Trimaran Neel 43 Review

This review is dedicated to the unique three-hull yacht Neel 43 trimaran, which has collected all possible prizes in its category since its release in 2021 by the Neel Trimarans shipyard. Here's what impressed the selection committees when determining the winner, and what attracts sailing enthusiasts and businessmen to Neel 43.

Traditionally, in addition to the review from the topRik team, we present the opinion of the leading yachting media, whose journalists participated in testing this unique catamaran. What makes it unique? Find out in our review!

neel 43 review

To avoid tormenting the most impatient, we will hint at the main signs by which you can recognize a sought-after Neel 43 at a glance.

This is a loft-style deck - here, on one level, you can find all the main areas where the owner of the trimaran and his guests stay.

This common space without any frills is subject to the main thing: the optimal ratio between the performance of the boat, the ease of management, on the one hand, and the sufficient comfort of life on board, on the other.

TopRik team, before offering the Neel 43 trimaran to you, intends to check all the claims of the shipyard about its advantages on board this three-hull yacht. Follow us on this endeavor!

neel 43 review

Features of Neel 43 Trimaran

  • Brand: Neel Trimarans
  • Hull type: Trimaran
  • Overall length, m: 13.1
  • Width, m: 7.5
  • Displacement, t: 9
  • Air draft, m: 19
  • Water tanks, l: 500
  • Exterior design (Architect): Marc Lombard/Yacht Design Group
  • CE Certification: ICNN
  • Mainsail type: Fully battened
  • Jib type: Furling genoa
  • Mainsail area, m²: 58
  • Jib area, m²: 43.2
  • Engine: diesel sail drive 50 hp
  • Fuel tanks l: 300
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Max speed Neel 43

The maximum speed of the Neel 43 trimaran depends on various factors such as wind conditions, sea state, sail configuration, and the weight of the vessel, crew, and equipment. However, the manufacturer states that the Neel 43 has a maximum speed of around 20 knots (23 mph or 37 km/h) under ideal conditions.

It's worth noting that cruising trimarans like the Neel 43 are typically designed for comfort and stability rather than speed, so their top speeds are usually lower than those of racing trimarans.

Review Neel 43 by topRik Team

neel 43 review

No, no, the photo above is not the topRik team, we do not look so romantic, we do not wear bikinis, and we do not mix yacht testing with cocktails. We just have a good imagination - and we immediately imagined how this transom might look in a "busy" state. Note that a good third of the transom on the starboard side is not even included in this photo. Let's take a closer look at one of the ladders - this is the one where the girl in the blue bathing suit stands, on the port side.

neel 43 review

You can see that this is not just a ladder, but at the same time a rather extensive swim platform - this is hinted at by the onboard ladder and common sense. Exactly the same platform, or gangway, is located on the starboard side.

And between these two ladders there is a huge main platform, which can serve as a boathouse for a PVC motorboat, jet ski, folding bikes, kiteboards, windsurfers and other useful things. Especially when you consider that under it you can find a very roomy locker for a life raft.

neel 43 review

A Bit of Theory at a Glance

From the pier, we have a view of the massive roof over the cockpit, low lowered boom, slightly sloping mast and bimini over the helm station. The ribbed contours of the hulls attract attention - this will limit the rocking of the trimaran. A very wide vaka with a normal amas width may indicate that a large amount of equipment is placed in the central body to balance the weight distribution for high performance.

Although, as far as we know, the weight of this trimaran is even less than most catamarans of the same size. This was achieved through the use of technologies that have already proven themselves to be reliable in hull manufacturing process, as well as through innovative technologies used in making non-structural elements. In the first case, sandwiches made of foam and glass reinforced with a polymer fabric are used, in the second, a cork core is used.

The reduction in weight also reduces the wetted surface area, which makes it easier to control the trimaran when maneuvering and tacking under sail.

While there are enough theories, it's time to climb the ladder to the cockpit. While our skipper moved straight from the transom steps to the steps leading to the helm station, the rest of the topRik team decided to test the capacity of the cockpit and, of course, the capabilities of the aft galley.

neel 43 review

Loft Is Such a Loft

Let's not forget that the Neel 43 is billed as a 10-passenger boat, which is important not only to those future owners who plan to bring as many friends on the cruise as possible or take the whole extended family on the trip. The maximum capacity of the yachts is also important for entrepreneurs who rent them out.

So, we inform all interested parties: the yacht will freely accommodate 10 passengers, even without the skipper and crew - this ten will have enough space even in the cockpit.

neel 43 review

And if suddenly someone does not have enough space, you can always move to the saloon. Moreover, the shipyard has remained true to itself and has retained this deck in the loft style, where the cockpit almost imperceptibly merges with the saloon. Yes, this is the famous “cockloon”, where the cockpit and saloon are separated or, more correctly, united by large sliding doors.

We have already shown the view from the cockpit to the saloon: both tables are practically adjacent, passengers can freely communicate through a large open window. Through it, you can also transfer dishes cooked in the galley.

neel 43 review

And in the photo below there’s a good view from the saloon to the cockpit - you can appreciate the galley and its linear arrangement. More than one cook can handle it at the same time, since the approaches and aisles are very open. You see plenty of seating around the table and on the double sofa. What is behind the curtain? Bed? Exactly! It’s the loft.

neel 43 review

But wait to be surprised and perplexed. Everything is very logical if you see the rest of the cabin. There is a full-fledged charting table - the second control post after the one our skipper has already taken at the helm. And when he is replaced after the night watch, he can immediately go to rest on this comfortable large bed, taking some time out from the navigation table, marine tools and chartplotter.

neel 43 review

And if you are traveling with your family, this is a great place for children to sleep or play – it can always be under the supervision of adults, both day and night.

Some may be surprised by the amount of storage space for food and kitchen utensils, but we were struck by the spaciousness, which seems simply immense due to the large area of glazing. Panoramic views and natural light add to this feeling of freedom on board Neel 43.

The height of the rooms on the test yachts, as usual, was tested by our expert, whose height reaches 2 meters. In the cockpit and saloon, he didn’t even need to bow his head - he walked, proudly straightening up all the way, and there was still a lot of free space above his head.

neel 43 review

Always on Duty

– What are you doing here?

In our fascination with the “cockloon” and the possibilities of the grill and galley, we somehow forgot about our skipper, who stayed to study the helm station.

– Testing, - the team mumbled indistinctly with their mouths full. - We decided to share the responsibilities: since you are on duty, we’ll cover this area just fine...

After everyone paid tribute to dinner, they went to inspect... no, not the cabins, but the control station in the cockpit. We studied the charting table quite well - nothing unexpected: a large chart plotter, communication equipment, radio, electrical panel, tool indicators that control all the equipment of the trimaran.

neel 43 review

Located on a raised platform on the starboard side, the helm station has an entrance from the transom side and from the cockpit side. In front of the helm there is a skipper's chair, where an assistant will comfortably fit.

neel 43 review

All lines, except for spinnaker sheets, are brought to the winches located at arm's length or within walking distance. The staysail sheets pass through one fixed hawse. Our trimaran had an electric winch, which makes it much easier to work with the rigging.

neel 43 review

The control panel is practically a double of the saloon control panel in terms of the set of instruments. To the right you get your throttle.

From the helmsman's seat there was an excellent view of all three bows of Neel 43’s hulls until the sails were raised. There are some problems here depending on the rig used. Later we found out that the front view is still blocked when the headsail is raised on the starboard tack or an asymmetric spinnaker is raised on both tacks.

In the Engine Compartment

Spacious and with a high ceiling - everyone liked this compartment, even the aforementioned crewman, who still had more than 10 centimeters of space left above his head. The compartment is located in the central float, the entrance to it opens from the cabin.

neel 43 review

In the photo you can see that the engine and steering gear are shifted to the stern, and in the center there are water and fuel tanks, batteries and other equipment. We liked that most of the equipment is concentrated in one place, and not distributed throughout the yacht. Of course, this was done not so much for our convenience in service, but to achieve the most productive balance of the vessel, and this perfectly coincided with yachtsmen's ideas about serviceability.

In Cabins and Forepeak

On this boat, the forepeaks can be used for more than just storing fenders if the Neel 43 is intended for charters. There is plenty of room for the crew. Ten passengers can be perfectly accommodated in a trimaran if all the options for sleeping places are well utilized.

To visualize these options, let’s take a look at the Neel 43 passenger and crew layouts.

neel 43 review

neel 43 review

The first schematic shows the bedding option suitable for a cruise with 2-4 people. These can't even be called cabins - just places fenced off for sleeping on the loft deck. One of these places, at the navigator's table, we have already shown - it is fenced off only by a curtain.

The second one can be called the owner's cabin variation – you get a high and roomy space with a large double bed and many windows.

neel 43 review

On the second schematic you see how it is possible to equip additional berths in the bow of the central hull and fore peaks.

The first berth is quite spacious, although it narrows somewhat towards the headboard, but the ceilings are high, and natural light is provided through the skylight and side porthole.

neel 43 review

Living spaces in the forepeak are reserved for crew members - one berth per one person. And no, we were not mistaken: although there are only 8 beds on the diagrams, do not forget about the folding table in the cabin, which can be transformed into 2 beds.

Since we were examining the forepeak, we could not help but pay attention to the bow of the Neel 43.

No Frills!

This is how you can characterize the bow of this trimaran. Everything here is subject to expediency. The bowsprit is used to shift the center of sail and carry the sail armament forward.

neel 43 review

The nets between the noses of the hulls are not for the sake of sunbathing area here. They perform their direct function - they dampen the waves and do not allow the trimaran to bury its nose into the wave.

Advantages of Neel 43

Since we didn’t find much shortcomings, we will immediately announce the main one - there is no signaling equipment whatsoever warning you about the ingress of water into the engine compartment. So, it is necessary to either order such equipment on your own, or simply check the condition of the compartment more often. And here are the pros:

  • High performance, excellent maneuverability.
  • Obedience to the steering wheel and rudder.
  • One rudder and an obedient helm provide a great helmsman's feel to control the sails.
  • The quality of the hulls, which ensures the reliability and safety of being on board.
  • Enough comfort for a cruise as a couple, as part of a family, with friends or a charter flight.
  • Affordable price with great features.
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The last point allows you to actively use this boat for commercial purposes.

Another advantage that we have noticed is that an experienced skipper is able to manage this beauty alone.

neel 43 review

Reviews of Neel 43 from Professionals

Rupert Holmes and Dave Reed are well-known yachtsmen and journalists, who participated in the testing of the Neel 43 trimaran. And Dave did it as part of the Sailing World Magazine team, which conducted its annual test, seeking out the 2023 Boat of the Year nominees.

From the very first lines of his review Rupert Holmes immediately offers a solution for those who hesitate between a monohull yacht and a catamaran. Cruising trimaran Neel 43, according to the author, can be an ideal option. Rupert goes on to substantiate his claim.

A well-known journalist and yachtsman remembered the trimarans of the 60-70s, which did not quite justify their title of "cruising". In contrast, Rupert picks light and fast three-hull yachts of the last decades, the credit of the revival of which largely belongs to the Neel shipyard from La Rochelle with its cruising models with spacious rooms. Neel 43 trimaran designed by Marc Lombard is the discovery of 2021.

Test team with active participation of Rupert Holmes tested the Neel 43 at La Rochelle in light to moderate seas and 12-16 knots offshore wind.

neel 43 review

The journalist specifically noted that despite the spacious deck and massive roof, the Neel 43 is three tons lighter than most 42-foot catamarans. He was surprised by the low wetted area during maneuvers when windward ama rises out of the water. This area is several times smaller than that of a catamaran of the same size. In addition, the Neel 43 has a low displacement. Together, this makes the trimaran remarkably fast.

Then the author described in detail the trials of the boat under sail. The crew turned off the engine, hoisted the mainsail, turned the staysail downwind on the beam, and with a true wind of 14 knots, quickly accelerated the trimaran to a stable speed of 10 knots.

The change in true (65°) and apparent (40°) wind angles reduced the speed by just one knot. Rupert noted that if they had more advanced rigging rather than Dacron sails, it would add a few useful degrees closer to the wind without sacrificing speed.

The helm is connected to one rudder by straight cables. The steering was remarkably responsive during testing. At the same time, the direct sensations from handling it were much brighter compared to a catamaran.

Maneuvering was as easy as navigating a monohull. The trimaran turned deftly into the wind, and the speed rarely dropped below five knots.

Rupert Holmes explained how the developers achieved light and smooth movement of such a seemingly bulky vessel. They did an excellent job with the distribution of heavy equipment in the central building, concentrating it in the middle. Under the central hull of the trimaran, they placed one keel instead of two, as in most cats.

But in order to heel the trimaran at angles of more than 14°, great efforts are required - the boat quickly reaches stability. The high freeboards also provide a large margin of buoyancy in the amas, even with a strong gust of wind or a squall.

A single fin keel makes it impossible to beach the trimaran like most cruising boats.

Since the trimaran was heading towards the wind from the canal into the open sea, we found out how easily controlled underwater elements behave during motor navigation. With one 50 hp engine and 2400 rpm the boat was moving at a speed of 8 knots.

When turning downwind the asymmetric kite was raised, since the speed at a true wind angle of 150° began to decrease. This maneuver made it possible to raise the speed to 9 knots, and the best VMG downwind was 7 knots.

When the wind increased to a true speed of 15-16 knots, the crew deviated from the true wind up to 115°. The boat accelerated to 10.5-11 knots. At the same time, Neel 43 demonstrated excellent stability: no change in roll was noticed.

Concluding his review, the journalist and yachtsman noted that the Neel 43 has become a cruising trimaran concept for the mass market. The popularity of triple-hulled vessels is evidenced by the fact that the shipyard produces at least two trimarans every month.

Test team loved the new concept of Neel's latest trimarans, which consists of one large connected living space that is visible from float to float. Wherever you are on this ship, you feel your involvement in the overall life process, as in any residential family building.

There is only one "sunken" living space for passengers - in the bow of the central float. All other berths are located on the same level as the saloon and cockpit, which distinguishes the Neel 43 from most catamarans and many trimarans from other manufacturers.

Although the trimaran is primarily intended for family sailing, it should be the family of the yachtsman who prefers high performance boats.

It was no coincidence that the gigantic, according to the shipyard, mechanical compartment below was especially noted. It is only necessary to open the hatch in the saloon and descend into a spacious and well-lit area, where free access to all trimaran systems is provided.

Dave Reed quotes Chuck Allen, the senior judge of this competition, who notes that the trimaran is more stable and faster than a catamaran, as a result of which the pleasure of driving it is much higher. Riding a trimaran is a great experience. The adjustment of the amas becomes similar to balancing, which is provided by the rudder, mast and keel in the central hull. At the same time, there is no strong roll, the trimaran is very stable. "It's an adventure platform," Chuck Allen summed up.

He was surprised that a trimaran sails against the wind like a monohull sailboat, and when it glides over a wave, it simply takes off. “I got the impression that you can really sail on the coast with the right selection of sails,” Chuck jokes.

He noted that this trimaran was easily handled by two people at high speed and expressed his confidence that the crew of 4 would be great in a coastal race.

The team of judges noted the good location of the steering wheel on a starboard raised platform, which ensured good visibility. They also liked the fact that all reefs and sail control cables run close to the helm and are folded into special bags.

It was noted separately that the shipyard commits to environment protection technologies through the use of environmentally friendly and recyclable materials, in particular, epoxy resins, foam plastic, and cork. To power the refrigerator and electronic devices, solar panels are provided on the roof of the trimaran.

Video Reviews of Neel 43

Prepare to enjoy the trimarans beauty in video format!

Let’s start with well-known Multihull Solutions – their video review in comprehensive and interesting at the same time:

Moving on to Aeroyacht and their in-depth 22-minute-long review:

Another great yachting test at the sea by Multihull World:

And, if you are not interested in commentary, here’s a silent interior review of this roomy boat:


All of the above information leads us to the following conclusion: Neel 43's affordable price, its excellent seaworthiness, stability and reliability, ease of handling make it desirable for many sailors, including:

  • couples who love the speed and challenges of sailing;
  • friends ready to strengthen the bonds of friendship in sea trials;
  • families with or without children who want to spend time together without the presence of strangers on board;
  • lovers of the sea, speed and sails;
  • yachtsmen who do not like excessive luxury, but do not want to completely deprive themselves of comfort.

In addition to private ownership, this trimaran is ideal for commercial purposes. It can be successfully rented out both to passengers who never met each other before the charter, and to groups of friends or colleagues.

neel 43 review

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Where to Buy Neel 43 at a Bargain Price

If you are reading this, you already know the place where you can buy the Neel 43 for a low price without the risk of receiving services or accessories that you do not need.

All marketplace employees topRik have been and regularly go to sea on motor and sailing yachts, monohulls and multihulls. We all know perfectly well what needs to be done so that your boat fully meets your requirements, and also that you do not overpay for imposed options.

If you put your trust in us, then all you have to do is state your requirements, consult our team and wait for us to deliver your yacht to its destination.

We will take on:

  • negotiations with the manufacturer;
  • paperwork;
  • control over the package options of the boat;
  • trimaran delivery;
  • providing the missing equipment and accessories from rigging equipment to a watermaker;
  • further maintenance of the boat.

If you are a novice yachtsman, before going to sea on your own, you can enroll at our skipper school SimpleSail to receive "International Bareboat Skipper" after finishing IYT Yacht Training Course.

Call, send an e-mail or contact our consultants using the website feedback system.

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