The term “trawler” in recreational boating is somewhat vague, but often refers to two key elements of a particular boat – its speed and overall appearance. A yacht that is a “trawler” typically has a full-displacement hull, which usually limits speed to single or low double-digits, depending on length; and it usually has the high bow and pronounced shear of a classic fishing boat used to pull nets (“trawls”) through the oceans. The Krogen 58’, from Kadey-Krogen Yachts, is a classic in both regards, with her proud bow and graceful shear sweeping down from stem to stern, and her 8.5 knot optimum cruising speed.
She’s a classic for other reasons, too. Her design optimizes not only seaworthiness, but onboard “live-ability.” A recent offshore delivery from Florida to North Carolina demonstrated both of these qualities to me in the exact environment for which this boat was designed.
Departure from the Fort Pierce inlet, with a strong ebb tide and near gale-force opposing winds, was a good test of the yacht’s ability to handle challenging sea conditions. As is typical of a narrow inlet with these conditions, the waves were steep and stacked close together. Our Krogen 58’ was stabilized with the standard big, 9-square-foot fins from ABT Trac, so we experienced almost no roll. The pitching was significant but the full-displacement hull and the reasonable flare in the bow kept us steady and safe. Among other things, it’s the ability to handle significant sea states that makes for a true bluewater boat, and the Krogen 58’ handles them well.
The pilothouse is roomy and bright, with the helm right on centerline, and a big settee behind it with a beautiful cherry high-low table that converts the settee to a watch berth. There are sturdy Dutch-style doors on either side of the pilothouse. Underway, the pilothouse is nearly silent. Soft conversations are easy and unforced here and it’s a great place to just watch the ocean go by. The reverse rake of the forward windows eliminates glare and reflections from the interior so visibility at night is never compromised. Our delivery boat had the optional helm chair that makes long hours at the helm supremely comfortable.
Down the portside steps from the pilothouse you arrive on the main salon level, with the full, gourmet galley to starboard. In addition to standard touches like granite countertops, fridge, range and stainless appliances, the chef has his own Dutch-style door to the starboard side deck. While I was waiting for coffee to brew, I opened the top half and just hung out in the fantastic sea breeze. It’s more than just a convenience for starboard-side line handling.
The rest of the main level is the wide salon. It’s wider than normal because the Krogen 58’, like a number of modern “widebody” designs, eliminates the port-side side deck walkway. Yes, it would make port-side tie ups a little less convenient, but the rest of the time you’ll enjoy the extra interior room. The salon has an L-shape settee to starboard and typically two single chairs to port. Most buyers will choose to install a flat-screen TV on the salon-side of the galley counter, although it could go behind the settee on an elevator. As is typical of well-designed ocean-going boats, the salon has a handy overhead grab rail for security.
There are double doors that lead to the aft cockpit, which is sheltered by the overhang from the boat deck above. There is room for a table and chairs in the cockpit, which also features a third control station (the second is up on the flybridge) to simplify docking. There is a teak-covered hatch in the cockpit sole leading to the lazarette. You can also reach this space through a watertight hatch at the aft end of the engine room.
If you step down into the lazarette, you’ll notice lots of storage space – bikes, rafts, picnic gear, supplies – as well as access to the steering gear. The headroom on this lower level is somewhat limited; it’s not standing room for a 6-footer; but it’s not uncomfortable to work in. And as you move forward into the engine room from the lazarette, you will see there is plenty of room to work with the generators, which are aft-most on either side; the bigger one has a power take-off for the hydraulics (which power the thrusters, anchor winch and stabilizers). The center aisle has a stable, diamond-pattern sole and the key filters and belts are all reachable from that center position. The twin diesels are surrounded by beefy, protective stainless grab rails. Forward of the engines are the fuel tanks with their easy-to-read sight gauges. There’s also a small worktable right here to keep your tools and spares handy while you work.
On my delivery trip, we checked the engine room every two hours, which is a standard practice on longer offshore passages. Whatever time increment you settle on, the goal is to catch a small problem – a leak, drip, noisy fan belt – before it becomes a big problem. These checks were totally painless because we had a well-lit, clean engine room with lots of room to work. And the Krogen’s displacement hull means that you’re down low near the center of mass so the motion is extremely limited.
In fact, one of the reasons many people enjoy the trawler lifestyle is that they get most of the comforts of home while being able to cruise nearly anywhere they want. While on my delivery, I spent some time in the galley, I relaxed in one of the recliners in the salon with a good book and also spent quite a bit of time just relaxing on the flybridge. After you’ve been at sea for awhile, you begin to notice lots of small things – the infinitely changing hues of the water as you skip in and out of Gulf Stream eddies; the varying scent of the air with each wind change; the remarkable shape and length of the wings on the shearwaters that periodically inspect your boat, and how the flying fish sometimes erupt from the water in large squadrons that move as one entity. I guess if I was bored, or if we were anchored somewhere overnight, I could have sat in front of a movie on the big-screen TV, or checked on the Red Sox via satellite TV, but I rarely feel those compulsions while I’m at sea.
Getting back to the tour, it’s a couple of short steps up through another soundproof, watertight hatch to the main passageway, where you have access to the guest stateroom with twins to starboard (or a queen if you choose) and a head that opens to that stateroom and the passageway. The convertible space to port is normally set up as an office or as a stateroom/den. The master stateroom is forward with its own head. The large master bed lifts easily on pneumatic struts so the ample storage below is actually useable. The passageway also has a laundry closet with stacked washer and dryer. It’s open and airy below decks, with plenty of sturdy, opening port lights so you don’t feel you’re in a cave.
Turn back aft and a couple of steps take you up to the salon again. If you want to go up to the flybridge, you go up the steps to the pilothouse and out the starboard door and aft to the steps leading up. There’s no interior access to the flybridge, but in this size-class of yacht it would take too much room out of the pilothouse, so that’s just as well.
Some things to keep in mind about the Krogen 58: It’s a serious, bluewater yacht, built to be able to cross oceans. It has the kind of beefy, redundant systems needed for that mission. It has an efficient, full-displacement hull with a low center of gravity and keels that protect both shafts and propellers. It also has the room to carry deluxe, full-size appliances. A gourmet chef will be completely at home in the galley. And yet for all its size and capability, a couple will easily be able to handle this yacht themselves. They can plan to cruise at a speed of 8.5 knots, burning barely 6 gallons per hour of fuel and have a range of more than 2,000 nautical miles. Slow down 1 knot and the range is more than 3,000 miles. The base price for a new Krogen 58’ is $1.795 million. Like all boats of this class, you’ll need to add your choice of davit and dinghy, electronics and entertainment systems, and any special decor or customization.