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Neel 45, ocean cruising on 3 hulls…

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2010: Eric Bruneel launches a brand new ocean cruising trimaran concept offering an incredible amount of living space, the Neel 50. The principle is finally quite simple, just like all good ideas: fit a very liveable platform on the three hulls of a fast trimaran. The ‘loft’ type accommodation is approved of overwhelmingly (the bedrooms – we are no longer talking about cabins here – are incredibly bright and comfortable) and the performance and pleasure at the helm acknowledged. It must be said that Eric Bruneel knows what he is talking about when it comes to multihulls, as he scoured the regattas in a sport cat in the 80s, then launched the Corneel 18 and 26, before working for a long time for Fountaine Pajot. At the beginning of the 2000s, aboard his trimaran Trilogic, he was one of the pillars of the Multi50 class, winning notably The Transat and the Fastnet (2004 and 2005), and finishing second in the 2006 Route du Rhum.
After this prototype, the builder developed a 45-footer in 2012, around ten examples of which are sailing today. We were able to sail on the n°9 in the series at ‘Voiles de Saint Tropez’...and had a whale of a time!

Test Neel 45

The lateral cabins are particularly spacious for a 45-footer and are on the same level as the saloon and the cockpit.

We’re the most beautiful boat on the water…

‘Les Voiles de Saint Tropez’ is the essential meeting for everything that is seen as exceptional in the ‘yachting’ world. From J-Class boats from the 30s to the sumptuous Wallys, via boats which were stars of the Americas Cup, lovers of beautiful boats can feast their eyes. But on that day, on the water, it was the two Neel 45 trimarans which put on a show. 15 to 20 knots of wind were blowing in the Golfe de St. Trop, and the sea was particularly unpleasant in these conditions. A confused chop met us as we left the marina (from which we extricated ourselves with no problems thanks to the bow thruster - essential)... But while they were difficult for all the other boats, these conditions were perfect for the trimaran, which passed through the waves remarkably smoothly. The square-topped mainsail was hoisted by hand in a few seconds, and just a few turns of the winch handle were needed for the 60m² to be ready to propel us. With almost 20 knots of wind, we decided to unfurl the self-tacking staysail to start with. Because one of the advantages of the trimaran is that fitting a staysail causes no structural problems, and thus allows perfect sail combinations whatever the conditions. Pleasure at the helm was obvious as we sailed the first few legs. It must be said that Eric Bruneel spent his time trimming his boat, and even sailing to windward next to the 15m JIs, the trimaran slowly but surely left its glorious ancestors in its wake. The boat accelerated well at each tack, and launching it into a surf on the waves was a real pleasure. We could easily imagine that when crossing the Atlantic, the pleasure aboard would be to steer and ...

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