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Monday, July 13, 2009

Boat - First Outting

Ahhh, we have the boat! We've been spending a lot of time on the boat. It is absolutely perfect for our needs. It has plenty of space, and KJ loves her room! We are still learning all the systems. The first time out we learned the hard way about the switch for the fuel tanks.

Taking the boat out the first time, we slowly motored out of the marina. As we entered the main channel (with lots of boat traffic going on both sides of us), the boat engine died! After a few frantic moments, we called the person we bought the boat from and he had no idea. Of course, my thoughts were that we had been had! After ruminating on the situation a few minutes, with lots of colorful words, we figured out that the engine was starved for fuel. Looking at the switch that selects the fuel tank, it became apparant that we misread the double ended fuel leaver ... it was pointed to the "Off" position ... of course, the opposite side of off was "Port". We used the wrong end of the switch as the indicator! Once we figured that out, the engine fired right up and we were on our way. Talk about a stressful 10 minues!! Once on our way, we moved out of the main flow of the channel and pulled up the main sail (once we got the boat facing into the wind), and we were under sail power!!! We spent the next 3 hours sailing around the lake. Our max speed was 3.1 knots, we only sailed under the main (keeping the jib for another day). KJ and I jumped off the boat and were dragged behind the boat on a beautiful day. As the day ended, we doused the sail and motored back in. Under power, the boat comfortably motored at 5 knots. The gas consumption was absolutely absurd. That Honda engine just sips gas.

The first outing was fantastic. We had our first issue, had some tense moments, try some solutions, and eventually figured it all out and had a marvelous first day.


  1. I've seen that Cats are sooo much roomier than monohulls (and there are a lot of other added bonuses as well), but goodness they're expensive. Did you find yours for a good price? I'm looking ALL over California and it's next to impossible to find one under $100,000... if that's just what they cost I guess we'll be going for a monohull... any advice?

  2. @Brittney Harmon: Catamaran's are indeed much roomier than an equivalent length monohull.

    Using our strategy about "engineering life to ensure happiness is always met" meant we had to have a catamaran. Not just for the space, but for shallow draft (ours is 1.5 feet) and the less healing. So our choice wasn't solely space focused. In fact, on the space front, the best advice is to get the smallest possible boat you can live on.

    Our choice did manifest into more spend than if we picked an equivalent length monohull.

    Interestingly, during our search, we observed that there seemed to be less catamarans on the West coast of the USA than the East coast. Thanks to the laws of supply and demand, that means that the prices, in general, will be lower on East coast ... or at least, that is what we observed.

    For the quality of the boat we bought, we made an excellent purchase. A Gemini isn't considered the Cadillac of catamaran's anyway, so our used one was less than $100,000. A Gemini falls more into the practical category of catamarans, with less of the frills and gold plating that other brands offer. For us, it is perfect.

    The only other piece of advice I can offer is to be patient and diligent about your searching. Watch all the usual places, ebay, craigslist, etc. and as soon as a boat pops up, go check it out. When ours came on the market, we knew it within 8 hours of its posting. We saw it the next day and knew we found a gem (that didn't stop me, though, from getting a bit more knocked off the price). We put a deposit down, then throughly checked it out, and 2 weeks later the boat was ours. I doubt our boat would have stayed on the market long. It was truly a great value.


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