Krogen 39: Sea Trial

Krogen 39: Solid and fuel-efficient trawler suited for extended cruising.

15th January 2004.
By John Shinnick

The Krogen 39 can handle the rigors of cruising.

The Krogen 39 can handle the rigors of cruising.

The Krogen 39 is the latest addition to the Kadey-Krogen family — a well-respected name in the world of trawler yachts.

While the boating world is a realm of relatively few well-known brand names, Kadey-Krogen has successfully built a reputation for its Krogen brand of full-displacement- and semi-planing-hull trawlers. These vessels incorporate traditional workboat lines and include an array of practical cruising amenities. Their profile is distinctive — and more reminiscent of a true workboat than most pleasureboats that are called “trawlers.”

Krogens tend to be owned by experienced cruisers who are in no hurry to get to their destination, but want a strong hull, in case things get rough during a passage.

Not only do Krogens have a masculine-looking profile, they are built tough. The lay-up consists of solid fiberglass below the waterline, finished with a coat of vinylester resin as blister prevention. The 39′s solidly built hull seems to be designed to hit floating logs with impunity (although one shouldn’t make a habit of that).

Despite the fact that few trawler builders worry much about weight, Krogen gave the 39 Airex foam coring above the waterline, and Divinycell coring to keep weight to a minimum in the house. At the same time, this coring adds rigidity and strength.

Also, because it is a true trawler with no planing pretensions, and there is always the need to minimize rolling when making offshore passages, 2,000 pounds of lead ballast has been encapsulated in fiberglass, low in the Krogen 39′s keel.

To me, the Krogen has always been sort of the Swiss Army knife of cruising yachts. All of the tools you’ll need for cruising are included — and everything fits with minimal fuss.

All Aboard

We entered the 39 from the dock at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Marina, through probably the narrowest gate you will ever find in the gunnel of a boat (you can also board via a much wider opening transom gate). I was greeted by Greg Matthes of Passagemaker Yachts in Seattle and Greg Sorkness, the owner of our test boat. Greg Sorkness and his wife, Marcia, had already put 160 hours on the engine, cruising to the Yacultas during Summer 2003, so the boat was nicely broken in by the time we joined them.

The aft deck is small and well protected from the elements by a molded fiberglass extension of the upper deck. Additional protection is provided by canvas and isinglass dodgers all around.

The Krogen 39 has a minimum of teak outside, which keeps maintenance chores to a minimum. The anchor roller is a double, allowing two anchors for serious remote destination cruising. The sidedecks are narrow, but they are well protected with heavy-duty stainless steel rails.

The aft deck is a cozy area, offering cool shade on a hot summer day in your favorite anchorage or protection from a blustery fall afternoon on the hook.

Entry to the saloon is via a heavy watertight door, with two sets of white sea dogs in addition to a conventional lock and a stainless steel door handle. This is one of three watertight doors on the boat. The two others are located to port and starboard in the pilothouse, leading to the sidedecks.

A compact dinette with seating for six lies immediately to port in the saloon, facing a long settee with additional seating on the starboard side. There’s a teak grabrail installed along the padded overhead. Tongue-and-groove teak is used on the bulkheads.

The interior was finished to the tastes of her owners, with custom beige upholstery and beige carpeting inlaid with an elegant navy blue pattern. The teak was given a satin finish, and the overall look of the interior is traditional, in keeping with the traditional characteristics of the hull and exterior profile.

A compact galley is athwartship at the forward end of the saloon. The basic tools of the trade are present here, in full size configurations: an upright refrigerator, a three-burner propane range with a conventional oven and an optional microwave oven. The stainless sink lies in the island between the saloon and the galley.

Satin-finished louvered teak storage lockers line the overhead in the galley, with additional storage underneath. The louvers are a nice touch, providing good air circulation — which is important when cruising in any climate.

Krogen galleys tend to be compact and bright. Keeping the floor space to a minimum actually makes it easier to prepare food under way, because everything is close at hand for the chef.

Natural light is provided by two large portlights — one to port, the other to starboard — as well as two small hatches in the upper deck, just forward of the upper station.

This is essentially a two-person cruising boat, although overnight or weekend guests can be accommodated as an afterthought. The master stateroom, four steps down from the pilothouse, includes a large queen-size berth and a compact en suite head with a shower compartment.

The trim belowdecks features the same warm satin-finished teak found in the saloon. The stateroom has a warm feel to it, with built-in storage and louvered doors similar to those found in the galley and saloon.

Engine room access is via a thick teak door in the stateroom. The boat’s 120 hp single John Deere diesel engine sits immediately inside the door, centered in a floor that separates the work areas from the bilge.

The compartment offers just about the easiest access to an engine that you will find on a contemporary pleasureboat. This boat is designed to be an owner-maintained vessel, and all of the major systems on the engine are easy to service.

A small workbench has been installed immediately to starboard. There are a few drawers for small bits. To port, the major valves, strainers and through-hulls are easy to reach, and so is the pressure pump for the freshwater system.

The fuel tanks, to port and starboard, are equipped with sight gauges and access ports. Wiring, fuel lines and other tubing are all laid out for easy access, as well.

The engine room has standing headroom just as you enter, but headroom decreases from the front of the engine to the rear bulkhead.

A large 8D battery has been allocated to starting the engine, while a bank of Rolls deep-cycle batteries takes care of the house lights. Sorkness said he prefers not using the generator, and the 12v system provides more than enough power for house lighting.

A Traditional Pilothouse

The Krogen pilothouse is a warm blend of tradition and technology. The helm console is laid out with a useful array of electronics. The chart plotter and radar are easy to read, while the engine and thruster controls are easy to reach, inset in teak. Large windshield panels look out onto the foredeck and the waterway ahead.

The wheel is heavy wood, connected to the boat’s stainless steel rudder via a two-station Hynautic hydraulic steering system. Guests in the pilothouse can relax on a large settee, behind the wheel.

Watertight doors to port and starboard are Dutch-style doors, allowing fresh air circulation under way or at anchor, without having a full door open.

With Marcia Sorkness and my wife, Judy, joining us for a spin on Puget Sound, Greg Sorkness eased the 39 out of its slip. The departure was a piece of cake, with the bow thruster making this single-engine boat about as easy to maneuver in close quarters as a vessel with twin engines.

We exited the marina and nudged up through the rpm range while the John Deere warmed up. At 1,700 rpm, we hit 8 knots, which Sorkness said is his optimum cruising speed.

“On occasion, I’ll push it to 2,000, if we need to make up time,” he said. “But that’s pretty rare.”

In our fast-paced world, the Krogen 39 may be somewhat anachronistic, but boats like this have an attraction all their own. The process of getting there — enjoying the ocean, the seascape, the wildlife and the other boats — is part of the pleasure of using a trawler. Arriving at the destination is just a side benefit to using a boat like the Krogen 39.

Sorkness said he plans his passages for early mornings, when the sea is flat, and he arrives at the anchorage about the time most other boats are just heading out — so he always gets his pick of the best spots.

Krogen 39 Specifications

Length 43’8″
Beam 14’9″
Draft 4’3″
Weight 33,470 pounds
Fuel capacity 700 gallons
Water capacity 300 gals.
Sleeps 2-6
Propellers 26′ x 17″ three-blade bronze
Base price with 120-hp John Deere 4045 TFM diesel engine $405,000

Performance

Top speed8.8 knots
Nautical miles per gallon at 7.8-knot cruising speed 2.65
Estimated uel cost for 100 miles $53.67
Range at 6.4 knots 3,097 miles (with 100 gallon reserve)
Sound level at 7.8-knot cruising speed 73 dbA

(Estimated fuel cost based on fuel price of $1.65 per gallon.)

Standard Equipment

Pompanette helm chair; Hynautic two-station hydraulic steering; Hynautic controls; emergency tiller; two aluminum fuel tanks with sight gauges; fuel transfer pump; hot and cold transom shower; Tides dripless shaft seal; 40 amp battery charger; dockside water pressure regulator; teak parquet sole throughout interior; teak and holly sole in pilothouse; Cantalupi lighting; SeaLand VacuFlush head; TankWatch 4 holding tank status panel; Corian countertops; 6.3 cu. ft. AC/DC refrigerator; propane stove and oven; stainless steel galley sink.

Construction

Hand-laid fiberglass hull utilizes Knytex construction; closed-cell PVC sandwich core used in topsides; solid fiberglass below waterline; blister-resistant vinylester resin utilized in first two laminates below waterline; superstructure includes end-grain balsa core and Knytex surface mats for print-through reduction; Cook gelcoat; marine-grade plywood bulkheads with molded fiberglass hat section stringers. Polyurethane marine sealants are used at hull-to-deck joints and exterior fittings. Foredecks feature GripTex skid-resistant surface; aft and side decks are teak.

For More Information

Kadey-Krogen Yachts Inc.,
(800) 247-1230
(772) 286-0171
www.kadeykrogen.com


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