I have seen a few TomCat 9.7's at various shows. I was never impressed by the "fit and finish" nor by the layout. I didn't like the big open companionway
and the fact you need multiple acrylic
pieces (for lack of a better description) to close up the boat. It looked quite flimsy and a real pain to install.
I have heard good things about the TomCat's hull
construction. The quality may be superior to the Gemini's but the interior
layout and poor finish just turned me off completely. I'm also not enamored with the twin outboard
raising system on the TomCat either.
Having said that, TomCat boats have recently launched a new model (the 970 S). They seem added a new sliding glass companionway
door and there seem to be some other enhancements over the 9.7s. I'll need to check it out in Annapolis
this fall. Hopefully they have resolved a lot of issues and made it a better contender in the small cat market.
We need more cats in that size range.