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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

The most relaxing adventure of our trip!!

I would highly recommend taking a sailing trip with Dave!! He is wonderfully laid back and lets you make the very most out of the experience (unlike some of the larger/corporate excursions where they do not give room for a flexible schedule and you end up feeling like your on a school field-trip ), yet Dave is a safe and experienced sailor. My husband and I had been traveling for two weeks and this was the PERFECT break! We enjoyed the views, swam in the ocean, and even took a nap (yes, I was that relaxed)! If you are in Barcelona and want to have a great time out on the ocean, book with Dave!
Jaclyn P | Austin, Texas | 20 August 2015

most relaxed sail you could wish for

we were a group of 6 friends and enjoyed a lovely 3 hrs sail trip out of barcelona. the moment we left the harbour, sails were set and the wind took over.
A TripAdvisor Member | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | 23 May 2018

Excellent option for a relaxing and romantic experience in Barcelona

My wife and I enjoyed a sunset cruise in July. Although the weather was warm in the city (roughly 90 deg F), the temp was definitely cooler on the water, even with limited breezes. Marina easily accessible from the old city. Great views, smooth sailing, comfortable one-of-a-kind sailboat, and a personable and cordial skipper. Slight downside on supposedly "limited" bathroom facilities, but if you plan ahead . . . :)
Christopher S | Chicago, Illinois | 24 July 2015

Very Professional

We recently booked this tour. The process was extremely clean and easy. We made a deposit and had confirmation instantly. We contacted the captain throughout the process and he always got back to us quickly. Unfortunately, the day the trip was scheduled the weather was quite bad. We contacted the captain ~ 1 hour before and advised of our weather concern. The captain got right back to us and gave us the option to cancel. We unfortunately did cancel and couldn't reschedule as it was our last day(he offered to reschedule for the following evening). I got a confirmation of the cancellation and refund within minutes. I offered to have him keep the deposit due to feeling badly and he refused to accept. If we are back in town we will try again.
markK3337NQ | Florida | 2 September 2018

Fantastic relaxing sail!

Bernardo the skipper was wonderfully knowledgeable and friendly - made the 3 hour sail most enjoyable! Water was clear and fresh! Highly recommended for some relaxation, water and fun during the hot, hot summer!
DPLosAngeles | Los Angeles | 29 July 2015

A flawless Barcelona Experience, beautiful sailing adventure!

We have nothing but good things to say about our sailing trip with Dave. We created this Trip Advisor account just so that we could write a review for this experience. We went on a morning excursion that took us about 2 miles off the Barcelona coastline and lasted around 3 hours. The harbor was actually closed when we started but he still took us out for the full experience despite the delay. Very accommodating when I got a little sea-sick and was more than understanding, which was a huge positive for us. We slept in the sun for quite a bit of our journey. If you're worried about having to carry a conversation or awkward silences, don't be! He was very charming and conversational when needed but gave us our space as well. We will definitely be doing this again next time we are in the area!
Kipdsumner | Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany | 13 July 2014

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