French multi-hull specialist Neel is set to launch the first ever production range of long-distance power trimarans
The yard, which has been successfully building and selling Neel sailing trimarans for over 10 years, now plans to develop a dedicated range of blue-water power trimarans under the brand name Leen (Neel spelled backwards).
First to arrive will be a Leen 56 in early 2021, followed shortly after by a Leen 72. As well as an extensive main deck area, the principal benefit of these “power-tris” is efficiency. Three narrow beam hulls generate far less resistance than a single beamy monohull, meaning greatly reduced fuel consumption.
The yard hasn’t yet released any estimates for fuel burn rates but given the modest engine size and the large fuel tanks (the 56 carries 2,875 litres of diesel), this should give a safe cruising range of well over 500nm.
Unlike conventional powercats, which have an engine in each hull, the power-tris have a single diesel in the centre hull and two smaller electric motors in the outer ones. These serve three purposes: improving low speed manoeuvrability, providing a silent and emissions-free means of leaving port, and serving as back-up propulsion in the event of a main engine failure.
The main engine on the Leen 56 will be a single 300-450hp shaft drive diesel, giving a top speed of 15-18 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. The larger 72 will offer a broader spread of 300-500hp. Full hybrid and solar installations will be optional.
The accommodation layout of the Leen 56 is almost as unconventional as the hull configuration: the aft end of the main deck is split longitudinally between an owner’s suite to starboard and an open-plan saloon, galley and dining area to port. The owner’s suite also spills down into the starboard hull where its bathroom is located. Two further double cabins occupy the centre and port hulls, although options exist for as many as six smaller cabins and up to 10 beds.
The Leen 72 has a more conventional layout with the whole of the main deck given over to living space and either four or six cabins on the lower deck.
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Given the large volume of these boats, prices are surprisingly keen, starting at €998,000 ex. taxes for the Leen 56 and €1.55m for the 72. The first opportunity for showgoers to see the Leen 56 will be at the Multihull Show in La Grande Motte, France, next April.
“Other than the occasional superyacht or record-breaker, nobody seems to have made a serious attempt at building a production power-tri but these new Leens seem to make a lot of sense,” says MBY editor Hugo Andreae. “If they turn out to be as efficient, spacious and stable as they claim, they could be onto a winner.”