- Stockholm-based Nitra are forging a name for themselves as builders of some very extreme speed machines.
- It’s wonderfully menacing to look at …
- … this is an authentic race machine you and I could feasibly own.
Weird but wonderful – Nitra 22P
Alex Smith abandons common sense in pursuit of high-performance fury.
It seems a bit odd that a people as equable and relaxed as the Swedes should come up with a boat of such unqualified ferocity as this – and yet at the hands of Marcus Friberg and Leo Crambert, Stockholm-based Nitra are forging a name for themselves as builders of some very extreme speed machines.
They first entered the public consciousness back in 2012 when they displayed a 22ft, two-man, race-tuned prototype at the International Boat Fair in Sweden. With its narrow beam, in-line bucket seats, 300hp outboard and 90-knot capability, the ‘Racing Tandem Edition’ immediately piqued the interest of the press, before going on to enjoy considerable success on the circuit at the hands of Friberg’s own race crew, Team Hansen Marine, two-time Nordic Champions in the Offshore V-150 division.
Naturally, then, even in this lower-powered, four-man ‘P’ variant, the Nitra’s clarity of purpose is plain for all to see. Forget tables, sunbathing pads and foredeck cushions. Forget storage compartments, Portaloos and cup holders. In fact, you can even forget the windscreen. What we have here is a CNC-machined driving tool – and whether you go for the 150 or the 200, Evinrude’s G2 outboard looks vast and magnificent on the transom of the low-slung Nitra.
The radical contrast between the long swept lines of the raked hull and the confrontational presence of the G2’s starkly angular cowling makes this thing feel less like a boat and more like a mechanised predator. It’s wonderfully menacing to look at – and the G2 is a lovely match in terms of its dynamic profile as well as its customisable aesthetic. With huge reserves of low-end torque, the 22P shifts onto the plane with tremendous insistence and responds with great urgency to every tweak of the throttle. With trim tabs and a jack plate, plus a 200-litre ballast tank to help keep that nose straight and true through an aggressive head sea or with a stiff wind on the bow, it’s also remarkably controllable. Operated via a simple switch at the helm, you simply scoop water into a tank in the forward section of the hull and empty it via an outlet further aft when a little more elevation is required.
Meanwhile, dug in deep at the helm, behind the defensive position of the moulded wind deflector, a foot throttle enables you to keep your hands firmly on the wheel. It can be adjusted fore and aft to accommodate drivers of very different body shapes; and by coming back to neutral and operating the electronic control panel, you can even switch from foot to hand throttle and back again whenever you like. Personally, I would also like to see a stalk-style trim switch on the wheel barrel to avoid having to reach for the traditional throttle-mounted rocker switch every time a tweak is required; and I would also explore the options list for some serious impact mitigation so I could take full advantage of the boat’s ability without compromising my comfort.
Even so, with its 1.6m beam, 2-stroke grunt, adjustable foot throttle, 200-litre ballast tank and deep-set bucket seats, this is an authentic race machine you and I could feasibly own. With space for four and a foredeck a mountain goat might struggle to navigate, it’s by no means the percentage crowd-pleaser, but if you want a boat that has you dreaming a happy blur of vivid Exocet seascapes for weeks after every jaunt, there’s not much that can live with it.
- LOA: 6.8m
- Beam: 1.6m
- Fuel capacity: 115 litres
- Water tank: 100–200 litres
- Power: 115–200 hp
- Passengers: 4