There are times — quite a lot of them, actually — when I really love my job. This was one of them. I was at the helm of the Kadey-Krogen 55 Expedition trawler, passing under Aurora Bridge and entering Seattle’s Lake Union. It was sunny with a little breeze and a light chop danced on the water — nothing that would really test this world cruiser’s mettle, alas. But on the other hand, what’s wrong with a relaxed run on a beautiful day?
Kadey-Krogen’s Seattle Sales Manager Dennis Lawrence and Yachting’s Arnie Hammerman were in the pilothouse with me and we chatted about the company’s evolution as we passed a wonderful variety of moored houseboats along the shore. Lawrence worked at Nordhavn for 20 years before joining Kadey-Krogen and I asked him about what he sees as the biggest difference between the two builders that dominate the long-range cruiser space.
“Both produce yachts that are exceptionally well built and can take you anywhere you point the bow, but there are fundamental differences.” Lawrence points to ergonomics and liveability as key points in Krogen’s “core values.”
The 55 Expedition, which was designed by Kurt M. Krogen, founder Jim Krogen’s son, is in some respects descended from the builder’s popular 48-foot Whaleback. A world cruiser with a full-beam salon and generally voluminous one-level accommodations, it was comfortable and seaworthy. On the other hand, it wasn’t their prettiest boat. The 55 seems to have improved on the Whaleback’s strengths, while being less, well, whale-like.
A mighty Portuguese bridge with access to the high, full bow and uncluttered foredeck, a sheer that is stepped as it runs aft, raked pilothouse windows, high freeboard and a well-protected cockpit indicate a boat that will handle heavy weather with aplomb.