With humble beginnings of the first launch of the Gemini Catamaran in 1981, the company has now launched over 1,000 catamarans. Originally manufactured by a company called Performance Cruising, Inc, the company was led by Tony Smith and his wife, Sue. The idea was to construct a cruising cat that would appeal to the masses in both cost and function, and the company achieved their goal.
With origins in England, Smith began his yacht-building career in 1970 with the Telstar trimaran, of which he built 300. He then relocated the company to North America, where a tragic fire destroyed all the molds and forced him to start from scratch. Hence, the name “Phoenix” was the very first Gemini Catamaran born.
Performance Cruising produced over 500 Geminis with 4 different models between 1980 and 1996. They were from the same hull and deck molds, but had various interiors, engines, and structural modifications. First came the 3100, followed by the 3000, the 3200 and finally the 3400. The company was joined by his son and daughter, and Smith eventually created the Gemini 105M, which was at the pinnacle of his career. The popular vessel allowed the company to move and expand to Annapolis, with the construction of their new factory. However, and sadly, due to the financial meltdown of 2008, orders began to dry out.
Tony was set to retire, so his daughter, Laura took the helm and met with Hunter Marine, with whom they combined forces. The result of the partnership and arrangement was a new “hybrid” Gemini that was brought to the world at the US Sailboat show in Annapolis, MD in 2010. While the exterior of the boat remained the Gemini 105M, Hunter Marine completely redesigned the interior with warm cherry wood and a high level of fit and finish; they produced 21 of these new vessels, and the rest as they say, is history.
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