which means she can carry large sails. Gemini’s mast is as tall as modern boats of the same size. Gemini still has her original wooden mast. Contrary to what one might assume, wooden masts are pretty much as strong as aluminium masts. But they are much heavier. That extra weight up high is undesirable, so wooden masts are actually hollow. The mast is built in sections. They take a log, cut it lengthways down the middle, reverse the two halves and glue them back together, back to back, after hollowing out the middle. This construction method means that if the original log had any tendency to warp as it dries out, it is now trying to warp in opposite directions at the same time. So the construction holds the mast straight. Clever guys these shipwrights!

4. Finally, Gemini has a very distinctive canoe-shaped stern. This feature gives the hull an exceptionally streamlined shape, and is easily worth ¼ of a knot or so – a big speed boost. It’s also very seaworthy – it gives a very strong hull construction, and it cuts through the waves when they come from behind. But it is a very uncompromising design choice. Essentially it means you lose a whole cabin from the layout below. Gemini is a 41 foot boat on deck, but down below, she has about the same space as a modern 32 foot boat.

Read on to find out how the design brief was fulfilled:

What our customers say

Over 250 ★★★★★ reviews

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence & Hall of Fame 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Hen do fun!

We surprised the boat loving bride to be with a 3.5 hour private trip on the Gemini and she absolutely loved it. We all had the most amazing experience. The boat is gorgeous and with the sun out this really is a must do in Barcelona! David is a lovely guy, very friendly and easy going. We brought our own food and drink on board and some speakers to play our own music. This is such a good price as well compared to other boat companies over there that charge double the price for half the amount of time. We all definitely recommend this and would go back again next time we are in Barca.
Gembles85 | Surrey | 1 July 2014

Best thing we've done in Barcelona

This sailing trip was one of the best things we have ever done in Barcelona and we’ve been to Barcelona many times and seen most of what it has to offer. Dave was absolutely brilliant and made the whole experience from the initial booking through to disembarking back at the harbour totally seamless and a great experience. Dave replies to emails straight away, he was very accommodating, he even agreed to move our trip to another day due to the weather, he didn’t mind if we brought along our own food and drink, he was even prepared to pull up and let us go for a swim, but we chickened out of that because the water was so cold..
alexjwood | Birmingham, UK | 28 May 2014

Amazing afternoon

My sister and I spent an afternoon on Dave's boat and it was one of the best things we did on our trip. The views are amazing, the boat is beautiful and Dave is a great captain. The views from the ocean are incredible and really lets you see Barcelona from another perspective. We were able to bring lunch and cava and just lay in the quiet sun for a few hours. We were originally scheduled for a Monday but the weather was bad so Dave was very accommodating in rescheduling with us. Would definitely recommend!
avs1029 | New York City, New York | 15 July 2014

Killing It

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Best way to see Barcelona with Dave.
G H | Sydney, Australia | 15 August 2018

Sailing in Spain, at Sunset - A Must Do

I got a hold of Dave through a friend that had sailed with him a week before and he came highly recommended. I can see why. He is truly a good soul and a gentleman and his boat speaks volumes about his charm and debonair. Gemini is a little dated but it is spacious and has a lot of character. I had a group of 6 and it fit very nicely and for its price, it's definitely as good as it gets.
Brian L T | Los Angeles, California | 7 September 2015

Excellent change of pace from busy Barca

Fantastic day out and got my first hands - on experience of sailing which was exhilarating. David was great company. Bring food, water and warm, wind-proof clothes - it's much cooler out on the water. This would be an amazingly refreshing experience in summer. Thank you David!
postmodernista | Glasgow, United Kingdom | 29 November 2014

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