Kadey-Krogen 55 Expedition
To truly get to know a boat, to appreciate fully all the subtle little design choices that go into creating something like the Kadey-Krogen 55 Expedition, you need to really spend some time aboard. Given such a chance during a four-day delivery from Stuart, Florida, to Coinjock, North Carolina, one thing was certain; there is a lot to like about this boat.
Walking up to the 55 Expedition dockside, her high bulwarks and tall, reversed pilothouse made it immediately clear that this ship was designed to be at sea. Stepping through the heavy, weather-tight cockpit doors I received a warm welcome from the surprisingly spacious saloon. Dual leather seats to starboard face a large pop-up TV and settee that easily seats four adults for dinner. Yeah, this is going to work, I thought as I removed my sunglasses to admire the rich cherry joinery more closely.
The master stateroom forward with en suite head was obviously spacious and inviting; the guest stateroom, well, less so. Sharing this space with another crewmember I first thought it was a little cramped. Stowage galore reduced any clutter and after a couple long days, the space proved entirely suitable.
The star of the lower level is the kitchen (calling this space a galley doesn’t seem right.) During our multiday cruise, we took full advantage of the four-burner Viking range and full-size Jennair fridge. A plethora of granite counter space allowed for easy meal prep for the four people aboard.
The pilothouse, where the rest of the group and myself spent most of our time was definitely designed by boaters. Three to four guests could relax on the forward-facing dinette within conversation range of a captain and copilot.
Like the builds that came before her, the 55 is built with a focus towards strength. Below the waterline, her hull is solid fiberglass that has been reinforced with aramid/fiberglass mat—the material that makes bulletproof vests, well … bulletproof—for increased durability. Above the waterline she features vacuum-bagged coring, which helps make for an impressive strength/weight ratio. Her fine entry dispensed with any short chop we encountered while her bow flare was enough that we seldom needed to use the windshield wipers.
With a top speed of 8.8 knots while fully loaded, the 55 Expedition powered by twin 160-horsepower John Deere 4045AFM85s diesels is no speedster, but rate of travel is only one factor in the performance formula. What this boat lacked in giddyup, she makes up for in economy; while cruising at 5.9 knots, the 55 sipped 2.1 gph giving us a total range close to 5,000 miles. To help you appreciate what that range means, it’s about a 2,900 mile cruise from Maine to the U.K.
Another piece of data in the performance formula is ability to handle rough seas, which I’m happy to report, this boat presents in spades. In 10- to 12-foot seas our boat tracked straight as an arrow and offered nary a shake nor shudder. In more modest seas, TRAC fin stabilizers cancelled out rolling to the point where you could calmly spread out paper plates, condiments, lettuce, and cheeses in the galley and never worry that the spread would slide out of reach.
Kadey-Krogen Yachts, 772-286-0171; www.kadeykrogen.com
: 1,880 gal.
: 500 gal.
: 2/160-hp John Deere 4045AFM85s diesels
: Upon request
: 16-kw Northern Lights
: ZF 280-1A