Catamaran, Gemini 3000
30' x 14' x 3.5 Tons
24-Ft. Dia. Parachute Sea Anchor
Force 7 and 8 Conditions
File S/C-2, obtained from R.P. King, McCune, KS. - Vessel name King Kat, Gemini 3000 catamaran, designed by Robin Munster and Tony Smith, LOA 30' 6" x Beam 14' x Draft 4' 6" (1' 6" board up) x 3.5 Tons - Sea anchor: 24-ft. Diameter military chest reserve on 300' x 1/2" nylon three strand tether and bridle arms of 40' each, with 1/2" galvanized swivel - Full trip line - Deployed in an Atlantic gale in deep water near Flores Islands (Azores) with winds of 35-40 knots and seas of 10-15 ft. - Vessel's bow yawed 10° - Drift was reported to be minimal.
King Kat was the fifth production "Gemini" catamaran to be built by Performance Cruising, Inc. of Mayo, Maryland. It was a prototype, without the large pilot house that has since become a characteristic of the Gemini. It was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Robert King, who sailed her to Europe in 1984, this being the first Gemini to have crossed the Atlantic - a great many more have crossed since. Your author received a letter from the Kings in 1985. The envelope had a French stamp on it. Transcript:
Dear Para-Anchors International, we received your newsletter. Since you mention testimonials, we are glad to contribute ours. We cannot equal the high drama of some of your other testimonials; but we hope we can always use our para-anchor because we choose to - not because we have to. A trans-Atlantic sailor sold us his spare para-anchor in the spring of 1984. In June, my wife and I left Tampa Bay for England in our 30' Gemini. We are both 56 years old. These synopses, mostly from the log, explain why we would not be without our para-anchor:
June 19: Had rough, wet night. Winds over 30 knots, waves of showers, irregular 12 ft. waves from all directions. Autopilot out. Jib alone since 0330. Gave it up at dusk and tried para-anchor for first time. Boat swung directly toward wind, still active in the waves, but much slower, easier motion. Both slept like babies. It works!
June 20: Woke refreshed and sailed on. Still overcast. Third day no celestial fixes. Worried about reef west of Bermuda. Set para-anchor before dark. Later saw beacon clearly. Good night's sleep (then went into Bermuda refreshed).
July 11: Waves have been building for five days with winds usually over 30 knots. We must be running with the storm. Autopilot out again. Another day under storm jib alone. Winds today 35-38 knots steady, gusts to 45 in squalls. Para-anchor deployed 2100 hours. Boat dipping bows under breaking waves (about every 20th wave). Slept soundly for 12 hours!
July 12: Arrived off Flores (Azores) Island about midnight. Set para-anchor to sleep until morning. Need daylight to enter the tiny, rockbound unlit harbor. Checked position with beacons. Don't think we drifted a foot in 8 hours.
July 29: Hit by fast-moving front. Winds hit 45 with gusts up to 55. Had para-anchor out before then, however. Good evening playing scrabble.
We have logged 20,000 miles on King Kat including passages to the Caribbean and back, and to Europe and back. In short, the para-anchor gives us the option of taking a breather whenever we choose. It's like being able to call "time out." A para-anchor takes the fear and sweat out of passage-making.