In 2005, having sold their cars and home on Georgia’s Ogeechee River, Chuck and Barb Shipley moved aboard their newly purchased 2001 Krogen 48 North Sea. They named her Tusen Takk II, a Scandinavian expression meaning “a thousand thanks.” Since then, they’ve filled 14 years’ worth of logbooks and made a lifetime’s worth of memories while cruising from the Virgin Islands through the Caribbean and all the way south to Trinidad, spending time at almost all of the islands in between.
“The cruising is easy along the chain; passage distances are relatively short,” says Chuck, who is 75 and a retired college
professor. He and Barbara have climbed to the top of Mount Pelée in Martinique, hiked to the Boiling Lake in Dominica, trod the 800 steps overlooking Ladder Bay in Saba, and traded with the natives along the banks of the Macareo channel in Venezuela. “We’ve helped ourselves to mangoes and passion fruit growing in Grenada,” he says. “We’ve lived the life.”
The Krogen is a long way from their first boat: a 19-foot
Bayliner the Savannah-based couple bought in 1985 for
exploring Georgia’s creeks and bays. But that little boat was the acorn from which their penchant for a liveaboard cruising life grew. “A friend would invite us to bring our Bayliner out behind a barrier island, to spend a weekend on their DeFever,” he recalls. “Another asked us to join them on their Hatteras on a cruise to the Bahamas. That planted the seed to one day own our own cruise-capable vessel.”
Their first boat was a 42-foot Krogen, and for three years, they cruised between Beaufort, South Carolina, and the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, Florida. “As I approached retirement, we realized that we would need a boat with more room if we were to move aboard,” he says. “We purchased the 48 North Sea from Kadey-Krogen Yachts in Stuart, Florida. They were—and are—great people to deal with.”
The price was around $800,000. The Shipleys went for it, knowing that Kadey-Krogen has built salty, seagoing vessels for more than 40 years. “I have long admired the look of these boats,” he says. “We really liked the layout of the 48. When we learned this particular boat was available, we didn’t hesitate.”
Their adventure started with a series of shakedown cruises to gain familiarity with the boat and settle into their liveaboard life. The Shipleys gunkholed in the Chesapeake Bay, spent a winter in the Bahamas, returned to the Chesapeake, and then went back to the islands, using the time to enhance the boat for extended cruising. “We added more storage in the engine room for spare parts, got a larger anchor and expanded the battery bank,” he says.
In 2015, the couple decided to “settle down” off the island of Bonaire, near the coast of Venezuela, where they stay for half the year. “I’ve been indulging my passion for underwater photography,” Chuck says. “The waters are so clear, and the infrastructure for scuba diving so supportive that we spend six months in a mooring field and then take the boat to Curacao to be put on the hard for six months.”
The 48 North Sea, with its salon, two-stateroom layout and galley, has all the elements the Shipleys need for a liveaboard life. “The boat works well for us,” Chuck says. “It’s comfortable, has lots of storage, and the pilothouse provides good visibility and protection from the elements.”
Power aboard the 48 North Sea comes from a single 225-hp John Deere diesel, and the Shipleys cruise Tusen Takk II at about 1750 rpm, “which pushes us through still waters at about 7.5 knots using about 2¼ gallons per hour,” Chuck says. “Top end is something like 9½ knots at 2400 rpm—but not when I am at the helm.” Chuck says the memories they’ve made are priceless.“The phrase ‘living the dream’ has been more than a phrase. It has been a reality.”
LOA: 53’0” / Beam:16’8” / Draft: 5’0” / Displ.: 56,450 lbs. / Fuel: 1,000 gals. / Water: 400 gals. / Power: (1) 210-hp John Deere diesel
The Kadey-Krogen brand dates to the mid-1970s, when designer James Krogen and Florida yacht broker Art Kadey teamed up to produce the Kadey-Krogen 42, a groundbreaking, coastal and bluewater cruising boat based on the rugged commercial fishing trawler design. The Krogen 48 North Sea debuted in 1995 and stayed in production through 2010, when it was replaced by the 48 AE. The model’s popularity is evident; around 50 were
built over the long 15-year production run. The all-fiberglass displacement hull hearkens back to the seagoing trawler, with high sides and 4,500 pounds of ballast. Inside, the salon has L-shaped and portside settees. The C-shaped galley is “up” and the centerline helm station faces a triple-panel windshield. The two-head, two-stateroom layout consists of a guest cabin and a master with a queen-size berth, settees, hanging lockers and vanity. Cruising speed is 6 to 9 knots, with a maximum range of more than 4,500 miles at lower speeds.
This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue.