The wait is over. When the Kadey-Krogen brand was launched with a 42-footer that appeared in the December 1982 issue of this publication, no one imagined what was in store. Conceived by enthusiast Art Kadey and designed by naval architect James S. Krogen, the boat was a hit: 206 were built before the model was discontinued in 1995.
Since then, fans of the capable little cruiser have been longing for her replacement. While James S. Krogen passed away in 1994, sons Jim and Kurt have carried the torch, introducing a fleet of new models from 39 to 58 feet over the years. Thanks to Jim, all have followed the sound principles of naval architecture that James S. espoused. Thanks to Kurt, who minds the company, the fit, finish and outfitting of the products they build has kept pace with the market. The result is the sort of boat that the sons of James S. feel their dad would be proud of.
The 44 was a special project for the Krogens. "The 42 was one of Dad's favorite designs-we feel he would have been very pleased with her replacement," says Kurt.
The core values that made the 42 successful were chosen as the foundation of the new design. While designers and builders have long sought ways to fool Mother Nature, James S. believed in working with her. "Dad's pure, full-displacement hull forms are just that-no tricks, no nonsense, just easily driven hulls," says Kurt. The 44 has no hard edges, no bilge keels or bulbous bow; her form is a proven amalgam of what has come before in the proportions James S. believed in. "Like the 42, the 44 has a relatively light displacement-length ratio, a deep forefoot, a high-aspect keel and end-to-end symmetry," he says. "These features lend to her natural motion at sea."
As was the case with the 42, the 44 is not designed purely for passagemaking. "Dad believed that such designs involve far too much compromise." The 44 is comfortable and has far more living space than you might expect for a boat her size and type. She could easily accommodate a couple living aboard. Though many 42s have logged ambitious bluewater crossings over the years, the bulk of the fleet is still in service plying the coastal waters of the U.S. and the Caribbean. "Our owners tend to be experienced cruisers that use their boats-not for a specific mission, but to support a cruising lifestyle," says Kurt.
Fans will be pleased to find that the 44's added length overall has been used wisely. The pilothouse, for example, which was a bit tight on the 42, now has enough space for a full-sized helm chair. Dutch doors are stout, weather-tight welded aluminum; the windshield and windows are manufactured in the U.S. There is of course a destroyer-style stainless steel wheel and more than enough space for instrumentation and full-screen electronics. The traditional raised pilot seat/berth is standard on all Krogen-cruising yachts.