Krogen 39
                  by Jeff Holland
Guys go crazy for this rugged long-range cruiser built for two.

The Krogen 39 is a rugged, long-range cruiser that’s an ideal for liveaboards. It’s really a guy’s kind of boat. Who else but a real guy would forego a second stateroom for a stand-up engine room with room for a workbench?
“You really can sleep three couples comfortably with fold-out berths in the saloon and the pilothouse,” says Kurt Krogen, “but it’s really a couple’s cruising boat. That doesn’t make everybody happy, but we feel it makes the majority of boaters in the market for a trawler that size happy.”

Kurt is the 39-year-old son of James S. Krogen, who founded Kadey-Krogen Yachts in 1976 along with Art Kadey. At that time, it was a novel concept to produce a cruising boat based on a classic North Sea fishing boat design. “Art Kadey developed a conceptual drawing for a full displacement pilothouse trawler, and brought it to my Father in the early 70s,” Kurt recalls. “Art had the contacts with the builders in Taiwan, and Dad was the designer.”
All of their boats are built in Taiwan, though the company is based in Palm City, Florida, on the Intracoastal Waterway near Stuart.  The team’s first boat was the Krogen 42. “They produced five or six boats in the first five or six years,” Kurt reports. “Most people didn’t understand the concept of the single screw and the full displacement hull. There were very few production vessels of that type. It wasn’t until the early 80s that the idea caught on.”
Over the last 15 years, there’s been a growing market for passagemaker boats with full-displacement hulls as opposed to coastal cruisers with semi-displacement hulls. Even sailors who wouldn’t soil the soles of their Sperrys on the decks of most modern powerboats admire their seakindliness, range and ability to carry a lot of gear.
“You can put another 5,000 pounds of living gear on a full-displacement trawler and not affect the performance,” Kurt claims. “They make fine liveaboards.”
Their next project was a sailboat, the Krogen 38 cutter. “Dad’s true love was sailing, and the 38 was unique,” Kurt says. “When we choose a boat to build, we choose the kind of boats we like to see built, not necessarily what the market wants. We’ve been fortunate that the market has followed along with it.”
As it happened, the market wanted the Krogen cutter. They built 85 of them before it went out of production in 1990. It had a shoal draft, a flush deck, and a huge cockpit. The aft cabin arrangement provided lots of liveaboard space. The wide beam made it surprisingly stable, the cutter rig was easy to single-hand, and that shoal draft opened up a lot of cruising grounds for a boat of that size. “You could sail a lot more comfortably in shallow areas like the the Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay, the Keys,” Kurt explains.

Krogen 39 Engine Performance Comparison

Data supplied by John Keere and Kadey-Krogen Yachts

Fuel Consumption (GPH)

Standard 80 hp JD3039FM

Optional 115 hp JD4045T

6 Knots



7 Knots



8 Knots



Engine Speed (RPM)

6 Knots



7 Knots



8 Knots



Range (NM w/10% reserve)

6 Knots



7 Knots



8 Knots



After the cutter came on line in 1980, Kadey-Krogen produced the Manatee 36, a house-trawler design which, like its namesake, wasn’t all that good looking, but it was large. “The finish inside was nice and comfortable, and it had a lot of liveaboard space,” Kurt says. “They’ve held up well in terms of value, and the owners love them.” They built 99 of them from 1982 to about 1991.
“The original design had a two-stateroom arrangement, but we found out after we developed a single-cabin version, everybody wanted that,” Kurt says. “Out of 99, we only built 4 or 5 double-cabin models.”
Next they built the Krogen 54, with its distinctive canoe stern, more of a flare in the bow, and steadying sails. “The hull shape was considerably different, with less emphasis on function and more on shape,” Kurt explains. “We always thought it was one of the prettiest boats we’ve produced. It was more of a semi-custom boat, with not much of the mass appeal. We built eight of them, they’ve done extremely well in terms of value.”
Next, they built two distinct models from the same basic hull design. The Krogen 48 was based on the success of the original Krogen 42 – what we now think of as a “traditional” trawler; while the Whaleback 48 is basically a larger version of the Manatee, what Kurt calls the “Manatee on steroids.” It’s full-bodied, with no walk-around, and the pilothouse is up above the cabin. “It’s not as pretty to look at,” Kurt admits, “but more practical in terms of space. Both boats are going about
neck-and-neck in popularity.”
Kurt recalls that at the time of his father’s death in 1994, he had the idea of scaling down the original 42 to do a “little” trawler. “He had a concept of a 37-footer, but after he passed away, my older brother, J. Morrow Krogen, did a fabulous job modifying the rough concept. He gets the credit for the Krogen 39.”
Their experience with the popularity of the Manatee taught them that there were many couples who wanted to cruise together with only occasional guests. “By lengthening the boat from 37 to 39 feet, we were able to accomplish a couple of things, like a walk-in engine room. We didn’t want to compromise the rest of the design to stuff a second cabin in the boat.”
And who would want to spoil a great cruise with a bunch of extra people hanging around, taking up space? The Krogen 39 layout is ideal just the way it is, with an aft deck big enough for lounge chairs, main saloon with vast headroom, a good long settee to port, an L-shaped settee to starboard with a table, and a U-shaped galley forward.
The galley comes with a Norcold 6.3 cubic foot refrigerator, Force 10 propane range and oven, a roomy stainless-steel sink, and Corian countertop.
It’s three steps up to the pilothouse, likely the Krogen’s most attractive feature. There’s great visibility all around the bow through the front and tinted side windows. If you’re into high-tech navigation systems, there’s plenty of room at the helm station for electronics and computer systems, plus, there’s additional space for electronics in an overhead cabinet. A large, comfortable watch berth converts into a double bed if needed.
A curved staircase leads below, where you find the stateroom in the bow and the engine room amidships. The stateroom features a big, walk-around queen-sized bed surrounded by hanging lockers.


290 North Dixie Hwy.
Stuart, Florida 34994


L.O.A.: Color









35,000 lbs.

Ballast (cast iron):

2,000 lbs.



The Krogen 39 (opposite bottom left) features a well-thought-out galley arrangement. Since it’s open to the main saloon, you can socialize while preparing meals. the refrigerator is a 6.3 cubic-foot- Norcold, the Force 10 range and oven run on propane, and the stainless-steel sink is a big 19" by 21". The trawler’s most distinctive feature: (opposite bottom right) the big, airy pilot-house. The watch berth pulls out to form a double bed on those occasions when you really have to have guests spend the night.


Kurt Krogen
Kurt speaks fondly of his father, James S. Krogen, who founded Kadey-Krogen Yachts along with Art Kadey in 1976.
"I was very fortunate to work with Dad for 12 years side-by-side. It’s the greatest experience anyone could have” Kurt says. "He designed boats built in aluminum, steel, wood, ferro cement; and all types of boats, commercial, sail, motor yachts, hydro ski designs, glass-bottom boats — even dry docks, all very diverse projects. He was extremely talented. It was very rewarding to work with him. We worked together until he passed away in 1994.”
Kurt and his older brother, J. Morrow Krogen – also known as Jimmy — grew up on Key Biscayne. “We would go sailing down to Biscayne Bay every weekend,” Kurt recalls. “Dad got us involved racing prams, and we’ve been involved in boats all our lives. Jimmy worked with Dad for a number of years before I came on board. "Dad would have liked how we’ve been able to carry on the Krogen tradition. It’s based on my father’s styling - he’d be pleased with the boats we’re building now.”

The head and shower are just outside the cabin door, so guests can access it without entering the cabin.
The engine room has a full six feet of headroom as you enter, and there’s lots of elbow room to service the 80-horsepower John Deere’s fluids and filters. A larger, 115-horse engine is a factory option. Two epoxy-coated steel, 350-gallon diesel fuel tanks flank the engine.
With standard power, Kadey-Krogen reports a range of about 3,000 nautical miles at 6 knots, and just under half that distance at 9 knots. That includes about one gallon of fuel per hour for the generator.
The main deck provides an ample walkway on either side of the saloon and pilothouse, and above the saloon there’s a spacious sun deck aft of the second, open-air steering station in the flybridge.


Besides the bigger engine, options available at the factory are limited only because the boat comes so complete to begin with. You can get a Comb-O-Matic washer/dryer, an aft sliding window in the saloon, pre-wiring for a windlass, or a teak eyebrow for the boat deck.
Even the workbench in the engine room is standard equipment. All that for a base price of $319,000. Nicely outfitted, you could spend somewhere in the low $400,000s, but don’t ask for layout modifications.
“When we developed the Krogen 39, we decided to do only one model,” Kurt explains. “There are no modifications; it’s walk-around only, single-cabin only. That’s the only way we can produce a yacht of this size at this quality level and still keep the price affordable.”
What Kurt likes about the Krogen 39 are the same things his dad would like. “It’s simple,” he says. “It has one nice everything. It has a nice engine room, a nice stateroom, a nice fly bridge. Some boats try to do too much. We’ve achieved what we feel is a look that’s not going to be out of date in 20 years, so we think it will have good value.” In his father’s words, “The true test of a design is one that will stand the test of time.”


The Krogen 39´s (above top) one and only stateroom features a walk-around queen-sized bed, surrounded by roomy hanging lockers. The stand-up engine compartment (above, bottom) comes complete with a workbench and plenty of elbow room. The main saloon (left) is ideal for liveaboard couples, with generous headroom and lots of oversized windows for plenty of light and air.

Reprinted with Permission from Chesapeake Bay Magazine