Room To Move
Stepping aboard the Summit 54 at the Waterway Marina in Stuart, Florida, I immediately understood her mission. She’s about being able to relax at a faster pace—say, 25 knots—with a stylish, shippy exterior and an elevated interior décor.
“The Summit 54 is the answer to Kadey-Krogen owners’ requests for an all-weather motoryacht with the admired features and safety elements of the 42-year-old brand, but this time around with more speed,” says Tom Button, president of Kadey-Krogen Yachts.
The company created the Summit Motoryachts brand—and the flagship 54 planing-hull design—in collaboration with other respected experts. The 54 is built by the same team of shipwrights at Asia Harbor Yacht Builders in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, who have produced Krogens for 25 years. The hull is by designer Michael Peters, whose expertise in speed has earned numerous accolades since his firm opened in 1981.
A look around the Summit 54 proves that they all brought serious knowledge to bear. There’s secure boarding from a fixed dock via port and starboard inward-swinging doors through 30-inch-tall bulwarks. For boarding from a floating dock or a tender, the teak swim platform has a pair of stainless-steel-framed acrylic transom doors. Also built into the transom are an electric grill and dunnage for fenders, along with a Cablemaster shore-power inlet, a shower, a boarding ladder and lights.
The flybridge overhang protects the settee and dinette on the aft deck. Corner drains up top divert rainwater overboard, making morning coffee or alfresco dining practical even during a Nantucket nor’easter. The 16-inch-wide, teak pathway to the bow is capped with a stainless-steel railing for working the deck, handling lines and dealing with ground tackle—a feature intended to appeal to an owner-operator, a cruising couple or a family with youngsters.
Deck hardware is recessed and aptly placed to prevent stubbed toes for those who like being barefoot and don’t always relish bending to warp a line over a cleat. The sense is wherever you walk, the area has already been approved and signed off by skilled mariners who understand safety and practical convenience for seasoned as well as newbie travelers. Underway, you will know family and guests on deck are secure and always in sight.
The exterior encourages you to be outdoors, which means you may have to call more than once to bring everyone inside but no one will be disappointed with a change in venue because the interior is like riding the crest of a new wave. Appealing gathering points take the place of a traditional salon. A sliding, stainless-steel-framed door with multiple stops brings the outside into what Summit calls the galley lounge. Ample counter space in the L-shape galley conceals an appliance package, and a lift-out bulkhead window provides pass-through service to a two-seat bar counter with a blender (of course) on the aft deck. A lounge with a folding teak table adds more seating room. The Amtico vinyl sole wipes clean with a damp mop, and the horizontal walnut joinery and white Ultraleather appointments create a smart, fresh look owners will appreciate. With 6-foot, 8-inch headroom and the large side windows, you still feel like you are on deck.
On the helm deck, the scenery changes. A U-shape settee and foldout table are on a raised platform, opposite a flat-screen television abaft the two-person Stidd helm seat. I like running a boat standing at the helm because it keeps me more attentive to my surroundings, and the Summit 54 is not bashful for views, with its sightlines hitting every point on the compass. Electronics, the CZone digital touchscreen and engine instrumentation are never more than a glance away, and there’s a clear view to the port stern corner for backing into a slip. Better still is the sliding door on the starboard side, which means more visibility in tight spots, as well as an easy reach to grab a springline, not to mention plenty of fresh, salty air.
The Stidd chairs are comfortable, and there is another set on the flybridge, accessed from the aft deck. The bridge, also with superb visibility, is another blend of sociability with an L-shape settee, a refrigerator and a sunpad forward of the helm. Seagoing functionality includes a wraparound windscreen, fiberglass hardtop, ample stainless-steel railing and grippy, molded nonslip underfoot.
Overnight accommodations include a VIP stateroom forward with a queen berth and ensuite head. Amidships is a second stateroom, which houses a washer and dryer. This stateroom shares the forward head and is set up with a pocket door for privacy. The stateroom can also be set up as an office space.
The master stateroom is two steps down with a walkaround athwartships queen berth and a hullside window above the headboard, flanking night tables, hanging lockers and another CZone touchscreen. A privacy door separates the toilet from the molded fiberglass shower stall in the head. A tempered glass door can remain open to the sleeping area for more natural light via the hullside window above the sink.
Access to the engine room is down six ladder rungs from a hatch on the aft deck. Each thru-hull fitting, hose and wire run is labeled. There is 4 feet, 8 inches of headroom and easy access around the Cummins diesels. Cleaning out the water strainers, checking the vacuum gauges on the dual fuel and water separators, and other routine maintenance should keep this space looking new when the boat is 10 years old.
The boat is plumbed and power-ready for an optional Seakeeper 9 stabilizer. A second mechanical compartment for the lazarette is reached from another deck hatch, and the bilge is finished with stowage for equipment or cruising supplies. Each hatch has deep gutters to drain water overboard, thick gaskets and solid hardware. When a builder sweats these kinds of details, it speaks volumes about the rest of the boat.
Underway, the twin 542-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 engines hustled the Summit 54 to a top speed of 25 knots in the calm waters of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. At 2570 rpm, we loafed along at 17 knots and sipped 26.2 gph. Bumping up another 200 rpm produced 19 knots and burned 32.5 gph with 71 decibels at the lower helm.
Even though this boat was Hull No. 1 from the new brand, the Summit 54 demonstrated the know-how that comes from an experienced, thoughtful team.
Photos: Have a closer look at the Summit 54 in the gallery below
Video: Watch the Summit 54 in action in the video below
LOA 58ft. 5in.
Beam 15ft. 10in.
Draft 3ft. 7in.
Fuel 750 gal.
Water 215 gal.
Displacement 55,400 lbs.
Engines (standard) 2 x 542-hp Cummins QSB 6.7
Engines (optional) Volvo Penta D8-IPS