You know that sight you’ll increasingly see on the roads as the Spring weather begins to manifest itself writes W M Nixon. The cheering glimpse of a superbly maintained classic coupe or sports car of a certain age smoothly moving along. And in it, clearly enjoying the drive while retaining that essential air of cool, will be a superbly maintained classic couple of a certain age whose actual relationship need not bother us, but between the two of them and the car, it’s a harmonious image in every way.
Well, this week, let’s consider the floating equivalent. A Swedish-built Nimbus 280 Coupe of 1997 vintage, well-but-not-excessively-powered with a Volvo TAMD31F of 150hp with only 680 hours on the clock, while your style and composure is ensured, when entering or exiting port, by having a bow thruster.
For those who wonder at there being only 680 hours engine use on a 20 year old power-cruiser, we’d point out that she’s based on Lough Derg. So here, a confession has to be made. Lough Derg is such a perfect and unbelievably beautiful inland sea that when cruising Ireland’s inland waterways, sometimes it’s only out of a sense of duty that we’ll leave that lovely place to head up the Shannon for other remote spots.
With a Nimbus 280 Coupe on Lough Derg, an enormous amount of pleasure can be obtained by short hops to various enchanting little ports without the hassle of remembering when the swing bridge is going to open at Portumna, or how you have to calculate the tides in Limerick if you want to access the Estuary after descending the cavernous lock chamber at Ardnacrusha.
If you do wish to do more serious cruising, you can actually sleep five on this boat. But that means using the dinette in the commodious and stylish deckhouse as a double, and utilizing a very handy little berth on the port side, in under the steering position.
Frankly, using the dining room for sleeping may be OK for Airbnb, but it isn’t part of civilised cruising. And as for that cosy little bunk in under the helmsman’s perch, in other boats with a similar arrangement we’ve found it provides a luxurious kennel for the little pooch, with plenty of space for ready stowage of her personal lifevest and all the other paraphernalia of a cruising dog’s life. But I suppose that at a pinch you could accommodate a friend there, if you really do want to interrupt your idyll as the perfect cruising couple.
Of course there’s plenty of space – in fact, almost an excess of it – if you want to bring friends along for a day cruise, which means that this boat with her elegant dark blue hull is a multi-choice floating vehicle. She’s one very likeable piece of Scandinavian style, attractively priced on Afloat Boats for Sale through Crosshaven Boatyard at €54,000, and on view at a hidden harbour on lovely Lough Derg.