The Krogen 77-foot Expedition yacht is a big step up for Kadey-Krogen Yachts, the well-known Florida company that currently markets fiberglass trawler yachts from 39 feet to 58 feet. Popular with both cruising yachtsmen and liveaboards, all Krogen yachts carry raised pilothouses. The size and stability of the new yacht, though, allow for a full pilothouse deck above the main deck. That frees up space on the main deck for a master stateroom, which Kurt Krogen, company president, refers to as "the fulfillment of one of James S. Krogen's dreams. A noted yacht designer, James S. Krogen was the founder of Kadey-Krogen as well as father to Kurt and Jimmy, also a designer.
The Krogen team developed the concept and preliminary sketches for the 77 Expedition, then sat down with naval architect Tom Fexas to finalize the design. The Krogens "were really good to work with, notes Fexas. "They have a lot of experience and they know what they want. The result of this partnership is an attractive, well-thought-out yacht that can cruise 4,000 nautical miles at 9 knots, or from the West Coast to Hawaii at her top speed of just over 11 knots.
Part of this true expeditionary capability is the yacht's nearly 8,000-gallon fuel capacity, carried in two amidships deep tanks and two engineroom wing tanks. She achieves an equally significant part of her range by making the most of the fuel burned, and that is done by keeping structural and outfitting weight to a minimum. For the 25 years that I've known Fexas, he has always been a man on a mission regarding weight reduction and a strong proponent of efficient displacement hull forms.
Some argue that with a displacement hull, weight is not so important, but I beg to differ. With regard to horsepower consumed, fuel burned and resultant range, reducing weight is every bit as effective on an expedition yacht as on a sport boat. Others argue that a heavy-displacement yacht is inherently more seaworthy than a lighter one. That also is not true, and to enhance stability even more, Fexas has used some of the weight savings to install fixed ballast deep in the hull. If the argument is "seakindliness rather than "seaworthiness, there can be a difference in at-sea motion, with some preferring the heavier boat for its gentler motion. Good design is a matter of intelligent compromises and informed choices, and I prefer the extended cruising range possible with lighter displacement-especially with fuel prices continuing to climb.
Once the hull form and structural specifications were completed, Krogen looked to other areas to further optimize propulsion efficiency. Each of the twin skegs is curved in opposite directions above and below the propeller shaft. This "counter-fairing, in Krogen's terminology, imparts a bit of rotational swirl to the water flowing into the propeller to counteract the swirl typically occurring behind the prop, converting some of that lost energy into thrust. It's often used on large, single-screw commercial ships, but is virtually unknown on twin-screw yachts.