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Characteristics - speed


22 May 2019 | Last update: 28 Jun 2019

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

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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

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

Wonderfully relaxing, friendly, and informative trip

My wife booked this trip - we were a group of 9 (3 related families) - Classic Sail worked with another organization to ensure we got a boat that fit our group's size. It was clear that Dani had chosen a skipper that was fluent in English, and was just as native to Spain as could be! Bernardo was an excellent skipper - talked very knowledgeably about the culture and history of Barcelona and the buildings that we could see as we motored out from where the boat was anchored (Port Olympic). He also pointed out some of the sailing tips that an accomplished sailor would know - the ripples on the water indicating the location of wind, the tell-tales near the sail that he used to track the wind shifts to ensure the sail was oriented right. What was incredible was the extent to which he was able to encourage our younger daughter to feel confident in "helping" him sail, when we were way out in blue water, returning back to shore. Most of us got into the blue water to swim a while - and again, Bernardo had the right words of encouragement to get the faint-hearted into the water. We had a great time in the crystal-clear water, which was bracing at the first touch, but very comfortable rapidly after, not at all warm. We would heartily recommend this 2.5 hour sailing trip as a great way to relax in the Mediterranean!
Popsrao | New York City, New York | 17 July 2015

A must in Barcelona!

We enjoyed our sunset cruise w Dave! Great way to relax and see the city! It's a very comfortable boat and ride (didn't feel motion sick) his sail boat can handle the waves. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!
purplenimen | Fort Myers | 28 August 2018

Fun morning sail

Skippe Dave was great, and it was a fun morning sail. Gemini is full of character, and Dave was happy to tell us all about her. Definitely recommend this to others.
Bill N | Barcelona, Spain | 21 June 2015

Excellent private Hen Party on the "No Limits"

Excellent 3 hour sunset tour. The Lady Skippers were super nice and friendly. The boat was just perfect for the 11 of us and the experience with Dave from the 1st contact until after the booking was very pleasant, professional and prompt.
Viola P | Brussels, Belgium | 26 June 2019

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