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Old 19-03-2010, 14:21   #16
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I sailed on both a Gemini and a Tom Cat before deciding to buy our PDQ32. The Tom Cat with it's unique centerboard design was quite interesting and it sailed quite well however we were not keen on the layout. We decided against the Gemini because of the low bridge deck clearance - we had a fair bit of slamming in relatively flat water during our test sail. We also preferred a trampoline forward.
In the end we chose the PDQ32 - we liked the aft cabin layout, the slide open cabin top design, and the engines hidden under the floor instead of hanging off the back.
If you are limited by very shallow water our choice may not work for you. In the end you need to go with the boat that feels right for your situation - both the Gemini and the Tom Cat have their strong points and weaknesses.
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Old 19-03-2010, 14:22   #17
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"Niether of your selections can sail, or even motor with their boards, rudders, and motors up. "



It really surprises me to read this. Not having sailed either boat, yet, All I can offer in response to that opinion is the following, which is taken from the Gemini 105Mc Owner's Manual: This is a pdf file you can download from the Performance site. I have been taking the following as gospel, since it comes from the boats manual section on the operation and use of the centerboards:


"The centerboards are only needed when sailing to windward with apparent winds closer than 70."

"The boat will sail at any angle with no boards. However tacking is more difficult and the boat will slip sideways when sailing
close to windward."

" In heavy airs the leeward hull makes a good keel as it is pushed down into the water."

" When motoring, the centerboards are not needed and, in fact will cause drag."

" with the boards up on a broad reach the boat will travel perhaps 14 knots..."

"Offshore with larger waves the centerboards can be used less. In fact, offshore it is possible to sail up to 50 without the use of the centerboards."

Since I am trying to find the best compromise boat to use in the waters of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos for the next several years...I am a bit perplexed to get such radically different statements from sailors as I am reading in the manual.

Basically, you are saying there are no catamarans suitable for where I want to sail.

The 105M draws 20" with the drive down. The PDQ draws 34' with the motors up, I have not found the number with them down. Would assume it draws more. Three feet + ?

PDQ draws too much water, even for the places we commonly boat now. and neither Gemini nor TomCat is operational in any mode with the boards up?????

Are you sure?


as for not being able to answer my question, this too is puzzling. I thought my question was pretty clear, soliciting opinions of people on which of those two boats they would choose for very shallow water sailing, the Gemini or the TomCat.

Obviously the answer to that question cannot be "PDQ". Maybe this is where the confusion comes in. That's adding a write in to a multiple choice question.

Hey, I've got an idea....I'll take some photos of the charts for two specific areas I am talking about . maybe that will help illustrate my concern.
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Old 19-03-2010, 15:06   #18
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Ok, here is one of the routes we take almost every time we are out boating. We come from the south, around the freighter wreck, and in through the Leeward channel. If you can't read the depths, they include 0.5 0.6, 0.7 meters.

URL=http://img405.imageshack.us/i/leewardapproach.jpg/][/URL]

We have a place to keep the boat on a mooring right about where that "T16" is located in the little Pine Cay channel on the next photo. On the NE edge of Pine Cay. That is also where the marina there is located, and we have use of a slip there. When the swells are not too bad, and we can get through Leeward Channel (above photo) we can come in to Pine Cay over the sand bars from the NW. Sometimes the swell is breaking all the way to the beach. Note, again, 0.6m. this is sometimes a little off. The sand migrates. Changes month to month.

When the weather keeps us from going "outside", we come up to Pine Cay from the south. Again, I think you can see the concern:



I hope these photos illustrate some of the places we need to be able to take the boat. I could also show you another two dozen places where we WANT to take the boat, places way off the beaten path, with similar conditions. Both here, and in the Bahamas. We're not doing the "Thorny Path" thing. We listen to cruisers doing that route day after day on the VHF. Good for them. We have other places to sail, and to camp, and to explore.

Is this making sense? Would you take your PDQ through mile after mile of this stuff? Huge portions of these charts are just labelled "unsurveyed" and "numerous coral heads"...
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Old 19-03-2010, 15:50   #19
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I agree, there are boats that can float in 18 inches, but none that can sail that way

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
"And no, a PDQ would not work well here for where we want to sail. Not sure why one would say we couldn't sail a Gemini or TomCat here. Either would seem to have a much higher potential survival rate than anything that sticks down three feet into the uncharted water."

Niether of your selections can sail, or even motor with their boards, rudders, and motors up. To sail well, they need those appendages sticking down into deeper water than a minikeel. If you step out and push they do offer a clear advantage.

But I understand now, you weren't asking anything we can answer to begin with. No one here seems to have had experience with both boats out side a boat show, or a 40 minute ride in light air.

A thousand people own Geminis because they meet their needs. At least here on CF we have been educated not to sneer at anyone's choice; our best purpose is to share our experiences with new sailors so that they can make an educated selection. This is not the forum for dueling egos.

We are, I admit, a little quick on the trigger to respond to out-dated "conventional wisdom" when actual experience has put those "old salt's suspicions" to rest.
I had a 300-pound beach cat - can't sail until the rudders are full down, just limp a little.

I had a Stiletto 27 - can't sail until the rudders are down in 3+ feet. Can't motor in less than 30" because there is FAR to great a chance of hitting the prop on the bottom. I don't care that the brochure says 12 inches.

PDQ sails comfortably in 4 feet, drawing 3.3 feet. I've "smelled the bottom" more than once; getting off was no trouble at all.

So, with the Stiletto I would anchor in 2 1/2-3 feet of water. With the PDQ I anchor in 3 1/2-5 feet of water, same coves and places. I am more comfortable running the keels close to the bottom than I was with the actual hull or prop.

I think you will find the Gemini and the Tom Cat like the Stiletto; anything less than 3 feet doesn't really work.That said, there is a 1-foot draft advantage, no question.
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Old 19-03-2010, 18:24   #20
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Sandy,

My fault, I should not even have brought up the PDQ 32.

Canibul asked about the Gemini 105 and the TomCat 9.7 and I originally responded to that--the PDQ 32 suggestion was an afterthought in an immediate follow-up post. Though I still feel the PDQ 32 might be a good suggestion, we really got off the purpose of the original thread!

Canibul has two choices he is evidently comfortable with--two similar, yet different designs, one gas and one diesel, so discussions should probably continue on the pros and cons.

One area that hasn't been discussed is the single centerboard on the TomCat vs the twin boards on the Gemini. It is possible that many forum members are not familiar with the setup on the TomCat--I wasn't when I got on it in Annapolis and I was surprised at the design choice.

Unless we have some owners of a Gemini 105 or TomCat 9.7 willing to weigh in and be a real proponent of the features of their boat we have probably run out of "thread."

Please know that I always enjoy your posts!

Marshall
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Old 06-10-2010, 18:12   #21
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TomCat 9.7

I own one. Anybody who wants to know about the strenghts and weaknesses of this boat and the builder can contact me.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:22   #22
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chichester..why not sum them up, based on the topics in this thread and your "real-time" usage and post them?
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:48   #23
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I've never set foot on a Tomcat, nor laid eyes on one. These are performance models, but don't both of these boats draw 5' with the boards down? An interesting choice given the sailing area.

Canibul, Didn't you charter a Gemini for a week or so over the summer? Was there something about the boat that's caused you to expand your search?

Oh wait...Chief, you replied to an old thread and I followed you. I think Canibul has bought his Gemini by now.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:04   #24
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TomCat 9.7

OK, from my experience in owning the TomCat for 4 years:

I chose it instead of the Gemini because it had two outboard engines that are really easy to access and service. I also liked the location of the steering in the center and the overall layout of the boat. Also, the builders were wiling to customize and even change the aft cabin to a head and install a gas generator.

These boats are built to spec and the builder requires full payment a few months before delivery...but then they didn't deliver my boat on time. Mine was like 6 months late so we missed the sailing season that year.

The design of my TomCat9.7 is great. Unfortunately the execution was poor and quality control at the factory very poor too. The steering was installed backwards so the boat turned right when the wheel turned left. The propane connections were never checked, apparently, and they leaked. There are gaps in the cockpit where it attaches to the hulls.

Since my boat is hull number 8 and was the first to see saltwater, I wanted a two year warranty. It was granted, but they never paid a single penny on any warranty claims, even after they agreed to do so. The builder seems like a nice guy but he turned out to never keep his word to me.

Here are some of the problems I've had with my TomCat:

The centerboard mechanism does not work...it will break or seize. Although the builders of my Tomcat know about this problem, they have done nothing to help me as an owner or to change the set up. There are also problems with the mechanism to raise and lower the rudders because the slot they fit in is cut too small. Another problem was that the rudders kicked up anytime a little bit of seaweed was caught on them.

The electrical connections for the bilge pumps and other things were done with wire nuts and just laid in the bilge where they got wet and corroded. A major problem is that both "watertight" compartments leaked and filled with water causing a lot of extra weight and drag on the boat. Then they leak into the bilge. Almost every TomCst of which I'm aware has this problem, but the builder's suggested fix did not work. They still sell their boats like that and have not changed the design.

As far as performance goes, the TomCat is not very good. It is a fractional rig so the headsail area is way less than the Gemini's masthead rig. Also, because it has no back stay, the shrouds start way aft. The problem with that is the downwind angle of the sail is limited because it hits the shrouds and the boom can't go far enough forward.

Upwind the boat really needs something to prevent leeway, but since the centerboard mechanism sucks...well, you get the idea. And if you put anything in the boat like an air conditioner, refrigerator mattresses or fuel, it makes the boat really slow.

I think a key issue with TomCats is the total lack of factory support for owners like me who experience problems.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:31   #25
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gemini

Okay,

As the owner of an older gemini (91) my thoughts are not without bias. I do like the idea of dual outboards, our gem is equipped with a single outboard - much happier w/out the diesel drive leg (they are sooo expensive to replace). With 14' of beam when we take a slip, we fit into most slips with no extra charges.

For a 19 year old boat our gem is holding up well though we keep up with minor repairs. There is a huge support forum that may have an answer to most any issue and they hold value very well (after 3 years ours is worth more now - I wish my 403B did that well). We love the queen size berth that is above the water line though we have never used the aft berths.

The gem uses a SS pivot bolt for the centerboards that needs to be watched, we did the first replacement of ours just this past year.

All boats are fun, our gem is pretty fast and of course cats sail flat.

CHeeRS!
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:31   #26
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Quote:
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...Unfortunately the execution was poor and quality control at the factory very poor too. The steering was installed backwards so the boat turned right when the wheel turned left. The propane connections were not check so they leaked. There are gaps in cockpit where it attaches to the hulls.
wow .....
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:50   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
Oh wait...Chief, you replied to an old thread and I followed you. I think Canibul has bought his Gemini by now.
LOL...Tropic cat..you are under my power..follow me...FOLLOW ME!!! <G>

BTW, I do not think Canibul purchased a Gemini or boat yet. I thought I read about how the Turks & C's were charging 40% import fees..so he so no way

Doug
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Old 07-10-2010, 20:07   #28
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Quote:
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LOL...Tropic cat..you are under my power..follow me...FOLLOW ME!!! <G>

BTW, I do not think Canibul purchased a Gemini or boat yet. I thought I read about how the Turks & C's were charging 40% import fees..so he so no way

Doug
He spent 2 years researching only to discover it wasn't practical to pull the trigger? I must have missed that post.

Shame
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:30   #29
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Tomcat

you saw my post about my Tomcat, right? What did you buy?
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Old 11-11-2010, 18:11   #30
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Not sure who your asking...but I have not purchased yet
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