Neel 65 Review
In this review topRik's expert team shares their experience of exploring the largest three-hull sailboat made by Neel Trimarans. You can also check out the additional reviews from sailing journalists who have tested the Neel 65 in various weather conditions. As always - a lot of photos and enough videos to appreciate the trimaran in motion and on board.
In 2019 at Cannes Yachting Festival Neel Trimarans presented two innovative models at once - Neel 47 and Neel 65 Evolution trimarans. The Neel Trimarans shipyard, based in La Rochelle, at the time of the launch of the first hull of its almost 20-meter flagship, had already successfully sold fifteen Neel 45 trimarans. Inspired by this success, the shipyard decided to expand the size range of its sailing trimarans, and later, as we have already told, the factory for the production of motor trimarans, Leen Trimarans, emerged from it. This suggests that the time when the first Neel’s trimarans were perceived as an exotic purchase has already passed.
If Neel's smaller three-hull sailboats were geared towards performance, which has been proven in practice, the same cannot be said for the Neel 65. It’s obvious at the first glance at this colossus...
As though the shipyard defined the style of this cruising trimaran as "Sport-Chic", topRik's experts questioned the accuracy of this definition when they first saw the trimaran at Cannes Yachting Festival, expressing the opinion: “Chic - maybe, but Sport - hardly”.
Well, judge for yourself what kind of sailing we can talk about if the displacement of a sailboat even at half load is 22.5 tons. Although in fairness it should be said that even standard sailing equipment impresses non-glamorous yachtsmen: a full battened mainsail with 374 m² total, furling genoa - 305 m², the automatic staysail - 130 m² and gennaker - 525 m². Add to this the optional carbon fiber mast and other options from the Performance version that allow you to reduce the weight of the yacht by a ton, and maybe you can not only move this monster, but also feel the wind in your hair under sail.
Looking ahead, the topRik team managed to do both, and quite easily. We believe that for a cruising three-level sailing trimaran, an average sail speed of 9-10 knots is more than a brilliant result, which we honestly did not expect, as well as ease of handling. This is such a deceptive first impression.
We can safely say that the Neel 65 Evolution has retained all the main features of Neel's DNA. We remind you that almost all representatives of this line are nominees or winners of various yacht competitions in their category.
Features of Neel 65
- Brand: Neel Trimarans
- Hull type: Trimaran
- Overall length, m: 19.81
- Width, m: 12.03
- Draft, m: 1.79
- Displacement, t: 22.5
- Air draft, m: 27
- Water tanks, l: 1195
- Exterior design (Architect): Marc Lombard Yacht Design Group
- CE Certification: ICNN
- Mainsail type: Fully battened
- Jib type: Furling genoa
- Mainsail area, m²: 374
- Jib area, m²: 304.8
- Self-tacking, furling staysail, m²: 131
- Engine, hp: Diesel, 150
- Fuel tanks, l: 1195
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Review of Neel 65 Trimaran by TopRik Team
Cannes Yachting Festival 2019 impressed with its record number of world premieres. If you notice, then many reviews of popular yachts by topRik team starts from this festival. From the photo below, you can get an impression of how difficult it was for our experts to select candidates for our SimpleSail fleet. But the new sailing trimaran Neel 65 Evolution did not get lost in this diversity from the exacting eyes of our reviewers.
We already described TopRik team's first impressions of the Neel 65, so for now we'll just go to the transom of this trimaran and begin our usual path, and will keep progressing in the study of the proposed boats from there. We invite you to join us...
At the Transom
Is this spectacle really confusing? Ladder to the deck - only from the platform of the central hull? Of course, here you can make a descent into the water for swimming, but isn't this design taking up too much space? And where to place the boat considering that the davits are not even provided? Yes, and the stern of amas could be used more rationally, it seems.
The rationality is not easy to recognize as you keep looking at the Neel 65 transom, but it’s there! That’s actually what the rational use of volumes looks like in the decision of the naval architects and designers developing the Neel 65. Three in one: a cockpit ladder, a bathing platform and a garage for a boat.
But that's not all. The amas also has huge spaces aft that can be used for kayaks and other board-shaped swimming aids, as well as for any water toys needed for cruising or more unitary accessories such as fenders or life-saving equipment. You just need to open the lid of these roomy lockers.
And now let's lower the ladder to the central hull and climb it into the cockpit.
Going into the Cockpit, Ending Up in the Cockloon
What we used to call a cockpit on a monohull sailboat or catamaran is just the beginning of the vast space of the Neel 65 trimaran, for which the developers have come up with a new term - cockloon. This term combines several areas that are on the same level of the loft-style deck - the cockpit and saloon, which, in turn, includes the owner's cabin, one of the helm stations and a huge galley. Don't we use the term "huge" too often? Of course, we do - it's Neel 65 Evolution after all...
The beginning of this cockloon looks impressive, it is a great seating area in itself with huge sun loungers on either side.
It's also a great place to dine al fresco with a large table, L-shaped roomy sofa and a mini galley with grill and sink. Pay attention to how freely you can stay and move around here. But the lack of handrails on the gangway leading to the flybridge should be considered as a disadvantage, which was immediately noticed by the expert of the topRik team, who tested safety on board the boats.
But in order to go through the entire cockloon, you do not need a ladder - this entire area is on the same level as the cockpit.
A huge (again!) sliding structure opens the way to the main residence of the owner of the trimaran, if we are talking about the owner’s version. Everything that is located at the level of the deck in the loft style is given to this lucky one in sole and unconditional rule. Sure, everything that is located on all three levels of the trimaran belongs to him, but the main apartment can be found at the middle level.
On the starboard side of the entrance you have your dining area. It includes a large table that can be transformed into a dining or coffee table, an L-shaped sofa that can be complemented with pouffes if needed.
Behind the sliding window you get a spacious, well-equipped galley.
Based on our own experience of cooking on board, it is a well-thought-out solution: the kitchen fuss is hidden from the eyes of diners, smells do not spread throughout the yacht. Ventilation is carried out through the opening porthole. The galley has all the kitchen equipment needed, including stove, refrigerator, freezer, oven, sink with fresh and sea water supply, etc. There is enough space for storing kitchen utensils: in addition to floor cabinets, there are also cabinets under the ceiling.
Let's continue moving along cockloon. From the dining area there is a view of the control station in the center, and a seating area to the right of the chart table with a coffee table, a soft sofa and a chest of drawers for storing personal items. In the dining area you can also find many lockers. A large TV screen is a great addition to the possible entertainment on board.
A full-fledged chart table is equipped with all the necessary navigational devices, communications and indicators. Here the skipper can lay out a route, monitor the movement, display maps of the water area using a chartplotter, and also control the operation of all trimaran equipment by checking the indicators displayed on the navigator's panel. With the help of the autopilot, the skipper can control traffic from here without having to go up to the control stations on the flybridge.
On both sides of the navigation table and the recreation area, a descent opens into the cabins located in the buildings. There you can accommodate crew members, relatives or guests of the owner, as well as passengers if the trimaran is purchased by a charter company. In the forepeak of the central building there is also the possibility of setting up a double bed.
But before descending into the hulls, let's first examine the master cabin, because it is located on the same level, right behind the navigation post.
A large island bed with easy access is "facing" the porthole. Falling asleep and waking up, you can admire the fabulous sea sunsets and sunrises, and if this spectacle gets boring, lower the blinds. In addition to natural lighting, natural ventilation is also available to the inhabitants of this cabin.
Since the cabin is very spacious, here you will find plenty of storage space for clothes and all those things without which the cruise will not be comfortable enough for you. Large wardrobes for storing evening dresses and suits, drawers and small lockers, lots of shelves - you and your couple can not limit yourself in the selection of luggage for the cruise.
What unpleasantly surprised our expert, who check out the height of doorways and other parameters of a limited space, is the toilet room. Our 2-meter giant noted that with such a size of the trimaran, it could have more freedom, especially the shower.
After his words, we took turns entering the shower compartment and imitating the process of taking a shower - no one thought that the partitions were too small. We decided that our giant has been spoiled lately, and it's time to send him to test single-hull boats so that he remembers what a really cramped toilet room combined with a shower and a lavatory is.
And now it's time to go below deck, as we promised, to see how the cabins are located here. The trimaran we surveyed was intended for charter use, so there were double cabins in each hull as well as in the forepeak.
Remarkably, each of these cabins has its own bathroom with a shower. These cabins, of course, are not so abundantly equipped with storage space, but in everything else they are quite comfortable, including natural lighting. Bathrooms for each of these cabins are equipped with everything you need and are quite spacious.
With natural ventilation, of course, things are more problematic in these cabins for obvious reasons. When moving at high speed, water spray can even enter the open window of the master cabin, since when the trimaran rolls, the ama on the windward side lifts up in the air.
At the Flybridge
This 33 m² space makes a lasting impression when you first climb up to the flybridge. It seems that you will have to walk, walk and walk towards control posts... Is there a scooter included?
But our skipper coped without a scooter: he is simply drawn to the helm on any ship, and even more so on an unfamiliar one. As we were still examining the cabins in the hulls, our leader was already mastering the helm stations on the flybridge.
Dual helm stations are located on both sides of the mast. Here are the main winches with containers for halyards and sheets. But the working area is located so far from the relaxation area that the rest on the flybridge will not get you entangled in lines.
Another pair of winches is located behind the helmsman on both sides. It is unlikely that even an experienced skipper will manage alone with the control, when setting or changing sails, you cannot do without an assistant. Although practice has shown that our leader coped with this task – of course, he was insured by our entire team, but there was no need to interfere. As a result, we nevertheless agreed that it was better not to go out to sea on this trimaran alone. Even an inexperienced cruise partner can cope with the role of an assistant, subject to the skipper's solid practical experience.
Navigational instruments are placed on the control panel: compass, chartplotter, autopilot, thruster. Indicators of all yacht equipment, communications equipment are also displayed here, as well as gas-reverse switching levers.
The rest of the flybridge deck is used as a large sunbathing area as well as a dining area. Interestingly, the deck here has two levels, unlike the main one: the natural solarium and the dining area are both on a raised platform, which clearly separates the work and leisure areas.
Advantages of Neel 65
After conducting all the practical testing, we found two, in our opinion, significant shortcomings. The first we mentioned in the review is the lack of railings or handrails at the flybridge ladder and the general lack of them throughout the trimaran.
The second drawback is the sharp corners of almost all furniture, which reduces the level of comfortable stay on board. Given the lack of handrails, this can lead to injury to passengers and crew in strong waves and moving at high speed.
Other than that, the Neel 65 sailing trimaran retained all the advantages of Neel's DNA and at the same time became much more comfortable:
- high precision steering;
- centralized maneuvering, characterized by simplicity and ease with such significant dimensions;
- excellent balance, which the developers have achieved by centering the mass in the technical compartment located in the center of the vaka (middle hull);
- excellent indicators of seaworthiness and comfort for the crew;
- high performance for its weight even with standard package;
- increased performance in the Performance version with carbon mast, fabric standing rigging and hydrodynamic sails;
- a comfortable stay on board on a long autonomous cruise, which is provided by a single-level main deck with an owner's cabin, excellent natural light and ventilation, the ability to stock up on groceries and food for a long time.
Reviews of Neel 65 from Professionals
Here are excerpts from reviews of the Neel 65 trimaran from well-known yachting journalists from the leading yachting media. You can read their full reviews by clicking on the links to the pages of the respective websites.
Video Reviews of Neel 65
In the meantime, we already got to the section in which we provide the most informative videos on Neel 65 that we could find online.
Let’s start from Neel Trimarans themselves – who else can make such an inspiring teaser:
Moving on to a more in-depth walkthrough of the trimaran:
Even longer tour around the boat, which sailing footage included:
Another high-quality review from the shipyard:
And, finally, short and sweet tour from International Multihull Boat Show 2019:
Neel 65, a very spacious three-hull sailing yacht, thanks to her design, cabin layout options and excellent seaworthiness, can successfully meet the needs of different categories of yachtsmen and entrepreneurs whose business is related to cruising. Our research has shown that Neel 65 trimaran is perfect for:
- all lovers of offshore navigation;
- those who want a vacation at sea in comfortable conditions;
- yachtsmen who do not want to lose their sailing skills, with various sailing wardrobe options available;
- lovers of a long stay away from the coast together with a significant other;
- wishing to provide their family with a comfortable and safe cruise;
- a group of yachtsmen who decided to club together in order to buy the Neel 65, as it expands the capabilities of a double-hull and even more so a single-hull vessel, and can satisfy the needs of yachtsmen with different preferences in sailing.
For the charter version, in addition to the double cabin on the main deck, there are 4 more double cabins in the hulls and forepeak. Together with the possibility to arrange a double place in the dining area of the main deck gives us 12 beds. As for the rest of the passengers, from the descriptions above and the photo you could see that the trimaran can easily accommodate up to 30 people, if you take into account all the seating on the main deck and flybridge. A great opportunity to arrange a fun party for passengers and their guests at the berth in the marina!
It is clear that such a non-standard boat will attract many who want to test its capabilities. So, renting it out is a great way to earn profit from this amazing trimaran.
Where to Buy Neel 65 Trimaran at a Bargain Price
The trimaran is really not the cheapest, but if you are reading these lines now, then you already know where to buy the Neel 65 at a bargain price. Just take advantage of the topRik marketplace and contact our experts. Each of them is an experienced yachtsman and will give you comprehensive advice on all issues that have arisen. In addition to free consultations after signing the contract, we undertake the following obligations:
- search for trimaran Neel 65 at a bargain price;
- negotiating with the manufacturer or reliable dealers on queuing for the purchase of a trimaran;
- sequence tracking;
- control over the layout of the trimaran in accordance with your requirements;
- registration of all necessary documentation - a contract of sale, insurance, customs clearance, etc.;
- driving the trimaran to the agreed delivery point.
You can order maintenance of Neel 65 from us for any period and for various reasons: routine inspections, seasonal preparation, winterizing for short-term or long-term storage, etc. You are guaranteed a place in our marinas upon arrival in Croatia.
If you do not have an official skipper qualification, you can take a “International Bareboat Skipper” course at SimpleSail’s yachting school, which is an official partner of IYT Worldwide. Our Bareboat Skipper qualification will allow you to automatically receive the ICC - International Certificate of Competence.
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