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BOATS

BOAT TESTS

Kadey-Krogen 48' AE

Long-Distance Runner

To what length will PMY go to test a new full-displacement trawler from Kadey-Krogen?
Oh, about 800 nautical miles!

So how totally cool can one moment afloat be? Our Kadey-Krogen 48 AE (Advanced Ergo-nomics) was purring north on Chesapeake Bay, with the mouth of the Choptank River to starboard and salty breezes wafting through the wheelhouse, thanks to our open Dutch doors. Picturesque Thomas Point Shoal lighthouse waited invitingly somewhere ahead, with our destination—Annapolis—not far beyond. And all four of us had a couple of freshly grilled hot dogs—a favorite of mine, despite the guff I get about eating junk food—on our plates, each ensconced in a fresh bun with a thick strip of piquant mustard on top.

I’d cooked the modest repast up myself, by the way, on the Magma propane grill in the cockpit while Capt. Gregg Gandy, Kadey-Krogen project manager, circuited the decks getting lines ready for our arrival, and owners Karen and Perry Stickles stood watch on the flying bridge with some Jefferson Airplane thruming coolly from the sound system.

The dogs were delightful in my opinion, although sadly enough, compliments to the chef failed to materialize. The glories of the moment, I suppose, were obfuscating culinary concerns, what with the bright watery world slipping by, the end of a long, lovely trip not far off, and one final but fun task to perform: the official PMY sea trial.

Odd perhaps, but although we’d traveled well over 800 NM together onboard the 48 (our cruising story will appear in a future issue) making a six-day-five-night passage up the coast from Kadey-Krogen’s offices in Stuart, Florida, various concerns had prevented us from doing an official wring-out thus far.

Of course, I’d already drawn a few conclusions based on the trip. For starters, the 48 seemed distinctly untrawleresque in terms of maneuverability. More to the point, the second day out, we’d hooked into an eight-foot blue marlin some 100 NM east of Jacksonville, and thanks to the boat’s big prop and torquey gear ratio, as well as her powerful ABT Trac hydraulic bow and stern thrusters, we’d backed down on the fish in true battlewagon style. “Do trawlers do such things?” Karen had asked Gandy afterwards.

“Not ordinarily,” he replied with a great big grin.

Then there was seaworthiness. All Kadey-Krogens share a Pure Full Displacement (PFD) hull form, a trademark feature designed by naval architect James S. Krogen decades ago. The 48’s version produced a comfortable, confidence-inspiring ride thanks to her buoyant, sailboat-like wineglass transom, fine entry, and fully ballasted, short-radiused bilges in between. The first part of our journey was rough, with six-to-eight-footers coming in from the starboard quarter courtesy of a distant hurricane. While the 48 evinced the occasional tendency to roll deeply even with her ABT stabilizers deployed, the movement was never snappy or lazy.

The engine room added another high point. Although I made numerous ritual visits while standing watches, my admiration for the place never faltered. The single John Deere diesel was 360-degrees accessible. Hydraulics for stabilizers and thrusters were equally easy to get at and see, with fittings for fuel lines, filters, tanks, sightglasses, sea-strainers, vented loops, and genset components following suit.

Then finally, there was the 48’s home-style comfort. I discovered on the first night out that our back-porchy cockpit was an excellent spot to unfold a deck chair, pop open a bag of Cheetos, and contemplate the universe. Moreover, I discovered the next day that in terms of frying up fresh mahi-mahi, the Viking range, residential-style GE reefer, and inventory of cabinets, drawers, and lockers in the U-shape galley were the equal of any top-shelf kitchen ashore. And the layout! With its raised pilothouse and saloon/dinette/galley on the main deck and two large staterooms below, it was indeed ergonomically advanced (i.e., elbowroomy and comfortable), even under sporty conditions.

“Ready, Capt. Bill?” Perry asked excitedly. He’d taken over the wheelhouse helm seat while his wife sat on the watch berth just behind, ready to copy test data. Both were obviously antsy to see some empirically derived data concerning their brand-new vessel.

The numbers that ensued betokened a true long-distance runner. At hull speed (approximately 9 knots), fuel burn was just 6 gph, a modest amount that extends range to over 1,300 NM. At 7.7 knots, the burn was even lovelier, with only 2.6 gph required to more than double the range.

There were other noteworthy findings, too. Sound levels in the wheelhouse were whisper-quiet. Only one sound level (66 dB-A at 2250 rpm) exceeded the level of normal conversation. Running attitudes were low (a trait typical of full-displacement vessels), although I noted a somewhat unusual (but wholly innocuous) tendency to tip slightly forward at and below 2000 rpm, a phenomenon unexplainable either by me or Kadey-Krogen’s naval architect David Glasco. And tracking, even in big quartering seas, was arrow-straight.

We made Annapolis later that afternoon and the typical end-of-the-voyage hullabaloo ensued. All kinds of folks came aboard. Then, just as I was telling the Stickles how much I admired the seaworthiness and comfort of their Kadey-Krogen 48 AE, the day’s second totally cool moment afloat occurred.

“Hey, Bill,” Karen yelled as I shouldered my sea bag, “Those hot dogs were yummy. Just yummy!”

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This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.