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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

Wonderful start to our vacation!

I traveled to Spain with a group of friends and we began our trip with an afternoon aboard the Gemini! The day couldn't have been more perfect weather-wise, and David was kind enough to shop for us for our drinks and munchies, as we had just landed in Spain and had no time to do it ourselves. He found a spot for us to jump in the sea to cool off .......and for me, it was one more check off my bucket list to say I swam in the Mediterranean! I only wish we'd had time at the end of our vacation to sail on the Gemini one last time! Thanks for a wonderful day David!!
Robin H | Iowa, United States

Awesome afternoon in the sunshine!

I booked classic sail Barcelona for my friend's hen do so that we could enjoy an afternoon sailing along the coast making the most of the beautiful weather. The trip was exactly what we were hoping for. Dani, our skipper was fantastic. We brought on our own drink and food and we could play music and games and make ourselves at home. When the hen got sea sick (more than likely induced by the level of drinking the night before) Dani was great. He got her up to steer the boat and get out of the sun which made her feel a million times better. It was the perfect trip. If only we'd booked for the whole day or for another trip the next day. Maybe next time!
Vicky K |

Wow! Definite recommendation

These guys were super helpful and flexible. We had to move trip a couple of times and they really accommodated us. Price was good considering everything we had and the food/ drink package for extra 10 Euros is worth it. We also brought some drinks ourselves. Skipper let us sail when we wanted, there was music (although a Bluetooth connection to our devices would be a good addition), there was sun, there was beer, it was a great way to spend 3 hours of sunset!
wittehengel | Istanbul, Turkey

Lovely way to spend a couple of hours

Our group of 11, including 6 children aged 9-12, had a wonderful trip. Captain Danny was very friendly and let all the kids have a go at skippering the boat, which was one of their highlights of visiting Barcelona!
Melsybabes | Warlingham, United Kingdom

Fantastic first time sailing experience!

We were looking for more unique things to do in Barcelona than just the regular tourist sites and so we booked this sailing trip. It was by far one of our favorite and most relaxing parts of the trip. The water is beautiful off the coast of Barcelona and the views of the coast were fantastic. In mid april, the weather was beautiful and my light jacket was all i needed for a cover-up over my sundress.
cldegen | Greater London, United Kingdom

Amazing afternoon

Me and four of my friends (23-25 y.o.) went sailing with Dave. We spent an amazing afternoon away from the hectic city and enjoyed the Waves, Wind and the sea mixed with some beer and good food. I can recommend this to anyone. If you want to do this on the weekend it is better to reserve in advance, but you can always call and ask spontaneous. Absolutely safe.
Lars174 | Bern, Switzerland

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