No. 8 Gemini

Built: c. 1954, by Graham Davis and Ron Harwood in Epsom

Owner: Bryan Davis

In 1953 for his 21st birthday my father was given a set of Axe One planks (thought to be cut from the original set of templates from which the first eight or nine boats were made).  The planks were transported to his parent’s house in Cheam in Surrey by various means including the train.

He then set about building Axe One Gemini with some help from his father and his great friend Ron Harwood. Ron always used to say that he remembers the number of rivets they hammered over as exactly 2000. He probably wasn’t that far out. When she was nearly finished Gemini was transported down to Axmouth and finished off on the beach.

Gemini was launched some time in 1954. My father was really more interested in fishing than sailing and she was used initially more for fishing trips before the rig was introduced.  No pictures exist with Gemini rigged with her original number 8. However the pictures above show Gemini on the riverside at Axmouth at or around the time of launch with his aunt, friend and dog on board.

In the mid 1960s my brother Geoff Davis and Steven Daniel (current owner of No. 6) learnt to sail in Gemini. For some reason Gemini had by then acquired the sails from No. 12 (Ron Harwood).

Gemini was then used as a general rowing boat for a while and then unused for around 20 years. During this time she was housed in a lean-to car port and so did not completely rot away. However she was in a poor state and with the emergence of the other Axe Ones I decided to ask Peter Williams of Fowey to look at the possibility of restoration.

After much work Gemini was re-launched at Axmouth Harbour in June 2004 some 50 Years after her original launch.

Bryan Davis, February 2011