The truth is, that excess weight in a yacht usually only guarantees one thing: reduced fuel economy. So, why do many experienced cruisers often equate an overweight trawler with strength? Because back in the “early days”, the market consisted predominantly of shallow, flat-bottom coastal craft with insufficient internal volume for the fuel and supplies needed for long-range voyaging. These craft had very low D/Ls.
And how do you build a boat that is seakindly and seaworthy, capable and livable? In other words, what is the secret sauce to the Kadey-Krogen construction methodology?
For starters, although we’ve been building long-range cruisers since 1977, we begin each new model with a clean slate. The builder of a cruising boat will want the naval architect to create a hull that flows optimally through the water, dissipates rather than absorbs, reacts to the effects of sea conditions, and provides a comfortable and safe ride in the conditions for which she is designed.
To provide strength, stem-to-stern fiberglass girders are closely spaced to ensure distribution of hull loads to the bulkheads and encapsulated mahogany girder inserts allow equipment to be attached for maximum strength and reliability. Vacuum-bagged foam cored bulkheads with molded fiberglass hat section stringers are also key to the integral strength of every Kadey-Krogen.
Lead ballast is cast to conform to the keel contour and concentrated low in the hull, so less ballast material is required, and weight is reduced.Some builders will use iron, which is less expensive, but it is also less dense than lead. For the same weight, iron takes up 44 percent more space than lead. In a deep cavity of given volume, iron ballast won’t achieve the same righting characteristics as the lead employed in a Kadey-Krogen.
Kadey-Krogen also incorporates cored laminates in the deckhouse and topsides to reduce weight, resulting in a lower center of gravity. Each superstructure includes Knytex® and mat (in combination with Corecell® cores) and surface mats for print-through reduction. Another side benefit coring is thermal insulation, making these vessels more comfortable in cooler weather with less condensation as well. They are also easier to cool in warmer weather.
These construction techniques can result in a more fuel-efficient vessel—one with up to 40 percent better fuel economy than a more heavily built trawler.
Another way to provide strength without just making the hull thicker is to reinforce it with an aramid fiber. Kadey-Krogen, for example, uses Twaron, which is the same fiber used to give body armor its bullet-proof capability. Twaron is five times stronger than steel and up to 60 percent lighter than ballistic steel—yet another example of weight no being related to strength.
In addition to the safety benefits, these construction techniques can result in a more fuel-efficient vessel—one with up to 40 percent better fuel economy than a more heavily built trawler. In real world numbers, that’s 900 versus 1,260 gallons on a 3,000-nautical mile passage.