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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

Exceeded expectations. Bravo!

Way to go Dave! You and your son were such great hosts and we had a wonderful time on your boat. Dave clearly loves what he does for a living and it shows clearly. Thank you again.
Michael S | Baltimore, Maryland

Fun boat ride-a little choppy

Dave and his son Diego were great sailors and excellent guides and hosts on their lovely boat. Had great weather for as early in the season as it was. Seas were a bit choppy though, and would have been better had we followed Dave’s sound advice of taking Dramamine beforehand for a few of our group. Highly recommend the experience and the captain!
Megan T |

Private Sunset Cruise

Booked this for our anniversary, and had a really amazing evening. The boat is beautiful and skipper Dave is really helpful and friendly, all we had to do was enjoy the trip. My girlfriend was amazed by the experience and it was the perfect way to celebrate a romantic evening and escape the city.
sean j |

Barcelona by full moon

Last night a friend and I went sailing from Barcelona Marina in a beautiful old wooden sailing boat 'Gemini', with her gregarious and knowledgeable captain, Dave. Clear skies and a full moon, the light breeze filling the sails, pushing us through the calm water, it was a perfect evening jaunt, admiring the magical vistas of night time Barcelona. Definitely something to be considered on a trip to Barcelona. It got a little chilly towards the end of the evening so take a sweater or a fleece.
Yubitzume | Barcelona, Spain

Fantastic Afternoon

We had an amazing time with Cptn. Dave. It was the most relaxing part of our busy trip, and absolutely beautiful. There was not much wind when we went out, but we didn't care. It was comfortable and the views of the city were great. I'd like to be on that boat again, right now. Highly recommend, and the cost was reasonable and worth every cent.
juliebirditis | Bakersfield, California

A wonderful afternoon sailing on Skipper Dave's sailboat!

My husband and I sailed with Skipper Dave on his 41 foot, 1943 gorgeous wood sailboat. My husband is an accomplished sailor and offered to "crew" as we exited the harbor and got under sail. Of course, Skipper Dave was more than capable of doing this independently, but allowed my husband to assist. It wound up that he let my husband sail the boat (steer) for the 3 hours of the sail! He just loved being out on the Mediterranean, under sail, and manning the helm! I stayed on the fore deck and let those 2 sailors talk shop together. Skipper Dave was professional, capable and very friendly. He asked us what sort of sail we wanted...as I prefer a more smooth ride, he only put up the partial sails as it was a windy day. It was a perfect afternoon of sun and relaxation and a wonderful gift to my husband! Thank you for a lovely day!!
JulieNitz | Farmington Hills, Michigan

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