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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

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

Highlight of our honeymoon!

My wife and I had a lovely evening sailing with Dave. He was very accommodating and friendly. The boat itself is very charming and easy to find in Port Olimpic. The views of the Barcelona shore are unreal at dusk. Make sure you bring some food and drink for your trip. Dave even let us swim out in the open ocean as the sun set over the city. If you plan on making it out to Barcelona, do not skip this opportunity. I can't say enough about how amazing this experience was. Thank you Dave!
830drews | Mansfield, Massachusetts | 14 September 2013

Pretty sail in Barcelona

We enjoy our chartered sail trip. Very flexible with timing as we asked to leave earlier then booked and was very accommodating. It rained the last 20 minutes of the trip which kind of made it fun! Very nice experience
MSCA2015 | San Francisco, California | 2 September 2018

Awesome day on the water!

Very interesting to see Barcelona from the water. I got a great panorama shot of the city.
davidm_PDX | | 6 May 2012

Great sail!

This sail around Barcelona was the highlight of our trip! Captain Dave is fantastic; he made us feel welcome and at home on his wonderful boat. We loved that the sail was just our family and was so reasonably priced. We highly recommend this trip and will absolutely do it again when we return to Spain!
Elise M | Seattle, United States | 19 April 2018

Highlight of our trip

We really enjoyed sailing with Dave. We spent 10 days in Barcelona and sailing was our break from sightseeing, which turned out to be the highlight of our trip. Would definitely go back. First time on the Mediterranean, it was beautiful and relaxing. Dave was a great host.
Jolynne P | | 19 June 2018

A Barcelona must!!!

Not only is Dave a personable, accommodating captain, but sailing on the Gemini is a unique experience with breathtaking views of the city. The old boat is comfortable and gorgeous with an interesting background. The experience was a 10/10, and I would highly recommend to anyone I know who's traveling to Barcelona. Very well worth it. Thank you, Dave!
drogers9 | Boston, Massachusetts | 5 October 2018

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