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Nimble 20
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 11598 Tue September 29, 1998
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated None indicated

Description: Nimble 20
Keywords: Nimble 20



Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Tue September 29, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The Nimble 20 is a small, relatively stable, protected waters boat. It is an absolutely beautiful boat that attracts attention and admiration wherever it goes. It is easy and fun to sail, and is excellent for its intended purposes. It is easily trailered, and relatively easy to rig, launch, and retrieve.

It has an 11" stub keel w/about 600 LBS ballast and a centerboard that extends to about 4'. The hull is a modified sharpie design. The result is a very stable boat for its size and weight. There is actually very comfortable room to sleep 3 adults. If two are a couple, there is relatively comfortable room for 4 adults. There is a practical system used to widen the port settee/berth to a 'double'. Getting into the V-berth is a little tricky, for an adult, but not insurmountable. Once in, it is VERY comfortable for one, but too small for more than one unless both are fairly small children. Note that the porta-potty goes under the aft part of the V-Berth, putting a crimp in nighttime use if the V-Berth is occupied. (Put the potty in the cockpit?) There is also a story of a family of two adults and two small children who made a two or three-month trip down the rivers and canals from Ohio to Mobile, AL, then around the ICW to Virginia. That's just too much togetherness for me.

The boat's cabin is a tight fit for me. (I'm 5'11", 190 pounds). My wife, however, finds it very comfortable (she's 5'1' and not overweight). I tend to bump my head, elbows, and shins a lot, but no more than I do on a friend's Catalina 22. (In fact, the C22 has about the same waterline.)

The cockpit is great for two, and four can fit in reasonable comfort. It is very easy to single-hand or work with short crew.

We do a fair amount of daysailing and participate in PHRF races with our local sailing club. The racing is just for fun, not something we take seriously. This is not a high-performance boat. We also spend a fair number of weekend nights on the boat, usually in a small cove most other sailboats can't even get into. I believe it is a good boat for this purpose, and we enjoy it immensely. We also spend a fair number of weekends in 'raft-ups' that the sailing club sponsors.

The boat handles well. It is actually quite stable. There is only about 600 pounds of ballast, so moving people to windward has a significant effect on the amount of heel. The boat seems to need about 10-12 degrees of heel to sail really well. It is not a light winds boat, and I am considering putting a drifter up front for the all-to-many light wind days we have here (see Sail Rite sails and CDI 'Furlaker'). We do have a roller furling jib, and I will never again own a sailboat without one. The mizzen took a little time to figure out. The main problem is that I, like most people, overtrim the mizzen. It belongs a lot further out than you will believe at first. It is a big enough part of the sail plan that it is a driving sail, not just a trim sail, on the N20. (On the 24, it is really just for trim) Once I got the hang of it, it has been fun to fly. The boat simply does not sail well in winds below 4 knots. It is at its best somewhere around 10-12 knots, and must be reefed before 15 knots. Note that when motoring, or when sailing flat, the boat can pound if the wakes or waves are of significant size. This is simply a characteristic of the flat-bottomed, 'modified sharpie' hull. When heeled, she cuts the waves very nicely.

I would recommend at least a 5-7HP and possibly an 8HP engine.
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