BOAT REVIEW Nimbus 405 Coupé

July 2020 Launch Reviews
Words by Sarah Ell. Photography and video by Roger Mills
Build Quality
MODEL Nimbus 405 Coupé
BUILDER Nimbus Boats
PRICE AS TESTED $1,085,000
LOA 13.33M
BEAM 3.86M
ENGINE 2 x Volvo Penta D4 300hp shaft
Maximum Speed 25 knots
Cruise Speed 22 knots
  • Quality of fittings and craftsmanship
  • All-weather capability
  • A sea-kindly lady thanks to the hull shape
  • A boat at home in cooler conditions

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of boaties but let’s be honest – for a large part of the year the weather is either marginal or downright hostile. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a practical boating solution even when the weather isn’t so good?

Trust the Swedes to come up with that solution. Nimbus has been producing boats since 1968, and in the 1970s began working closely with its compatriots at Volvo Penta to design craft which would complement the engines. The result was the popular Nimbus 26, and the company’s been producing a range of small cruisers and ‘commuter boats’ ever since.
The Nimbus 305 and 365 Coupés have proved popular in New Zealand over the past few years, and now another of their bigger sisters, the 405 Coupé, has arrived. She’s the third 405 in New Zealand (first of the new generation), and her new home is at Whitianga on the Coromandel.


The 405 shares some similarities with its siblings: the Kiwi-friendly interior layout, the ‘Sidewalk’ asymmetric deck layout, the hull shape designed for efficiencies across the speed range. But as well as being larger – it has three cabins and two heads, rather than the 305 and 365’s two cabins and a shared head – it also has twin engines, a pair of 300hp Volvo Penta diesels.
It also has enough seating for five people to travel facing forwards, thanks to the reversible sofa seat in the saloon, twin touchscreens at the helm, and an electrically-powered table in the cockpit which can be lowered and covered with squabs to produce a comfortable lounging area.

Speaking of the cockpit, this one’s half-covered by a solid roof extending aft from the cabin top, with a fabric extension. This area can be fully enclosed with clears to create an outdoor room when the weather’s less than ideal. And then there’s that second feature which makes it suitable for year-round boating, which we notice as soon as we step aboard on a chilly midwinter’s day: the cosiness of the cabin.
Firstly, sunshine is streaming through the large windows and roof-lights, but there is other magic at work here: central heating, thanks to an Eberspächer D5 system. The boat’s also fitted with an air conditioning system, which requires the genset and can be used to cool the boat on super-hot summer days too.

When the weather is more conducive to boating, the fully-glazed sliding door at the back of the saloon can be opened up for indoor-outdoor flow, the teak flooring of the cockpit running through into the interior for a practical yet stylish look. The cockpit isn’t huge, but there’s plenty of room for seating across the stern and up the port side, upholstered in practical weatherproof fabric, and the aforementioned electric table, which folds out to double its size.
A walk-though on the starboard side of the transom leads to a large boarding platform, in which you’ll find two wet lockers. On the outside of the transom a stainless steel bracket holds a brace of four Nimbus-branded fenders, with a further locker behind built into the transom.

Forward, the flat foredeck with teak insets can be converted into another sun-lounging area with the addition of squabs. The anchor is suspended below the sprit at the bow, keeping this area clear and unobstructed, and it’s controlled by an electric winch. There is also a second anchor at the stern, for European-style mooring, also with a power winch.
Back inside, despite its Scandinavian origins, the 405 has a familiar ‘Kiwi’ layout: galley ranged to starboard, U-shaped seating area to port around a fold-out table. The forward section of the ‘U’ flips over to form that forward-facing seat for passage-making (Nimbus introduced this reversible sofa in the 1970s and has been developing and refining it ever since), and a flat-screen TV pops up out of the bulkhead in front of it.

The saloon roof is fully-glazed, with honeycomb-style blinds that can be pulled across to block out the light. On this boat the owner’s opted for the forward panel to open at the push of a button to create a large, full-width sunroof. A further glazed hatch in the foredeck, above the base of the steps down to the accommodation area, lets plenty of light into this lower level too.
The galley is compact but features a solid-surface benchtop, double sink, ceramic two-element cooktop and under-bench gas oven, and an Isotherm refrigerator. This boat’s owner has specified an additional fridge drawer, tucked under the seating on the port side.
The helm station is elevated to starboard, with two 12-inch Simrad plotters in front of the large steering wheel, along with the twin throttle controls to starboard and the usual array of switches. Adjacent to the helm is a sliding door for easy access to the side deck: the starboard side-deck borrows space from the port side, making going fore and aft more comfortable and also enabling greater interior volume, both at saloon level and below decks.

This easy access is handy for short-handed cruising – a couple cruising alone can easily manoeuvre and dock the boat without extra hands. To aid with this, the owner’s also opted to install bow and stern thrusters.
Stepping down below to the accommodation level, there is a pair of double cabins running back under the saloon to port and starboard. The starboard cabin is slightly larger, and forward of it, and aft of the guest/day head, is an open hanging locker space – again useful in inclement weather, for hanging up wet gear.
This day head has an overhead shower and duckboard-style floor, while the en suite master head has a large separate shower compartment. The berth in this master cabin is island-style, elevated with storage underneath and room to walk around each side. There is more hanging locker space here, and light and ventilation provided from a hatch above and small portholes.

This Scandi-style vessel will also suit local cruisers. The hull features Nimbus’ ‘Smart Speed’ concept, with hard chines and a concave cross-section, to optimise performance and fuel consumption throughout the speed range. The hull is relatively deep, to avoid the need for an additional keel and to give good sea-keeping behaviour and ease of manoeuvring at low speeds.
As mentioned, the boat’s powered by a pair of shaft-driven D4 Volvo Penta 300hp diesels (easily accessed under the cockpit, along with the genset). Larger engines are optional, but with this set-up the 405’s speed tops out at around 25 knots. At a cruising speed of 22 knots the 405 will use around 87 litres of fuel per hour.

The 405 gets up on the plane without making a fuss or digging in her rear end. The smooth ride can be attributed to both the underwater shape and the Humphree Interceptor automatic trim system, which can be set to continuously adjust both fore and aft trim and side-to-side heeling, even when cornering. The helmsperson can adjust the trim manually, if desired.
Interesting to note that this owner is a repeat customer – this is his third Nimbus. He previously owned a 305 Coupé and a 365 Coupé. In a playful nod to its Swedish origins, this 405 will be called Super Trouper (now you’ve got the song in your head, haven’t you?).

The Nimbus 405 Coupé certainly captures what you might expect from a Scandinavian manufacturer: a tried-and-true powerplant, attention to detail, quality workmanship – a classy and cosy little ship which will keep its owners comfortable on the sea no matter what
the weather.