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Old 02-01-2012, 16:37   #1
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Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

We've been choogling along for a while now slowly getting our ducks in a row to end up with a small coastal cruising catamaran. No desire to spend weeks crossing big oceans in sail boats. None. We live half way between the US and the deep Caribbean, so we have lots of good sailing based from right here.

Every time I have looked at what's on the market, I end up back thinking the best set of compromises for what we intend is the Gemini 105Mc, 2002 ish or later.

Recently I became aware of a Maine Cat 30 that is for sale for about the same as a comparably equipped Gemini. I was wondering if any of you other Gemini, or Maine Cat, fanatics had done any comparison shopping.

We will be just two on board 98% of the time,but we do have five sons in the US who visit us and it would be nice to be able to take a few guests sailing for the odd long weekend. They're all young men. Can sleep on tramps if the rum supply holds out. But I don't want to choose a boat for that one or two weeks a year. We want a shallow draft little cruiser for two that know how to travel light. Looking at the boats, I am guessing the MC is a little faster boat? Deeper draft, though.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-01-2012, 19:10   #2
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

Have you considered a Tomcat? You have twin outboards instead of the stilleto drive and a pretty fast little boat with alot of room for the size. Might want to check it out...Sid
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Old 02-01-2012, 19:33   #3
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

Hi Canibul,
Do you intend on staying in the TCI with the boat longer term? Both have a shallow draft but I like the kick up rudders on the gemini. The MC sails really well though, having sailed on one in Florida when we were looking for our boat. The twin outboards on the MC is not a bad idea as you have redundancy with twin engine, but not the perks of a traditional diesel (hot water, alternator..). The Gemini might not incur the higher dockage fee that I seen on provo as the beam is only 14', but you would have to check that at south side or turtle cove. I know they wanted extra for our vessel (maxim 380) as the beam is just under 21'.
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Old 02-01-2012, 19:44   #4
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

Gemini would be better for cruising, IMHO. The mainecat is not faster, and an inboard is better for cruisers (range, hot water, alternator etc.). If you do any extensive motoring the Gemini will be MUCH better -- quieter, less vibration and use less fuel. One big plus of the mainecat is the higher bridgedeck clearance, and wider beam... together making it more seaworthy (though the Gemini is a larger boat and that might be a mitigating factor). Also you should compare load carrying -- the MaineCat has a tendency to bury/drag it's stern when the tanks are full.
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Old 02-01-2012, 22:00   #5
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

I don't know about the mC, but the finish of the fiberglass gelcoat on the gemini does not hold up well. I have seen a lot of those boats here in the Chesapeake and after a few years they just don't look good.

just my two cents

and I like wider boats so the MC would win there along with higher bridge deck clearance
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Old 02-01-2012, 23:39   #6
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

We love our 02 Gemini 105Mc, ours has the screecher track and roller screecher sail. We love being able to solo easily and our slip is a std 40 ft slip x about 17 ft wide about average and we can dock with ease. When were traveling you can't always get an end slip.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:56   #7
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

We have owned a Gemini and sailed quite a bit on our friends Maine Cat 30. The MC 30 will definitely outsell the Gemini, has a much higher bridgedeck clearance, and is very well thought out and built. The open bridgedeck also makes for a fun boat to sail. The Gemini sails well if kept light. Is a much better live aboard boat in my opinion and has the diesel with sonic drive which is well known for problems. Also the diesel is incredibly loud. So I would say if great enjoyable sailing is your priority go for the MC. If your looking for a compromise between live aboard and sailing performance go for the Gemini. Don't get me wrong the MC could be a decent live aboard for two just not as comfortable as the Gemini.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:44   #8
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

that's sort of been our impression of the various coastal cruisers in the 10m LOA range. We've paid some attention to the Tomcat 9.7 as well as the Maine Cat 30. We keep coming back to the Gemini. It seems to have a few small, but accumulating, features we like. We like the swinging centerboards, especially for these waters with literally miles and miles of uncharted, unsurveyed shallow water. We also like the idea of sleeping essentially on the bridgedeck instead of down in a hull, but also have some questions about that. The Tomcat uses a similar layout to the Gemini, with the Master bunk forward on the bridgedeck. My question has to do with whether you find yourself sleeping up forward, or do you typically just crash on the settee bunk? I had wondered about having to get out of bed, go through a hull, and then up through the salon to get to the cockpit in a hurry. I suppose in practice it doesn't happen often, and when it does it probably doesn't take very long. But that basically means you are sleeping as far as possible from the wheel.

I've read about all the hassles with the drive leg on the Gemini. the fixes seem to be worked out, at least. I do like the idea of two outboards, accessible and easily lifted out. I do not like the idea of a large quantity of gasoline instead of diesel, but
of course that's manageable. Just a pain for long term storage, mostly. And of course, it's explosive. But hey, who cares about that.

The other place where the Gem seems to work toward our goals is the shallow draft and centerboards vs daggerboards. We know we are going to be kissing coral heads, rocks, reef, and sand from time to time. I think the ability of the boards and rudders to kick up might be the deciding factor. I know we couldn't sail the boat in 18" of water, but the ability to motor in that depth is attractive to us. We have a general game plan that includes a whole lot of places you are not reading about on the Thornless Path. I see the Tomcat is even shallower draft.

The narrow beam of the Gem is attractive for a little country like this with limited slip availability, and while I am not a marine architect I suspect that the narrower beam also alleviates some of the bridgdeck slap. We know a wider beam is more seaworthy, and we also like the tramps instead of the solid bow deck.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:18   #9
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

The reason we sold our Gemini was the bridgedeck slamming. With 8" of clearance I don't think it matters how narrow your beam it will slam. The deciding factor for us was slamming while at anchor in a 10-15kt breeze. It doesn't bother some people but it drove me crazy.
The Gemini layout inside we found to be one of the best for live aboard for that size boat. The master berth on the bridgedeck is very comfortable and the ventilation great.
The Gemini we owned was a 3200 thus outboard powered. It had a Honda 40 that gave great speed and burned about three quarters of a gallon doing 6.5 kts. It was also pretty quiet. When we sold our Edel 43 we took a 2000 Gemini in partial trade. This one has the diesel and it was LOAD! We love our outboard powered cat for many reasons.
I don't think you could go wrong with either boat as long as you can deal with the compromises.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:31   #10
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Yeah, they slam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
The reason we sold our Gemini was the bridgedeck slamming. With 8" of clearance I don't think it matters how narrow your beam it will slam. The deciding factor for us was slamming while at anchor in a 10-15kt breeze. It doesn't bother some people but it drove me crazy.
The Gemini layout inside we found to be one of the best for live aboard for that size boat. The master berth on the bridgedeck is very comfortable and the ventilation great.
...

I don't think you could go wrong with either boat as long as you can deal with the compromises.

I tested one in the Chesapeake on a 10-to 15-knot day. You could feel the salon floor go up and down. However, since the newer models have been widely sailed without damage--around the world, even--this is not structurally important.

What I really disliked was the forward visability. One of the worst boats I have ever sailed. Even when there are no sails you have to look throug the cabin. When the screacher is up you are quite blind, particularly when on-watch alone.

Also consider the PDQ 32. Fixed draft of 3.5 feet, but very solid. Available inboard or outboard, though the outboard is more popular.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:24   #11
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

Forgive me for mudding the waters but would you consider a Corsair 31 trimaran? The aft cockpit model has a minimal but adequate cabin and the sailing performance is unrivaled by anything else you have considered. They are dagger boarders but watching the sounder works for me in the Fl Keys. Dave
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:58   #12
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

We continue to be open to all info, and welcome suggestions. We've been looking at the specs of the Tomcat 9.7 and there are definitely some things we like about that boat over the Gemini, for our purposes. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be a lot them on the market. There is usually a selection of used Gemini's, due to their popularity. 1100 of them. I question visibility from that central helm, though.

We've looked into the Corsair/Farrier boats, too. Not so much the 31, as one of the attractive features of that boat to me, is trailerability. This would really work for us. I built a driveway here to allow us to park a 25 ft. Contender here at the house, and that rig, on the Rolls Axle trailer, is 36 ft. long. The Corsair would fit!

But try as I might, no matter how I squint my eyes and think romantic thoughts...I can't see the two of us living on that for weeks at a time. I also love the idea of having the fastest sailboat in the nation (!), but again, we have to be able to happily live on it for weeks at a time, hopefully, months. Maybe half the year.
We're not obese people, but we'd never pass for pygmies, either. I'm 6'2 and over 200 lbs. A bull in a china closet and restless sleeper.

As for the depth sounder, that's not the depth that worries me. We've been boating a lot down here for six years now, and have a pretty good basic feel for visually reading these types of waters. The Contender draws 32 inches at rest. We boat a lot. My biggest concern is acres of uncharted , randomly spaced coral heads, that can be less than three ft. below you in troughs of choppy conditions at low tide. you can't react to a depth sounder alarm in time. You either have to have one set of eyes more or less constantly on the water ahead of you, or have a boat that clears over the top of them. Night passages...well, that really rachets the old pucker-factor up there a notch or maybe even two. I have enough stress in my life. I think we're going to heavily weigh minimal draft as a deciding factor. And a swiveling centerboard over a daggerboard trunk.
That Tomcat is looking better and better!
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:19   #13
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

Canibul, You are absolutely right, you are too big for the F-31. At 5'10 and 160 the world looks quite differant to me. Dave
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:06   #14
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

The choice between the Gemini and the MC30 sorta comes down to how you sail/cruise. Marinas? Pick the Gemini, more privacy, easier/more berthing options
Sailing/Anchored? MC, enjoyable helm/steering, visibility, better lounging options and view of your world at anchor, less slamming at anchor in mod chop.
Motoring? Gemini- diesel, hot water, battery charging is better(more amps)
Draft close enough to not matter. MC will sail better than you expect with daggerboard raised on only its minikeels, even better than Gemini when in super shallow waters
Dinghy? MC has davits, Gemini???
Yachtiness? Gemini has wood trim, cabins, cozy feel, MC easy maintenance, less claustrophobic feeling (especially in your size range)

You'll be happy with either choice I think.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:07   #15
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Re: Gemini or Maine Cat 30?

A neighbor here has an F-28R, and we've been aboard that. I salivate over that boat, but to an oaf like me it's the boating equivalent of a Jaguar XKE. A beautiful, fast, powerful and fun machine I'd absolutely love to drive, until my claustrophobia kicked in. Had the same problem with Mooney airplanes. It's one of the many down sides of being larger than normal. Just evaluating headroom takes some options off the board that would be attractive otherwise. Low windage, for example. Can't have high headroom, low windage, and a 30 ft. waterline all in the same boat. Well, except the Maine Cat design probably has a smaller equivalent flat plate area. My crew is 5'11, and that makes for a whole lot of tangle in that Corsair.
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