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.
Another feature incorporated by Krogen is the Poseidon drive system, a Dutch-built drive train that includes a vibration-damping coupling to the reduction gear, a shaft log with pre-installed bearings and a nozzle/rudder combination at the propeller. The most efficient and vibration-free propulsion is theoretically achieved with a large propeller and lots of clearance between the prop tips and the hull bottom. The downside of that, of course, is excessive draft and exclusion from many desirable cruising destinations, so again, an intelligent compromise is in order-in this case, the Poseidon drive. With the nozzle around the propeller maintaining high propulsive efficiency at displacement cruising speeds with a smaller diameter prop, the Poseidon drive also enables mounting the assembly with virtually zero tip clearance to the hull, so draft can be kept to a minimum. Poseidon also claims enhanced close-quarters maneuvering because the nozzle is steerable to direct thrust.
While the Krogen 77’s engineering will make her a safe and efficient passagemaker, it is her layout that will endear her to owners. As Kurt Krogen notes, the on-deck master stateroom is “perhaps the crowning achievement of this yacht’s design. The spacious cabin is light and airy, thanks to a pair of large windows above the sheerline to starboard. It is convenient to the galley and saloon, both also with large windows, and to the aft deck, yet still provides privacy to its occupants. A king-sized berth includes an en suite head with shower, and a walk-in closet that is exceptionally spacious for a yacht of this length. The stateroom’s location amidships and its separation from the engineroom assure that it will be quiet and comfortable at sea.
Forward and down is a VIP stateroom that rivals the master for amenities. Here, too, is a king berth and en suite head, but the hanging locker is smaller. Another guest cabin, with choice of twin berths or double, lies abaft the VIP to starboard, across the passageway from a head that serves as a day head as well.
While this yacht is well within the capabilities of many owner-operators, some will prefer having a crewman along for longer voyages. For this eventuality, there’s a single cabin nestled into the hull below the master stateroom. Adjacent to a utility/laundry room, the cabin is reached via a stairway from the main deck passageway. It also has quick and direct access to the engineroom through a centerline passage between the fuel tanks continuing through the engineroom to the workshop and auxiliary machinery room beyond. All bulkheads are protected by watertight doors, dividing the hull into eight watertight compartments for enhanced survivability.
Many cruising owners enjoy a bit of fishing along the way, so Krogen and Fexas have provided an especially spacious aft deck/cockpit. For the serious fisherman, a fully functional fighting chair can be mounted; the upper deck, while shading most of the aft deck, is set forward a bit from the transom so it will not interfere when the rod tip is brought up to set the hook. The arrangement plan even shows a flats skiff on the foredeck, adjacent to the centerline crane, though a RIB will be equally at home. The tender, up to 17 feet, is mounted to port, clear of the escape hatches from cabins below. Twin anchors, with separate windlasses recessed for easy cleanup, are deployed over rollers at the bow.
From the foredeck, it’s only a few steps up the centerline ladder to the Portuguese bridge and pilothouse. There’s a second outside ladder from the aft deck, and an inside stair leads from the galley to the pilothouse as well. The pilothouse is fitted with an enclosed toilet, a small sink and refrigerator, a spacious L-settee and table, and a companion/watch berth. Abaft the pilothouse, a snack bar and dinette area lie under a fixed top, while the after portion of the deck is open for sunning or relaxing in the optional hot tub-to which I’d say yes.