On Boats: Nimbus T11

The Baltic Sea presents Scandinavian boaters with conditions reminiscent of the Chesapeake Bay and Maine—a winding coastline with coves, islands, and navigable rivers that invite exploration, but also cold water and rocky reefs to avoid. The people are adventurous, and their boats reflect that spirit. Thus, CBM was eager to review a new model from Nimbus, one of Sweden’s oldest recreational boatbuilders. 

The 40’7″ T11 is distinctive. It offers a seat for two and a sun lounge at the bow, a walkaround cabin with enclosed head and berths below, a large hardtop over the helm, flexible seating with a table in the cockpit, and a large, open stern platform with ladder for swimming. Nimbus calls it a tender, theoretically set up for service to a superyacht, but readily adaptable “for all types of daily activities, transportation, water sports, and fun.” This model has two sisters: the W11 Weekender (“for weekends, day trips, and social activities”) and the C11 Commuter with enclosed pilothouse (“for transportation year round”). We came away impressed with the T11 as a thoroughly versatile family boat for at least three seasons on the Chesapeake.

This Nimbus hull is distinctive-looking, long and narrow with a stem that drops almost vertically to a double row of chines, then cuts away sharply at the forefoot. The result is a slicing prow for head seas that still won’t trip going down the face of a following sea. The double chines dump spray forward and provide extra lift aft, while a pair of steps under the helm and just aft of it “air lubricate” the running surface without making the boat so slippery it slides in hard turns. Between these features, a standard ZipWake leveling system, and the relatively high length-to-beam ratio, our test boat exhibited almost no bow rise climbing onto plane. Thus, it could run efficiently without wallowing even if forced to slow down in nasty seas. With its twin 300-hp Mercury Verado V-8 outboards purring, the T11 cruised most happily between 19 and 28 knots (4000–4500 rpm), burning 21–28 gallons of fuel per hour. Top end at 5900 rpm with two aboard and three-quarters of a tank of fuel was 42 knots, aided by the “air lubrication” of those twin steps. With those numbers, a T11 could run the length of the Chesapeake, from Havre de Grace to Norfolk, in about six hours on one tank of fuel. This is a boat built for daylong explorations. 

A full day on the water, though, requires a few amenities: comfortable, secure places to sit, both underway and at rest; passageways wide enough for freedom of movement; shade for at least some of the day; places to keep provisions cold; work surfaces to prepare food; and a comfortable, private head. A double bunk for naps would be nice, as might be a grill or stove. All were standard on our test boat except for the grill/stove, which
is optional. 

For long boat rides, the T11 offers forward-facing seats for up to 11 people, well within its European Union C12 rating for coastal bays in strong winds and seas up to seven feet (!). Those seats include two at the bow, three at the helm, and six in two rows in the cockpit. The bow also offers a sunpad, and an awning is available for the space while at anchor. (The bow holds a compartment for a through-the-stem anchor with windlass and chain rode.) 

The starboard helm is seamanlike, with Mercury’s SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift (joystick optional) and a 12″ Simrad electronic display (a second 12″ display is optional, as is radar), and a bow thruster. A hardtop on a sturdy four-point mount extends from the windshield aft over the three helm seats and the module on which they rest, which includes a galley work surface with sink and a drawer refrigerator beneath. A second fridge or icemaker drawer is optional. 

A sliding pocket door to port of the helm provides wide access to the cabin, with a bench (storage beneath) to port at the base of the stairs and 73″ of headroom. Forward lies a large double berth with shelves along the side and storage under. To starboard is an enclosed head with electric toilet, washbasin, and shower. A second door leads to another double berth
(or storage space) under the helm. In dayboat mode, the T11’s cabin provides nap space for little ones. It also enables weekends aboard for a couple or a family. For easy stowing of bulky gear below, there’s a large but secure opening hatch built into the cushioned seat at the bow.

Nimbus T11
LOA: 40’7″
Beam: 11’4″
Draft: 36″
Weight: 12,300 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 224.5 gal.
Water Capacity: 36 gal.
Waste Capacity: 21 gal.
Max HP: 800
CE Rating: B10, C12
For more information, visit nimbus.se and the Annapolis office of Seattle Yachts at seattleyachts.com/annapolis.

The flexible cockpit holds three “sofas” (two of them on pedestal mounts with simple handles), a teak table, and a pad that converts to an aft-facing sunbed. The combinations it can form include forward-facing seats for six while underway, seating for six around the table, and seating for four at the table with space for two to lie on the sunbed. A cockpit awning is available for shade. Sturdy gates on either side of the sunbed close off the stern deck when necessary but open to allow easy passage for several swimmers. A cockpit shower is readily accessible, and two compartments in the aft gunwales offer plenty of storage space for dock lines and fenders. A towing arch over the engines enables watersports. It would not be difficult to adapt the boat to various Chesapeake fishing techniques.

Beneath the cockpit lies a large (60″ long x 82″ wide x 30″ deep) space for storage of anything from cleaning supplies to watersport toys, as well as access to plumbing and wiring. (It also shows off careful Nimbus workmanship in mechanical spaces.) A hatch offers quick access to this space, but the whole cockpit sole rises on electric rams for moving larger objects.

As noted, our test boat was relatively Spartan in its accommodations. Nimbus offers a generator, a SeaKeeper, air conditioning, an icemaker, and other comfort items as optional equipment on the T11, with attendant increase in price and vessel complexity. The whole point of this boat, though, is to make life on the water easy and uncomplicated. With the exception, perhaps, of a gas stove, our test boat offered plenty of assets for adventures around the Bay, very much including its excellent performance underway. Welcome to the Chesapeake, Nimbus!   

The MSRP for the Nimbus T11 we tested with twin Mercury V-8 Verado 300s is $447,000.