Joe, watch out for stress cracks on the Gemini
. While the one you looked at may not have developed many/any yet, by the time you go to sell it there is a good chance it will have developed a large number on deck
around the stanchion bases, genoa
tracks, bow pulpit etc. This tends to drive the resale price
While the Gemini
quite well, the lack of bridgedeck clearance can prove to be an annoyance; heck, they are even known to slap at anchor
in a chop. In addition, the visibility forward from the helm
- to which you have already referred, will become even worse as the windows develop the inevitable hazing.
IMO the Lagoon 380
was so incredibly popular because it was a terrific boat for the price
. While the same can obviously be said for the Gemini, it is not merely coincidence that the Lagoon
cost substantially more initially. Not only is it roomier than the Gemini, it is more stable, will pound less, is more solidly constructed, has twin diesels, etc.
Yes, an older boat has the potential to be a money
pit. However, there are enough on the market that you should be able to find one that was well cared for and which, at around 10 years, has recent sails/rigging, and not too many hours on the diesels (which, of course, pretty muich rules out ex-charter boats). A good survey
should be able to help you to avoid any real disasters.
If you truly believe that this boat will be an interim vessel before the purchase
of a mid-forties cat, I would suggest that the Lagoon 380
would be a mcuh better boat on which to learn. Moving from a monohull
to a non-performance cruising cat is not really that difficult. Yes, you will have to pay much more attention to wind
speeds on a cat as you will not have heeling as a reference point. But one of the greatest differences is in getting used to the increased beam (initially quite intimidating as you approach a slip), increased windage (and without deep keels, they have a much greater tendency to move sideways at slow speeds in strong crosswinds), and the appropriate use of twin diesels to overcome this in docking
your boat. The Gemini, with less windage (in part because of the lower bridgedeck), substantially less beam and a single diesel
will not allow you to become familiar with these traits before you move up to an even larger (and beamier) cat. Anyway, just my two cents.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy!