Neel 51
A compelling case for cruising on three hulls

Sail Magazine, January 2018, by Peter Nielsen

Last week X-Yachts opened its doors to some of the journalists from the biggest sailing magazine from around Europe as we invited them to test sail the new X4 & X6.

This is the fourth design for Neel by veteran mono- and multihull architects Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt. Neel founder Eric Bruneel, who spent many years on ocean-racing tris, is bullish about the advantages of three hulls for cruising: he posits that a catamaran’s peak righting moment is reached at a mere 12 degrees of heel, at which point sail area must be reduced. By contrast, a trimaran’s peak is at 27 degrees of heel. It’s certainly true that a tri is basically a monohull with floats and is typically sailed at a greater angle of heel than a cat.

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