Sturm, Sturm, Sturm!

Quarterback, the new Autremer Concept’s ship NEEL 45 Trimaran in route to reach the base in Martinique from La Rochelle is hitting a cold front 200 nautical miles south west of Portugal, the skipper and the crew decide to keep sailing to Las Palmas, Grand Canaria.
4 days and 3 nights Quarterback sails in a strong 35 knots wind with a maximum burst of wind recorded at 70.2 knots.
The GPS records a 25 knots max speed over ground for the boat.

This is footage of Mr SlowTourist’s shift captured with his head mounted Go Pro while the other members of the crew are resting a bit.

All through the storm, the ship keeps behaving like a charm in a very safe a comfortable way which kept the crew really happy.

Quarterback will arive in Le Marin, Martinique around December 15th.


Meet & Greet the Boat

Meet & Greet the Boat

The call came announcing a good window of weather on the 19th for the passage to Madeira – a day earlier than expected! After weeks of waiting it all went fast and we quickly prepard to leave the next day. After a smooth 900 km and 7 hour drive across France, we arrived in La Rochelle just after sunset. Hotel check-in would have to wait, first stop down to the port to find the Neel and say hello to vessel and our partner for the many days of hopefully safe sailing ahead. Following that, we popped over to briefly meet the rest of the crew with little gifts of Swiss chocolate and for the skipper, a Victorinox Swisstool which he was thrilled about!

Everyone is very relaxed, almost too relaxed considering all that still needs to be done. Spinnaker is stuck somewhere in Paris and can’t be located, the water-maker needs to be installed, life-line fixed along the boat, materials are still being loaded and there’s provisioning to be done. All in 2 days!

La Rochelle Port

Morning in La Rochelle


Day 1. Gorgeous sunny morning in La Rochelle. After checking the menu and everyone’s food preferences, we set off to Carrefour armed with an iPad and the provisioning list (we’d luckily carefully prepared in advance) to stock all the non-perishables. Everything went amazingly smoothly and we’re totally compatible food-wise. No-one drinks milk, not fans of sugar or sweet stuff, for breakfast we’re all müesli-eaters, like spicy food, and all looking forward to sashimi with the fish we’re going to catch en route! (Wasabi and soy sauce? Have.)



Install watermaker. Check.

Install watermaker. Check.


Day 2. By midday, water-maker is half-installed, gas bottles bought, stove tested, cabins assigned and food stowed. Still no spinnaker in sight, tanks not filled and decision is made to set off a day later – so as originally planned on 20th November. A pity as would have had perfect wind to follow a direct route,  catching a north wind after La Coruna to sail us down south nicely.

We’ll work on getting everything done tomorrow and finally be able to set off.

If you’re crossing on a Neel 45 – prepare to be fast!

If you’re crossing on a Neel 45 – prepare to be fast!

Our vessel of choice for a transatlantic crossing was always the sleek, stylish and speedy Neel 45. We’re therefore thrilled and grateful that the brilliant charterer Autremer Concept Martinique, have allowed us to be part of the family crew bringing their brand new boat across to Martinique. Christened “Quarterback” and put into water on 18th November, this is the 10th build from the Neel Trimaran shipyard in La Rochelle, France.

It’ll also be interesting to see what has changed since we first sailed the No. 1 Neel back in 2012. At that time, a pad-eye holding one corner of the trampoline net broke, leaving me clamouring to the vertical net, dangling over the sea like a water-shy monkey. Luckily it was during a mooring attempt off St. Lucia and not on a passage – only damage being severely bruised arms.

Its a fabulous boat and though we like to travel slow, we love to sail fast! As long as there’s wind we WILL be fast!

Once delivered to Martinique, the Neel 45 will be available for charter from Autremer Concept.

Neel 45 Trimaran

Neel 45 Trimaran



Neel 45 interior