They are known for their full-displacement, semicustom, liveaboard trawler yachts. So when iconic builders Kadey-Krogen decided to expand their offerings with a planing-hull model, they brought on noted performance-cruiser designer and naval architect Michael Peters, and the Summit Motoryacht concept was born.
The idea was to expand the reach of the 45-plus-year-old brand and step into the coastal-cruiser segment of the market with an innovative and solid design. It would take advantage of the Kadey-Krogen build quality, thoughtful details and engineering, but would otherwise retain its own identity under the Summit Motoryachts umbrella.
“Most brands have a major hull form that they apply across the range of boats they do,” Peters says. “But Kadey-Krogen knew that the best way to meet this new market sector was to design a proper performance-cruiser hull. We considered the hull form that was best suited to the concept and created a hard-chine boat with a moderate deadrise as opposed to a deep-V hull. We were also careful to balance both ends of the boat—not too fine forward and not too flat aft.”
The result is the inherently stable Summit Motoryacht, a shaft-drive cruiser powered by twin 542 hp Cummins QSB6.7 engines matched to ZF transmissions, affording a 25-knot top speed and an enviable 3-foot-7-inch draft. The first model in the Series—the Summit 54 MY—reaches a planing speed of 20 knots in 10 seconds and boasts a 330 nm range at 23 knots.
The collaboration for the first Summit Motoryacht drew on the expertise of Kadey-Krogen’s engineering team and the advice of company president and CEO Tucker West, whose decade-long tenure with the brand was preceded by years of experience with performance-cruiser builder Grand Banks Yachts.
“The Summit Motoryacht line is intended to appeal to today’s boating family and has been designed for that purpose,” West says. “The thoughtful design offers families a flexible stateroom layout, open indoor/outdoor main-deck level, multiple relaxation areas on the decks, and a comfortable, stable ride.”
A spacious open flybridge and large windows affording 360-degree views characterize the exterior profile of the Summit 54, and lend a modern touch to the recognizable performance-cruiser design.
The functionality of the Summit 54’s design begins at deck level, where the aft deck—protected by the extended flybridge hardtop—provides an inviting indoor/outdoor space highlighted by a U-shaped settee with a dining table and a bar counter with two bar stools. A folding glass door opens to the interior, which sees the galley positioned aft so as to easily access both indoor and exterior areas. Here, a fold-up window further integrates the galley with the aft deck and bar area for ease of service. The thoughtful details continue with a built-in blender motor in the bar counter for frozen beverages at the ready.
Considering the needs of family boaters, the Summit design team created a pull-out electric-grill area in the transom, which features a beverage holder, lighting, and dedicated storage for grill supplies. Positioning the barbecue at this level is much more functional, West explains, than situating it on the flybridge, away from the galley and aft deck dining area, which would require carrying the food, supplies, and equipment up and down the flybridge steps.
The transom itself offers storage for equipment and water toys. In fact, storage is a major consideration throughout, and is one of the signature elements borrowed from the Kadey-Krogen liveaboard design.
Walkaround teak side decks with teak-capped rails lead from the transom to the foredeck area, which is fitted with a large reclining sun pad that can be shaded by a sun awning.
The alfresco living continues on the spacious flybridge, in which the designers created a unique wraparound sun pad area forward of the helm. This space features a fully equipped helm with Garmin display on centerline, a refrigerator, additional seating with built-in storage, and a hardtop fitted with speakers and LED lighting. Aft, the wide-open boat deck can hold a 10-foot-6-inch tender launched by a 1,000-pound davit. Alternatively, the tender can be stored on the swim platform to allow for additional functionality of the boat deck.
Architectural interior designer J.C. Espinosa lent his expertise to the interior design and layout of the Summit line, resulting in a contemporary design aesthetic that meets the space planning and functionality desired in a performance cruiser.
The yacht’s huge windows bring plentiful natural light into the interior while also providing pleasant sightlines from the seating areas throughout. The aft galley is outfitted with Silestone countertops, a cooktop, refrigerator/freezer drawers and a pull-out dishwasher. Storage is maximized throughout and includes overhead cabinetry as well as an ingenious pop-up appliance dock built into the counter.
The raised main salon and helm area presents another comfortable living space, and the entire interior can be customized with a soft good and finishes package of the client’s choosing, the standard being satin walnut with Amtico sole, with teak an option. The comfortable salon area features a settee and table with extendable leaves opposite a pop-up flat-screen television, while the fully equipped helm station with twin ultra-leather helm chairs is positioned forward on the starboard side. A door to starboard of the helm area provides increased visibility for the captain.
A CZone Control and Monitoring system manages the electric and entertainment throughout. The engines are managed by Cummins SmartCraft controls, while joystick and wireless remote docking systems are also available. The Zipwake Dynamic Trim-Control System provides interceptor-style trim tabs, aiding in the onboard comfort and fuel economy of this efficient vessel.
The Summit 54 offers a flexible three-stateroom, two-head layout, with the master stateroom positioned amidships, and a queen-size VIP in the bow on the lower deck. The third cabin houses a full-size stacked washer/dryer unit and can be set up with a single or bunk beds, or can be configured as an office with a convertible settee. Soundown sound-dampening insulation minimizes vibration throughout.
Once again, the liveaboard experience of Kadey-Krogen extends into the Summit 54’s accommodations, where copious storage includes multiple hanging lockers and optimized spaces normally kept void on other vessels. In the master, a split en suite adds to the functionality, with both the water closet and shower opposite kept private behind smoked opaque doors.
The Summit Motoryacht line is designed to suit the boater who prefers long weekend coastal cruising with the family, with the option and livability designed for longer excursions. The introduction of the first Summit 54 in March 2020 was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but interested clients responded, and Hull No. 4 is now under construction. Following behind the 54 MY is a new Summit 54 Coupe express boat version that features an opening sunroof, and then a 62 MY.
With the new and expanding Summit Motoryachts line, Kadey-Krogen lends a four-decade history of design innovation and experience building semicustom, full-displacement liveaboard yachts into the performance-cruiser market—a decision that is already proving to be successful in underscoring the caliber of the Kadey-Krogen brand.
Learn more about Summit Motoryachts at summitmotoryachts.com