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Characteristics of a classic


23 May 2019 | Last update: 28 Jun 2019

Gemini is a Gauntlet, built in 1947, but the design dates from 1934, when the first of these famous yachts was built in the Berthon boatyard in Lymington, on the English south coast. In all, 39 Gauntlets were built by the yard between 1934 and 1951.

History of the first Gauntlet

The class got its name from the first boat. The customer asked the yard to design a boat, but when he saw the design, he rejected it, and went to a competing yard. Harry G. May, who owned the Berthon yard, had such faith in the design that he built the boat anyway, without having a customer for it. Once completed, he threw down the gauntlet and challenged the other boat to a race and handily won. The story got around and pretty soon, everyone wanted one of his Gauntlets.

Two further boats were built in New Zealand just after the war, but I don’t know the story behind that. Perhaps someone from the yard emigrated there and took copies of the design along with them.

The design brief was for a fast, seaworthy, comfortable boat, easily handled by a small crew. These boats were destined to be successful long-distance, ocean-going racing boats, and they had a lot of success in their day. Even now, when the sea is rough and the wind is strong, they can keep going at speed when modern, lighter boats will want to reduce sail.

Read on to find out how the design brief was fulfilled:

What our customers say

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Great view of Barcelona

Had a great sail with Capt. Dave. He was very accommodating and we enjoyed the conversation as we sailed the coastline. The boat was very easy to find in the large marina and the reservation process was smooth. Thanks Dave!
PATRICK R | madison | 25 March 2018

Spot on

Can't fault the sunset cruise for a perfect anniversary experience. I was a bit apprehensive as I get motion-sickness, but I took a kwells, wore some wrist-bands and kept my eyes on the horizon and had a wonderful time despite it being rather choppy. I also followed Dave's advice and stayed to the middle and centre of the boat (Gemini). Husband used to sail when he was younger and Dave was happy to let him get involved and answer questions about the boat - which is a really beautiful classic boat. Watching the sun fade over the Barcelona horizon was pretty special. (I read the reviews on here prior to booking and the photos just don't do the experience justice.) Dave is a lovely skipper with a lovely boat. Would definitely recommend Classic Sail to anyone looking to do something a bit special in Barcelona.
highspeedcow | | 7 September 2015

What an amazing trip!

My wife and I had such an amazing time on Skipper Dave's sailboat. Definitely the highlight of our time in Barcelona.
Michael A | | 10 August 2015

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

Fantastic Experience

Highly recommended for a group of friends/family. 3 hours was a perfect amount of time to cruise the harbour and the captain really gave us space so it felt like our own boat. Much preferred to the large catamaran tours with 50+ people
mitchpittaway | Toronto, Canada | 18 July 2019

Great trip on a beautiful boat

Had a great trip with Dave whilst in Barcelona recently. Water was a little choppier than usual so no opportunity to swim but this is clearly out of the skippers hands, no complaints at all there. On a calmer day this would be just about the perfect way to spend an afternoon, cooling down from the August sun. Not your usual everyday sailing trip and all the better for it! All the best for the future of your enterprise Dave.
Jasonab1 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | 11 August 2015

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