The Quintessential Trawler

Classic styling, functional design and long-range cruising comfort
have earned the Kadey-Krogen 42 a strong following.                                                           by Susan Canfield
                                                                                                                        Photos by Michael C. Wootton

Trawler owners are a breed apart.  Rarely in a hurry, they’re content to circle the globe, or the Delmarva Peninsula, at 8 knots.  Their pleasure lies in the voyage as much as the destination.  And for many of these easygoing globetrotters, the Kadey-Krogen 42 is the quintessential trawler.  Her classic design is both conservative and handsome (trawlers aren’t supposed to be beautiful).  Her construction is rugged.  With literally hundreds of storage lockers and drawers, a Krogen 42 can swallow 5,000 pounds of stuff without indigestion.  She can then carry it, and her owners, thousands of miles in the comfort of their own home.  There’s little wonder resale values have been consistently strong. 

In the mid-1970’s, yacht broker Art Kadey asked naval architect Jim Krogen to design a full displacement trawler-style yacht.  Krogen’s design became the now-classic 42.  The two men started Kadey-Krogen Yachts in 1976 to market their first boats.  The rest, as they say, is history.

    A total of 203 boats were built between 1977 and 1998 at several boatyards in Taiwan.  Kadey, who became the company’s liaison in Taiwan, died there in 1981, the victim of a random shooting.  Krogen’s son Kurt moved to Taiwan to oversee


production for the next seven years.  When Jim Krogen died unexpectedly in 1994, Kurt became president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts.  His older brother, Jimmy, took over their father’s design office.   The company moved to its current base in Stuart, Fla., in 1999.
    The Krogen 42’s ballasted displacement hull was designed to resist rolling and is self-righting at more than 85 degrees.  Its fine entry minimizes pounding in head seas and a long keel helps it track well in following seas.  The transom is rounded for minimum drag and maximum efficiency.  The boat’s popularity is probably due as much to its distinctive profile, however, as its seakindly hull form.  In the vernacular of trawler owners, it just looks salty.
    Two basic arrangements were offered; the standard version, which has side decks to port and starboard, and the wide-body version introduced in 1989, which has a starboard side deck only.  Different accommodations plans were applicable to either model. 

    Until the mid-1980s, Krogen 42 hulls were fully cored with closed-cell PVC foam.  After several boats built in the late 1970s and early ‘80s developed hull bottom deflections, the company switched to solid hand-laid fiberglass below the waterline. (Of note, Kadey-Krogen paid original owners’ repair costs under warranty.)

The Krogen 42 shows off her salty profile (left). The pilothouse is efficient, roomy and has good visibility.

All of the boats were built with closed-cell PVC foam in the hull topsides and superstructure, which reduces overall weight and insulates against sound, adverse temperature and condensation.  Until the mid 1980s, decks were ¾-inch plywood supported on mahogany beams, with two layers of fiberglass and ½-inch teak planking on top.  On newer boats, the top of the pilothouse and decks are cored with end-grain balsa.  Some balsa core installations may not resist water migration if pierced by fittings or fasteners.  The prudent owner will buy a moisture meter and lift and re-bed deck hardware as a preventive measure, before leaks become a significant problem.
    Mahogany stringers and frames and plywood bulkheads provide internal hull support.  Interior cabinetry, paneling and other joinery is teak. Countertops are 


plastic laminate.  Exterior teak trim is kept to a minimum to reduce maintenance.  Deck hardware is bronze or stainless steel.   Sea cocks and through-hull fittings are bronze and bonded.  The stainless steel rudder is fitted with a protective shoe that extends from the trailing edge of the keel molding. 

On Deck
From the bow pulpit to just past the pilothouse doors, the foredeck is raised three steps above the side and afterdecks.  Except for the pulpit with its anchor rollers, a pair of deck pipes for the anchor rodes, and bronze hawseholes with integral cleats, the foredeck is clear.  A comfortable athwartship seat, with a hinged top for storage, is molded into the forward face of the raised pilothouse.  Older 42s have a teak overlay on the foredeck, while many of the newer boats have molded non-skid.  All of the 42s I’ve seen have had an anchor windlass, typically electric, at the aft end of the pulpit.
    The pilothouse was clearly designed for operational efficiency.  There’s plenty of room for electronics, including computer navigation systems, at the helm or in the cabinet overhead.  A raised seat/watch berth along the aft bulkhead provides an excellent vantage point under way and converts to a double bed in port if needed.  Forward and side visibility from the pilothouse is very good, but in some docking situations you may want to switch to the flybridge.  The 42s have both hydraulic steering and an emergency tiller.
    Just aft of the pilothouse doors, three steps lead down to the side and afterdecks (In the


wide-body layout, the port side deck is eliminated to make room for a wider saloon).  A teak overlay is standard on the side and afterdecks.  From the afterdeck, which can accommodate a couple of deck chairs, a ladder leads up through a hatchway to the boat deck.
    The fully instrumented flybridge, with a central helmsman’s seat and fore-and-aft storage box/seats on either side, is located forward, a step above the boat deck. Two opening ports below the console on either side of the destroyer-type wheel make it easy to directly communicate with the pilothouse (and pass up drinks and sandwiches).
   An aluminum mast installed in a tabernacle just aft of the flybridge is equipped with a boom for launching and retrieving a small boat or for spreading a steadying sail.  Bridge clearance with the mast up is 22 feet 9 inches; with the mast down it’s 14 feet.  The standard boat deck, enclosed by stainless steel railings, has a molded non-skid surface.  A teak overlay was optional. 

Below Decks
From the afterdeck, double doors lead into the saloon.  Here, large sliding windows and 6 feet 6 inches of headroom combine to create a well lighted, open space.  The saloon sole is teak parquet.  A U-shaped galley is located either to port (wide-body) or starboard (standard) at the forward end of the saloon.  The standard galley has a three-burner stove with oven, a separate front-opening refrigerator and freezer and a double sink.  Most owners have chosen to install propane rather than electric stoves.

    Opposite the galley, steps lead up to the pilothouse and down via a short passageway to the staterooms.  In the standard layout, the master stateroom at the forward end of the passageway has an offset double berth and a private head with shower in the forepeak.
  In the optional floor plan, the double berth is located on the midline; the forepeak is used for storage.  A vanity and plenty of storage lockers and drawers are provided in both floor plans.
Opposite the open galley, a short flight of steps leads to the pilothouse. Above: The Krogen 42's galley is bigger than some kitchens.


    The guest stateroom is to starboard off the passageway.  Three different arrangements were offered:  a double berth, upper and lower single berths, or a den arrangement.  The latter option has a Pullman-style berth hinged against the forward bulkhead (with a desk underneath), a settee berth outboard, and storage lockers aft.  A head with a separate shower stall is located opposite the guest stateroom.  The boats are equipped with electric toilets and a 40-gallon holding tank.  Finally, tucked into the corner next to the steps from the saloon, there is a combination washer-dryer. 

Power and Performance
The standard Krogen 42 is propelled by a single, freshwater cooled, 135-hp Lehman diesel engine, turning a three-to-one reduction gear.  At a cruising speed of 8 knots, her range is close to 2,000 nautical miles.  Only five boats were built with twin engines.  For boaters who might be reluctant to put to sea with a single engine, Jim Krogen designed an optional emergency hydraulic drive that was belted to the propeller shaft and powered by and optional 12-kilowatt generator.  Other emergency propulsion systems have been developed as well.
    Stabilizers were offered as an option, but only a handful of boats have factory-installed systems.  Total fuel capacity is 700 gallons, carried in two epoxy coated steel tanks with sight gauges installed on either side of the engine.

    The boat’s DC electrical system includes dual battery banks.  The boats also came from the builder fully wired for AC service, with two 30-amp shore power receptacles.  Common aftermarkent installations include a generator, bow thruster, stabilizers, autopilot, reverse-cycle air conditioning, radar, 50-amp shore power service and much more.

Prices and Availability
An internet search in early March yielded sales listings for 14 boats, all but one with a single engine.  Four were the wide-body model.  Most were located on the Great Lakes, East or
Gulf coasts.  Two were in the Pacific Northwest.  Given the 42’s great popularity with


liveaboards and long-distance cruisers, upgrades are typically extensive.  For the 14 boats I found on the internet, asking prices ranged from $189,000 for hull N. 2, build in 1977, to $440,000 for a 1996 model.  These prices generally exceeded the used-boat price guide by 35 to 40 percent.  In such an overheated market, it pays to take a dispassionate look at a boat’s structural as well as cosmetic condition, the extent and age of its installed equipment, and comparable boats form other manufacturers. 

Like most boats with a lengthy production run, the Krogen 42 has incorporated many improvements over the years.  The end result has been a boat of timeless design that will continue to age gracefully.  However, buyers of previously owned ( I hesitate to use the word “used” for anything that costs more than $200,000) boats should be warned:  Owning a Krogen 42 may be tantamount to joining a cult.  For those seeking counseling, there are several Krogen owners associations located around the country, including the Chesapeake.  Contact information is available from Kadey-Krogen Yachts.  Since Krogen 42s are available in several charter fleets, it’s easy to try before you buy.

Manufacturer Kadey-Krogen Yachts, Inc
290 N. Dixie Hwy.
Stuart, FL 34994
Designer Jim Krogen
Production 1977-1998
LOA            42' 4" LWL              39' 2"
Beam           15' Draft               4' 7"
Displacement 39,500 lb
Fuel             700 gal Water             360 gal
Price range $189,000-$440,000
Reprinted with permission from Chesapeake Bay Magazine.