In many cases, the boat replaces a ski house in Colorado, a summer house in Maine or Canada, or a winter retreat in Palm Beach or Naples, Florida. We’re told that the average age of the Kadey-Krogen buyer has come down in the last decade. It used to be in the mid to high 60s, but now more and more couples in their 40s, and some in their 30s, are buying into the life-style. That being said, still a majority of the 16 to 20 people a year that who buy a new Kadey-Krogen are retirees who are rewarding themselves with what is for many a life-long dream.
Grabbing the Life-Style
Someone once said that life is not a dress rehearsal. Most Kadey-Krogen buyers have decided that it is now or never. They realize that staying active, keeping their minds focused on a new horizon every day or so, is the best way to stay in good health and keep the quality of life high. If they can do that and see the world, too, or at least part of it, so much the better.
If you are in that category of boater, or you think you will be in the next three years or so, now is the time to start doing your research. When you do, you will quickly discover that unless you have $20 million or more in assets throwing off 5% a year you need to be concerned about a boat’s annual operating costs.
What Type of Boat for Real Cruising?
The biggest variable cost of long range cruising is fuel. If you move around fast, as most people who are not retired tend to do, your fuel bill can be considerable if you go any distance. For example, an 80’ motoryacht going 20 knots can easily burn through $500 an hour or $3000 in a six-hour day and cover 120 nautical miles. Depending on how far you go in that motoryacht and at what speed, you could spend $15,000 to $30,000 a month, or a season. One large motoryacht we know of that annually goes from Long Island Sound to Florida and back each year at 20 knots and consumes about $27,000 worth of fuel each way. (The owner is one of those fortunate 5% guys.)
Dockage is another large operating expense, and, in fact for most cruising people it is the largest cost of all (boat payments notwithstanding). Depending on the area of the world in which you chose to tie-up, costs can be minimal or astronomical. You can buy nice houses for what a seasonal slip will cost in Monaco Harbor. On the other hand, tying up at the dock in an out-of-the-way place may cost little or nothing at all. Moorings in most places are usually economical.
Operating Cost Considerations
Anchoring out is almost always free, the cost being what you spend to run your generator and some lost sleep in a blow. This is why the subjects of ground tackle, generators and appliance selection are so critical on long range cruisers (LRC). Large motoryachts typically have a crew. Some motoryacht owners have only a captain who is simpatico and a jack of all trades. Others have two or three in crew. For yachts over 80 feet, the insurance company may insist on at least a captain aboard at all times and three in crew when going offshore. Crew can get costly, and be a nightmare. Yacht brokers have always told us that more owners of large motoryachts throw in the towel because of crew problems than for any other reason.
Insurance can be a big item on large motoryachts, not only because of the value of the vessel but also because of the way it is used. Boats that go slow are less likely to come to grief, and if they do have an accident it is less likely to be particularly costly. Experience of the skipper is key to getting good insurance rates.
Boats Made for Economical Long Range Cruising
If you are in the market for a boat to live aboard for extended periods and have operating expenses that are manageable for most retired people, then chances are you are looking at a trawler or displacement cruiser. There are a number of builders making trawlers, fewer building displacement cruisers. If you are unfamiliar with these type boats, be warned that there is a learning curve involved. If you intend to take these boats to their advertised potential, i.e. trans-oceanic, then you will be keenly interested in both their comfort offshore as well as their sea-keeping abilities.
There are a few brands that specialize in displacement boats that work hard at designing and building boats that are both comfortable offshore (this is relative, of course) and have superior sea-keeping attributes. Kadey-Krogen was the first builder of production powerboats that addressed these areas of concern in a professional and serious way in the late 1970s. (There were trawler-type boats around before Kadey-Krogen, but they were nowhere near prepared to transit an ocean, and were at best coastal cruisers. A few of these brands in the hands of veteran yachtsmen could and did cruise the Caribbean.) The details of those considerations – offshore comfort and sea-keeping -- are beyond the scope of this article, so if you are interested, now is the time to start your research.
The Most Popular Kadey-Krogen is the 44
The Kadey-Krogen 44 is the most popular boat in the company’s five-boat fleet. It is a descendent of the Kadey-Krogen 42, of which 206 were built from 1982 until the late 1990s. The first Kadey-Krogen 44 was launched in 2005. It’s design built on the successful elements of both the venerable 42, but also of the newer Kadey-Krogen 55 which was warmly received by cruising folks. You can buy a new one for under $1 million, and it can take one or two couples most anywhere they want to go. No wonder it is popular.
Since this is a live-aboard, lets start with the living accommodations. The main deck is where the cruising coupe will spend most of its time. Kadey-Krogen is the only company that we know of that offers main deck plans in both a “wide body” and “two side decks” versions. Obviously, there is a market for both. The advantage to the wide body is the extra room it provides in the salon. Look carefully at the two drawings above and you will see the differences.
Details Make the Difference
First you will note that the wide body has a sofa in the salon. This can be a pull-out sleeper, or you can have storage under, or you can forget the sofa and have the two barrel chairs (with stowage inside), seen in the second layout. The second difference is that there is more cabinet space in the area forward of the sofa. Thirdly, there is more square footage (about 15) in the salon deck which will make it easier for two people to pass each other without bumping into the high-low table.
The alternative layout is the classical design with two wide side decks. The side decks mean that you dock the boat to port or starboard and easily handle the fenders and lines from the main deck. It also means that you can quickly and easily get from one side of the boat to the other. You can also get from the stern to the bow along either the port or the starboard side decks. Finally, traditionalists will tell you that the boat looks better in profile from the port side with the side decks.
Wide-Body is Popular
The wide body version is becoming increasingly popular as people get used to the relatively new concept of the asymmetrical layout. Owners quickly learn to take berths that they can lay to on the starboard side, or they back in. In situations where one must have fenders on both sides, fenders can be pre-made up and are stowed in hampers on the boat deck. From there they are simply dangled down as they would be from the main deck, albeit with longer lines.
The pilothouse layout is simple, tried and true. No fancy stuff that looks great a boat show but is not practical. We love the chart table on the port side. We would add a Stidd companion seat to port or starboard of the helm seat. We like two sets of eyes on the bridge, and it is also a pleasant place to pass one’s time with your companion.
There are many details that we can’t see in the photos or in the drawings that are important. One of them is the metal-frame, dogged-down doors that the Kadey-Krogen 44 has both port and starboard in the pilothouse, and in the door from the salon to the aft deck. These doors are very expensive and a bit clunky to operate. Why does Kadey-Krogen go to the trouble to install them? The answer is that the boat is far more seaworthy with them than without them.
As an example of how important these kind of doors can be: A few years ago a former commodore of the New York Yacht Club was taking his 74’ custom-built trawler-type yacht (not a Kadey-Krogen) from Newfoundland to Iceland and got into some weather in the North Atlantic south of Greenland. The wind was westerly and he was running before it. He reported that his vessel was repeatedly pooped with waves washing as high as the the windows (which were covered) in his salon. It is at times like these that the aft and side doors that Kadey-Krogen installs become necessary.
Below we find two cabins, which is pretty standard on all Kadey-Krogens. These boats are designed for couples cruising, and for that reason this boat has the master stateroom forward and an office or library further aft. Having been aboard a number of Kadey-Krogen 44s, we can attest to the fact that this is how most owners seem to use their boats. The library/office converts into a guest stateroom and can sleep two people – a couple come to join the cruise for a few days. We normally don’t like the master stateroom in the bow, but this boat is an exception for several reasons. First, because the boat is a displacement cruiser she is rather full forward which means that the deck space is not a narrow triangle in the forward cabin. Second, note how large the chain lockers are and how far back is the watertight bulkhead (sometimes known as the “crash bulkhead” which is why it is watertight.) By pushing this cabin back, it picks up the beam of the vessel, providing more room.There is ample room on either side of the island bed, which makes it easy to change the sheets. The port and starboard hanging locker are quite large by any standard, and are probably the largest you will find on a 44’ boat. There is a good-sized chest of drawers on the aft bulkhead.
The great thing about buying a boat like this is that if you want to make some changes, you can. Here are a few changes you might want to consider-- a) Eliminating the island berth in the forward stateroom and putting in twin bunks, either one over the other on one side, or one to port and one to starboard. This arrangement will open the cabin up creating more room, and, we are told that Kadey-Krogen makes this change all of the time. b) Keeping the island berth and installing more cabinet doors and perhaps working in some more cabinets if possible in the bow flare of the boat. There is never enough storage space on even a 150-footer, much less a 44’ boat. While these storage spaces will not be large, they are great for underwear, socks, cell phones and cameras, chargers and all manner of personal items and gear. Building cabinets in the bow of a boat is not easy due to the compound curves of the hull. It is therefore an expensive thing to do, which is why you rarely see it done. But if you are serious about living aboard, we think it is worth the extra cost of having this customized joinery work done. And it will make the stateroom look spectacular.c) We’d figure out a way to get a “Murphy Desk” (like the concept of a Murphy Bed) somewhere in the library/office for the spouse. Most coupes we know have his and hers laptops, and it always wise to have two, in any case. There is a lot more to talk about with this boat. We have only discussed the living areas, but the subjects of sea-keeping, ground tackle, the engine room and equipment and performance will all have to wait for another installment. Read our Captain’s Report on the Kadey-Krogen 58... Read our Captain’s Report on the Kadey-Krogen 64... Visit the Kadey-Krogen website...
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!