A Rugged Performance Catamaran, Just Launched in Canada
I am slowly becoming a fan of Catamarans. Now, having sailed and reviewed more and more of these boats I am starting to get it. Excellent space below, and a stable, shallow draft allows for effortless cruising and wonderful speeds underway – all wonderful attributes that the market is rewarding more often these days. What’s also new for Gemini is the recent deal struck with Hunter to build these boats. In today’s market, this makes a lot of sense; levering the quality and workmanship the staff at the Alachua Florida plant will definitely add to the allure, value and quality of this boat.
I recently got a chance to sail a Gemini 105 MC on a sunny day with great northwest breezes that ranged between 10- 25 knots in puffs that graced the relatively flat waters. Resulting performance characteristics of this boat has us humming along at 7+ knots effortlessly with no sense of stress or strain. The boat was propelled beautifully by the large foresail easily tweaked with its roller reefing gear and sheeting. The crew could not stop smiling as we easily tacked and gybed taking every bit of wind we could harness. I must admit that this was the hardest test I had put any boat through but was encouraged to do so by its owner and Slavek Krolikiewicz, owner of North Lakes Yachting’s.
Now for a traditional monohull sailor, it took a bit of getting used to the steering, but I was pleased with all points of sail and impressed with the visibility from the rigid bimini-covered aft cockpit’s starboard steering station. The rudders lift to a draft of 18 inches and allow great steerage in this position. A Teleflex linkage system allows one rudder to be pulled while the other is pushed. This is an affordable, comfortable catamaran with performance to boot and it is relatively new to the Canadian market.
The cockpit is airy and easily accessible by stern steps to both port and starboard and can easily handle eight. Moving forward, there are well-placed handrails making the transition easy. Gemini did compromise somewhat by giving up some deck space to maximize the cockpit space and height but it was a great move. Forward, the rigid foredeck houses the anchor locker and the neat screecher tack traveller and fixed genoa stay. All halyards, sheeting and reefing lines lead aft. The split backstay is controlled here as well.
Upwind performance is driven by the positively buoyant twin centerboards that drop to five feet and are easily raised and lowered. The wonderful 14-foot beam is carried easily by the twin semi-circular hulls and allows the 105 MC to be easily berthed in most marinas.
The mast is a double-spreader rig. The hull is solid GRP laminated from woven roving and mat with polyester resin. An outer layer of resin and gel protects against osmosis.
Below decks, you are greeted immediately by the aft facing U-shaped settee and dinette in what most refer to as the bridge deck level main salon. This converts to a double-bunk. To starboard (or starboard hull) is the galley – a wonderful elongated working space amidships. Forward there is a neat stateroom/dressing area that has great storage and a double berth placed in the center of the boat forward of the mast. Aft to starboard is another double berth. In the port hull is a head complete with shower, the nav station and another double berth aft.
When under power you are pushed along easily by a 27 HP Westerbeke inboard.
The Gemini 105MC gets my vote for a great alternative for live aboard cruising. Its price point makes it a wonderful option but the attributes mentioned first hand are compelling for anyone who wants the stable ride and adventure while gunkholing just about anywhere.
By John Kerr
To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!