Welcome to CF, Mithrinder --
There are 2 Geminis, a Lagoon
38, and a Manta
42 at San Juan
Sailing in Bellingham. San Juan Island Sailing Charter San Juan Yacht Charters San Juan Islands Sailing School BareBoat Charters Pacific Northwest Sailing
I don't know about the Geminis, but I've been on both the Lagoon
(O'BenAnnas) and the Manta
(Ninja), which is for sale
, by the way. O'BenAnnas is available for bareboat charter
. Ninja is a crewed charter. The owner/captain does training and is a heckuva nice guy. If he's in port, he would quite likely be willing to talk with you and, if he's available, would probably be willing to take you out for a day sail/brief charter (for a price
, of course -- even a day sail does incur expense and time).
There's a Fountaine Pajot
35 at Windworks Sailing in Seattle
that is available for day sail charter, as well as overnights. It is a pretty basic model and isn't in great shape (the last time I saw her, which was a couple of years ago, the sails
were in bad need of replacement).
If you could give a bit more information, I could probably give you a bit more specific feedback. Are you looking for day sails
? Brief cruises? Blue water
? PacNW, or elsewhere? Family
of four -- younger kids
or teenagers? And, of course, budget
There are a couple of family liveaboards on cats on the Forum -- schoonerdog immediately comes to mind.
As you likely already know, any boat is a series of compromises and your happiness with a specific boat will depend upon which compromises you make that work for you. For example, a classic one is galley
up versus galley
down. Galley up keeps the cook more in the social action, as well as the view and (usually, but not always) convenience to the cockpit
. However, galleys up usually have less storage/counter space and it is easier to get tossed around when the seas get up. They also cost you space in the salon
. Galleys down on the other hand, keep the mess out of the salon
, usually have much more storage/counter space, and (we found) are safer in seas, because you can grab on to stuff to keep yourself stable. You also usually get more space in the salon, too. Really, though, it usually comes down to personal preference.
Another classic compromise in cats of this size (36 to mid-40's) is bridgedeck/windage. The higher bridgedeck cats will usually have less slapping (but don't believe it if someone tells you a specific cat in this size range never slaps -- just not true), but this again depends on whether there are underdeck appendages sticking out. This typically comes at the cost of higher windage, which makes close quarters maneuvering in a breeze more difficult, as well as compromises in sailing performance. The Lagoons and Fountaine Pajots with the large, vertical salons result in significant windage, and they won't point as high, as a result. Lower bridgedecks (usually found in the S. African cats) typically result in more slapping. This might
be an issue, depending on the shape of the bridgedeck and whether the hulls were designed to have the wakes meet behind the boat. Flatter surfaces = more slapping; curved surfaces = less slapping that is less intrusive. The advantage is usually less windage, which results in easier maneuverability and better sailing performance.
To illustrate, we buddy-boated with a Lagoon 410 off and on for several months in a variety of conditions, both island hopping and off shore. We have a St. Francis 44. The 410 has higher bridgedeck clearance and a higher salon with a couple inches more headroom
(which is nice to have, no doubt about it). The St. F has lower clearance, but lower windage. Waterline length of the two boats is almost the same, though I think the St. F might have an extra 6 to 8 inches. Interior
space is about the same, though with quite different layouts. We were consistently, in almost all conditions and points of sail, 1 to 2 knots faster. Under power, although our engines are 27 hp and the 410's are 40's, we were more efficient and could keep up with them using 1 engine
when they were using both. We also carry twice as much fuel
in our tanks
, so the stops for fill ups were much less often and we simply used less, too. But, the 410 is more tolerant of weight and has those vertical windows, which bring other advantages. Plus, they are nice boats. (So are the St. F's.)
There's a lot more to figure out, too. But, you're in a good place to ask your questions. Using the search feature will also get you a lot, too.
Just be forewarned -- as with most sailing forums
, you will find some people who seem to be quite anti-multihull, and others that are anti-monohull. At times, it seems to take on an almost religious fervor. Silly, really.
Figure out what you want, find the best fit, and enjoy!