Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gemini Legacy 35 Catamaran

B and I were excited to see the new Legacy in person at the Chicago Strictly Sail Show. We have drooled over the pictures and videos of the previous Geminis, especially the 105 MC. As a platform for coastal/Bahamas/Caribbean cruising they looked to be ideal.

Checking out the hull

As soon as we entered the show floor we headed right for the Gemini. The line was still pretty reasonable, so we only had to wait a few minutes for our chance to climb aboard. The first thing Mike noticed was that the hard dodger was not made for guys over 6 foot. At 6' 3" Mike wasn't even close to standing up at the helm. We entered the cabin expecting to hear ourselves say, "Wow!". Instead we both felt a bit disappointed in the smaller than expected salon area. The pictures really made this area look much more impressive. The hulls were about what we expected except a bit skinnier. We were also surprised at the really small amount of storage room behind the galley doors. Brenda wasn't impressed with the flimsy feeling plastic trim along the walls. The berths are about what we expected with the main berth looking pretty inviting. The tiny head just wasn't built for petite guys like Mike. Just turning around would be a challenge in there.


We exited the cabin and went up on deck. The walkways felt awkward and there was a lack of handholds. The bridge deck looked like a great place to relax, stretch out and soak up the sun.

Overall, the Gemini series is perfectly suited to gunk holing and coastal cruising. Yes, it has circumnavigated, but there are better platforms for that kind of blue water sailing. It looks nice, is reasonably priced as cats go, simply rigged and perfect for lots of people. Now we can stop drooling over the used Gemini ads. For our money, a boat has to have headroom, some character and room to turn around inside. The Gemini just doesn't add up to a package that satisfies our particular tastes. Guess we are still looking.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Strictly Sail Chicago 2013

B and I were invited to join the local sailing club (Hoofers) on their Saturday trip to the Strictly Sail show in Chicago. The show is great, but driving 2 1/2 to 3 hours and then trying to find parking in downtown Chicago is a big deterrent. It was really great to just hop on a big bus and talk sailing with like minded people. The ride went quickly and we soon arrived right at the door to the show.

We were looking forward to seeing the newest Gemini 105 catamaran, attending a couple of seminars, shopping the vendors' stalls and eating something really good at Navy Pier. Although the day just flew by we accomplished all these things and had an awesome "date" day.

The Gemini 105 series has intrigued us since it is a reasonably priced (used) catamaran that isn't ridiculously big. We'll give you our take on it in our next post.

We attended a seminar on "Sail Trim For Control" sponsored by Quantum Sails. Along with about 150 other sailors we learned or relearned sail controls from basic to light theory. We always pick up a few pointers whenever we read or listen to accomplished tacticians. We were particularly interested in the discussion on properly reefing the mainsail. A couple of good pointers were noted for our future use.

One small area of the show

We toured a few of the 27 to 35 foot models and came away thinking that we still prefer the classic sheer lines and rubbed teak of the 80’s and early 90’s offerings. Give us a nice Pacific Seacraft, Cape Dory, Shannon or Baba any day. The fake looking wood in these new models just feels, well, cheap. Too many mirrors, wimpy railings, loose trim and plastic everything else to justify $250,000. We hoped to get on the new Blue Jacket cruiser by Island Packet, but the line was long and it never seemed to move.

We checked out a few vendors' stalls and purchased a couple Christmas presents for next year. Mike signed up for a years subscription to the new Cruising Outpost magazine. This is the magazine and website that Bob Bitchin has started to replace Lats and Atts. As some of you know Bob sold L & A to a gentleman who ran it immediately into the ground. The guy just closed the doors and hung everyone out to dry. We are wishing Bob and his wife Jody the best of luck in this new venture.

Lunch! We're starving. We wandered down the enclosed walkways of Navy Pier with the intention of eating at Margaritaville. Unfortunately there was a long wait there and we were too hungry to wait. So, we decided to try a restaurant called Rivas which we hadn't been in before. We scored a waterside view table and had two awesome sandwiches. B had the Crab Cake Sandwich and I went for the Grouper Sandwich. A little pricey at Rivas, but nice views, good staff and great food.


Lake Michigan


We hustled back to the show because we wanted to attend a seminar called, "Perspectives From A Cruising Couple". Marc and Jane Adams just got back from a four year circumnavigation and did an excellent job of telling both sides of cruising highlights and drudgery. Brenda listened intently and at the end she looked at me and said, "We're really doing this aren't we!" Check out their blog
As we jabbered about the entertaining seminar we toured the rest of the vendors' stalls. We purchased a copy of Kathy Parsons' "Spanish for Cruisers" which is a great little reference book. It gives Spanish translations in sections such as, "Get Parts and Repairs", "Plumbing, Refrg., AC" and "Navigation".


It's always fun to chat with Rich Hutchins, one of the owners of the Com-Pac line. He once again confirmed that current Com-Pac owners are his worst competition. They just make them too well.

We love our Com-Pac boats

As the day was nearly over, we wandered through Navy Pier until we reached the exit for our bus. We came up just early enough to give us 10 minutes to wander the park full of snow sculptures. Over the weekend they host a snow sculpting competition and the results can be amazing. We loved the lion with the tiny mouse pulling an icicle out of its paw.

We brought along a DVD of "Morning Light" for everyone to watch on the bus. If you haven't seen this movie, check it out. The movie was a big hit and made the ride home disappear quickly.


Thank you Hoofers and especially George for inviting us. We had a great day.



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"CAMELS" the explanation

The hero of the book "Commodore Hornblower" uses camels to elevate two ships in order to get them closer to the enemy on shore. A camel is a hollow hull or ship that is heavily ballasted with water, sand or rocks which lowers the boat into the water. The camels are then tightly lashed to the sides of the main boat before the ballast is removed to raise all the boats as one unit. Once the ballast is removed the three boats are able to move into much shallower water than they normally could.

Maybe we should carry two dinghys on Wrinkles so the next time B and I are daydreaming and go aground we can camel her out. See how educational this site is!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"CAMELS" sailing lingo

I am reading C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series and in "Commodore Hornblower" the intrepid hero uses camels to move two ships to shallow water. No, these are not the big ugly critters with humps on their backs. Can you guess the nautical meaning?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

2012 was an eventful year for the crew of Wrinkles.

  • We bought our CP23/3 in February.
  • Sailed as often as possible.
  • Returned our youngest back to college.
  • Had a wedding for our amazing daughter to marry a truly great guy in August.
  • Celebrated our 31st anniversary.
  • Committed ourselves publicly to sell our house, buy a smallish blue water boat and take a one to two year sailing sabbatical. We have set a goal of having a boat on the Gulf Coast sooner rather than later.
That last item on the list pretty much determines what we will do in 2013. We need to continue our sailing education including sailing, ColRegs, weather, cooking aboard and the sailing grounds we hope to see. Reduce our short list for the bluewater boat through research and hopefully some physical inspections. Do all the repairs and upgrades necessary to make the house attractive to the right buyer. Go through all our personal possessions and decide whether to sell/keep/donate each item. Let's get to work!