Originally Posted by belizesailor
Narrow beam cats are built so they fit in standard width slips.
Next question to ask yourself is...why are there very few narrow beam cats?
We lived on and cruised with a Gemini for around 9yrs. Our next boat is likely going to be a Gemini again (so take the bias as you will).
Yes, getting into slips is a big driver for keeping the beam reasonable. Very few cruisers are in a position to cruise
full time and for most that means they need to get into a slip.
It was not uncommon to have to explain why we shouldn't have to pay the 50% surcharge for a slip for a catamaran
(we never did pay any extra). Eventually, we took the tact of giving the boat dimensions and not telling them it's a catamaran.
As far as why there are very few narrow beam cats? Well, I believe the Gemini is one of the most common cruising catamarans out there with a 40yr production run. Most of the 36ft or under cats are in the 14-16ft range with just a few significantly wider.
Back to the OPs original post:
- The helm
position works nice in bad weather
as most have a helm
seat under the dodger
. We were often out in rain with t-shirt and shorts while cruisers with unprotected helms were in full weather
gear">foul weather gear. The rear windows drop down, you can see just fine thru the windshield. In nice weather, we would sometimes sit up on the side seats.
- If you want a performance catamaran, keep them light. Of course, liveaboard
conflicts with that as you have to carry your household on a 30-35ft cat. We had occasion to empty a lot of stuff out while preparing for winter storage
a few times and she was 0.5-1.0 kts faster running light.
- Probably the biggest advantage to the Gemini (not the newer Legacy models) is the shallow draft
. It's amazing the shallow water you can sneak into. Also, with boards, if you take the time to learn how to use them, performance can be pretty impressive.
- Aluminum needs a larger size to make sense on a cat. Once you get the hull thick enough for puncture resistance, the hulls are significantly heavier than an equivalent glass hull. At 50ft, aluminum is much more competitive vs glass.
- Galley Up vs Down: On cats where down, is 3-4ft below the bridge deck
, you are highly isolated from guests at the dinette. On the Gemini, you are only about 1ft down, so unless you are really short (under 5ft), you aren't isolated. We also had a Catalac
10m and while the same general size, it was worlds different if someone was down at the galley, they were isolated.
- I don't know of anyone using wood coring below the waterline but just about everyone has it on the deck
. Yes, it's a maintenance
issue but the alternative is a much heavier deck.