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Old 05 September 2007, 00:31   #1
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Country: Canada
Town: British Columbia
Make: Gemini
Length: 4m +
Engine: 40hp 2 str
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,151
Extreme SIB - Gemini Dive 470

I've mentioned this boat on this forum a number of times, and finally picked it up about 1 1/2 weeks ago. It took about 1 year from time of order until delivery, but it's been worth the wait. Much thanks to individuals such as Ed the Duck and Fast Fred in helping me select this boat & options. The boat is extremely well built and heavily reinforced. The transom is very thick & extensively gusseted. The maximum power rating is 80 hp. My 14 foot Zodiac Grand Raid looks downright flimsy next to this boat.

I ordered it with 1670 dtx hypalon, double rub strakes, squared off highjackers, and 3/4" marine mahogany floor boards. The boat is fairly heavy but I'm able (with a fair bit of effort) to roll it up and load it into the back of my mid-size pickup truck alongside my 40hp Yamaha OB.

I initially inflate it with a high volume electric pump that plugs into a 12volt - 110 volt battery inverter, then top up the pressure with a hand pump. I will probably purchase a flat deck trailer for it in the near future since that will make 1/2 day outings far more practical. While the trailer will probably get used the most frequently, I still wanted a foldable boat because their are a fair number of forestry roads leading to lakes around here where you simply cannot pull a boat trailer across. Additionally it is nice to be able to roll it up to minimize storage space useage during the off (snowmobile) season.

This past weekend, I took the boat out along with my brother and niece. We did a round trip of about 100 miles up one of the local rivers in the Canadian Shield. My brother tends to bring heavy & bulky camping gear, I would guess that between weight of our bodies, fuel & gear there was approximately 800 lbs in the boat. The boat moved along quite well with the Yamaha 40.

While traveling along an area of the river where it widens out to about 4-5 miles across over a stretch of about 8 miles, the wind was whipping up some white caps, and it was no problem to move through them at full throttle at any angle to them. I'd have never been able to do that with the zodiac. Sure you rise up with the waves more than you would with a rigid V hull, but the launch & landing is so soft and smooth it's amazing. I always strap gear & fuel tanks down tightly, but even so,with the zodiac you still hear the tanks bashing on the floorboards when clipping along in choppy conditions. There was absolutely none of that with the Gemini.

As for the negatives;

a) Extremely long lead times from order to delivery (1 year)

b) Assembly/disassemby as well loading/unloading from a vehicle is not an option for most vehicles or individuals when on their own.

Here are some pictures:
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Old 05 September 2007, 09:08   #2
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At another angle and a couple of scenics from the weekend trip.
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Old 05 September 2007, 09:33   #3
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Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Make: BLANK
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Engine: Suzuki DT225
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Great looking boat - why not make up a roof rack/ramp on the back of the pickup to carry the boat - lot better than a trailer - just slide it on and lash it down.
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Old 05 September 2007, 09:52   #4
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Country: UK - England
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Nice looking - interesting to see the speed tubes on the sponsons rather than inboard (as on my Zodiac Futura). I looked at these after chatting to you, but the family wouldn't wait another year to upgrade the SIB !

Codprawn : I had pondered putting my Zodiac Futura on the roof of the Land Rover, but it's over the 75kg limit without some heavy engineering (roll cage etc).

I'm still mulling over an idea to deflate the boat into a wooden crate (which supports the transom & outboard vertically) which can then be winched sideways up a ramp into the back of the Land Rover.
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Old 05 September 2007, 11:08   #5
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Country: USA
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Wow I'm envious!

Great looking boat! What is the weight and how fast is it with that 40. On this side of the Atlantic (NA) the only other option for a cat SIB is AMI. Ive heard they are pretty good boats bot look like a toy compared to the Gemini.
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Old 05 September 2007, 12:59   #6
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Country: UK - Wales
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Which Land Rover do you have? They always err on the side of caution. I have seen LandRover's with standard roof racks with loads of people on top - way over the limit!!!
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Old 05 September 2007, 13:47   #7
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Country: Germany
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Hi,
it took what??? One year from ordering to delivery? Where did you buy this boat? On moon?
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Old 05 September 2007, 21:18   #8
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Country: Canada
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Make: Gemini
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Engine: 40hp 2 str
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Great looking boat - why not make up a roof rack/ramp on the back of the pickup to carry the boat - lot better than a trailer - just slide it on and lash it down.
Thanks. That is a possibility, however the weight of the boat with the floorboards is somewhere around 320 - 340 lbs (150 - 160kg) and might make the truck prone to rollovers with it on a roof rack. The roof rack would also have to be pretty wide since the overall width of it is 82" (2.1m).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JNewton
Great looking boat! What is the weight and how fast is it with that 40. On this side of the Atlantic (NA) the only other option for a cat SIB is AMI. Ive heard they are pretty good boats bot look like a toy compared to the Gemini.
Thanks. I'd estimate that with the total combined weight of the boat (330? lbs), motor (170 lbs), people, fuel & gear (800lbs) being about 1300 lbs during this trip, our top speed was between 25- 30 mph. That is a very rough seat-of-the-pants guess however. One of these days, I'll get a GPS unit. There is plenty of trial and error ahead in terms of prop pitches, motor height etc...

I test drove the 11 foot (3.3m) AMI advanced cat with an airfloor last summer. I was hoping to see their 4.6 m hard floor version for a more fair comparison but the dealer only had the smaller size on hand. If someone is looking for a lighter tender to carry on or tow behind a sailboat, where they carry minimal cargo, I think the airdeck AMI would be a good choice. The AMI boats are only available in PVC, whereas I wanted hypalon.

While the Gemini is a far more sturdily built boat than the AMI, the same could be said of it when compared to any other SIB I've seen. Fast Fred had advised me some time ago that if you want a tunnel hull SIB that will both perform well and hold up to long term heavy use, stick to the South African built hulls. And that ties in with the lead time issue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trolli
Hi,
it took what??? One year from ordering to delivery? Where did you buy this boat? On moon?
Not quite the moon, but within spitting distance of it. The boat was built in Cape Town, S.A. and the North American dealer is located on Vancouver Island in Canada. I was initially told that the order with the heavy fabric and specific reinforcements I wanted would take about 8 months. I was OK with that since it was a fall order and the waterways around here would be frozen solid for about 6 of those months anyway.

Apparently in South Africa, they have a very different concept of time and due dates as compared to us in North America. This manufacturer builds alot of military inflatables for various African and Asian navies and apparently if a big contract rolls in, the smaller orders get bumped back. So lead times swelled and swelled, I badgered my dealer regularly, and they in turn badgered the factory. The factory didn't seem too concerned about making
delivery dates, but fortunately they were extremely serious about their quality of workmanship. Fortunately I did have the zodiac to use in the meantime while I wasn't doing repairs on it.
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Old 06 September 2007, 03:46   #9
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Country: UK - England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Which Land Rover do you have? They always err on the side of caution. I have seen LandRover's with standard roof racks with loads of people on top - way over the limit!!!
Its not about how much it can take weight wise it is the extra weight & increase risk to rolling that sets the low weight limit!
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Old 06 September 2007, 07:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Which Land Rover do you have? They always err on the side of caution. I have seen LandRover's with standard roof racks with loads of people on top - way over the limit!!!
A 110 - but as other people have mentioned I think the 75kg is to try and stop it falling over as you go round corners and I suspect that the aluminium would take double that if you are not moving !
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