The new Krogen 44 AE is a harmonious blend of efficiency, comfort, and seakeeping ability.
By John Wooldridge
Every boat builder strives to constantly improve each new model. In that spirit, Kadey-Krogen’s naval architect, Dave Glasco, who heads their in-house design team, brought together the experiences and wish lists of owners and prospective customers in the new Krogen 44 AE (the suffix stands for Advanced Ergonomics).
The Krogen 44 AE is the company’s next iteration of the renowned Krogen 42, a 1977 design that has served countless long-distance cruisers well.
There are many advancements on the 44 that differentiate it from the Krogen 42, including twin watertight Dutch-style doors in the wheelhouse that provide quick access to the side decks and foredeck, and an optional companion seat to starboard of the centerline helm on the flying bridge, along with a large L-shaped settee with a table for guests to port. The engine room now has walk-in access and features a new ventilation system that utilizes fans with eductors (water extractors) for air intake and exhaust. LED lighting throughout helps conserve energy and reduce heat inside the boat. In the galley, there is an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator that opens to port for improved access, and a new four-burner Viking range.
As in her smaller sibling, the master stateroom is in the bow with an island queen berth and plenty of stowage. The guest stateroom can be configured with over-under berths or a queen berth, or it can be made into a den/office. The U-shaped galley is adjacent to the L-shaped dinette for ease of serving meals. At the raised pilothouse helm, notable features include a chart table to port and a console large enough to accommodate multiple screens and instruments without destroying the excellent sightlines.
Hull construction begins with high-quality Cook Composites gelcoat. After the gelcoat is set and hard, two fiberglass skincoats, consisting of vinylester resin and alternating layers of stitched biaxial fiberglass, are applied to both eliminate unsightly print-through and prevent osmotic penetration of the underlying laminate, which is laid up with polyester resin. Kadey-Krogen specifies Twaron cloth, an aramid fiber like Kevlar, in specific areas for high-impact protection, as well as for joining the transom to the rest of the hull, and in the bow for the watertight forward compartment to achieve integrity for contact beyond normal design pressures. Major overlapping reinforcements are made in way of the keel and/or the skegs.
Lamination is a continuous process that starts forward and works aft, beginning at the keel and working up above the waterline, where the hull lamination has Composites One Corecell structural foam-core material vacuum-bagged inside to prevent water migration and add strength. For additional durability and safety, the core stops 6 inches before the stem, which is solid fiberglass reinforced to a thickness of almost 1 inch. All of the areas around portlights, hawsepipes, boarding doors, and the like have the core removed and hard mahogany inserts installed to accept fasteners. The upper edge of the hull is an inward-turning flange, designed to mate with the deck mold in an overlapping-flange joint.
Six major bulkheads are installed after the hull lamination is complete and prior to removal from the mold, so when the hull is released, it is well supported as it sits in its cradle on the floor. In the engine room, four massive, vacuum-bagged, closed-cell-foam-cored fiberglass stringers extend between the bulkheads and are tabbed to the inner hull skin with major overlapping layers of fiberglass. The two central stringers or engine bearers are beefed up with solid mahogany to solidly support the engine mounts as well as the engine itself.
The boat I tested had a single 158-horsepower John Deere 6068TFM75, the last of the Tier II engines. Order a 44 today and it will come equipped with a single 160-horsepower John Deere 4045AFM85 Tier III, with a ZF transmission and gear reduction of 2.80:1. Regardless, acceleration across is smooth, and the 44 AE handles like a dream. Upwind it runs dry and soft, while downwind the wineglass shape of the bottom offers outstanding control. It responds instantly to changes of the helm, and will be appreciated by those dodging deadheads in the Pacific Northwest or lobster and crab pots on the East Coast. Turns are predictable underway, and handling around the docks will please experienced and novice owners alike.
Kadey-Krogen, 800-247-1230, www.kadeykrogen.com