Let’s start with the sailing, for on the Neel 45, everything works backward from there. It’s the central point of the entire exercise. And boy, does this boat sail. Bruneel calls it “a 10-knot boat,” and he reported that on the transatlantic delivery from France, it averaged 230 nautical miles a day, which puts it in an exclusive neighborhood. During our test sail, conducted in a 16- to 18-knot northerly—we experimented with multiple sail plans by furling and unfurling the self-tacking jib and code zero-type gennaker and reefing and unreefing the big, square-topped mainsail—we actually recorded better numbers. Upwind, we saw 11.2 knots, and reaching, we did better than 12. Hee-haw!