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Thread: Older Geminis (3000 3200) vs the newer ones 105mc

  1. #1

    Default Older Geminis (3000 3200) vs the newer ones 105mc

    My background is I have now a macgregor 26x and I've sailed for a few years now in the keys and icw and while this was a good starter boat and helped plant the seed to do more sailing it's not meant for my intentions of wanting to take a year or so down the bahamas exumas and as far south as a Gemini can safely get me question is I don't have deep pockets and can't afford a 105mc and I've heard of some 105mc doing lomg ocean passages even read of one circumnavigating.... I have zero plans to circumnavugate just the bahamas maybe Turks caicos and that area island hopping.... while infant afford a 105mc I have seen a couple Gemini 3000s pop up for mid 30k which I can afford ..... I'm wondering if a Gemini 3000 is just as capable offshore and just as seaworthy as a 105mc?
    I've read conflicting info some day no the 105mc is more suited for """blue water""" while others say the 3000 was a heavier built boat with more bridge deck clearance making it superior

    Just thought I'd ask here to get some clarification

  2. #2

    Default Re: Older Geminis (3000 3200) vs the newer ones 105mc

    I don't know if you are still asking this question, as it was posted two and half months ago, but for what it's worth.. my opinion (which is based on limited experience but an in depth insight into the build of the old and the first 105m is . .

    .. . The new models benefit from the continued development of the original Aristocat / Gemini Phoenix / 3100 / 3200 by Tony, Neil and all the good folk at Gemini. As such there are lots of little improvements well as the new hull shape in favour of the latter. Essentially though the original and the newer construction are much the, ie., with single laminate hull skins and balsa core in the bridgedeck, walking deck, and coach-roof. Conversely, it might be said that many 'development' changes occurred for the purpose of ease of, and repeatable quality in production - rather than to improve the boat either structurally or in sailing terms. Some also happened to be of benefit ..of lesser owner maintenance &/or fashions in styling.

    Specifically to your question then, a good condition Gemini whether an old model or newer is structurally very similar, and so equally as capable. My own boat is now 46 years old and is structurally fine. The original aluminium framed / glass windows were vulnerable but they were long ago replaced with Perspex, and have again been replaced again by myself with Lexan. They are now bullet proof ! I also replaced the balsa core, in the bridge deck, but that was only because water had seeped-in passed a poorly conceived stem-head fitting (NB. I did buy her cheaply as I already knew of the issue). Otherwise (as a retired Design Engineer, I can confirm..) the original structure is in amazing good shape.

    The revised hull shape of the 105 is a somewhat more difficult thing to assess. The new hull shape has a longer waterline but is a similar beam to the original. Its bow is almost plumb and the aft hull sections are squarer. In theory., this should make for a slightly faster boat with less pitching. However in boat design these things are always a compromise and so penalties to be paid. The obvious being that the boats maneuverability in close quarters and when tacking is less nimble. There's also a view that long / flatter hulls are great for higher speed in flat seas, but when the seas get inconveniently lumpy - then the old round sectioned banana boat gives more ..and so rides the worst seas better. Keeping weight out of the ends helps prevent pitching in either model it would be in any other light displacement craft.

    On the first 105's the interior's top step down from the bridgedeck into the hull was a rectangular bulge (outwards) in the hull's side. It seemed a good idea - as it improved the headroom when going down below, but.. this bulge in the hull side might be slapped with waves inbetween the hulls when at anchor. No problem most of the time, but perhaps annoying to sleep with. Other design changes were more successful and useful ..such as the latter's transom steps, but even that has a price to pay (at least here in Europe) where boats pay by their length in a marina. My boat is a 9m / thirty footer (actually 30'6" + transom hung rudders) versus the 105m with under-slung rudders. The accommodation and deck space is the same. Marketing the boat as a 32'-00" may have been good for sales - to help justify its cost, but ever since.. the owners have had to pay for it.! Of course transom hung rudders appear to be more vulnerable, but then are much easier to lift out, to free of weed or net, and of course to repair. Lifting the blades out of the water while on a mooring of course prevents their fouling from marine growth. Likewise lifting and outboard drives.

    The ever increasing use of interior grp mouldings typifies the sort of developments which took place within Gemini. Whereas the originals had marine plywood bulkheads and furniture bases bonded into the hull, the latter used interior mouldings. Plywood is the stiffer and lighter-weight material, but grp mouldings are shiny, easier to produce (there is few secondary operations like sanding and varnishing, edge trimming, etc.) and therefore very much quicker and cheaper in production.

    In theory, the boat's structure is in the hull, deck and bulkheads ..and so interior joinery shouldn't make that much difference, but personally I like bonded-in plywood. I trust it, I like it being stiffer, I like its warmth and its sound absorption, and I find it easier to customize when I choose to do so. The penalty is - the paint on these ought re-done every forty or fifty years.

    My own boat is from March 1972, and so before Tony took the moulds to America ..she is an Aristocat 30. Over the past few years I've been extensively refitting and modifying her to be a liveaboard cruiser. Aside from a thousand other changes - this has included building in water tanks, etc, for more extended cruising. My boat has an 4-stroke outboard motor, and also before I bought her had been converted to fixed stub keels - both of which is a preference of mine. I've subsequently removed the old centre-board cases which freed up an extraordinary volume.

    I've also removed a non-structural longitudinal bulkhead of the original boat ..between the forward cabin and the twin cabin. NB. On the Gemini the twin cabin became the heads compartment. Personally I like the heads to be convenient to the helm station, not least because it is also the wet locker whre life jackets and safety-harnesses are kept. That aside, by removing the longitudinal bulkhead - I have an owner's cabin with panoramic windows to three sides, plus two opening deck hatches, and a super-king-size berth which is accessible from both sides. There are also wardrobes / clothes cabinets in either hull. It's an impressive cabin for a 30-footer.

    Interior styling wise ; the old boat is rather like a traditional wood panelled drawing room, versus the nice n' easy to clean café with plastic seats of the 105. In practice though ; the old woodwork is dark, and together with the fabrics, headlining and hull lining is often very tired. Much of mine has been, or will be, stripped out and painted over to brighten the interior up ..but some wood panels will remain. The interior fabric on the later boats is nice but rather impersonal in the vain of camper vans.

    In conclusion (in my opinion) the Aristocat cum early Gemini is a very capable catamaran, which like for like in accommodation will out-perform any monohull of the same length, and most of up to half that length again ! The latter Gemini is a faster boat still calm seas. Having been in the boat building industry for many years I personally feel safer with bonded-in plywood than with inner mouldings. I very much like the 105's hull shape, and I think Tony has done a great job in terms of overall boat styling, and again in numerous detail changes, but when the push becomes a shove and the seas turn nasty, then I'd have to say 'Thanks, but I'll stick to what I've got' The old boats are tough ol' cats that land on their feet.

    Hope that helps,

    P.S. The Aristocat was designed by two architects, and prior owners, and therefore is a direct derivative of Bill O'Brien's plywood built Bobcat. Bill went on to produce the Oceanic 30, which in turn became famous when the ever-gorgeous Rosie Swale and her very young (literally baby !) family sailed around Cape Horn. If you want an idea of how seaworthy and liveable these 30-foot catamarans are then you might want to read one or two of her books.
    Last edited by 30sqm; 9th July 2018 at 12:08 AM.

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