We had been thinking about buying a boat for some time, having enjoyed over 10 years of chartering on family sailing holidays.
In 2014 we looked at mono-hulls, catamarans and even classic gentleman’s sailing yachts, but when we saw the Neel 45 we knew we had found the right boat for us. Antony wanted performance and agility without compromising on comfort (well maybe that was more me) – and I wanted to enjoy sailing at less than 45 degrees of heel!
We took delivery of Trietto in May 2015, and in July 2015, Antony, our son Adam, and three other friends sailed Trietto across the Bay of Biscay, down the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal to Cadiz where I joined them. The Bay of Biscay crossing took 2 days and 2 nights and despite a strong swell, the first night was a great sail on one tack rewarded by sight of dolphins and a whale pod.
The sail down the west coast of Portugal was more exciting but Trietto coped very well. By Cadiz, our son and his friends had returned to the UK, and 4 of us sailed through the Gibraltar Straights in the fog (both day and night). We had chosen a B & G Zeus Touch Navigation system and the radar, combined with AIS, was indispensable in the foggy conditions. We could hear the fog-horns of the commercial cargo ships in the Traffic Separation Scheme but thankfully we were some distance away!
By Tarragona, our friends had also returned home, leaving Antony and I to sail Trietto to Cogolin where we had a permanent mooring. This was the first time Antony and I had sailed a yacht without family as crew and we were thrilled that we could enjoy sailing Trietto à deux – which was always the intention. For my benefit, we had specified an electric starboard winch which meant that we could raise the mainsail and set the sails with ease. En route we berthed at Arenys de Mar and Port Vendres (both delightful) before crossing the Golfe du Lion to head to the Camargue. We were fortunate in crossing with a calm sea and spent a night in a wonderful bay.
The next day we sailed via the island of Porquerolles before finally arriving at Cogolin – Antony had sailed Trietto 1970 nautical miles since leaving La Rochelle 3 weeks previously. Trietto has lived up to all our expectations; she is easy to sail short-handed, the all-round open aspect from the chart table and the salon is wonderful and also means sailing in poorer weather is very manageable. She is really comfortable and we love waking up to a real sea view when at anchor. Mooring does require some practice (the bow thruster comes in very handy) and a little more advance planning is needed to get a berth in port in busy times. However, once moored, we get many admiring glances from both catamaran and mono-hull owners!
When time allows, we’d love to do longer journeys and explore more of the Med, and we can’t think of a better boat in which to do it.
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