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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

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 | 2 January 2018

Brilliant! A perfect morning!

A wonderful morning of sun and sea, enjoyed hugely by adults and children alike (11 and 15). Dave is a gracious, knowledgeable host but not at all intrusive - very amenable when the kids wanted to stop the boat and swim. Much more personal than one of the more touristy operators who we watched setting off just before us. No better way to spend a sunny morning in Barcelona.
GemmaRLondon | London | 8 June 2018

Fantastic day of sailing!

What a great experience! We went sailing with Dave in early April for my birthday. Dave is fantastic and Gemini is gorgeous! Seeing Barcelona from sea was gorgeous. Can't recommend doing this enough!
calitravels48 | Los Angeles, California | 21 April 2015

A Must-Do While In Barcelona!

While in Barcelona, this was THE best thing we did by far! We had an amazing day out on the sea. Captain Dave was an amazing crew and looked after us to perfection. We had lots of fun. Thank you David.
Luiz Paulo V | London, England, United Kingdom | 13 August 2013

Something different

Fantastic venture with Capt Dave for a surprise birthday gift for a friend. Beautiful boat, great views of Barcelona and fun watching the boat being operated by sail and hitting some descents speeds!
Al H | London, United Kingdom | 4 May 2015

Awesome experience

Dave very accommodating and a great skipper. His skill and information about everything was wonderful. A great way to see Barcelona from a different view. When I had short legs to get on the boat he made a way for me to do it. Let the sea breeze be in your face and relax and enjoy. Must do in Barcelona.
ruthibyers | | 10 May 2018

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