Kadey-Krogen 60 Open: The Genesis of a Long-Distance Cruiser

Although the technology has changed immensely in nearly five decades, the foundational principles on which Kadey-Krogen Yachts was built remain relevant today. We define these tenets from our inception to the newest Krogen model.

This rendering shows our classic lines reimagined in an all-new model: The Kadey-Krogen 60 Open.

PORTSMOUTH, R.I., March 10, 2023 — Chances are whatever time of the year you’re reading this article, there’s a boat show, or a trawler seminar, or some other retail-focused event happening that brings prospective boat buyers together with the folks at Kadey-Krogen Yachts. Ultimately, as sure as the sun will rise, we are asked to compare ourselves to other builders in some type of one-to-one match-up. Of course, we are ready to answer.

Behind the scenes at Kadey-Krogen we embrace a concept that defines how we view our boats compared to other builders, which comes in handy in these situations. Nobody likes to keep secrets so we thought it might be worth articulating this manifesto of sorts to our owners. After all, you are the embodiment of the theoretical. 

This early Krogen 42 is an excellent example of the three main design considerations on which the company was founded: hull design, quality construction, and comfortable layout.

What’s really rewarding to everyone at Kadey-Krogen Yachts is that these fundamental and foundational elements upon which we operate remain as pure and true today as when Art Kadey and Jim Krogen collaborated over rough conceptual drawings in Coconut Grove, Florida, in the mid-1970s. Those drawings would eventually evolve into the Krogen 42 and spawn an entire company. And these same principles have guided us from that initial 42 all the way to the design of our 60 Open shown on this page. So get comfortable and let’s take a little journey.

The central concept is that within the bluewater trawler niche, we basically see two types of owners: The Cruiser and the Crosser. “You can’t ‘sell’ boats like ours,” says Kadey-Krogen Yachts sales executive Greg Sapp. “You need to find the builder whose central design goals most closely fit your plans and personality. I don’t sell Krogens, I look for Krogen clients. So I always try to find out if someone is a Cruiser or a Crosser? That is a bigger distinction than it seems at first.”

Greg continues, “It’s our experience that the Crosser will say, ‘I am going to cross the ocean!’ While the Cruiser will say, ‘I am going to explore the Mediterranean.’ The Crosser wants a “little ship” whereas the Cruiser wants a long-range yacht. Our team has found that the Crosser is focused mainly on the crossing, survival at sea in the worst-case scenario, which is of course important, but that is their central focus from which all decisions are made.” 

However, the Cruiser has to accomplish both. They will need a high-quality, well-designed bluewater yacht for ocean crossings, but they are equally focused on having a comfortable exploration home during these long voyages. The Cruiser is going to spend 10 to 14 days on the crossing and then the next year or two exploring the Med, Europe, or wherever their destination may be.

By all accounts, Art Kadey, a yacht broker at the time, was the Cruiser when he approached naval architect Jim Krogen with a sketch for a liveaboard cruiser that he envisioned himself aboard in the Caribbean. And he knew Jim was the man to make it happen. Indeed, from the very beginning, the central Kadey-Krogen mission from a design and engineering aspect has always been: Yes you can explore the world and be comfortable in your home doing it. More succinctly, this manifested into the Kadey-Krogen tagline of “At Home on Any Sea” and the design of the boats and focus of the company remains targeted on providing comfort to long-range cruisers spending extended, even unlimited time living and cruising exotic locales. Comfort is key to long-range cruises, and at Kadey-Krogen it drives the design decisions throughout the process from that early 42 to the new 60 Open.

In our opinion, there are three key principles which can be used to evaluate long-range cruisers.  They are:

  • Design, including hull form
  • Quality of construction materials and the use of  proper building techniques
  • Layout: How is the boat’s space used?

These design choices are also critically important to ensure the boat is appropriate for the client’s cruising plans and lifestyle.

Hull Form Design

Each and every Krogen yacht begins with Kadey-Krogen’s exclusive Pure Full Displacement (PFD) hull—a masterpiece design for full-displacement pleasure yachts, originally created in the 1970s by Jim. This starts with a very fine or sharp bow entry, especially when compared to other models in the trawler market niche. This accomplishes the Krogen design objectives of comfort and minimizing pitching as the boat pierces the seas. This treatment also requires less force to move forward in seas and absorbs less of the rising energy of a wave. Some other builders incorporate a blunter bow entry which will certainly maximize forward bilges and stowage in this area, yet can create a pitching motion. This represents a compromise between the two design approaches, but the choice between the two was never a question with Art and Jim. They would not compromise on the ride and comfort.

Furthermore, a Krogen has significant bow flare. In larger waves as the water comes farther up the bow, the boat gets “bigger,” creating more flotation and lift. The more the bow goes down in the water, the more lift is created. In other words, the bigger the waves, the greater this offsetting lift to keep from burying the bow.

When looking at a Krogen out of the water, it’s also easy to see another guiding principle of the PFD hull design: longitudinal symmetry. This refers to the degree to which the stern shape matches the bow shape. A simple way to describe what is desired is that a hull with good symmetry will have V-shaped sections and sharp waterlines at both ends.

The stern of a Krogen looks a lot like a bow, doesn’t it? This is because as the boat moves forward through the water, water is displaced. By having a continuously rounded bilge and a narrowing, wineglass stern, the water that is displaced by the bow and then the widening curve of the forward part of the boat as it gets wider, is then replaced in a similar curve back to the pointed stern so that no “station wagon” effect is created. In other words, it pushes the water aside as she moves forward and then puts it back gradually with an angle from the middle of the boat back to the sharp stern. With a square-stern boat, the sudden transition of a square stern, which is the full beam of the boat just ending, creates a vacuum that tries to slow the boat.

A key point to remember is that laws of physics apply to hull shapes too, and so for every wave action force on the hull, there is an equal and opposite reaction force on the water. A Krogen hull is designed to deflect a large portion of that wave energy and the result is truer tracking. This again creates added comfort for everyone on board.

The other advantage to longitudinal symmetry is that following seas are parted just like a pointed bow works on head seas as the boat moves forward. A full-displacement design is slower than the waves so the waves from behind will catch you and come up under your stern. The forces of following seas are dissipated rather than absorbed, or “parted” rather than pushing the boat and making the boat rise and push to one side or the other.

Quality Construction Equals More Comfort

Another key objective to deliver the Cruiser the ultimate bluewater boat is achieved through reducing build weight, while maximizing strength. How do you make a fiberglass hull strong? There are basically two approaches. One is to make it thick and the other is to make it from stronger materials. 

Kadey-Krogen employs layers of a bulletproof Kevlar material (the industrial name is Aramid) in our hulls. This is expensive, but the process is five times stronger than steel and up to 60 percent lighter than ballistic steel—yet another example of weight not being related to strength. A boat that is both lighter and stronger is simply more fuel efficient. And again, this approach increases onboard comfort by allowing Kadey-Krogen to use larger windows and have larger spaces with no intrusive support system as the boats do not flex as much as a conventional, less expensive build.

The Comfort of Home

When Kadey-Krogen staff is tasked to explain our difference, this is often where we find ourselves getting excited and animated (And our owners do too!). The bottom line is that the company dedicates more space, indoors and out, to living areas. We simply made a deliberate decision to allow for larger galleys, saloons, flybridges, upper decks, and cockpits. The cockpits are also covered so you can sit outside at anchor even in the rain.

Our interiors are also designed to replicate single-level living wherever possible. We don’t believe in the multiple-level, chopped-up layouts that have grown out of yachts trying to optimize every cubic inch of interior volume (as inventive as some solutions may appear at first). It just shows how much better a properly designed yacht interior works.

We realize that not everyone will agree with our driving philosophy and approach to bluewater, comfortable, cruising trawlers. Yet when we look at the pages in this issue of Waypoints of how our owners are enjoying their boats around the world, we are reminded that Art and Jim were onto something. That collaboration has spawned nearly 700 boats and led from that special 42 to our new Krogen 60 Open shown on these pages. We sure hope you’ll like it, and we’re positive that Art and Jim would approve.

Krogen 60 Open: A Living Legacy

The Krogen 60 Open exemplifies the founders’ philosophy and represents a culmination of nearly 50 years of design and build expertise.

Designing and building a new model is not easy. Just to arrive at the tooling stage is often an undertaking that requires a tremendous amount of effort. What does make it easier and, dare we say, even a little fun, is that Kadey-Krogen is not looking to create an entirely new approach or figure out the latest and greatest with each new build. Do we have an eye on evolving technology and building techniques? You bet we do. However, we start every new design based on the foundational elements described above, which have driven our success since 1977.

The Krogen 60 Open continues to build on the success of the 50 Open and incorporates the same open living concept first shown on this model, which seamlessly joins the saloon and galley area with the pilothouse. Yet, if someone was to think that the 60 Open is simply just a larger version of the 50 Open, she would be mistaken.

For example: As a result of the volume and use of space, a day head can easily be added in the pilothouse to enhance livability while on passage or on the hook. The helm is served by two seats to allow the captain and mate to pilot the 60 comfortably. The port and starboard side doors bring in the air and also allow easy access to the side decks while maneuvering, as well as to the flybridge via the portside staircase. The L-shaped settee rivals those in the saloon on many other boats and allows for multiple relaxation areas while cruising.

Belowdecks, the en suite master is placed amidships and features a king-size berth to take full advantage of the 60 Open’s 19-foot, 6-inch beam. Several interior layout options include a three-stateroom, three-head layout with a convertible office area. Provisions for optional crew accommodations are also offered abaft the engine room.

Twin 200-horsepower John Deere 4045 diesels are standard, providing transoceanic range. The 60 Open also has an island-friendly draft of less than 6 feet. The propellers are protected with the Kadey-Krogen designed and patented Counter-Faired Twin Skeg design which was first introduced on the 58. Basically this structure serves two purposes. First, it provides additional protection for the boat’s running gear. It also allows the 60 to sit on her own bottom upright if you choose to let the tide run out under her, a key feature for bottom maintenance in remote destinations. Most importantly, the skegs are offset from top to bottom which creates a slight spinning of the water as it moves over them, rotating counter to the direction of the propellers. This gives the propellers an additional bite and increases fuel efficiency.

“The 60 Open represents the evolution of the Open Series and is yet another example of the advantages of having our own in-house design and engineering team,” said Tucker West, president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts. “It’s based on our proven design and engineering yet incorporates our focus on constant product evolution and a quest for perfection.” The more we think about it, we’re pretty certain that Art and Jim would agree.

Krogen 60 Open Specifications

LOA: 63′ 1″ (19.23 m)

LOD: 60′ 2″ (8.34 m)

Beam: 19′ 6″ (5.94 m)

Draft: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)

Displ.: 120,000 lb. (54,000 kg)

Fuel: 1,800 gal. (6,814 l)

Water: 450 gal. (1,700 l)

Estimated bridge clearance: 21′ 3″ (6.48 m) 

Key Features

  • Day head in pilothouse
  • Galley with full depth counter or additional cabinet
  • Galley double sink standard
  • 3 en suite heads
  • King berth in owner’s stateroom
  • Larger master to accommodate desk or settee
  • Convertible settee option to create fourth stateroom
  • 20 kW generator as standard
  • Increased battery capacity to 1,200 amp-hours and additional inverter
  • Large tender capacity up to 16 ft depending
  • on placement
MAIN DECK The flowing, open space of the 60 will appeal to liveaboard cruisers.
LOWER DECK This option shows the crew quarters abaft the engine room.