The open main cabin is several steps below the pilothouse. A U-shaped galley area forward has Corian countertops, a gas range, a microwave oven and dual-voltage refrigeration. A saloon area aft has built-in L-shaped seating, space for chairs and an entertainment center with flat-panel TV. Stairs in the main cabin lead below deck. An owner's cabin has a queen island berth and a second cabin/den has a seating area that converts to a double berth as well as a Pullman berth. The passageway leads to a head with a separate shower and a cabinet with a stacked washer/dryer. Throughout, hardwood soles and teak joinerwork with a satin finish are standard. While this specification is similar to the 42's, the craftsmanship and detail in my opinion have improved. The interior soft goods and fixtures are first class.
Exterior fit and finish has also matured. The 42's superstructure was built with a variety of sub-moldings that were screwed together. The 44's pilothouse top, flybridge and boat deck are molded in one piece and mechanically fastened and fiberglassed to the one-piece superstructure and deck. This results in a cleaner look and a stiffer structure that offers fewer opportunities for water to find its way into the interior. Teak covers a portion of the main deck and is bonded to the fiberglass substrate. Those who are tired of teak can opt for fiberglass decks. The flybridge has a full helm station and the covered afterdeck has space for a table and chairs-another improvement over the 42. A walkaround side deck is standard and a wide-body version (full-beam port side) is offered.
With length overall on the rise in recent years, Kadey-Krogen delivers fewer boats these days. "Our mission is to build the best production-displacement trawlers in the world-period," says Kurt. The 44 is built by Asia Harbor Yacht Builders in Kaohsiung, Taiwan-a yard dedicated to Kadey-Krogen's product line. The 44's solid hull bottom is hand laminated with a blend of stitched fiberglass and Kevlar reinforcements. The latter is used to reinforce critical areas such as the transom and the forward bulkhead. The hull bottom is supported by fiberglass stringers and Airex coring is used to stiffen and strengthen the hullsides.
There is no better way to appreciate the approach of James S. to full-displacement hull forms than to take the wheel of the 44 offshore in sloppy seas. Recently, Kurt and I did just that off Stuart, Fla. The wind had been blowing 20 knots for several days and as we approached the inlet I could see the outgoing tide colliding with the 6-foot seas. Even given her Naiad stabilizers, the 44's motion in the confused seas was surprisingly comfortable. While the bigger seas that exceeded 6 feet seemed a threat at first, they simply passed beneath the boat without a fuss. Once clear of the inlet, she had the same comfortable motion in all directions. With a quartering stern sea I pointed her at the sea buoy a quarter-mile distant and set the autopilot-she tracked as true as an arrow. The decibel readings I recorded in the pilothouse at cruising speed were a pleasantly low 68 dB(A).
The 44 is an honest full-displacement form-her optimum speed of around 8 knots is a function of her waterline length. With her single 154 hp John Deere turning 2050 rpm I noted a cruising speed of 8.8 knots. Kurt considers this an ideal "high cruise" and the 7.5 knots I recorded at 1700 rpm an ideal "low cruise." While you could push her harder, it would be wasteful; that's simply the nature of full-displacement designs. You can see this in the numbers. At 8 knots she has a range of 2,120 nautical miles. At 9 knots her range drops to 1,390 nautical miles. Pull her back to 6 knots and she can wander almost 5,000 nautical miles.
When the Krogen team put ink to paper to pen the 44 they were clearly inspired. She is not simply a rehash of an old idea, she is the broadening of a gifted designer's vision crafted by his creative and capable sons. "We are very close to this design," admits Kurt. "I suppose it took us a bit longer than it should have to bring her to market." In my opinion the 44 was well worth the wait.
Contact: Kadey-Krogen Yachts, (772) 286-0171; www.kadeykrogen.com.