Kadey Krogen 58 • Powerful Passagemaking
Aboard the Kadey-Krogen 58, a 250-mile trip from Annapolis to New York City is a breeze, so to speak
The September afternoon we departed the Maryland shore to head north to New York was cool and clear. The wind was light from the southwest so Chesapeake Bay sparkled with flecks of orange as the sun set. From the look of the sky, the night passage north that lay ahead of us promised fair weather and a calm sea.
But that is not what we were hearing on the weather forecasts or via the weather downloads on our cell phones. Hurricane Hanna was working its way north along the Georgia coastline and blowing roofs of cottages and dogs off their chains. The question in our minds was, “Would it accelerate and pass over us before we got to New York? Or not?”
There is nothing like heading off on a long coastal passage, partly inshore and partly offshore, knowing there is a hurricane blowing not 500 miles away. No matter how calm the sky and the sea looks where you are, you always are looking over your shoulder and waiting for the 800-pound gorilla to thump you.
Our skipper John was not making a rash decision to head north with the hurricane behind us. We had plenty of bail-out options along the way and the forecast consistently had the storm slowing and turning east of New York. So, off we set into the September twilight with the 58’s twin, John Deere 158-horsepower engines purring in the engine room.
Built for Cruising
The Kadey-Krogen 58 is the flagship of the company’s line of displacement trawler-style cruising boats and it truly feels like a flagship underfoot. Kadey-Krogen is a leader in the trawler-yacht field and pioneered displacement designs a generation ago with the introduction of the Kadey-Krogen 42, a boat that combined the comfort and amenities of a motor yacht with the sea keeping qualities of a working trawler.
The 58 was a departure for the company when it was introduced because it was the first Krogen to come with twin engines and twin screws. While a single screw arrangement might be slightly more efficient than the twins (about 10 percent), the size of the 58 at 96,830 pounds displacement and its intended use for long-haul cruising makes the power and redundancy of the twins extremely attractive.
The design could be called an “Alaskan-style trawler” due to its high flared bow, attractive but businesslike sheer, large bridge with forward slanting windows and a flying bridge. The afterdeck is wide and open and will be a good aft cockpit since it is well protected with an overhead fixed roof. Going forward, the bridge is enclosed in an open working area with the outside steering station on the starboard wing. Access to the foredeck is via a door in the bulkhead, which leads to seats and an open lounging area. The massive windlass and chain lockers will handle two 60-kilo anchors on half-inch chain, so the 58 will be completely secure and self sufficient when exploring the back of beyond.
The flying bridge, which can be covered with a folding bimini top, gives the helmsman excellent visibility all around and will be the spot for steering in tight quarters when eyeballing the shallow channels of the Bahamas.
As you would expect from an ocean-going trawler, the 58 has been set up first with boat handling and seamanship at the top of the list. Lockers are well positioned for all the gear you need for mooring, anchoring, handling dinghies and other cruising toys and leading the outdoor cruising life. The 58 we were aboard had a large Nautical Structures crane mounted on the after deck of the flying bridge that can hoist and deploy a 1,200-pound dinghy.
Safety is obviously a high priority. The bulkheads all around are high and sturdy while there are plenty of handholds to grasp as you are working on deck. A bridge deck locker has been devoted to flares and a ditch kit while the life raft can be mounted nearby or down on the lower decks.
Kadey-Krogen knows the owners of the 58 will most likely take their boats to sea and will face a wide range of wind and sea conditions. All of the major hatches and doors on the boat are heavy duty Freeman models that will withstand the force of boarding waves and breaking seas. Windows are not overly large and thus less susceptible to wave damage and are constructed with tough frames and shatterproof glass.
The 58 inspires her crew with a lot of confidence. The design is sensible and solid, the boat’s construction is thoroughly modern without being lightweight, and its deck layout will be safe and secure for those working the boat in all conditions.
As we headed up the Chesapeake that night and then turned down Delaware Bay toward the open Atlantic, we were pleased we were aboard the 58.
At 58 feet, the Kadey-Krogen is large enough to be considered a motor yacht and certainly the fine finish and attention to detail that the builders put into each boat also qualify it for that label. But, the difference in the 58 and the rest of the Krogen line of boats is that they are intended for owner operators and not for owners who require teams of crewmembers. That makes all the difference. Instead of the 58 being a floating gin palace with cut glass mirrors over the beds, faux marble fireplaces in the cabins and acres of shag carpet under Chippendale furniture, the boat is a true couple’s cruising boat that has its roots deeply planted in the best tradition of the sea. The 58 may be elegant but it is at heart extremely practical and sensible.
The bridge is the command center of the 58 where the crew will spend most of its time while on passage or even while cruising. With open chart spaces on both sides of the wheel, there is plenty of room to spread our charts, cruising guides and the navigational stuff of passagemaking. From the raised seat at the wheel you have good visibility and command of all the data coming in from the ship’s navigational and engineering instruments. The dinette aft of the helm seats four and will be the place for most casual meals. The dinette also doubles as a good sea berth when on passage.
The saloon is large with a bench dinette to starboard that has a folding table that serves as either a coffee table or a dining table for up to eight adults. Two easy chairs are positioned to port; these can be drawn up to the table at dinner time.
The saloon flows naturally into the large galley just forward where you will find all of the kitchen amenities you would expect in a luxurious home away from home. The counter spaces are large enough for enthusiastic cooks and there is plenty of cabinet and fridge storage for long haul cruising. The appliances on the 58 we sailed were all top of the line and would make any owner proud.
Down a flight of steps to port lies the three private cabins and two heads. The first cabin to port is a study with a good desk and storage plus a comfortable single berth settee. To starboard lies a double cabin with twin beds and plenty of hanging and storage space for a couple visiting for a week or two. Forward lies the master stateroom with a centerline double berth with large drawers and lockers beneath it.
The master stateroom has its own head that can be accessed from both the hallway and the cabin. The two guest cabins share the second head. Both heads are large and have their own shower stalls.
The 58 is fitted out with handsome cherry furniture and veneers. The light color of the wood with the hand rubbed satin finish gives even the forward cabins a pleasant amber lightness that is warm and refreshing. The joinery throughout the boat is first class, yacht-style cabinet work. Hardware on doors and ports is all stainless steel and robust. Lighting throughout is both good quality and imaginatively placed for setting various moods and styles, whether at sea and passagemaking, entertaining a gang or settling in for a romantic evening.
Over the three days we were aboard, we found that the 58 is great for living aboard and its spaces have been designed for comfort, privacy, seamanship and elegant living.
On any vessel of this type, the engine room and the installation of the engines and all systems tells you a lot about the overall integrity of the yacht. The 58’s engine room, under the saloon and down three steps from the living quarters, is a work of art and it also draws a line under the fact that the 58 is more ship than coastal cruiser.
With diamond plate floors, massive steel engine beds, gensets mounted on raised pods where they are easy to work on and all filters, manifolds and engine accessories installed where you can see and work on them, this is an engine room fit for a mega yacht. Cruisers who know that regular maintenance of the engineering systems is the key to happiness at sea will take one look at the 58’s engine room and fall in love.
With the confidence inspired by the design, construction and engineering of the 58, we motored through the Cape May Canal the next dawn and then emerged into the Atlantic where we turned north toward New York. The hurricane was still behind us and dumping huge amounts of rain over the Carolinas. Off the New Jersey shore, the sea was relatively calm and the sky only tinged with high cirrus clouds.
With the engines turning over at cruising revs we were making 9.5 knots over the bottom and on schedule to arrive in New York well in advance of the storm. The ocean waves that were rolling in from the south told us that a storm was out there but with the stabilizers humming away, the 58’s motion was incredibly level and comfortable.
Hours passed as reports of the hurricane continued to show that it was indeed coming our way. Late that afternoon, we rounded Sandy Hook, motored into New York harbor and found a secure marina berth in Jersey City just across from the lights of Manhattan. Even so, we kept thinking, “What would the 58 be like out there in a storm?” It would be exhilarating to find out but that’s a passage for a different time and a different crew. At the end of our passage, we were glad to be safe, sound and ensconced at a safe mooring in this luxurious and powerful passagemaker.