Some boats kind of slip beneath the radar. There are around 10 Nimbus 305 Coupés already in the hands of satisfied Kiwi owners and importer Sports Marine has another five on order from the Sweden factory, but this one is the first we’ve had the opportunity to review.
The first Greenline 48 Flybridge Cruiser in the country, Kiwi Green was purchased from the factory in Slovenia and then cruised for several weeks through the Adriatic by owners Richard and Susie Wardenburg.
Kiwi Green is an open flybridge model, ideal for Mediterranean cruising, but with her easy-to-erect bimini-style canopy, she’s surprisingly practical for New Zealand’s climate too, at least during summer. On a fine spring day, we drove the boat from the flybridge with the canopy down, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and while a little bracing, it was worth it for the views.
The principal helm station in the saloon enjoys excellent all-round vision, as well as the benefit of a sliding side door to walkaround side decks. This makes docking so much easier, says Richard, who during his Adriatic cruise found he could manage the boat single-handed in most situations.
Twin-screws and Sidepower bow and stern thrusters certainly make the Greenline easy to handle dockside. Getting on and off is easy, too, either via the transom with its extra-deep stern platform or through the bulwark door on the starboard side.
Greenline is probably best known for its range of hybrid boats. As local agents for the brand, the Wardenburgs have sold several hybrid models here. The 48’s available as a hybrid too, but this time they opted for conventional power – twin Cummins 380hp diesels, which are de-rated versions of Cummins’ 6.7-litre engine.
However, the Wardenburgs chose elements of the hybrid package, including a bank of solar panels and high-spec batteries. There is a genset onboard, but Richard reckons you seldom need to turn it on, the combination of solar charging and high-performance lithium batteries taking care of the vessel’s electricity needs most of the time.
Kiwi Green has plenty of extras, courtesy of the Greenline options list. The couple wanted a comprehensively equipped vessel, so they included a Spectra watermaker, genset, washing machine-dryer, reverse cycle air-conditioning/heating and an extended range fuel tank.
They also wanted the extra-large swim platform, removeable stainless-steel platform railings, teak tables (with matching folding chairs) for the cockpit and flybridge, freshwater-flush toilets (thus the watermaker) and a single berth in the lazarette, which in Kiwi Green is a lower-specced version of the aft skipper’s cabin option.
Accessed via a hatch and ladder under the seat at the rear of the cockpit, it was very useful when Richard’s adult children and their partners joined the boat in Croatia, with one couple sharing the bunk and a blow-up mattress on the lazarette floor.
This is a three-cabin model (plus the skipper’s berth in the lazarette) with three bathrooms, two of them ensuite and the third semi-ensuite off the starboard guest cabin. All cabins are large. Both guest cabins are identical, with twin berths, very comfy mattresses and infills to turn them into good-sized doubles. The port guest cabin has its own ensuite bathroom while the starboard cabin’s bathroom is also the day head. Guest cabins don’t have separate shower cabinets but are equipped with shower curtains.
The master cabin in the bow is the biggest of the three, with an island berth and plenty of inbuilt storage. Roomy and nicely appointed, big windows at head height plus ports lower down let in plenty of light and there’s air-conditioning for those hot summer nights. The ensuite bathroom is split into a two separate spaces, one for the toilet and the other for the shower.
By utilising the saloon and the skipper’s cabin in the boot, the Wardenburgs slept as many as 10 aboard Kiwi Green, but six or seven is more realistic.
The way the Greenline 48 is configured screams ‘chill out’. She’s a supremely practical live-aboard cruiser, as the Wardenburg family experienced first-hand during their 2.5 months in the Adriatic. There are so many relaxing zones on this vessel, from the ‘wet area’ comprising the massive swim platform with its side-mounted boarding ladder, to the expansive flybridge upper deck.
The cockpit is the obvious dining zone when summer boating, though there will be times when dining ‘up top’ is preferred. That way you are handy to the BBQ and the bar fridge on the upper deck. There are certainly plenty of seating options up there, as well as a huge sunbed.
The cockpit is sheltered from rain and sun by the upper deck overhang, so it’s useable in most weather.
There’s a hot and cold cockpit freshwater shower for rinsing off after a swim. With the bi-fold doors open and the large hinged rear window in the up position, there’s excellent flow between the cockpit and saloon, including a servery bar area. Folding chairs provide flexible seating and the teak cockpit table easily seats six.
Solid teak-capped bulwarks wrap right around the vessel, and like the cockpit, the walkways down each side are sheltered by the upper deck overhang. Walk down either side of the saloon to the foredeck to access the ground tackle, a Delta anchor and all-chain rode.
For’ard, the cabin top is set up as a huge sunbed with reclining backrests and a folding bimini for shade. A Quick capstan, inset into the foredeck at one end of a moulded channel for the chain, can be operated from either helm station or from the bow.
At night, or when the weather is too unpleasant for relaxing outdoors, the Greenline 48 easily accommodates the entire crew inside the saloon. Huge, deep-waisted windows provide great sightlines and make the space feel vast.
The good-sized galley is aft and features Corian benches, an electric induction hob, under-bench convection/microwave oven and a large fridge and pantry opposite. A dish-drawer is one option the Wardenburgs didn’t tick, “because doing the dishes is very social!”
Sociability is a notable feature of this boat and the theme continues in the saloon. There’s plenty of seating around the large saloon table, with space for three on the couch opposite as well. The seats all have storage underneath.
A flat-screen TV emerges from behind the settee on the starboard side, which is also where the head-unit for the Fusion stereo system is located. The vessel’s main switchboard is straight ahead through the saloon door.
The Wardenburgs departed from the more usual light oak and teak timber finish for Kiwi Green, instead choosing ‘superyacht’ walnut trim. A new option for Greenline, it looks classy and complements the rest of the boat’s interior finishes.
The Greenline 48 continues to utilise what the company terms a ‘super-displacement’ hull form, developed for efficiency with specific reference to electric/hybrid propulsion.
While Kiwi Green is not a hybrid, she benefits from a very flat fuel burn (litres per nautical mile) across the rev range, excellent fuel economy and a decent turn of speed. With her long waterline length, the 16-tonne boat loves to cruise at 8-9 knots, but 16 knots (70 litres per hour) is fine too and so is 20 knots (100lph). Top speed with these engines is 25 knots in light ship – 23 knots as reviewed – but with appropriate power the 48 will exceed 30 knots.
Kiwi Green positively purrs at 16 knots. She is very quiet with the saloon closed up and very dry too, according to Richard, who also praised how stiff she feels especially into a head sea. Both helm stations have a full complement of instruments, electronics and communication equipment.
There’s sufficient console space at the main station for a couple of large-screen MFDs, but Kiwi Green makes do with a more modest 12-inch Raymarine unit, a separate SiMarine display and a large Cummins engine data display panel. AIS is another option the Wardenburgs ticked, which was handy in the crowded waters of the Adriatic.
The autopilot, thrusters, trim tab controls, VHF and throttle and shift fall easily to hand, but there’s dashboard space to spare downstairs – upstairs the instruments and controls better fill the console.
Entry to the engine room is via a cockpit hatch and ladder. There’s reasonable access around the engines, which transfer power to the propellers through v-drives and shafts, and the machinery space is well laid out.
There certainly isn’t standing room and the long-range fuel tank between the two engines further reduces headroom, but it’s not a crawl space either. The main fuel tanks are forward across the bulkhead. Reaching all the service points, battery banks down either side, fuel distribution system, air conditioning compressor, genset and other machinery is easy enough.
Since arriving here, Kiwi Green has acquired a full set of carpets, which add a bit of warmth to the interior for winter boating. Loosely fitted, they are easily removed, exposing timber laminate flooring. To access the washer-dryer and utility room under the saloon sole, it’s a simple matter to pull the carpet aside.
With her long waterline length and generous interior volume, the Greenline 48 FC is a big boat – at first look, people don’t believe it’s only 15m long, says Richard. All that volume means lots of space with several entertaining options. Three bathrooms is a real bonus, too, especially when cruising with two or more families.
With the ability to comfortably sleep six or seven while cruising or accommodate many more family and friends for day trips, she can also be enjoyed by a couple, since she’s so easy to handle.While the open flybridge will get only summer use in New Zealand, the saloon is so spacious and offers such great visibility, it’s no hardship watching the scenery slip by from downstairs. And when the weather is good, the flybridge is a great place to be, whether helming the boat, soaking up a bit of sunshine, entertaining a bunch of friends at anchor or cooking up a storm on the BBQ.
The Greenline 48FC is all about people.