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Not sure if anyone cares but somehow I ended up owning two old Wylie 31's known as the Gemini Twins from 76. Cool old cold molded no rules boats designed to race in SF. I'd love to know more history so maybe the forums can help. Bought one in Newport and one in Alameda rumor has it they haven't sailed together in 38 years. - Anarchist John Sweeney.

legacy.jpg

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CONSULT

30- 11.5 LOA

26- .5 DWL

9- 3 Beam

6- 2.5 Draft

5,064 lb. Disp.

After many Congressional Cups in Cal 40s, Tom Wylie, Dave Wahle, Chan Chrisman, and George Kiskaddon decided to build identical dueling pistols. Radical for their time, they had fractional rigs as opposed to masthead, an oversized mainsail, a self-tacking jib, and one spinnaker.

 

Construction was only typical to small, high-performance dinghies like the Flying Dutchman that Wylie raced in his early twenties. The Gemini Twins have five diagonal layers of 1/8 western red cedar. This method of cold-molded construction resulted in stiff and strong hulls that only require framing at the keel and chainplates.

 

The Gemini Twins were raced extensively in San Francisco Bay by many pro racers, including the yet-to-be famous teenagers: John Bertrand, Paul Cayard, and Jeff Madragalli. For more information, read Alex Monsons The Perfect Material in Wooden Boat

 

Wood, WYLIE DESIGN GROUP Built, 1976 Launch

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Legacy was parked tucked away behind Balboa Island in Newport for decades. Never saw it sail once. I knew the story and often thought about tracking down the owner. Beautiful boats.

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I believe at least a third one may have been built from the plans, but not by the parties involved in the original Gemini Twins. Rampart was a 31 ft cold molded Wylie built by Ken Rorison in Vancouver back in the 70's. Had a fair amount of success on the race course. Very similar if not identical to the twins. Not sure where she is now or if she ended up as firewood.

 

There was a fairly lengthy article on the Gemini Twins in Wooden Boat back in '76 or '77. Found the article: http://www.wyliedesigngroup.com/wylie_design_group/wood/Pages/Gemini_Twins_-_31_Day_Racer_files/Gemini%20II,%20Wooden%20Boat.pdf

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i love the wood. there was a Garry Mull 3/4 tonner built here in manila called Brass Buzzard. beautifull looking boat with the varnished topsides.

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"five diagonal layers of 1/8 western red cedar. This method of cold-molded construction resulted in stiff and strong hulls that only require framing at the keel and chainplates"

Seriously?? No space frame to handle the backstay/headstay load?? That is very cool!! Did SORC on Flirt of Paget the Holland 40 in cold molded with alloy space frame, ala "IMP". Very fast and fun boat, especially downwind....

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Id like to see an interior pic of the construction method on that scale when you get around to it John.

 

& what's the plan from here?

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Superb, got to love those Wylie transoms !

I admired Wylie's work ever since "Animal Farm"; actually don't know if we were more impressed by the boat, "Golden Shamrock" was impressive too, or by the -very seventies - crew.

So, when "American Express" came for the mini-transat start in that same immaculate and clear-coated build it struck at the strong favorite.

 

re the twins: 7/8 rig, hardly angled spreaders and no running backstays, interesting and nice !

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good going John. I remember those two well. Sailed on Moonshadow, and AnimalFarm at TYC. Moonshadow was a ,still is, great boat. Hogfarms a little squirelly for the bay. IOR. Moonshadow sailed singlehanded transpac in 2012.

Lon

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In my first year if Jr. Sailing at SFYC these two boats arrived at the guest dock. I wasn't even a sailor yet but they simply stunned me. I watched encore or II sit for years at SFYC not sailed if at all. Then one day it left. After restoring a bunch of AC yachts I took a decade off and kiteboarded. Early this summer I decided to look for the twins and see if they still existed. I found Andy Hall on Facebook who owned Encore and during the several months it took to figure out if he wanted to sell Legacy showed up on eBay. So I bought Legacy and trucked her home. Then of course Andy decided to sell and I simply couldn't say no. So now I have the twins. One has a new rig and one has the OG monster. I think we need to sail them a bit to find out which set up is faster. My guess is Legacy's rig is 5 feet taller and would seem to be the right direction. But then that means to make them even one boat needs a rig and new sails. Both boats have stood the test of time, the hulls proved to be super strong and the decks aside from small areas of plywood rot are fine. Both have newer diesels so they are easy to use.

 

After sailing Legacy for the last two months I found several amazing things the boats achieved. First Wylie may have done his best work on them as balance is simply perfect. They can be sailed upwind with two people in 25mph and big ebb and you don't get wet or feel overpowered. Easy to twist off and use the massive sail plans. Maybe from my years on mumm 30, ID 35 and Farr40s these two seem like the first version of that concept. They had self tacking jibs at launch and trapeze for two like a rabbit. Quickly they removed them and replaced them with runners. Since these boast were not designed for any rating they have very smooth hull lines. They surf easily and sail upwind like few I've seen.

 

Legacy was damaged some 25 years back at the STFYC but was well rebuilt by Hank Easom. At that time the owner John Melder decided to paint her white. Andy had same issues with Encore but he said Jock at KKMI refinished her hull to keep the cold molded look.

 

In the end I think maybe these boat which were designed to be a class simply had a lot of bad luck. George Kiskaddon the visionary behind them sadly passed aways just before they were launched. I think that altered their history massively. But today finally they are back together and will remain at the SFYC. Might even do Pac Cup on one of them in full 70s attire.

 

Maybe someone will love them and want to build a new set of twins some 40 years later. In a way they are the ideal club racer for the bay. Certainly two of the best looking boats built and no IOR bumps.

 

I appreciate all the stories or info.

 

Sweeney

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I sailed a season or two on Legacy in the late 90's out of Alameda before I moved south. There was as fleet called the SF30's that roughly rated about the same. We never got on the line with any of the other twins that I can remeber.

 

They were a lot of fun to sail and did well in the breeze.

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In my first year if Jr. Sailing at SFYC these two boats arrived at the guest dock. I wasn't even a sailor yet but they simply stunned me. I watched encore or II sit for years at SFYC not sailed if at all. Then one day it left. After restoring a bunch of AC yachts I took a decade off and kiteboarded. Early this summer I decided to look for the twins and see if they still existed. I found Andy Hall on Facebook who owned Encore and during the several months it took to figure out if he wanted to sell Legacy showed up on eBay. So I bought Legacy and trucked her home. Then of course Andy decided to sell and I simply couldn't say no. So now I have the twins. One has a new rig and one has the OG monster. I think we need to sail them a bit to find out which set up is faster. My guess is Legacy's rig is 5 feet taller and would seem to be the right direction. But then that means to make them even one boat needs a rig and new sails. Both boats have stood the test of time, the hulls proved to be super strong and the decks aside from small areas of plywood rot are fine. Both have newer diesels so they are easy to use.

 

After sailing Legacy for the last two months I found several amazing things the boats achieved. First Wylie may have done his best work on them as balance is simply perfect. They can be sailed upwind with two people in 25mph and big ebb and you don't get wet or feel overpowered. Easy to twist off and use the massive sail plans. Maybe from my years on mumm 30, ID 35 and Farr40s these two seem like the first version of that concept. They had self tacking jibs at launch and trapeze for two like a rabbit. Quickly they removed them and replaced them with runners. Since these boast were not designed for any rating they have very smooth hull lines. They surf easily and sail upwind like few I've seen.

 

Legacy was damaged some 25 years back at the STFYC but was well rebuilt by Hank Easom. At that time the owner John Melder decided to paint her white. Andy had same issues with Encore but he said Jock at KKMI refinished her hull to keep the cold molded look.

 

In the end I think maybe these boat which were designed to be a class simply had a lot of bad luck. George Kiskaddon the visionary behind them sadly passed aways just before they were launched. I think that altered their history massively. But today finally they are back together and will remain at the SFYC. Might even do Pac Cup on one of them in full 70s attire.

 

Maybe someone will love them and want to build a new set of twins some 40 years later. In a way they are the ideal club racer for the bay. Certainly two of the best looking boats built and no IOR bumps.

 

I appreciate all the stories or info.

 

Sweeney

Good on you for saving them both!

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Having sailed with George and knowing what an iconoclast and forward thinker he was (Reading Walt Whitman aloud to the crew at happy hour on the Transpac, for instance) it is great to see his Legacy being brought to life.

 

Encore!

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"re the twins: 7/8 rig, hardly angled spreaders and no running backstays, interesting and nice !"

 

Appears to be runners on Encore, but not Legacy??

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Both boats have runners although it seems they were designed not to have them, the spreaders have little sweep and of course originally had trapezes. Encore I think has lost two rigs on her third now. Her rig is about 5 feet shorter than legacy's OG rig. Joe Hulse built the newer rig. I think you could enlarge mast cranes and go with a small square top main and for sure go to mast head kites. Might try Pac Cup with Legacy if we can get her sorted in time. But do you trust a 40 year old mast? or do you take Encore new rig sails but 84% of sail area. Decisions! or take both and find out which is faster.

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If you went to Tom Wylie today (why not?), he would probably go for carbon unstayed Wyliecat rigs on the Twins.

 

If it were me...I'd go for fractional unstayed rotating aero-shaped carbon spars, with squarehead mains and asym kites for offwind on an articulating sprit. Yeah baby!

 

All that said; a pair of simple frac. alum. rigs with swept spreaders would be the most economical and practical.

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I was going to suggest a Mumm 30 rig, but then looking at the specs, the Mumm 30 rig is shorter than the OG rig in the boat. A call to Buzz Ballenger's outfit may be the call.

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We built a 1/4 ton boat outside Wylie's sail loft in Richmond back in 1972 (?) Designed by Bob Smith (SC52) as his senior project at Cal. Balsa core. I had to move on before it was in the water, but we named the boat Hippopostorus for it's beamy shape. I always wondered what happened to that boat. Bob built a balsa model and we were hanging around drinking beer one night when someone had the bright idea to build it full size. Ah youth! We didn't know it couldn't be done. LOL

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I sailed on Rampant a long time ago in Tsawwassen - way too young at the time to appreciate it, but do remember, everytime I thought that we were going fast, would soon later be going faster:)

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Here's a bit more from John Rousmaniere, Yachting November 1976. Does anybody have a ballast number for these boats?

 

post-120-0-55750400-1440714901_thumb.jpg

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Here's a bit more from John Rousmaniere, Yachting November 1976. Does anybody have a ballast number for these boats?

 

attachicon.gifWylie31.jpg

Thanks for that!! Looks like a 3/4 rig, while 7/8 is mentioned above??

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Here's a bit more from John Rousmaniere, Yachting November 1976. Does anybody have a ballast number for these boats?

 

attachicon.gifWylie31.jpg

“the new boat, to be called Scandalous…. Is in the line of full-bodied big boats that S&S has been designing over the past few years, and has the unusual rounded stern and transom that so intrigued observers of the German Pinta last year…”

 

IIRC, as soon as Scandalous was put in the water and measured, they pulled her back out, cut off that "unusual stern and transom" and rebuilt the aft 15 feet of the boat to a different design...

 

Ah, the good old days....

 

</drift>

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Tom's designs are flat out fast. I own a Wylie 45 full cruise design. Built in cold mold 5/8 strip with 4 -1/4' verniers 3.5' frames and bulk heads. Malaya hits 8's up wind in 15-17 knts and has sailed mid teens with white sales.

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Moody Frog... Golden Shamrock was a Ron Holland design.

 

I do know, of course, but Animal Farm and Golden Shamrock were the two designs everybody was looking at at the'74 Half-Ton, although none of them won in the end.

 

Sorry for being unclear

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Congratulations Sweeney, for putting those two boats back together and up to speed. Boats made for the water not the rule are sweet.

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Thomas Wylie Design Group, on the corner of Willow and Clement, in Alameda, was a hustling concern in 1975-76, when the Gemini Twins were built. In the eastern part of the old warehouse we were building Wylie fiberglas 1/2 Tonners, based on a mould taken from the successful Half Tonner ANIMAL FARM. In the middle of the shop, the Gemini Twins plug rested. Over in the western corner, nights and weekends, I was building 27' WILDFLOWER.


In those days, TWDG had roughly a dozen workers, almost all sailors of quality skill sets. The three Partners, Tom Wylie, Don Peters, and Chris Benedict, mentored this group in learning, so that even us 2nd and 3rd Stringers became better craftsmen. The Gemini Twins were TWDG's first cold molded boats. Tom brought his artisan's eye and wood craftsmanship, and experience from building his own 24' NIGHTINGALE and the 28 footer HAWKEYE. Peters had recently left his sail loft partnership with Jimmy Dewitt (Dewitt/Peters Sails, the white bag with orange stripe). And Chris, a giant of a sailor at 6'7" and superb builder of INT-14's and Fireballs, brought his quiet demeanor, and more engineering talent and experience than all of us combined.


Also on the floor, and working on the Geminis, was Don Russell, still an undergraduate at Cal, but with Thomas, the best wood worker in the shop. Alex Monson brought her wood working skills, and also led the varnish team. Young Bard Christman was there. Kevin Ryan, Del Olson, Kim Desenberg, Brian Ebert, Dave Wahle, David Hulse. Tito, "Richest Poor Man on the Estuary" helped feed us with good food and bad jokes. And there were the late night runs to Mexicali Rose.


The Geminis began with a plug, over which the 5 red cedar skins were laminated. Led by Tom Wylie, there was a lot of spiling, bending, and fitting curves, before gluing and stapling. A crucial requirement of employment was being comfortable and athletic enough to climb up and down the scaffolding, all day and into the night.


The first Gemini, LEGACY, was built for George Kiskaddon, who sailed his S&S 33 SPIRIT, (much to Olin Stephens dismay), a San Francisco Bay One Design, across the Atlantic and Pacific to race in the SORC, Fastnet, and Sydney-Hobart. The Gemini Twins, in George Kiskaddon and Tom Wylie's visionary plans, would be the forerunners of a new SF Bay One Design Class. Easy and fun to sail. Fast. Beautiful to look at.


That the Gemini's helped develop not only a new generation of craftsmen, but also young sailors with real skill like Cayard, John Bertrand, Madro, and others, was a legacy George Kiskaddon left.


Sadly, after navigating in the TransAtlantic Race of 1975, George learned he had terminal cancer and only a few months to live. George would not live to see the launch of the first Gemini, his LEGACY.


Then happened one of the most compassionate things I have been blessed to witness. Something that surely imbued the Gemini Twins with Kharma for the Ages.


At his Alameda Shop Tom Wylie skillfully removed the beautifully varnished transom of LEGACY, wrapped it in rug, and carefully placed it in the back of his old blue pickup. Tom drove across the Bay Bridge, way out California Street, and walked into St. Mary's Hospital, where George was dying, carrying LEGACY's Transom. At 6'3", nobody, not the nurses, or orderlies, or doctors, were going to stop Tom Wylie. The Hospital, normally a noisy place, went quiet. Tom carried LEGACY's transom up the stairs, down the hall, and into George Kiskaddon's room. George opened his eyes Tears were shed. Sea stories began.


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Man what a great story Sled dog ! Im pretty excited to own them both and look forward to sailing them together with lots of friends. I have followed them since I was a kid so when I decided to buy my final sail boat II came to mind. While I was working on buying her from Andy Hall, Legacy came up for sale. So ended up deciding to buy both. Tom nailed the design no doubt and they have stood the test of time very well. Today will be the first time in 30 plus years they sail together again. Just a fun afternoon on the bay with John Melder who owned legacy for 20+ years and some other friends on II .

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Man what a great story Sled dog ! Im pretty excited to own them both and look forward to sailing them together with lots of friends. I have followed them since I was a kid so when I decided to buy my final sail boat II came to mind. While I was working on buying her from Andy Hall, Legacy came up for sale. So ended up deciding to buy both. Tom nailed the design no doubt and they have stood the test of time very well. Today will be the first time in 30 plus years they sail together again. Just a fun afternoon on the bay with John Melder who owned legacy for 20+ years and some other friends on II .

verrey coolle, keepe threade goig with lostsa picts :)

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Just a follow up we sailed both Wylie Gemini Twins for the first time in 38 years together Sunday. Amazing day and man they turn some heads. I was lucky to have two of my long time friends Mike Vare and Laurence Bekins take II or Encore out while I sailed Legacy with her long time owner John Melder. As some may know Encore has lost two rigs and her third is about 5 feet shorter than Legacy's or about 84% of the original sail plan. Wylie felt a smaller rig after racing them was a better option. We sailed the boats well for a few hours and upwind Encore has the edge. Maybe sails or maybe the shorter rig but for now there is a difference. Interestingly both boats had almost dead neutral helm in 15-20mph of wind. Or maybe its just the balance is extremely good. In any event we are learning and in some time will decide which rig is better and equal the boats. Its been a pleasure to work with Andy Hall the long time Encore owner, John Melder Legacy's long time owner in the 90s, James Jaqua Legacy's most recent owner and of course George Kiskaddon JR - his father dreamed up and funded the twins in 76. Tom Wylie has been on the phone with me many times and a host of old gemini twins projects peeps have fed me a ton of info.

 

I think in some ways today these boats actually can be more appreciated then when they launched. Probably too extreme for many in 76', today they make perfect sense. They were supposed to be a class for the bay, maybe an early version of the Farr 40 or ID 35. Maybe with the money in the Bay Area and more people opting for classics someone will build one or two more.

 

Heres a few pics from last weekend and a great article Paul Bishop sent me he had on file. Sweeney


part two

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Very cool thread. Good luck with the boats. They are beautiful!

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Both boats are now in slips at SFYC and Dave Hodges is getting a new main sorted for Legacy. Here is a picture of the frameless cold molded hulls. Amazing after 40 years they have had no issues. Looks like both boats will race in Novembers Lukemia Cup. Mike Vare from SFYC is using Encore his father built Shadow a mull 30.

post-42657-0-82831700-1441850358_thumb.jpg

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Beautiful boats, so cool that they are reunited and being restored, preserved and racing again!! Thanks for sharing. And I am still amazed that they don't need a space frame to handle rig loading? Are there at least tie rods from the below decks shroud tangs down to the keel??

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Bump....

 

As John said, both boats will be racing Sunday Oct 18 in the San Francisco Leukemia Cup. First race together for 30+ years. Some old (and young) farts on both crews. It will be really special.

 

Pix to follow...

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Gemini twins 1st and 2nd at every mark, and on the finish line, and on corrected time in PHRF spin division (div 7) in SFYC Leukemia Cup. So much fun.

 

Amazing to believe that these hot little boats were conceived and built nearly 40 years ago!

 

(We wuz second,though.....) :-(

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Magnificent-looking boats. They must be a joy to sail.

 

They look a lot like a precursor to the later Tartan Ten, though the Tartan is 40% heavier

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