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Characteristics of a classic


23 May 2019 | Last update: 23 Dec 2020

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:

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Beautiful sail on a pristine day ... with a wonderful captain

My family thoroughly enjoyed our sail with Dave. The Gemini is a beautiful classic sloop, with a captain who's charming and engaging, and proved to be a great conversationalist ... with us and our teenage son. Today's sail was one of my favorite adventures we've taken while in Spain.
the_3_adventurers | Raleigh, North Carolina | 27 March 2015

Wonderfully relaxing, friendly, and informative trip

My wife booked this trip - we were a group of 9 (3 related families) - Classic Sail worked with another organization to ensure we got a boat that fit our group's size. It was clear that Dani had chosen a skipper that was fluent in English, and was just as native to Spain as could be! Bernardo was an excellent skipper - talked very knowledgeably about the culture and history of Barcelona and the buildings that we could see as we motored out from where the boat was anchored (Port Olympic). He also pointed out some of the sailing tips that an accomplished sailor would know - the ripples on the water indicating the location of wind, the tell-tales near the sail that he used to track the wind shifts to ensure the sail was oriented right. What was incredible was the extent to which he was able to encourage our younger daughter to feel confident in "helping" him sail, when we were way out in blue water, returning back to shore. Most of us got into the blue water to swim a while - and again, Bernardo had the right words of encouragement to get the faint-hearted into the water. We had a great time in the crystal-clear water, which was bracing at the first touch, but very comfortable rapidly after, not at all warm. We would heartily recommend this 2.5 hour sailing trip as a great way to relax in the Mediterranean!
Popsrao | New York City, New York | 17 July 2015

Sailing fun

Had a great afternoon trip with Captain Dave - great host, and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Well worth a go!
Taylorgt1 | London, United Kingdom | 4 April 2018

Best thing we did on the trip!

Visited as part of a hen party, easily
Shireen A | Leigh-on Sea, United Kingdom | 16 June 2014

EXCEEDED our Expectations!

My friends and I reserved a sail with Classic Sailing for the afternoon after our flight landed in BCN. The gentle ride, fresh sea air, sunshine and cool water was just the ticket for our jet-lagged group. We would go again in a heartbeat! Everything was perfect and Captain David was a fabulous host and skipper!
Pamela L | Nashville, Tennessee | 13 October 2014

Best sailor and best boat in Barcelona

I did sailed on Gemini in december 2012 with some friends, the experience was great.
ReyGuigu | Lyon | 27 February 2013

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