Nimbus T11 test drive review: The best of a new breed of open boats

The largest of the Swedish yard’s range of sporty day boats is a 40-footer with a difference. Hugo takes a test drive of the Nimbus T11

The flagship of the Nimbus WTC range has a very clear mission – in the yard’s own words it is their “vision of the perfect day boat with the ambition of perfecting easy living at sea while providing a social playground for friends and families”.

Sounds simple enough but given the strength of the competition from boats like the Pardo 38, Fjord 36 and of course the new Axopar 37 that’s no mean task.

Thankfully, Nimbus knows a thing or two about designing fast, capable day boats and although a blustery Solent in early March is hardly the best place to experience the T11’s charms, if it can win us over here you can bet it won’t have any trouble in calmer, sunnier climes.

As luck would have it the photo boat provided by the UK’s Nimbus dealer Offshore Powerboats is a previous generation Axopar 37 Cabin. Berthed alongside each other, the Nimbus dwarfs its Scandinavian cousin.

It may be called a T11 but it’s actually 12.44m long (40ft 7in in real money). It’s also wider, taller and heavier with a considerably higher freeboard. It all adds up to a boat that looks a whole model size larger than the Axopar 37.

It feels that way too, the minute you step on board. The bulwarks come up to your thighs rather than your knees and the width of the walkaround decks make it wonderfully safe and easy to move around.

In fact the cockpit coamings are tall enough to make you wonder why they didn’t put in a couple of side gates to ease access from the pontoon rather then having to step onto the small aft bathing platforms or swing a leg over the bulwarks.

That extra length has been put to good use, creating one of the most versatile and user-friendly cockpits we’ve seen on a boat of this size.

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The aft seating area is a work of genius; it consists of three separate bench seats all of which have moveable backrests and two of which swivel. In dinette mode all three face into the boat to make a sociable c-shape around the large, square teak table.

In sunbathing mode the two table leaves hinge forward and the aft seat’s backrest folds flat to create a double sunpad.

In lounge mode the two side benches swivel round 90 degrees to face aft, and finally in cruising mode the backrests swing over so that these two benches now face forward, giving three rows of forward-facing seats.

Crucially, all the mechanisms are smooth, robust and easy to operate – whoever designed the Fairline F//Line 33’s folding seats could learn a thing or two from these.

Update: The Nimbus T11 will be on display at the 2021 Southampton Boat Show.

To read our full review of the Nimbus T11, pick up the May edition of MBY, out April 2.


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