finally get a good look at the first model from Summit, a highly anticipated new brand by the makers of Kady-Krogen. At first glance she looks ship-like and sturdy. But that’s about where the similarities in aesthetics to Kadey-Krogens end. A true semi-displacement motoryacht, it’s plain to see just how much of a departure this line is.
After a quick jog down the river towards open water we find a simple marina and fuel dock that serve as base camp for the night. We take on water, fuel and provisions, slowly settling into our new home aboard the Summit. Choosing sleeping quarters was an easy chore; the unfussy crew of three had three staterooms at our disposal—an en suite master amidships, a guest cabin to starboard and a VIP forward. I settle into the guest cabin. Having spent my younger life in a tight bunk bed, this stateroom was palatial by comparison. Complete with a TV, reading light and charging ports, it has everything I need.
With a lot of miles between Savannah and our final destination of Stuart, Florida, ahead of us, we make quick work of early morning chores and are underway before the sun crests the horizon. Our tossing and turning had only just begun. The promise of a 14-hour day ahead and sporty conditions offshore hangs over me. Thankfully, unlike me, the 54 seems eager for the challenge.
Sloppy, confused swells met us in the ocean. Capt. Gandy got the boat situated and on course to Titusville, Florida. A couple taps on the autopilot and we were on our way. At a steady 20-knot clip we marched up and over the swells. We settled into a two-hour-on, two-hour-off watch schedule.
I cracked my notebook during one of my stretches at the helm to jot down my impressions of the 54 underway. I scribbled:
- Construction feels exceptionally solid. No creaks or moans (except from the crew) in these snotty conditions.
- Visibility from the lower helm forward is excellent, among the best in this size range. Aft visibility isn’t as good; when up on plane the bridge deck blocks some of your view beyond the initial wake. Shouldn’t be a problem from the flybridge.
- The flow between social spaces works well, we’re rarely bumping into one another.
- Really need to test the built-in blender in the cockpit. Hopefully tomorrow.
A little quick math made me realize that our two-day delivery would have taken the better part of a week, or at least a few overnights, in a traditional Kadey-Krogen trawler with a 7-knot cruise. There’s nothing wrong with slow and steady, to each their own. A few years back I was part of a delivery crew on a Kadey-Krogen 55 Expedition and had more fun than I expected to.
Before this delivery I wondered about the decision to make Summit Yachts a separate brand. I thought perhaps it would be better served as a model line under the Kadey-Krogen umbrella. Blasting down the ICW opened my eyes to how different these boats truly are, and how the Summit will likely attract an entirely different boat buyer. The decision made more sense.
Quick, modern, well-appointed, seaworthy and backed by the reputation for quality construction that Kadey-Krogen is famous for, I think this adds up to a new line that will only grow and expand in the years to come. —Daniel Harding Jr.
Displ. 55,400 lbs.
Fuel 750 gal.
Water 215 gal.
Power 2/542-hp Cummins QSB6.7s
Cruise Speed 25 knots
Top Speed 25 knots