Browsing the latest offer by Croatian charter agencies one specific boat drew my attention. It is the Neel 45, three hulled yacht with a good pedigree. The founder and manager of the Neel Trimarans Company is the renowned French sailor Eric Bruneel. Firstly, Bruneel has spent a lot of time at Fountaine-Pajot where he oversaw the construction of numerous catamarans.
Secondly, his affinity to multihulls, specifically trimarans revealed itself at the times he used to win single handed ocean races aboard his own trimaran. In short, he knows multihulls inside and out. After such intro let’s take a look at the Neel 45 trimaran, offered within charter companies for leisure cruises.
All the controls are at hand except the main halyard which is on the mast while maneuvering the wheel is tender and easy. The exquisite sensation is gained when windward hull gets lifted clear of the water while the yacht effectively sails on two hulls. The measures such as 13.41 m LOA and the beam of 8.53 m could guarantee a lot of space while such dimensions do not exceed ones from the standard charter offer. Entering from the cockpit you will find yourself in a long corridor. There is a straight line galley to the access to a pair of staterooms on each side. The navigation station opposites the central dining space with a wraparound settee.Sail area spreads over 105 m², divided between square top mainsail and furling jib. Optionally, there is a code zero-type gennaker available for this yacht. With such sails set it is not difficult to gain between 10 and 12 knots either upwind or reaching on 15 – 18 knots of wind. That’s why this baby has a nickname “a 10-knot boat”…
At this point you may ask about maneuverability since there are three hulls and only one engine. Don’t worry, there is a very handy bow-thruster to help you mooring and taking off.The bow of the central hull hides the third double cabin equipped with V-berth. Deep and spacious engine room is located in the middle of the hull, accessed by a ladder through a wide hatch. And you know what? There is only one 55 HP Volvo engine on Neel 45 which is good news because single engine reduces costs usual for catamarans.
The comfort is guaranteed as the interior has the standing height while curved up and around aft decks also do fine. The water tank has a capacity of 500 l while diesel tank holds 300 l which is really more than enough for comfortable but exciting cruise. The Neel 45 that I found in Croatia waits for you in Biograd, near Zadar; available crewed with skipper. I am sure that everyone who takes her for holidays will not regret it. Even more, I strongly believe they would like to come back again.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!