Neel 47 Trimaran Review

Today we talk about the three-hull sailing yacht Neel 47 and why she was dubbed the “boat for the individualist”. The topRik team will share their impressions of the trimaran, which they saw for the first time at a show in France, after which the Neel 47 was nominated for the European Yacht of the year Award 2020. We will tell you how the testing of the trimaran went and give the statements of the test participants, among which are well-known and experienced yachtsmen who write for leading yachting publications.

Neel 47 Review

Neel trimarans looked like exotics in the world of multihull yachts. But today they have deservedly become serious competitors of double-hull cruisers. This is especially true of the latest models, which are tailored for a single yachtsman and the special other. All the incredible expanses of the loft deck are completely given over to the owner.

Its layout, of course, allows guests on board - there is enough space for 30 people. But only for the duration of the party, then the guests will have to disperse to their boats, hotels or homes. Only the owner and his other half will remain on board. In extreme cases, several people (more precisely - 4) can spend the night here in two guest cabins, if they are not occupied by the crew.

The new Neel 47 is no exception, this trimaran, which is between Neel 45 and Neel 51, is a distinctly individualistic concept.

Marine engineers & designers Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt designed the main hull of the Neel 47 with a focus on good maneuverability and sufficient speed for sailing enthusiasts. This is evidenced by the medium rocker, the transfer of the center of gravity to the lower part of the amas and vaka, as well as on the midsection. The developers achieved their goal: they created a boat that is more responsive than a cruising catamaran, and that reacts to the actions of the skipper more quickly and organically than a catamaran. Therefore, Neel 47 Trimaran, which can move almost at the speed of the wind, is not primarily about comfort, but about drive and adrenaline from sailing.

Features of Neel 47 Trimaran

  • Brand: Neel Trimarans
  • Hull type: Trimaran
  • Overall length, m: 14.3
  • Width, m: 7.5
  • Displacement, t: 10.6
  • Air draft, m: 19
  • Water tanks, l: 600
  • Exterior design (Architect): Marc Lombard Yacht Design Group
  • CE certification: ICNN
  • Mainsail type: Fully battened
  • Jib type: Furling genoa
  • Mainsail area, m²: 70
  • Jib area, m²: 50
  • Self-tracking, furling staysail, m²: 19.8
  • Engine: 1 x Diesel 60 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 300
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Neel 47 Trimaran by topRik Team

As you already understood, the first acquaintance of the topRik team with the Neel 47 trimaran came at a difficult time. Exhibitions and presentations were canceled, but our skipper was lucky enough to be present at the launch of the first copy of the Neel 47 sailing trimaran in France, even when the regulations between the countries were not yet established. And when some of the restrictions on movement were lifted, most of our team, led by the skipper, was able to board this three-hull sailboat in order to tell marketplace customers about it in detail - we usually only recommend only those boats that we ourselves have visited.

First Meeting and First Sight

In this review, we use both official photos and pictures taken by our team during these events. For obvious reasons, the quality of both might differ from each other. Our non-professional shots are only made to confirm the opinion of the topRik team, and not for advertising.

Neel 47 Review

Most of our experts are experienced yachtsmen, including trimaran racing enthusiasts. But you must admit, Neel 47 is not very exactly a sailboat that can tack using just one ama.

That’s the feature of this range of three-hull boats from Neel Trimarans: you get the maximum necessary comfort that a sports sailboat can't really provide, and at the same time get your share of the pleasure of speed and maneuvering under sail in complete safety. How the development team managed to achieve excellent seaworthiness with safety guarantees is described in more detail in the Advantages of Neel 47 section.

And now let's go directly to the trimaran transoms.

Neel 47 Review

From the telescopic ladder on the port side steps, you could have already guessed that this part of the transom ladder serves as a swim platform. In the same capacity, you can use the step on the starboard side. But the vaka transom is designed for the dinghy. Moreover, there are no heavy davits here - they were abandoned in order to lighten the yacht. The motorboat is installed in a special metal holder and can be raised and lowered using a cable system, the control of this smart system is brought to the control post.

Neel 47 Review

Well, it's time to get on board and see how this incredible yacht works inside.

In the Cockpit or in the Cockloon?

Usually, we do not consider the cockpit as what is inside the yacht. But Neel 47 is different. After all, the cockpit and saloon are combined into a single space, which Eric Bruneel, Neel Trimarans' boss (by the way, a multiple winner of trimaran races) named the cockloon.

And here is one of its sections, which you can see in the photo below:

Neel 47 Review

Plenty of seating and the ability to install a table on deck in front of the corner sofa on the port side. There is also a long sofa along the vaka transom and another one opposite it. More than a dozen people can sit here without limiting each other.

But that is not all! Through these transparent sliding doors you see almost a mirror image of the cockpit. This is the continuation of the cockloon in the form of a saloon.

Neel 47 Review

And what is that behind the back of the sofa? Wash faucet? Exactly! After all, it is logical to place the galley closer to the dining area.

Here’s a closer look at that part of the cockloon, which is called a saloon on an ordinary yacht:

Neel 47 Review

Not only the dining area can be found here, which is exactly a mirrored copy of the same area from the cockpit, but also storage space, and, as we noted earlier, a full-fledged galley.

Neel 47 Review

You can see the gas stove and oven in the photo above. Hot and cold water is supplied, fresh or outboard, depending on the needs.

Under the countertop, opposite the sink, there are refrigerators and freezers for drinks and food with different shelf life.

Neel 47 Review

Usually in the saloon there should be a skipper's table – one of the control stations. Yes, here it is, a little to the right of the galley. As it should be - with a marine display on the panel, communication tools for navigation equipment, as well as indicators displayed here that reflect the operation and status of the most important equipment of the trimaran... And yes, you were not mistaken again - there is a master cabin across the partition from the helm station.

Neel 47 Review

Here it is, a loft deck for pronounced individualists, where the owner of the Neel 47 is brought to the center, around which the yacht itself is built.

Neel 47 Review

Of course, a separate bathroom with an isolated shower, washbasin and latrine is also in the undivided use of the head man on the trimaran and his second half.

Neel 47 Review

Two small aft guest cabins with entry from the cockpit are provided, apparently, for children, other relatives or closest friends.

Neel 47 Review

This part of the entrance to the guest cabin is closed off with transparent firewalls - front and top. By the way, the toilet is located behind the ladder, part of the steps of which is visible in the top photo. Great use of limited space!

And only after passing this shower room, you can get into the "bedroom" with a fairly large bed and a niche under it.

Neel 47 Review

Helm Station

We left the best for dessert. It’s understandable that the helm station is designed in the highest degree thoughtfully and comfortably, as we have already understood that everything on the Neel 47 serves the convenience of the owner of the yacht.

Neel 47 Review

It is enough to climb a few steps from the cockpit to end up at the helm under a rigid canopy - a continuation of the roof. All catamaran and sail control systems converge to the helm: control panel, winches, sheets and halyards.

The helm panel contains almost the same set as on the panel of the skipper's table in the saloon: a marine display that acts as a chartplotter, echo sounder and radar, three electric winches, one of which is flat, and a throttle/reverse lever. Here is the hardware up close:

Neel 47 Review

The view from the helmsman's position is sufficient for all parts of the trimaran, except for the bow of the left float. Our skipper was guided by the stand on the bow when pushing off and mooring. But for this, of course, you need to have experience, because in a cramped marina it will be difficult for an inexperienced helmsman to cope without an assistant. Although there is a thruster on the helm panel that makes it easier to maneuver. We only needed help with lazy jack when installing the mainsail. But even an inexperienced assistant will cope with this.

Part of the roof can be safely given over to solar panels, since sail control, shoulder straps and halyards do not take up a large area.

Neel 47 Review

Neel 47 Review

Advantages of Neel 47

TopRik team saw the Neel 47's main advantage in its sailing specialization, which can deliver a lot of drive and adrenaline, which is what any yachtsman aspires to. At the same time, this drive is solely due to the speed and sensations from the responsive helm, and not from the possible risk of rollover. In practice, we have seen that a trimaran of this class is completely safe, since it is not threatened with a roll - vaka is always in the water, and only one of the amas can “emerge” to the surface, but not entirely.

The safety of the Neel 47 is also ensured by the design of its components. Sandwich laminate with an Airex PVC foam core and 4-axial fiberglass skins, injected with polyester resin, is the building material from which the hulls and deck are made. Vinyl ester is used as the outer layer to prevent osmosis.

Vaka and amas together are a triune whole - such a decision was made to enhance the rigidity of the structure. Together with the lightening of the weight achieved by the foam in the manufacture of bulkheads and furniture, this significantly improves such important seaworthy characteristics of the trimaran as maneuverability and course stability.

In case of a serious collision, the developers have designed a fixed ballastless keel under the main hull, which is not tied to the vaka structure and can be torn off without dangerous consequences for the trimaran and its passengers.

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Reviews of Neel 47 from Professionals

Let’s start with the reviews for the Neel 47 - the manufacturer's press center goes first, giving the floor to two trimaran owners who are going around the world on it. In addition to the Tania and Lorenzo’s review you can get the opinions of leading sailing journalists Charles J. Doane (SAIL Magazine) and Kevin Green (Multihull Solutions).

Neel press center Trimarans present testimonials from two Neel 47 owners who practically live aboard this trimaran and are very familiar with this boat "family" as they have previously crossed the Atlantic on the 45. What will they tell about the 47th?

Tania and Lorenzo listed what attracted them to the Neel 47 trimaran. This is, first of all, the ability to manage a sailing boat with a small crew, because they prefer to make their crossings together, without additional assistants. They are attracted to life above the waterline, but it should not be in cramped cockpits, saloons and cabins. Modern, open, light design Neel 47 allows you to feel the real freedom in the sea. The trimaran combines most of the advantages of a monohull boat and a catamaran, demonstrating good speed potential and seaworthiness under all sails. It also attracts good access to the engine and other equipment without the need to perform acrobatics.

The yachtsman and journalist tested the Neel 47 in the Chesapeake Bay and described in detail the experience of operating the trimaran and living conditions on board in his report.

As a true yachtsman, Charles J. Doane began his review with the handling features of the Neel 47 trimaran. He noted that the starboard helm station has excellent access both from the cockpit and from the ama deck. All working cables lead to the steering wheel and winches. The lines are well thought out, so that the yacht can be steered by one helmsman or a skipper with an assistant.

A fixed bowsprit allows the A-sail to be hoisted, with the sheets going over the outboard blocks to the winches.

For relaxation, Charles offers to move into a large cockpit under a hard top, where there are many comfortable sofas and a large table. Just move the wide glass door between the cockpit and saloon, and you will find yourself in a huge space where you can communicate both inside and outside. It is for this space that the creative name cockloon was invented .

The zone planing is the strength of the Neel line - in addition to the dining and working areas familiar on other boats in both parts of the cockloon, a sleeping and individual relaxation area is also added here.

The galley on the port side and the helm station on the starboard are far ahead. When you get busy in this area, you can still enjoy an almost circular view of the sea thanks to many large untinted windows.

The double owner's cabin can be accessed through a very wide doorway directly from the saloon, bypassing the galley. From the huge bed you can see the world through the front hatches. But along the entire bed there is another window that creates a feeling of open space. If you want more intimacy, just draw the curtain and move the door blocks.

The author drew attention to the fact that in the guest cabins located in amas , where separate ladders lead, there is a lot of light that enters through the side windows. All the guests’ baggage for the cruise can be placed in the space under the large double bed.

The owner has the choice to provide guest cabins with a separate latrine, placing it under the gangway. If he neglects this, the occupants of these cabins will have to go to the owner's bathroom located in the vaka.

The entire line of Neels trimarans is characterized by a comfortable and spacious place under the sole of the cockpit in vaka, where the engine and all other systems that ensure the life of the yacht and its passengers are installed. Since all the largest and heaviest equipment is concentrated here, this ensures a lower center of gravity of the trimaran.

Charles admitted that he was glad to have an asymmetric spinnaker, as the conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, where he tested, were light, with true wind speeds ranging from 5 to 10 knots.

He noted the excellent rudder feel while cruising, as well as the high quality of the helm and steering cables. Slightly less responsive compared to high performance monohulls the Neel 47 compensates with a smoother ride. The reviewer reported that he even managed to tack under the mainsail alone, which cannot be achieved on most catamarans.

A well-known yachtsman-journalist was present at the launch of the Neel 47 in 2019 at the international boat show La Grande Motte in France, and shares his impressions of being on board during testing.

At the beginning of the review, Kevin noted that the mastermind and developer of the Neel 47, aka the head of NEEL Eric Bruneel is not just a racer, but an OSTAR winner, where he raced on his Trilogic trimaran. Therefore, he is well aware of the effect of the weight of a trimaran on its performance, and therefore the displacement of the Neel 47 is only 11,600 kg.

According to the author, if you prefer the life of a sailor on the high seas, then you will appreciate the combination of high performance and the main deck with a width of 8.5 meters, the center of which is the cabin for the owner and his couple.

Of course, Kevin didn't just mention the cheeky name that Eric Bruneel gave this incredible deck – the cockloon, but devoted an entire section of the report to this space.

He noted the excellent zoning of this huge space and the excellent natural light provided by side windows and large windows around the perimeter.

Describing the very unorthodox owner's cabin, Kevin couldn't help but joke, as usual, suggesting that the deck level owner's cabin was perfect for the budding boater, especially if he's claustrophobic.

The author approached reviewing the Neel 47 sailing wardrobe with the utmost seriousness. He noted that the trimaran has an extensive sail plan that takes into account the many situations that can arise on the high seas.

Standard equipment includes cutter rigging, self-aligning staysail for easy handling, outside genoa and reefed staysail. Fixed GRP bowsprit provides good separation for flying an asymmetric.

The sails come standard with Dacron and the Hydranet as an option.

Kevin elaborated on the features of the helm station. He noted that the molded fiberglass helmsman's seat is designed for two, and the helm panel is equipped with, among other devices, a Maxpower bow thruster and B&G electronics with autopilot and outboard throttle at arm's length.

Three winches can be electric or clew - manual. If a canvas bimini is fitted, it can be unzipped if observation of the mainsail is required. Blocks are installed on the transom, where double sheets are brought out to control the mainsail. This gives good leverage on the boom and easy access from the roof. Availability lazy jack make it easier to collect the canvas.

Video Reviews of Neel 47

It wouldn’t be right to write so much about the yacht and never show it in motion – it was made for motion!

So, here’s some breathtaking footage of Neel 47 sailing through various beautiful locations by the Halcyon Yachts:

First walkthrough tour of the trimaran by Aeroyacht – you can clearly see that it was designed with minimalism in mind:

Great conversation about the value of the trimaran and comparison of the yacht to catamarans considering its price:

Still not enough info for you? You want to know it all about Neel 47? In this 31-minute review and sea test video all your questions will be answered for sure:

And another half an hour documentary about the trimaran, for a good measure:


All testers of the Neel 47 trimaran noted its high seaworthiness: speed, almost comparable to the speed of the wind at the time of sailing, excellent responsiveness to the helmsman's actions, which allows you to experience the sensations that are similar to steering a single-hull cruise racer.

At the same time, there is no asceticism in the organization of life on board. For a yachtsman who does not pursue luxury, the amenities that he finds on the Neel 47 while driving a boat and organizing a comfortable stay on board are quite enough: conditions for rest, cooking, hygiene, food and things storage, etc.

In this regard, the topRik team recommends the Neel 47 trimaran to those not glamorous yachtsmen who prefer:

  • a reasonable combination of high seaworthiness of the yacht with the comfort of life on board;
  • solitude alone or with a loved one in autonomous navigation;
  • speed and wind in the hair under sail;
  • test your strength and experience in managing different types of boats.

This boat is hardly suitable for organizing charters, there are not enough sleeping places for this, but renting it out might be a great idea. Experience shows that there are many who want to test their strength and capabilities of a trimaran before acquiring it for themselves.

Neel 47 Review

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Where to Buy Neel 47 Trimaran at a Bargain Price

If that’s what you were wondering, you don’t have to worry - topRik marketplace experts will do the rest after your request:

  • clarify all your requirements for the Neel 47 configuration;
  • negotiate with the manufacturer or dealers to find Neel 47 at a bargain price and register you in the purchase queue;
  • control the progress of the queue;
  • draw up all necessary documents, including (if necessary) customs;
  • drive the trimaran to the specified point;
  • at your request, they will provide all the necessary accessories and equipment that are not provided by the manufacturer: dishes, table and bed textiles, towels, rugs, watermaker, etc.

If you need additional practice lessons, we can offer you training at our school SimpleSail of the IYT system in order to receive an International Bareboat Skipper certificate.

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