Summit Motoryachts 54
Hull No. 1 of Kadey-Krogen’s New Motoryacht Company (yes, you read that right) marches towards completion.
You may not know Summit MotorYachts—not yet at least—but you certainly know its parent company, Kadey-Krogen, and their world-respected, long-range cruisers. According to the builder, its new line of planing motoryachts is a reflection of market trends and a thirst from younger boaters for Kadey-Krogen livability coupled with a bit more wind in their hair.
“We want to make history again,” says Kadey-Krogen Vice President Larry Polster. “40 years ago, we made history with the launch of the first 42, we want to do that again with another beloved brand but with a different mission.”
The first yacht in the line will be the Summit 54, a 58-footer that should be capable of speeds in the mid-20 knot range. Bringing this new venture to life is a dream team of designers; Michael Peters was tapped to create the hull and exterior styling while Espinosa Yacht Design and Katie Astras tag-teamed the interior. Tasked with building this mountain of a project is Asia Harbor Yacht Builders in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the same company that has been building Kadey-Krogens for more than 25 years.
Gallery: Summit 54
“We saw a void in the motoryacht space,” says Polster. “A lot of people are building flybridge motoryachts, but no one is building it to the level of quality and classic styling that we do. I think that there are a number of folks that are younger and more affluent that don’t have quite as much time to enjoy being out on the water. In some ways this line could be a feeder to the full displacement market.”
Power for the speedier sibling is a pair of 715-hp Cummins QSM11s with straight shafts. When matched to the Peters hull the builder is expecting the 54 to get on plane in the high teens, cruise optimally at 23 knots (where range will be about 330 miles) and top out near 26 knots. Not focused on speed alone, this builder understands that you need control to be comfortable underway, which is why they designed upper and lower helm stations.
Early renderings show the option for a flag blue hull—which, for me at least, helps accentuate just how much of a departure this new line will really be. Inside you can see that, while the finish is more typical of what you see on other motoryachts of this size, the executive team has been putting their experience at Kadey-Krogen to good use.
Recent construction shots from the builder show that the hull was released from the molds in May and there’s a lot of work still left to do, but she should be on track to make her U.S. debut at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2020. Production is expected to be similar to that of Kadey-Krogen in that it will be a production boat but not mass produced. “We want to keep our quality high. We’re not going out there to become a huge production builder that cranks out 30 or 40 a year,” says Polster.
When asked if they feared Summit MotorYachts competing with Kadey-Krogen, the executive team is unconcerned. “It’s definitely not going to compete with what we have: one is full displacement and one is planning,” explains Polster. “In the auto world it’s like saying the Cadillac CTS competes with the Escalade. They’re different vehicles for very different missions.”
When asked about the decision to build this new line under a new company name, rather than have the Summit line live under the Kadey-Krogen banner, Polster explains that they wanted to make it clear to the market that this boat isn’t a Kadey-Krogen with a new bottom and bigger engines: What they’re bringing to market comes from a clean sheet of paper.
When searching for a name for the new brand, says Polster, they were looking for words that described the boat. “We want this to be the pinnacle, the peak of yachting.”
It’s an ambitious goal in a crowded space, but I’ve spoken with enough ocean-crossing Kadey-Krogen owners to know that there are a lot of people out there who feel like this company has been there before.