BoatTest

OUR PRO TAKES THE HELM                                                                                                  by Eric Sorensen

Krogen 39 Trawler
Solidly built, reliable and fuel-efficient, this trawler is more mini-ship than boat.

    When you want triple bypass surgery, you shop around for a heart surgeon with a good success rate.  When you want a trawler, see a boatbuilder with a good record of building able and imaginatively practical boats. That would include Kurt Krogen.
    Krogen specializes in full-displacement and semi-planing trawler yachts, and the Krogen 39 represents the former. Full-displacement hulls have slack bilges for low wave-making resistance, along with a deeper roll period and a definite brick wall in the speed potential department. Up to their hull speed (about 7 knots for the 39, the square root of the waterline length times 1.2) they slip almost effortlessly through the water. Try to squeeze another knot out of it, and watch your stern squat (and your fuel consumption double) as your wake is transformed from a ripple into a beautifully cresting, 2- to 3-footer.
    For any couple looking for long-range, comfortable accommodations, economy, seaworthiness and great looks, Krogen has served up a real treat that will get your blood flowing. Designed to sleep two in comfort, and maybe four in a pinch, the Krogen 39 is a well-found and unpretentious mini-ship that will get you there, eventually and reliably. 

Sea Trial
We didnít have a chance to test the boat offshore, so our remarks will be confined to smooth-water handling. First, this boat is church-going quiet, which all you ex-sailors will love. Youíll also enjoy other performance attributes, such as making 8 knots dead into the wind, for starters.

 

    We made 7.7 knots at under 3 gallons per hour. At 8.7 knots fuel consumption doubled. The Krogen answers the helm very responsively at 4.5 turns lock-to-lock, turning in about 1.5 boat lengths. Visibility is good over the bow, and you can peek back at all the high-speed traffic through a large centerline opening window. 

Construction
The hull is solid fiberglass from the keel to 6 inches above the waterline, with vinylester resin used in the skin coat to prevent blistering. Airex foam core is used in the hull sides, while the deckhouse and decks are cored with Divinycell to keep the topside weight down. The hull-to-deck jointed bonded with polyurethane adhesive, and some 2,000 pounds of lead ballast is added to increase stability and lower the center of gravity.

 
     

Pilothouse
The heart of any trawler has got to be the pilothouse, and the Krogen 39ís is properly ship-like, with lots of teak trim and paneling, including a teak-and-holly sole, a centerline, teak-spoked wheel, a rudder-angle indicator and a clean, uncluttered instrument panel (that could use angling up for a better view) to keep tables on that powerhouse throbbing belowdecks.
    The windshield mullions are wide, about 7 inches, but since you have to stand back 4 or 5 feet with the large dash area, I didnít feel like they were cramping my sight lines too much.
    A pilotís seat, raised a respectable 36 inches off the deck, affords a great view of the proceedings for visitors. Wing doors lead to the side decks, and a large cabinet to port, just aft of the companionway, hides a washer-dryer and the electrical service panel.

Engine Room
The walk-in engine room, accessed through a tall door leading from the companionway forward, is the only one on a 39-foot boat I can remember being

 
 

able to nearly stand up in with 72 inches of headroom. The single 115-hp John Deere leaves plenty of room to get around for routine maintenance. The space continues aft under the saloon, leaving ample room for dry storage in the smoothly sanded (like the rest of the partially-accessible, behind-the-scenes fiberglass) white bilges. Deck plates are easily removed for bilge access, and they provide a comfortable flat working surface. The perforated insulation covering panels make for a neat, ship-

 

like appearance, and the area is very accommodating for the do-it-yourself mechanic.
    Epoxy-coated, 350-gallon, black-iron fuel tanks, fitted with large inspection and clean-out ports, are outboard. The plastic tank level sight tubes ought to have chafing protection installed. Iíd also replace the copper fuel lines and hose clamps with high pressure hose and compression fittings for an added measure of system integrity.