You sound a lot like my wife and I, and we're really happy that we went with a Gemini. My wife works a good distance from where we live, and so the boat idea came about as a 'floating condo' solution for nights the commute was just too much. Our longer-term plans are to move onto the boat (or another) and go cruising after the kids
are grown and gone, but that's 8-9 years out still. In the meantime, we're learning
about boats and how to sail on the Gemini.
When researching boats I read a lot about tradeoffs, but it's taken owning our boat for me to really 'get' it. I read a lot of 'knocks' against the Gem that it's not a blue-water boat and for a while that tripped me up. I think we all dream of sailing around the world someday and I wanted that option open for us. The Gem doesn't have the tankage to make it ideal for long passages, but the positive is less tankage = more interior
living space. It's also built lighter but the positive is a really minimal draft
that lets us get into water
2 feet deep. It really all comes down to how you plan on using your boat. For us, the Gemini is great and my wife LOVES being on the same level as the water
, and not feeling like she's climbing down into a hole. I love being able to walk out into the cockpit
and feel well protected. Also lots of space (for a 33 foot boat that is) for hanging out.
It also fits in our standard marina slip, which eliminated basically all other cats. We actually stumbled across the Gemini as I had ruled out catamarans because our marina had a 2 year wait list for a slip large enough. Pretty much, the size and configuration of the Gem is perfect for us, and there isn't much else that's comparable.
Biggest downside is build quality. We were looking at production mono's ~100k budget and while we weren't looking at Oysters (obviously) the fit and finish of a Bene is quite a bit ahead of Gemini. Gems are built pretty much by hand and you can tell. 'Production' boats come off the line looking a lot more like a Honda
, and I mean that as a compliment. You know what you're getting, things line up just right, and fit together like an engineer
designed them too. The Gem reminds you that you're on a 'boat' lol. BUT - to us the tradeoff was well worth it, because again, nothing else is really comparable. The other nice thing is things are simple, and for a newb like me that's a good thing. Most things I feel capable of fixing, and there is an AMAZING online community (groups.io) to help you fix anything that goes wrong, and can tell you anything and everything about our boats. I was telling my wife the other day that I actually feel like the Gem is worth more (to me) simply because of the community around them. As a new boat
owner, I've learned an incredible amount from other Gem owners there.