The width of NEEL trimarans is an important factor for safety on the high seas because it is a guarantee of stability
On a catamaran the maximum righting moment occurs at 12° heeling, as shown on the stability curve.
This angle can be reached relatively easily when sailing in strong winds and heavy seas.
However, on a trimaran, this maximum righting moment does not occur until 32° heeling,
therefore in normal multihull conditions of use, this angle is never reached.
For this reason, and thanks to the centered weight distribution, a trimaran is much
more stable than a catamaran.
Let’s consider both the trimaran and the catamaran heeling by 12°, which is the safety angle not to be exceeded on a catamaran.
As shown in the graphics, the righting moment (GZ) is much higher on the catamaran than on the trimaran.
A high GZ means more brutal and uncomfortable seakeeping.
At this angle of heel the catamaran’s GZ is double that of the trimaran.
Therefore, sailing the trimaran is much smoother than sailing the catamaran.
The trimaran has less roll motion than the catamaran, as the center of buoyancy is never far downwind like on a catamaran. Again, centered weight is the key to success and comfort. In fact, all significant heavy equipment is located in the main central hull on a trimaran whereas it is distributed half and half in each hull on a catamaran.
The superiority of the trimaran is even more significant in heavy
seas as shown on the illustration here.
Testimonie Mathias and his family aboard NEEL 45 :
« …As we are living full time aboard, it was very important to us that we have a well equilibrated energy concept, and this was installed with a great success…. »