Canibul, no one is saying that there is only one characteristic that is important for an offshore
boat. Furthermore, your reductio ad absurdum
argument (if you are concerned about solidity in a boat, you will end up with a brick and not a boat) is hardly accurate, enlightening or helpful.
When I speak of preferring the solid construction of the British cats over the Gemini
for an offshore
boat, I do so because I believe that their design/construction makes them more suitable. My boat is not fast, but then again, it is decidedly not a 'brick'. Here are just some of the things that I prefer about her, for offshore
1. Strong rudder
attachments with partial skegs. Yes, it adds some weight.
2. Twin inboard diesels for redundancy, increased ability to generate electricity and much safer fuel
than gasoline. Again, I recognize that it adds weight.
3. Construction that permits the boat to be stored on the hard
without the need for jackstands under the bridgedeck. Most cats (including the Gemini) require mulitple jackstands or the structure can flex to the point that interior
doors, etc., tend to jamb. My boat is 16 years old and there is not a single
stress crack in the hulls, the bridgedeck, the deck
or the coachouse. In heavy seas (or for when beaching her for maintenance), this adds considerable confidence. Once again, I accept that it also adds weight.
4. Watertight collision
bulkheads both fore and aft. Yes, this adds weight, but it makes her truly unsinkable.
5. All fixed portlights
are made from tempered glass and sized to meet Llloyd's offshore standards. Yes, they add some weight, but they are strong and will never
require replacement. The forward visibility in the Gemini
, on the other hand, is seriously compromised by having to look through not only one, but two sets of plexiglass windows that haze and deteriorate quickly in the tropical sun.
6. My stantions are 30 inches high and very solidly mounted (unlike the Gemini, which are 24 inches and which typically develop stress cracks around their bases). Heavier, but safer.
7. I have a full, stainless steel
bow pulpit. Again, heavier, but much safer if you are required to go forward in a blow to repair the furler
, or re-set the anchor
8. My rig has much more substantial standing rigging
than the Gemini; it also does not have the much criticized, undersized winches that were fitted as standard equipment
on the Gemini. Again, I agree that this adds weight.
9. I have a fixed staysail stay with furler
. This enables immediate deployment of proper storm sails
without going forward, although again, it does add weight.
10. Since the boat was designed for a heavier displacement
, it is effected less by carrying addition stores/batteries/refrigeration/fuel/water than the Gemini. Simply put, it enables one to cruise
11. Increased displacement
I see all of these as postives on an offshore cruising boat. Furthermore, the boat is decidely not a brick in the water
and will match, or beat the Gemini on any point of sail except to windward. Yes, my boat (as with any cruising boat) is a compromise. But in my opinion, the advantages brought about by the more solid/safe construction/design, outweigh the disadvantages of increased displacement for an offshore cruising boat. For a nearshore/Bahamas cruiser? Perhaps not.
So I will end off where I started off in answering the original question - which boat is better will depend upon the intended use.