Nimbus 495 Flybridge: a private island of dreams – Tested by DN

We went to Sweden to test out the new Nimbus 495 Flybridge: an atoll of luxury and comfort in the middle of the ocean

9 July 2024 | by Redazione

The standard for long cruises has undergone a revolution, raising the bar like never before, and we need to thank the new explorer yacht Nimbus 495 Flybridge for this. Presented just a few short weeks ago on the island of Donso, Sweden, the new flagship of the Swedish shipyard certainly hit its mark, bringing the owner/sailing experience to a whole new level.

This yacht is not just a vessel, but a “voyager”, designed to offer a singular experience and adventures without compromise, both in the warm Mediterranean and the cold North. And this is the keystone for the Nimbus brand: creating a boat that is not simply a means of transportation (as it is used often in this archipelago – to got to work, school or even go for groceries), but becoming, for the owner, their own private island, where they can enjoy quality time comfortably, safely and in a refined manner.

Not only (very) beautiful, the Nimbus 495 Flybridge has great performance: the hull has been created and designed for long voyages and has a powerful bow to cut through waves and reduce spray, as well as a tall freeboard which protects and safeguards even during difficult conditions.


The history of Sweden and the shipyard, founded in 1968, brings with it a common thread leading directly to the Nimbus 495 Flybridge from traditional Viking ships and Scandinavian construction techniques. The mastery and precision in Viking ships, unsurpassed in efficiency and safety at sea, naturally evolved into ships with an upturned stern, assuming the shape we know today. And we know that what is simple and natural, is often the best thing in the water.


The Nimbus 495 Flybridge stands out for its imposing and functional design: a small platform is located on the stern, with hide-away steps, and that can also function as a beach club with three spacious lazarets, and, by going below water, it makes it easy to launch a tender.   There are two large spaces on the transom: to the left is a lazaret and to the right, if desired, an external kitchen, grill and sink can be installed.

A small step starboard leads to the outdoor dinette with a large L-shaped sofa and expanding table. The back, protected by a remote-controlled tilting window, can be completely opened up when it is hot, or, inversely, closed to fully protect the exterior in bad weather.

On one side of this area is the kitchen and on the other are the stairs leading to the flybridge. It is usually difficult to find a safe staircase on any vessel that is wide enough to go from deck to deck safely. But on this explorer Nimbus have done some incredible work: it is amazing how on a 15 metre there can be such a large, well thought out staircase, allowing passengers to move between decks easily and safely thanks to its large, well-spaced steps, with an appropriate height for an average-sized person, and a rail that can be reached easily. And what’s more: this is the only staircase we have found on vessels of this size (and larger) where you can also go down facing forward, without having to turn around to reach the lower deck safely.

The kitchen has all necessary accessories (sink, hob, oven, fridge, and command panel) and is located in front of the outside dinette, making it ideal for use as a bar as it connects the outside to the inside. There is also a remote controlled window here to connect the two spaces. Another unique characteristic, that I appreciated when docking, is the position of the curved windows at the corner behind the saloon, guaranteeing full visibility, while giving a chic look to the space.

The interior saloon is welcoming with a large U-shaped sofa opposite another sofa, allowing 8 people to eat or socialise around the central expanding table. Even the windows behind the sofa can be controlled remotely opening up the entire space, and a hideaway television is to the left of the kitchen.

Aft, on the left, is another L-shaped sofa with a chaise longue in front, and on the right is the captain’s station, with the bridge and a door which gives access to the starboard side deck. The entire area is surrounded by an enormous inverse windscreen and, thanks to the flybridge being slightly further back, a large opening roof has been installed which, together with the lateral windows and hold door, can make any barriers between interior and exterior disappear, This design turns a traditional motor yacht into an open yacht, making it perfect for warmer climates.

To move to the bow there are two side decks: the starboard one is wide and only has a few steps, with a robust freeboard and rail that ensure safety and protection even in difficult conditions On the port side, the side deck is more narrow and the gunwale allows us to access the stern. Facing the door of the captain’s post is a side opening on the hull that allows passengers to embark and disembark, with a sliding door into the gunwale and a beautiful mirror with the Nimbus brand.

The forward area of the vessel has a large relaxation area, with a sun lounge capable of accommodating 3-4 people, adjustable seat backs that create two enormous chaise longues and two sofas opposite, perfect for drinks or relaxing. A large awning supported by carbon fibre poles shades the entire area.

The upper deck allows passengers on the Nimbus 495 Flybridge to enjoy yet another outdoor space and another helm station, central to the hull, with a full view of the vessel, including the stern (if the hold doors are open). In addition to the command station there is another chair in front, a large relaxation area and dinette with table.


When stepping on board the Nimbus 495 Flybridge, the first thing you see is the attention to detail and quality of the materialsComfort and functionality are the two key words that best represent this explorer yacht.

Five steps between the bridge and sofa opposite the saloon lead us to the cabins: as soon as we step down, there is a bathroom with separate shower, for the two guest cabins and that can also be used as day toilet. The starboard cabin has two single bunk beds and can also be converted into an office or study.

The VIP cabin to the bow has a queen size bed and plenty of storage, with a television and lateral windows. The Master Cabin, located midships has separate en suites, taking advantage of the vessel’s full beam to create an airy and luxurious space. The king size bed is in the middle and has bedside tables, a long sofa to the left and a smaller one with a desk on the right. The bed height is higher than average, allowing passengers to sit or stand by lowering themselves slightly to reach the left-hand side, thanks to the steps that modify the space.


On a 15 metre boat that is over 4 metres wide, one would expect acceptable performance and navigability, as it has been created for long cruises and not much more. But the Nimbus 495 Flybridge is completely different: the singular two-step hull strikes again.

Thanks to the shape of the vessel, the careful weight distribution (placed as low as possible) counterbalances the weight of the flybridge, and the classic characteristic of a Scandinavian coupé vessel (built to withstand the roughest seas with low fuel consumption), make the Nimbus 495 Flybridge stand out from all the other explorer yachts in this segment.

It has two Volvo Penta IPS650 engines that guarantee a cruising speed of between 20 and 24 knots, and a maximum speed of 29/30 knots. Autonomy is ensured by a 1700 litre fuel tank and 400 watt solar panels to charge the battery pack.

Navigation equipment includes the Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit system, with two 12-inch MFD display plotters and a third display on the flybridge, interceptor with auto trim & list, proportional forward and aft propellers, and an assisted docking system. The automated boarding ladder and hoist for the aft anchor with Quick remote control complete the set up.

Sailing the Nimbus 495 Flybridge is surprising, visibility from the helm is perfect, the height of the bow, the gunwales and command bridge is perfect with no visual impediments while sailing, and especially when changing directions (something never to take for granted)

I tested this explorer yacht in two very different conditions during its presentation: the first day the water was calm, and I took a slightly more complex route in the Göteborg archipelago, between narrow passages and shallow waters, with crosscurrents that hardly affected the vessel’s trajectory. On the second day, I tried this Nimbus in much worse conditions: nearly two-and-a-half metre high waves and strong gusts of wind.

In both cases it was surprising, very little rolling cutting across two-metre high waves, excellent fuel autonomy and fluid navigation – something very rare. I had already understood with the calm water that this vessel was hiding some excellent performance, not even criss crossing our own waves at 23 knots had disturbed it, nor did the strong winds of the next day, with waves that (when we slowed down) nearly went over the bow.

Another aspect that struck me was how easy it was to dock a vessel of this size thanks to the Volvo Penta Joystick and the Garmin Surround View system, which we have written a detailed article about. Docking the Nimbus 495 Flybridge is almost easier thank docking a small single engine boat, thanks to the modern technology available, which makes docking at a pier almost the same as parking a car.


The Nimbus 495 Flybridge is much more than just a boat: it has been created to become an island of comfort, autonomy, and versatility, capable of satisfying the needs of expert explorers and those wanting a cruising experience without compromise.

The excellent and impressive work done by the Swedish shipyard can be seen with the eyes with its incredible design, with touch for the quality and refined materials, and with the whole body when you feel that sense of freedom on your skin out in the water, exploring new places or simply creating a peaceful oasis “at home”.

With its innovative design, streamlined spaces and high performance, this explorer yacht is a perfect mix of the best Nimbus quality combined with easy navigation, versatility and comfort of a Commuter series and the large space of the Coupé.

While awaiting its official debut at the Cannes Boat Show, the Nimbus 495 Flybridge is getting ready to take over the international market, showcasing Scandinavia’s boating heritage and forging new paths in the world of long range explorers.


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