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Classic Cruisers Club: Bill Nieman

For empty nesters Bill and Joan Nieman, the next chapter—living aboard their 42-foot Kadey-Krogen—has allowed them to keep dreaming big.
1984 42-foot Kadey-Krogen "Tippecanoe"

1984 42-foot Kadey-Krogen "Tippecanoe"

Bill Nieman’s passion for boating began in the 1970s at summer camp in northern Minnesota. Later with his wife, Joan, and their two daughters, he enjoyed the Salish Sea for years, starting with crabbing in the family’s very first plywood boat. Now as empty nesters, Bill and Joan have been enjoying their next chapter: living aboard their 42-foot Kadey-Krogen.

Name: Bill Nieman
Age: 57
Home port: Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle
Current boat: 1984 Kadey-Krogen 42
Years owned: 5


I’ve owned several boats over the years, but the classic design of Kadey-Krogens caught my eye from the beginning. After a couple years as a Kadey-Krogen salesperson, I found the perfect boat within our price range. After a little convincing, Joan signed on.

Bill and Joan Nieman

Bill and Joan Nieman


Tippecanoe is a 1984 42-foot Kadey-Krogen with fin stabilization and a rare twin-engine arrangement. We stay comfortable year-round in Pacific Northwest weather thanks to the pilothouse and a detachable enclosure that turns the cockpit into a great sunroom. Compared to Tippecanoe’s efficient liveaboard layout, traditional homes seem huge.


After moving aboard, we extensively renovated the galley to meet our long-term needs. Expanding the countertops and installing custom drawers and cabinets gave us more room. We updated appliances and brightened up the space with subway tile. Fresh paint and new curtains have refreshed the salon, making it a relaxing place for us and our guests. As for the black-water-tank explosion last year, we’d rather not discuss it.

Galley before

Galley before

Galley after

Galley after


This year, I have been slowly plugging away at a full electronics upgrade, as well as remodeling our helm and second stateroom. Tippecanoe has become my favorite project.


Joan and I have been lucky to work remotely during the pandemic. As the build manager for North Pacific Yachts, I coordinate with clients and the yard in the pilothouse. Joan’s job in construction operations requires more space, so she sets up on the salon table. Our solar panels and LTE modem give us the flexibility to change scenery and take Zoom calls from anywhere. When we are done for the day, we can easily clear the salon and enjoy a meal together.


As Joan and I get closer to retirement, our bucket list of cruising destinations is growing. A dream of mine is to explore the Sea of Cortez and the coast of Mexico. Joan would love to travel through the Panama Canal and up the East Coast to visit her hometown in Long Island, New York. We are grateful that our home allows us to dream big.

1984 42-foot Kadey-Krogen "Tippecanoe"

1984 42-foot Kadey-Krogen "Tippecanoe"


We are so satisfied with our investment in Tippecanoe that we don’t currently have plans for a “next boat.” We are happy where we are and picture ourselves cruising on Tippecanoe for years to come.



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