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What's Under the Covers?

June 4, 2011

Most boat builders are quick to show you visible features of their vessels, both inside and out - features such as their granite countertops or barbeque. What they rarely show is anything to back up their claims of seaworthiness and strength as well as maintainability. But we are different. This update on the construction of hull number one of the new Krogen 52' series covers some of the highlights our best practices build philosophy as it relates to these three key elements.

Start by looking at the three photos of the exterior of the superstructure of the Krogen 52'. The first point that is evident is that the cockpit, saloon/galley, pilothouse, Portuguese bridge, and foredeck are all one vacuum bagged piece as opposed to multiple pieces with secondary bonds or caulk joints which result in a weaker structure. When the time comes, this entire structure will be lifted into place and mated with the hull. Shortly thereafter, a third piece consisting of the boat deck, pilothouse roof, and flybridge will be attached. We will build an entire 52' yacht in essentially three pieces!

Looking closer at the photos of the deck structure you of course notice the gleaming white US-made Cook brand gelcoat; but if you look at the backside of the structures, especially in the photo with the deck on its side, you see some of the components of the legendary construction of a Kadey-Krogen:

1) All deck and superstructures are cored and vacuum bagged and while you can't see it, all of the coring was precisely cut from patterns by finish carpenters so there are no voids which would result in "hard spots" in the lamination;
2) All structures, whether vertical or horizontal, are reinforced with fiberglass stiffeners;
3) Mahogany backing plates are vacuum bagged into place wherever hardware will be placed. You can see several blocks in place under the cap rail. The stanchions on the foredeck will be attached to these backing plates; and
4) All fiberglass surfaces are ground smooth and then painted - even those that you would never normally see. You will not stick your hand into any cavity and get fiberglass splinters.

Now look at the photo of the lazarette space. This photo gives a good view of five of the six massive longitudinal stringers. For perspective, that's a 12" stern thruster tube running across the stringers! Also visible in this photo is the stainless steel plate to which the steering mechanism is attached as well as sections of the bonding system (green wires and copper strap) to which every thru hull and bolt that penetrates the hull is attached. Note: this aspect of construction started aft and is moving forward which is why neither the outboard thru hull nor the stern thruster is connected to the bonding system.

The bulkheads which are tied into those massive stringers are all marine grade plywood and encapsulated in fiberglass resin to eliminate any chance of moisture penetration. Last and certainly not least, is what sets a Kadey-Krogen hull apart from the competition - an aramid reinforced hull. An aramid fiber that is stronger than ballistic steel. The same aramid fiber used to give body armor its "bullet-proof" capability.

If you are looking for a trawler with capability and liveability qualities to take you wherever you want to go, then you owe it to yourself to look under the covers. You will be surprised at what you find or perhaps more importantly, what you will not find.