Gaël Frébourg, Founder of Case Départ Nautique
The NEEL 43: a surprising, original and pleasant boat. Testimony of Gaël, professional skipper
Gaël is a passionate sailor: he renovated his first sailboat at the age of 16 and then a few years later, he set off on a 7-month Atlantic tour. Gael’s professional projects have always revolved around sailing. He has been a professional skipper and trainer for over 26 years and is the manager of Case Départ Nautique, a training centre for habitable sailing.
The NEEL 43, a sailboat for training in sailing in the West Indies
Recently, during training courses, Gael accompanied future sailors: some curious to discover the difference between a catamaran and a trimaran, others with the objective of discovering and familiarizing themselves with the sensations of the trimaran. The crews embarked on a training course on board a NEEL 43 from Le Marin in Martinique.
Here is a look back at these experiences, punctuated by the comments of Gael, an experienced sailor.
What were your first impressions after the first few hours of sailing?
“First of all, the real strong point is that the trimaran reacts like a monohull. The movements remind me of the sensations of the monohull, and for a monohull enthusiast like me, it’s a pleasure to find them again. The boat reacts like a monohull in terms of manoeuvring, it is responsive when tacking and gybing with even a slight heeling sensation which is an important indicator to ‘feel’ the boat and to better trim it. The helm station is very pleasant, open to the outside saloon when you are on watch, which also allows you to be in contact with the passengers. The circulation is also very easy.
What do you think of this NEEL 43 in terms of comfort, navigation and performance?
“We really liked the layout: the square, the Cockloon® effect (the indoor/outdoor living space), the kitchen is pleasant. The decoration is pleasant and you feel good: the choice of quality materials is a big part of it, especially the Bolon® (the interior floor covering).
As for the visibility of the panoramic roof, it is as pleasant as it is useful: you can keep watch from the galley, the saloon, or from the cockpit (which is well placed and equipped) and, it must be said, you don’t find that on a catamaran. The technical hold is very accessible, well designed and everything is within reach of tools”.
For the port manoeuvres, Gaël confided that it was almost child’s play: “I almost didn’t have to use the thrusters”
Would you recommend the trimaran to your friends and family or to your future clients?
“Yes, I would recommend the NEEL trimarans, especially for the variety of pleasures and for the greater sensations than in a catamaran and more comfort than in a monohull.”