Kadey-Krogen Yachts began in 1976, when the idea of bluewater cruising was just taking hold in the wider recreational market. It was the idea of an efficient, safe and comfortable cruising trawler yacht that set the company apart. This was chiefly because the company built yachts designed with many attributes proven and venerated by commercial shipbuilders, yet had been forgotten or ignored by recreational boatbuilders who saw fit to trade onboard comfort for other traits.
Founders Art Kadey and Jim Krogen had identified an underserved segment in the market, and came up with a hull design for their 42’ that could meet the demand for this kind of cruising. It made perfect sense to make onboard comfort the priority. First, design a yacht with a hull that allows for comfortable passagemaking, far offshore and ready for the mercurial conditions that can sometimes arise. Second, fit out that hull with a finely finished interior that would welcome its owners with homelike comfort.
The market at that time had very few players. Aside from custom designs, very few builders had tapped into these passage-making desires. Many cruisers explored American custom yachts, but there was a certain level of risk involved: the idiosyncracies of a one-off may miss the mark. It would be better to find a proven, seakindly hull.
Art had extensive marine experience in boatbuilding, yacht charter, and as a yacht broker. Not only that, he had connections in Taiwan. In the early 1970s, he had the idea for a full-displacement trawler yacht. He showed Jim some sketches he had drawn and asked him to create the design. Jim’s three decades of commercial design experience helped him to merge proven design elements with innovative concepts to incorporate seakeeping with onboard amenities. With the field wide open, Art and Jim took the plunge.
The Kadey Krogen 42’ launched in 1977 and her robust construction resembled commercial shrimp trawlers built to respect the sea and ride out any conditions. The hull and cabin sides of the Krogen 42′ were built of fiberglass-sandwich construction with closed-cell PVC foam core; heavy, hand lay-up using mat and roving. The composite structure is buoyant and insulates for shock, sound, and temperature, and provides for a quiet, comfortable ride.
Over the years, the company came up with new models to meet the needs of cruisers and build on what they had established.
In 1981, the company launched the Krogen 38’ Cutter, a shoal-draft cruiser that was a labor of love for Jim. This island-hopping design uses centerboards that reduce the draft to three feet, two inches, while dropping to six feet deep for bluewater performance. They were usually fitted out with hand-finished interiors in teak or cherry for a warm welcome aboard.
Kadey-Krogen introduced the Krogen 36 Manatee in 1984, a coastal cruiser that offers roomy accommodations finished in teak and outfitted with generous stowage. Innovative design provides convenience and natural ventilation to enjoy the sea breezes, and the same rugged construction uses closed-cell PVC foam core, with heavy hand lay-up using mat and roving. All joinery work and paneling were constructed of fine teak.
In 1988, the Krogen 54 made her debut, targeted at those who sought to cruise the waters less traveled. Her onboard comforts rival the finest custom builds, yet her seagoing heritage bears a direct line from rugged North Sea fishing vessels that must carry on safely in all conditions. This design featured an available den on the accommodations deck, and a large, open-plan galley and saloon, plus many more features that would be adopted widely throughout the industry.
In 1993, the company introduced the Krogen 48 Whaleback, which enclosed the main deck with a saloon across the full beam, and offered excellent living space throughout, with a upper level pilothouse surrounded by large windows and a Portuguese bridge. These yachts still ply waters around the world—their owners continue to cruise to the corners of the globe and enjoy their efficiency and onboard space.
The Krogen 48 North Sea joined the line in 1995, and cemented her design in the Kadey-Krogen legacy. Indeed this is the model that many professional mariners, naval architects, and experienced ocean voyagers choose for their retirement.
In 1997, Kadey-Krogen introduced the Krogen 39’, a cruising trawler for couples or single-handers who wish to cruise the coast or venture farther with guests along the way, she brought the serious, Pure Full Displacement hull to a new class of cruiser.
The company hit a new benchmark with the introduction of the Krogen 58’ in 2000, which struck a chord as the yacht for “old salts” as well as those new to the cruising world. This yacht promised the ability to serve as a home away from home, or even as a primary residence, with the space and comfort of the design matching her long-range capabilities.
In 2004, the Krogen 44 made her debut as a perfected version of the pioneering 42, with all the appeal of a great sea boat, a transoceanic voyager, and a comfortable liveaboard. From pilothouse to saloon to staterooms to “back porch,” she captured the essence of the brand all over again.
Since 2008, Kadey-Krogen Yachts has continued to build each new model they have launched, including the Krogen 55 Expedition, the Krogen 52, the Krogen 48 AE, the Krogen 44 AE, the Krogen 58 EB, and ,in 2018, the Krogen 50 Open.
Each of these trawler yachts are designed around the same core philosophy, a Pure Full Displacement hull fitted out with an interior designed and built to exacting specifications. Staying true to this idea lets Kadey-Krogen Yachts deliver on the promise and allow its boats and their owners to feel At Home on Any Sea.
A conversation with the builder of Krogen and Summit recounts the genesis of a successful collaboration.