by Greg Simpson

First name in inflatables

Established back in 1979, Gemini Marine has cornered a chunk of the inflatable industry.

Rigid Inflatable Boat
First name in inflatables.png
Established back in 1979, Gemini Marine has cornered a chunk of the inflatable industry. With notable sales the world over, it has bucked the worst of the financial crisis.

Each Gemini boat is hand crafted to individual and precise specifications by a team of 80 craftspeople. They combine experience with attention to detail to meet and exceed customer needs.

For over 30 years, Gemini has made significant investments in product development and training. It builds on a strong innovative foundation, without losing sight of what makes the product special in the first place.
Gemini is one of the busier boat makers in Cape Town. Thanks to contracts to supply military, recreational, rescue and racing rigid-inflatable boats (RIBs) to more than 40 countries, it has been able to weather the worst of the global economic crisis. It is the only South African RIB and inflatable manufacturer certified to the international standard ISO 9001:2000 as approved by Det Norske Veritas.

One of the company’s most famous customers, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), uses Gemini RIBs and fully inflatable boats to perform some of the most daring sea rescues, while selling high-speed military spec boats internationally to combat piracy.

Meanwhile, the Gemini Factory Team’s all-conquering PSPG Trans Agulhas racing team continues to demonstrate the durability, versatility and speed of these nippy little boats – unmatched in the world’s toughest inflatable boat race.

RIB design

RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) are constructed with a hull manufactured out of fiber-glass with an inflatable collar or tube for increased buoyancy and stability. The collar or tube acts as a shock absorber, ensuring that the craft maintains unparalleled seaworthiness, safety and stability.

RIBs, with their low centre of gravity and high centre of buoyancy. RIBs are used around the world by military, commercial, rescue and recreational users, while inflatable boats are seen as the safest and most stable boats in the world. Baffles inside the tubes, with separate and wider tube compartments, lead to enhanced levels of safety.

Gemini’s safety record allows it to set the worldwide standard, reflected in its sales to military, coast guard and other rescue agencies. This is mostly due to the boat’s top-notch design, which allows the pontoons to rest in the water when the boat is stationary, resulting in a stable platform.

Most quality RIBs are manufactured with Hypalon tubes; small boat manufacturers often use PVC however, because it is cheaper. However, professional Institutes worldwide (coast guards, extreme ops, anti-terrorism units, water police, UK Sea Rescue, NSRI) insist upon and use only Hypalon, which has long been the best and only fabric to use in quality manufactured products.

With no expense spared in the production process, it is not surprising to find out that a top-of-range large sea rescue boat sells for over R1-million.


A Gemini boat has everything from GPS to comfortable seats with springs inside. And do not forget the pièce de résistance: twin Hondo V-Tec engines, capable of mind-altering acceleration.

Images courtesy of Gemini

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