Many have asked me what I think about Kraken yachts, and why I have not posted about them. I have replied in comments or private messages, but it is time to explain my reservations and even time to make a comparison between Kraken and a very different, but similar-sized yacht with the same program, but with some differences: luxury is on Kraken program, while not really on Pegasus, while the fun of sailing fast is on Pegasus program, but not really on the Kraken one.
Kraken 50: the luxury of a high-volume space and
a luminous inetrior, with lots of wood.
Or better, while luxury in Kraken is associated with huge standing heights and lots of space volume and plenty of wood, in Pegasus luxury is associated with sail efficiency and speed, being in all other things the program pretty much similar.
The reservations to post about Kraken are due to the misleading advertising that is used by the shipyard to promote the boat, based on popular but wrong concepts about the superiority of old building methods over new ones, namely the advantages of a fully encapsulated keel, versus a bolted one, or the superiority of skeg rudders over spade rudders.
|Pegasus 50: the luxury of speed in comfort|
I don't want to be a part of this misleading advertising campaign. But the number of requests asking what I think about Kraken justifies that I look better at the boat, and say openly what I think about the concept and the yacht, and there is no better way to do that than to make a comparison between their best seller, the Kraken 50 and the Pegasus 50, a yacht that is considered by some knowledgable sailors to be what Kraken claims to be: the best bluewater boat ever built.
Both yachts are popular and are selling very well, Kraken has four boats on the water, Pegasus (that has been around longer) has 6, and both have one more almost finished, while Kraken has two more being built and Pegasus one more.
Both have more boats on command but the sizes of the shipyards are very different with Kraken (built in Turkey) being much bigger and able to produce more boats per year, while Pegasus is built in a small shipyard in Slovenia, that has a great tradition of building technologically advanced sailboats.
Kraken 50, offers a well protected pilot station, even
if it creats a lot of windage and does not look good.
Let's start with the encapsulated keel versus bolted keel. Among the brands that build modern boats today, Kraken is the only one that uses exclusively encapsulated keels, and that should raise some concerns. All the other builders don't know what they do? Is it only because bolted keels are less difficult or less expensive to make? Why do none of the very expensive brands of bluewater boats like Hallberg Rassy, Contest, Najad, Amel, X-Yachts, Grand Soleil, Baltic, Swan, Island Packet, or Oyster use them?
Some would think that I am mistaken, that Island packet use encapsulated keels and they do, but they are bolted too, and in fact, the only type of boat where this mixed system can make sense is on a full keel yacht with a small draft.
Voyage 72, the ideal voyage yacht,designed
by Kraken NA, Kevin Dibley
That is the case with the Island Packet, but not the case with Kraken, which tries to avoid the negative performance effects of a full keel and small draft, using a big modified fin keel with a considerable draft.
You can look at all the other designs made by the NA that designs Kraken yachts, Kevin Dibley, and you can see that he does not use this system in any other of his many designs, not even on the older ones, designed decades ago.
In fact, if we look at the designs that were not imposed on him by a detailed brief explaining exactly what the client wanted (like in the Kraken case) we can see that his personal preference in what regards voyage bluewater boats goes for fast performance cruisers with a lifting keel, like the Voyage 72, a boat that he describes as:
"designed for live aboard, long distant cruising in complete comfort and style. Whether the colder southern Chilian coast, or the warmth of the Pacific Islands, the Voyager 72 is perfect for those looking to explore hard to get to destinations, in comfort, speed and style"
Or regarding the Dibley Tourer 50': Our intent has been to provide a boat readily sailed single handed...This boat is ideally suited to participation in any of the various ocean cruising rallies that are currently enjoying increasing popularity...A lifting keel allows access to areas that are usually unattainable to yachts of this size, while at the same time allowing real upwind performance. The lifting range is from 1.80 metres – 3.00 metres. The foil and bulb shape will be designed to provide maximum lift with minimal drag and lessons learnt from the Volvo Yachts.
Kraken 50 keel
In fact, the Kraken keel fixation method is so odd these days that Dibley had to ask the help of Peter Lawson, a top engineer in composites that worked with Volvo, and on three successive Americas' Cup Campaigns. He was the one who made the calculations needed to warrant that the keel will not fall off.
To use the encapsulated method for holding a keel on a modern hull it is needed a long contact between the keel and the hull (ideally a full keel) and a large keel is necessary, as well as a longer interior structure, to allow the distribution of the keel forces for a larger part of the hull. Also, due to the shape of modern hulls, the interior keel structure will be necessarily much narrower and less effective than on old encapsulated keel designs.
Is this a better system? In what regards drag, sail performance or efficiency in bringing the boat's CG down, obviously not, and by much. In regards to safety, well, I trust Peter Lawson's calculations regarding forces and the dimension of the composites needed to handle them are right, but this is uncharted territory and normally uncharted territory is more dangerous than well-explored one.
|Old full keel boat, below, more recent full keel boat (Rustler 36)|
They say the contrary on Kraken, saying that this is a long-time tested way of securing the ballast and the keel "Many of the principles of design and construction of a Kraken yacht are derived from the vessels that have sailed our seas for time immemorial."
But they don't take into consideration that there is a huge difference between the hull design of the boats that used encapsulated keels and the hull of the Kraken.
While full keel sailboats were narrow, with deep bilges, soft curves, relatively small drafts, the Kraken has a beamier hull, relatively shallow bilges, a much bigger draft (Kraken 50 has 2.30m, Hincley Sou'wester 50 has a 1.75m draft), and the passage from the hull to the keel, like in all modern hulls, is a very sharp one, being almost perpendicular, one surface to another.
|Kraken 50, below Hincley Sou'wester 50|
It is this difference that makes it difficult and ineffective the use of an encapsulated keel, on this type of hull while it makes sense to use it on old-designed full keel narrow sailboats with a small draft.
It is for this reason that recent Island Packets, beamy boats with full keels, small drafts, and a more modern hull, with a sharp passage between the hull and the keel, use not only encapsulated but also bolted keels.
You don't need to be an engineer to understand that when the boat is strongly heeled the same sheer forces that would be exercised at the junction from the hull to the keel, on an encapsulated keel, will be made in a much smaller area on a modern beamy hull (Kraken), if compared with the area where they would be distributed, on a traditional full keel yacht.
Look at how the transition between the keel and the hull is much more
gradual, and the contact surface between the hull and the keel is bigger
on older full-keel designs.
Bob Perry used an encapsulated keel on his custom full keel carbon boat, a nice classic yacht with a modern hull, in which the keel and the hull make, like in the Kraken, an almost 90º angle. You can see on the drawing how that system works with a modern hull. Contrary to what most people think, on a big yacht, it is not only the hull integrity of the hull that holds the keel but a keel structure laminated to the hull, in this case, a carbon structure, similar to bulkheads, that hold the keel.
|Above and below, Bob Perry 43ft Carbon Yacht|
On this type of keel, sheer forces (when the boat is heeled) are mostly supported by a carbon (or fiberglass) structure connected to the keel upper carbon (or fiberglass) structure. Not very different from a keel steel structure where the steel is substituted by composite and the steel bolts are substituted by a laminated glass bond.
|Nice lookinh boat, even if with a keel with a big wet area.|
The keel and the ballast are not supported, as in old days, in other shaped hulls and smaller boats, by just the fiberglass encapsulating the keel, but mostly by a carbon or fiberglass structure. Being encapsulated helps, but for only that to be enough to support the keel, it would be needed a ridiculously thick hull, and that would imply a very heavy boat, a thing the Kraken is not, being several tons lighter than comparable boats with bolted keels, like the Hallberg Rassy 50 or the Contest 50CS.
Almost everything is possible to be built, but in regards to design, efficiency, and materials, the Kraken keel does not make much sense, quite the contrary, its use on this type of hull can only be justified by advertising purposes. Or maybe Peter Lawson, that is not an NA, really believes this is a better solution.
|Kraken 50 keel. Note the sharp transition from the hull to the keel|
I am not saying that it is weak, or not correctly dimensioned, I trust the work of Peter Lawson, but the truth is that there is not much information available regarding the use of this type of keel in this type of hull, and a lot of information is always a strong point in what regards correct dimensions, to make it strong and resistant to flexing, to fatigue and to groundings.
A modified fin keel is less resistant to groundings than a full keel, and like in any boat, due to a violent grounding, any of the structures that support the keel (the hull interior one, or the laminated connection to the keel interior structure) can be damaged.
|Kraken 50 hull|
The heavier the boat the bigger the risk (Maxi yachts use keels that deform on impact to absorb energy and prevent further damage), and the Kraken keel will not be easier to repair than a conventional modern bolted keel. In some of the conventional modern ones, that use an interior hull steel structure, and the keel steel structure bolted to it, repairs can even be simpler.
Except for exploring the fears that the loss of some keels in some hundreds of thousands of sailboats may raise, there is no logical reason to use this keel holding method, because there is not a problem regarding the loss of keels on this type of expensive bluewater sailboats. The only known case among this type of yacht is the one of an Oyster, which was modified, and was badly designed (a new boat was delivered to the owner). All the other cases where keels have fallen regard to less expensive mass-production boats, with relevance to cruiser-racers, or to racing boats.
|Above, HR 50 keel, below X-yacht with a keel bolted to a steel frame|
From the many thousands of sailboats of this type built by Hallberg Rassy, Contest, Najad, Amel, Grand Soleil, X-Yacht, Baltic Swan, or Island Packet, none has ever lost a keel, so why try to make this a big concern in this type of sailboats? Or advertise a boat mainly on the grounds that it has not this type of keel?
To be fair, composites have bigger resistance to fatigue and to corrosion, meaning that if Kraken keel proves to be well designed, with an adequate safety factor (that due to lack of accumulated experience is not easy to calculate), it will not need any maintenance, while a bolted keel should be dropped every 15 years, or so (for precaution), to check bolt condition, and if necessary to change them, but truth be said, very few do that, and many sailboats from the above brands have more than 30 years, never dropped the keel, and not only have they never lost one, as they appear to be fine, crossing oceans, without any apparent problem.
And enough about the Kraken keel, let's look at the yacht's dimensions and characteristics comparing the Kraken ones with Pegasus', to see what the differences, and similarities they have, and what they mean.
X-Yachts - XC 45
They don't give Kraken 50 Hull Length, only the LOA (15.24m -50ft) that probably includes the anchor stand, the Pegasus 50 HL is 14.94m (49ft). Kraken LWL is 13.68m, the Pegasus LWL, 14.14m. Pegasus LOA is bigger because the bowsprit is integrated (standard) and optional on Kraken.
The Kraken max. beam and waterline beam, are respectively, 4.50m and 3.80m, and on Pegasus, 4.83m and 3.63m. The draft is the same (2.30m) but the keels are very different. Although they have, besides the draft, something in common: both offer a long interface with the hull allowing for an efficient fixation, with all the charges being distributed to a large hull area.
Above, Kraken 50, below, Pegasus 50
But to reach that objective Kraken opted for an old-designed transformed fin keel, with a big wet surface, while Pegasus uses a tandem keel, attaining the same objective in a much more efficient way (much less wetted surface and more weight at the torpedo). The tandem keel looks odd but it was used in many sailboats, including high-performance ones, like"Kiwi Magic" that in 1992 disputed America's cup final, being the fastest yacht, but having lost due to a spinnaker line tangled on an outrigger.
Many cruising boats have used those keels, which have the inconvenience of being more expensive to build, but are probably the more effective solution to offer the best performance, with a reduced draft, and 2.30m for a 50ft boat is far from ideal, in regards to performance. For instance, the standard draft of an Oceanis 51.1 is 2.36m, the one of a Solaris 50, is 2.80m, and the Grand Soleil 48 has also a 2.80m standard draft.
The smaller draft on the Kraken and Pegasus is justified because that allows them to be more polyvalent cruisers, but because Pegasus is a performance voyage cruiser, they used the best solution to lower the draft, with the minimum possible loss in performance.
|Abobe, first, Kiwi Magic, then Spirit of Australia|
Besides having a much smaller wet area the Pegasus keel is also more efficient in bringing the CG down and even if the Kraken keel has a huge fiberglass foil with the lead ballast down, the one of the Pegasus is a true torpedo keel, on a strong tandem steel structure.
Above and below, Pegasus 50 keel
Kraken has a 34.2%B/D and Pegasus a 39.6%B/D, both boats in lightship condition, which is normally the condition B/D is presented. In full load condition, that difference is a bit smaller, even so, the Kraken has a 28.3%B/D and the Pegasus 32.1%.
This difference in B/D between lightship and full load is not as worrying as it seems because a good part of that weight is tankage and in this size of yacht most tankage is located below the waterline and loads below the waterline contribute to lower the boat CG.
For a well-designed boat of this size and a correct max load, the AVS in full load is still worse, due to the extensive equipment and the part of the load situated above the waterline (including crew), but closer than what the difference in the B/D in lightship condition would make expectable.
In bigger yachts, the AVS in max loaded condition can even be bigger than the one in lightship condition, while in smaller yachts the AVS in lightship condition is always bigger than the AVS in full load condition, sometimes considerably worse, because on a small boat the height under the waterline is smaller, and the CG of the load (including tankage) is higher (due to lack of space under the waterline for most of the load).
Kraken 50 interior stucture
This also means that, being the Kraken heavier and narrower than the Pegasus, the height and volume under the waterline are bigger and therefore the load will have a lower CG on Kraken, contributing more than in the Pegasus, to lower the boat's CG. But that difference will not be enough to compensate for the considerable difference in B/D in all displacement conditions between the Kraken and the Pegasus, and the Pegasus will have slightly better safety stability, meaning it will be making more force (proportionally to the boat displacement) to right itself up, at high angles of heel, than the Kraken.
This would have no importance (because both boats have very good safety stability values) if Kraken shipyard in his advertising campaign did not boast: "the AVS (Angle of Vanishing Stability; the point at which the yacht rolls back up after a knockdown), is an incredible 130deg, which is much higher than all other cruising yachts in production today of comparable size".
This is true for most yachts but not for all. Sadly it can be said that this tendency, which started already many years ago and was felt exclusively on the less expensive mass-production brands, has now reached some of the high-quality brands, that supposedly build bluewater boats, like Amel or Wauquiez (designed by the same NA), but it is still a minority practice among more expensive Yachts.
The truth is that RCD is to blame for this because it allows bigger yachts to be certified as class A boats with small AVS. I explained the situation in a post (link at the right), saying that a new Class should be created for bluewater boats, with higher safety and stability requirements. The AVS requirements decrease with the displacement and these sailboats only need to have an AVS of around 105º.
The Kraken 50 AVS is announced as 130º, but with that B/D and keel, that number looks too optimistic. To be comparable the AVS has to be measured with the boat in the same displacement condition and with the same parameters, and that is not many times the case. I bet that Pegasus 125º AVS was calculated in minimum operational conditions, while the Kraken one was calculated in lightship conditions.
Note that on the Pegasus not only the bulkhead are made of cored composite,
but also the interior divisions, that become part of the structure.
Regarding AVS and its relation to safety stability, a boat like Kraken with a big lateral profile (including cabin, freeboard, and raised CC), will benefit from a higher AVS (due to those features) but that higher AVS will not be translated by better safety stability (bigger RM) at high heel angles (for instance, at 80º or 90º). The stability at those angles of heel is very important to safety stability (see explanation on the post about stability on the link above). The best and the almost only way to increase those values is to lower CG, and that has nothing to do with having a bigger lateral profile.
But most of all, contrary to what Kraken advertising says, there are many other similar-sized cruisers in production with similar safety stability and AVS, and we can understand that looking at the B/D, type of keel, and draft of those boats.
One of them is the Pegasus 50, another the Najad 570 CC, with 32.5%B/D on a 2.70m draft L bulbed keel, another the XC50, with a 44.9%B/D on a 2.35m draft L bulbed keel, the XP50, with a 41.2% on a torpedo keel with a 2.65m draft, or the X5-6, with a 38.3%B/D on a 2.90m torpedo keel, or the Solaris 55, with 36.9%B/D on a torpedo keel with 3.00m draft, or the Pogo 50, with a 36.0%B/D on a bulbed swing keel with 3.50m draft, or the Italia 14.98, with 38.7% B/D in a 2.50m torpedo keel, or the Swan 55, with a 34.5%B/D on a torpedo keel with 2.50m draft, or Nordship 500DS, with a 35%B/D on a kind of a torpedo keel with 2.35m draft, or ICE 52RS with a 38.5%B/D on a torpedo keel with 2.80m draft, or the Halberg Rassy 50 with a 35.2%B/D on a 2.35m draft on an L bulbed keel....and I could go on, but you get my drift, the Kraken has not "an angle of vanishing stability much higher than all other cruising yachts in production today of comparable size".
Bottom point, The Kraken with a 34.2%B/D on a bulbed large modified fin keel with 2.30m draft, and the Pegasus with a 39.6%B/D, on a tandem torpedo keel, also with 2.30m draft, have, like the above-mentioned yachts, a similarly good AVS and a similarly good safety stability.
Both keels are designed to increase directional stability to minimize the autopilot work. On the Kraken they use a massive long keel and on the Pegasus a more technological solution that offers the same advantages without the associated drag disadvantages.
Regarding stability, it should be pointed out that the overall stability increases with displacement, and being the Kraken 50 displacement bigger than the one of Pegasus 50 (lightship: 12.300kg to 19.000kg) Kraken overall stability will be bigger, even if the Pegasus, having a beamier hull, and a bigger B/D, has a bigger RM to Displacement relation, and that will attenuate that difference.
|The first Pegasus, and the third, with two electric motors.|
You can see that mainsheet blocks are much more appart
on Lifgun, the boat that won 2022 OSTAR solo transat.
Naturally, the heavier boat will have a bigger payload. The Kraken will be able to carry 4000 kg while the Pegasus will carry 1505kg less. But both boats are not designed to sail with many people aboard.
Looking at the two hulls, we can see that both have fine entries, being slighter finer on the Pegasus. The smaller waterline beam on the Pegasus will give it a better performance in light wind, and downwind, in all conditions, with less roll, but the bigger max beam will slow down the Pegasus upwind with waves and medium to high winds, due to a bigger wave drag.
|The first Kraken 50 had a different cabin frontal window|
Another difference that has implications on sail performance is the length of LWL. Kraken has a bigger hull length, but Pegasus has a bigger LWL, 14.14m to 13,68m, with less drag, narrower on the water, and a longer LWL the Pegasus will need a much smaller sail area to sail at the same speed as Kraken, and while more sail bring Pegasus easily to semi-planing or even planing speeds, on Kraken, more sail power, will mostly serve to burrow the bow more into the water, making a bigger bow wave.
|Pegasus, going upwind like a performance cruiser|
The Pegasus SA/D is bigger, 18.7 to 19.2 and 22.3 to 24.6, respectively with a jib and 140% genoa on the Kraken, and a J2 and J1 on Pegasus. This different choice of sails means that the SA/D is bigger on Pegasus using much smaller and more manageable sails. On Kraken the jib has 50.8m2, and 32.1m2 on Pegasus, while the main has respectively, 82.4m2 and 60.4m2. This makes the Pegasus not only much faster, but also a lot easier to handle with a short crew, also because the jib is on a self-taking traveler.
The Kraken was test sailed by several magazines between them Sailing Today and Yachting world, none of them was very detailed about the sail performance, and they were ambiguous, Yachting World said: "With the help of 21st-century design, technology and styling the boat is faster, sleeker, more fun to sail, more manoeuvrable and easier to manage than older boats that would-be Kraken buyers might otherwise be drawn to".
While Sailing Today said: ...we had 7kn or wind in the morning and a maximum of 12 in the afternoon. This was genoa weather and the boat performed astonishingly well.. the big fore triangle and ample mainsail meant that we bowled along and 6kn plus....A skeg hung rudder is always going to be heavier than the finger light touch of a balanced rudder and this was, of course, the case with the Kraken 50."
Yachting World says the obvious, that this one is faster than older boats, but does not offer any reference regarding contemporary bluewater cruisers, and Sailing Today talks about an astonishing performance with winds between 7 and 12kt, talks about sailing a bit over 6kt, but does not tell what wind or sailing position that speed corresponds to, which if we consider as an average wind between those two figures, say 10kt, is not remarkable for a 50ft sailboat.
Regarding the Pegasus 50 the French from "Voile and Voiliers" said (translated):
"Pegasus 50, an amazing voyage yacht: difficult not to be seduced by such an abundance of good innovating ideas! The design of this large cruiser is very coherent and accomplished And the most important places in the boat, namely the cockpit and the saloon, are about as pleasant to live in as on a multihull, which is quite exceptional....Under code zero, at a beam reach, the Pegasus sets off at the speed of the wind, 7 or 8 knots.... We regret that the yard fitted a hydraulic helm transmission: no helm feeling at all."
And Yacht.de said (translated):
For the...test in...Slovenia, the wind conditions proved to be less than ideal. Only 5 to max. 8 knots of wind were available for the test. Nevertheless, the ship proves to be agile and to sail dynamically....4.5 knots on average (with a jib at 45º) is quite considerable... and if the very flat gennaker is used, the log reads between 6 and 7 knots...The measure boat speeds with 6K wind were (with jib 104%): at 45º-4.5kt, at 60º-5.0kt, at 90º-6.2kt at 150º (with gennaker)- 4.1kt.
The double rudder blades are controlled by an ...hydraulic system. ... The rudder system hardly gives any feedback and it's hard on the steering, due to the... hydraulic system...Those who want to be on the safe side when purchasing a yacht for extended sea voyages can choose not only the well-established blue water classics from Hallberg-Rassy, Contest, Amel or Garcia but now also can consider the Pegasus 50 concept. The carefree package for a relaxing voyage at sea makes few compromises and impresses with well-thought-out, comprehensive, and high-quality basic equipment, as well as with well above-average construction quality."
Pegasus listened to the unanimous negative critics about the steering system sensibility and changed the hydraulic system for a mechanic system.
However, the boat equipped with the hydraulic system, in the hands of a well-known cruiser, Markus Moser (that before had a Luffe 45), won the 2022 OSTAR, the oldest solo transatlantic race. He says that the hydraulic even if there is no feeling while hand steering the boat, work on auto-pilot better than the mechanic system, being faster and wasting less energy. The system is redundant (two pumps) and reliable.
Regarding the rigging system and the easiness to sail the two boats, both score high. Kraken comes standard with Dacron cross-cut sails (Main, Jib, and 140% genoa), that are controlled by a traditional running rigging with 6 electric winches with a small traveler for the main.
It has a Solent rig, using on the two headsails a conventional manual drum furling system, while the main is set on a mast with an electric furling system.
Kraken comes with well-positioned jib rails but without genoa rails, not in the standard equipment or in the options list, but I have seen photos where the Kraken has genoa tracks on the boat's outside rail, but in that position (on the rail and far aft) they will not allow a good upwind genoa performance, much less a good regulation with the genoa furled (look at the picture on the left). However, they will allow good downwind trimming.
That does not make much sense because, in a boat with this displacement, the 140% genoa will be the sail to use, upwind or not, till medium winds and a genoa that cannot be properly trimmed for upwind sailing will have a poor performance.
Also, not having the possibility to trim correctly the genoa while furled implies the need to frequently change from one sail to another, in coastal conditions, where the wind can vary a lot in intensity, and that will not be very practical, being much easier to reef and unreef the genoa, then to furl the genoa, unfurl de jib, furl it again and unfurl the genoa.
The Pegasus 50 comes standard with more and better quality triradial hydranet sails. As headsails it comes with a J2 on an endless furler, using a self-tacking rail, a J1 almost the size of the mainsail, on a flat drum manual furler using for furling a webbing, instead of cable, and it has travel cars over the cabin, to allow proper trimming, even with the sail a bit reefed. It comes also with a big gennaker in an endless furling system, mounted on the bowsprit. The mainsail is fully battened, runs on ball-bearing sliders, and is reefed using a one-line boom reefing system.
|For the ones that don't know what are a J1 and J2 sails this picture|
will help.On Pegasus they are smaller than the ones on the drawing,
the j2 is a non-overlapping sail and the J1 is a 110% small genoa.
The J2 endless furling system comes with a stopper but I would prefer to have the J2 also in a flat drum, instead of in an endless furling system, to allow without problems to furl the sail partially in extreme situations (with 40kt wind and over), even if the self-taking rail would not allow for a good trimming with the sail furled. This solution can be had as an option, and I have seen Pegasus 50 equipped this way.
Contrary to the gennaker on the Kraken the J1, due to the position of the travelers on Pegasus, has a very good upwind performance, and the possibility to be furled, with the traveler allowing for some adjustment. Pegasus comes with a carbon mast and an aluminum boom with a single-line reefing system. Lazy jacks and lazy bag are standard equipment.
The hydraulic backstay tensioner is standard as well as the bowsprit, that in the Kraken is optional, as well as the carbon mast.
The running rigging is directed to four electric winches situated near the wheel, two aft and two forward, in a position that will not interfere one with the other (like unfortunately, it happens in many cases).
We can see that the HR50 (above) and the CS49 are a
lot beamier than the Pegasus and the Kraken,
respectively, 4.98m, 4.90, 4.83, and 4.50 for the Kraken.
The boom main control is on the top of a big arch, reinforced with carbon, coming the mainsheet to the winches through a german sheeting system. There is a manual winch at the mast for halyards.
It should be pointed out, that winches are the same size as the ones on the Kraken, even if the Kraken sails are much bigger (due to having a much bigger displacement), and they are all electric.
The two mainsheet blocks on the top of the Pegasus' arch were less apart on the first boat, but on the last ones they corrected that, and mounted them more apart, for a better trim, especially close to the wind.
Both boats have a rigging that makes manoeuvering easy but the Pegasus comes clearly ahead in easiness, with a self-tacking sail that will make things easier in heavy weather, proportionally bigger winches, and considerably smaller sails, that will be easier to handle. The main on the top of the arch also contributes to simplicity, and in a 50ft very powerful sailboat anything that helps to sail the boat easily without a considerable loss in performance is welcomed.
|Both boats can offer many different layouts, these are the ones that |
seem better to me, regarding two cabins and long-range voyaging.
Another Pegasus advantage regards the mast sailing rig, which is in between a Solent rig and a Cutter rig, clearly influenced by IMOCA racers. Like on IMOCAS, the mast is more aft than usual, allowing bigger head sails, while on the Kraken, for allowing well-sized head sails, it is needed a Solent rig, meaning, a much shorter distance between the two stays.
Like on IMOCA, Pegasus mast is deck-stepped, while on Kraken, which has the mast more forward, the mast is keel stepped. Everybody that test-sailed the boat referred to how well the Pegasus could be managed by a short crew or even solo, due to the very efficient rigging, the use of a self-tacking jib, and the size of the relatively small sails, only possible due to the light displacement.
|Kraken Saloon, with a navigation pulpit. You can see the other saloon|
layout on the first picture of this post.
But I have to say that the Kraken hull looks much better and more effective than all those infatuated and misleading advertising comments would make suppose. Fortunately, the boat mentor had chosen a good NA that made an excellent job in the design of this boat, and in translating to project Dick Beaumont's ideas, about what should be a proper bluewater yacht, certainly convincing him to abdicate from outdated shapes for a hull, but not managing to change his ideas about the "advantages" of an encapsulated keel for this type of hull or about the "advantages" of a full skeg rudder or even a plumb bow.
But some of Dick Beaumont's ideas have merit and in what concerns the hull it is refreshing to see a new cruiser rejecting the almost universal tendency of making increasingly beamier boats to offer the maximum possible interior volume, at the costs of light wind and upwind sailing performance, and it is a pity the hull does not benefit of a bigger waterline that a plumb bow could have given it, or the smaller drag a more modern keel and rudder would allow, and in what regards rudder, also the superior feel and efficiency of a double spade rudder system.
Regarding the skeg rudder, its disadvantages are very considerable in regard to efficiency, and in what regards safety they only make sense on a steel boat, not in a fiberglass boat, and we have seen along the coasts of Portugal and Spain, where sailboats are attacked by Orcas (two sailboats sunk and more than a hundred had destroyed rudders), that being skeg rudders or spade rudders, didn't make any difference.
|Pegasus proposes a single layout for the saloon|
When a long single rudder on 20-ton boat contact at speed with a 20t container (assuming 2/3 full of water) the forces and the inertia are so big that if the skeg and the rudder shaft don't break or bend, the hull is going to break at the insertion point. Rudders are designed to break before the hull breaks, so, the difference in protection a skeg (that has also to break before the hull) can offer is a very limited one, only of any use against small debris, that would probably not hurt the shaft of a well-built spade rudder which, on a twin rudder system, has the advantage of being less deep, making less leverage.
In regards to safety, it is more important the redundancy of a double rudder system, which still allows control over the boat when one is lost in a collision, than a single skeg rudder, which, when it's gone, will leave the boat adrift. The Kraken single rudder does not seem to offer better safety or reliability than the two smaller rudders the Pegasus has.
Dybley, the NA, has also made a good job in regards to the choice of materials, and construction techniques, answering in a correct way to the Beaumont demand of having a strong yacht, particularly in what regards the boat structure, that like on Pegasus is built directly in the hull, and not using a grid built outside and then bonded or glassed to the boat. This allows for the structure to become part of the hull, giving more stiffness and superior integrity.
The Kraken hydraulic steering post chair
even if already up, it is still too low to
offer a good forward view.
That has allowed Kraken displacement not to be as big as it would be expected, being 2 tons lighter than the HR 50 and 3.9 tons lighter than the Contest 49CS, two boats with similar characteristics, even if with more modern and less outdated keels and rudders. But, contrary to Kraken they have very beamy hulls, and the Contest has a very high freeboard.
Even with an outdated keel and rudder design, probably the Kraken has a better performance in light wind, and upwind sailing than the HR or the Contest, and will be more comfortable upwind with waves, slamming less. But the Kraken sails with considerably more heel, and with less initial stability, rolling more downwind, and that, for this type of sailboat and the ones that tend to use it, is a disadvantage.
Besides the keel, rudder design (a single rudder on a full skeg versus two blade rudders), and displacement, the main difference between the Kraken and the Pegasus regards the focus on the type of cruising and lifestyle, even if both boat boats are bluewater boats that bet strongly in safety features.
|Pegasus offers a more elevated chair, a better view forward|
and a 360º all-around view ( on Kraken you don't have a
view to the stern). Pegasus offers also much better
integration of the pilot chair in the saloon area.
On Kraken their objective is to mix a considerable sailing performance, with a big interior volume (in height), which is not necessary to live aboard comfortably, but that today is looked at as a luxury, as well as in having a more traditional interior, with more massive wood and woodwork (that is also considered by most as a luxury).
As a result, Kraken has a bigger lateral area due to a relatively high cabin height, a height that is extended aft through a center cockpit solution, to allow for an aft king-size cabin. That produces more windage, and the luxurious wood interior, more weight, and both windage and weight are detrimental to sailing performance.
In Pegasus, luxury is perceived in another way, in offering a modern and comfortable interior on a boat that has a sparkling performance, that some decades ago would only be possible in a racing boat.
The saloon seats give place to a big tilting bad that will allow to
sleep while sailing with a very little heel, or even no heel.
Regarding the ones to whom sail performance is not a priority, but like to sail, the biggest Kraken disadvantage over Pegasus is that Pegasus will continue sailing in the weak wind, while Kraken for sailing at a decent cruising speed, has to motor. If one likes to sail slower, at Kraken's speed, Pegasus offers the advantage to sail with reefed sails and a very small sail area with much less effort on the sheets and therefore will be much easier to manage.
Even if a cruiser does not like to sail sportively and if he can dispense the luxury of Kraken ambiance (some do not really appreciate this kind of luxury), then Pegasus can still be a better option, because, as a solo Danish old sailor once said to a friend of mine, that was overtaken by him (the Dane was making 14 knots, my friend 7kt): "I can go slower but you cannot go faster."
My friend was asking him (at the marina) if the 35ft Dragonfly Trimaran was not too much for an old sailor, and the reply of the Danish expresses something that is evident, but by most ignored:
If you put a fast sailboat sailing at the speed of a considerably slower sailboat, the faster sailboat becomes much easier to sail than the slower one, heeling very little, and having a soft motion, (providing it is not an ultra-light displacement boat) and a loaded Pegasus with 14/15T (a racing 50ft displaces 7T) has already the displacement needed to have a soft motion. Even the ones that like to sail fast all the time, me included, can be very surprised by this, and how the boat becomes completely different in motion and easiness, just sailing a few knots slower.
Last year I was sailing close to the wind, beating and sailing toward Zakynthos, with 2-meter waves and 15/16kt wind, doing 7.5kt with full sail, having fun, when the old jib finally said it was too much and ripped. I furled the jib and went on only with full main doing 5.5/6kt and it was just amazing the difference in boat motion, the agitated sea becoming very easy and comfortable to manage (no fun though LOL). Some years ago, I had the same surprise. I was sailing at night, southbound along the coast of Italy, downwind, with 20/25kt of wind, doing 8/9kts when it started raining, with a big thunderstorm approaching.
On top Kraken pilot seat and chart table, below Pegasus one. You can
notice how much better is integrated the one that is sailing the boat,
with the ones that are seated in the saloon.
I decided to anchor under the shelter of cape Palinuro, to let the bad weather go away, but I wanted to arrive there in daylight, and for that, I needed to reduce speed. I took out the main and furled almost all genoa, but to my surprise, the boat refused to make less than 6kts. With so little sail a fast boat becomes very, very easy to sail, more than a much heavier cruiser that needs much more sail, to go at the same speed.
With waves, an upwind bigger speed will always make a sailboat more uncomfortable, with a more violent motion, and with water flying over the bow.
The saloon and the galley are well separated but in
visual contact and the separation armchair provides
lots of storage.
For that reason, some consider fast boats more uncomfortable, as if fast boats, if the conditions are hard and somebody is complaining, could not be sailed slower.
Downwind is quite the opposite and many times faster boats are more comfortable than slower ones, being able to be sailed at almost the speed of the waves, sometimes at the same speed surfing them. They can turn windy disagreeable days into nice weather, diminishing a lot of wind force because what you experience over the deck is apparent wind and if the boat is doing 12kt in 25kt wind you will have over the deck only 15 or 16Kt, depending on the angle.
Pegasus' saloon and the visual communication
with the cockpit living space.
The difference for the Pegasus will not be big (due to finer entries), but the difference for boats like the Hallberg Rassy 50 or the Contest 50 will be very considerable, and in those cases, they will not be able to compensate with more sail power, like the Pegasus, and will be slower upwind than the Kraken, even if sailing with less heel.
I have sailed in heavy, middleweight and light sailboats, and I can live well with all types of movement, but I know there are people that prefer one type, while others prefer other, even in regards to avoiding getting seasick. So, especially if you are prone to getting seasick, be sure to know your preferences before choosing a heavy, medium, or light cruiser.
From the swimming platform to the cockpit or from the cockpit
to the galley or Sallon, the crew will always be in visual contact.
And it is not so much a question of stability, but a question of comfort. So, if you plan to sail a lot upwind out of season in high latitudes, better get a heavy boat, even if you pay that choice in sail performance.
But if you will sail mostly in the right season, even at high latitudes, on a boat like Pegasus you will sail faster, and a lot more than on Kraken because in light wind situations, the Pegasus will continue sailing and doing good speed, while on Kraken you will have to motor.
Comparatively the traditional Kraken living space is cave-like, even if with plenty of light that comes from the superior windows, while the open space in Pegasus is only comparable to the one offered by catamarans. It is true that it is not the first type of monohull to propose this type of solution, the Beneteu Sense 50 was the first, but it did not offer either a deck saloon or a raised pilot station.
Moody offers also the same living space concept, even more enhanced, because the saloon and cockpit are on the same level, but only on the 54 there is really space for that solution. In all the smaller Moody yachts, the height of the cabin to allow that solution is disproportionally high, making the yachts ugly, adding huge windage, making it look like a motor-sailor, and it is not only about looks, because the hulls of the smaller Moody are very beamy, and the sail performance is not a good one.
Above and below the Moody 54DS with its
Catamaran-style interior, with the saloon,
galley and cockpit at the same level.
The 54 DS is a more interesting sailboat, proportionally less beamy than the others, without looking too much out of proportion, and it sails well, but I would not call it a bluewater boat, the windows are just too big for safety in a storm, and the B/D has nothing to do with the one of true bluewater boats, being similar to the ones on mass production boats. A nice yacht for living full-time aboard, if the climate is not too hot, if sailing pleasure, or speed, are not on the main program. In regards to sailing, probably it is slower than the Kraken, and it would be ridiculous to compare the sailing performance with the one from Pegasus.
I am not saying that the Moody 54 is not a safe boat to do ocean passages at the right time of the year.
Due to its size and displacement, and slightly better built, it is safer than most mass-produced boats, neither I am saying that mass-production boats are not able to do the same, or even to circumnavigate, just that they are not designed having as the main goal to be a bluewater sailing boat, having poorer safety stability and being less strong than the Kraken or Pegasus.
The Moody 54 DS has even finished several Sydney-Hobart races and has shown that in medium to medium-high winds it has a very respectable performance. In fact, it had a surprisingly good performance while racing, in compensated and real-time being as fast as some 40 to 43ft cruiser racers.
|At the left you can see the part of the sallon that tilts (white) that is entirely|
transformable in a double berth, with the table (on hydraulics) going down
at the touch of a button, like the tilting mechanism, below, Kraken saloon
But Pegasus goes further in innovation and proposes a tilting hydraulic mechanism applied to all saloon area, maintaining it horizontal (or closer) while the boat heels.
The full saloon area is easily transformable into a big double "bed", that will be great for using while on passage, allowing you to sleep on a not-heeled berth. It will be especially useful while solo sailing at night while maintaining a watch in between small naps in all comfort. It will be very easy to check if everything is alright, you have only to sit up and look around.
These solutions come with a cost, and all the space aft the galley/saloon is not inhabitable, being reserved for the engine, technical stuff, storage and a dinghy garage that is able to store an inflated 270cm dinghy.
The low cockpit allows for less roll movement, than on a center cockpit solution (like the one on the Kraken, that has a much higher cockpit) and allows for very easy access to the sea, or pontoon, with only one step to the cockpit to the large swimming platform that, when up, closes the cockpit.
On Kraken passing from the cockpit to the sea it is much more complicated without any visual contact.
The galley, like the one on the Kraken, is big, and unlike the one on Kraken, visually connected with the saloon and the cockpit. Both galleys have characteristics that will make them adequate to be used at sea and have great storage space.
Like on the Kraken, on the Pegasus, there is a dedicated raised interior pilot/chart table, that allows the boat to be sailed from there, with the use of a joystick. The one on Pegasus allows a better frontal view and a good 360º view, while on the Kraken, the view forward is more limited (lower chair), and all views aft are blocked.
|On top Kraken galley, above, Pegasus' one|
The Pegasus 50 has several layouts. The one I like more, offers a big owner's cabin immediately forward of the saloon, to the right and on the left side a smaller double cabin, both with adequate storage, one served by a big head with a completely separate shower, the other with a smaller head. All the bow area is transformed in a huge storage locker, very useful to carry all fenders, sails, and all the garbage that is accumulated in an ocean passage.
The kraken interior is more conventional, similar to the ones of several well-known bluewater cruisers, with a false deck-saloon configuration, with the exception of having a raised chart table. The bigger cabin height and windows are used to allow for a very high standing weight in the saloon, not for offering a raised saloon.
Above, Kraken king-size cabin, below, main Pegasus' cabin
There is no version with a deck-saloon, layout but there are two layouts, one with the chart table and a hydraulic chair near the frontal glass and the other one with a kind of pulpit on the aft part of the saloon. The one with the hydraulic chair seems better to me, but I don't like any of the solutions, neither of them providing a good interior integration. The raised chart table seems like an add-on solution to maintain the original Kraken idea of a bluewater boat that could be steered from the interior, but the chair is low and even if the hydraulics can raise it enough to provide a decent view around, the skipper will be on top of a pedestal, in an isolated and uncomfortable position, towards the all-around space, and the people seated lower, on the saloon.
The pulpit solution offers no better outside view and is no better at providing social integration, having the disadvantage of making the technical compartment smaller.
The cabins are bigger than on the Pegasus and the aft king-sized one is much bigger. The Kraken has a nice interior, typical of a luxury yacht, even if I find the Contest, or Hallberg Rassy's interior design nicer, and more integrated. Anyway, it is with these boats that the interior should be compared because the one of the Pegasus, is one of a kind, and you love it, or hate it, but can't compare it with any similar one, because there is not a similar one, on any other bluewater boat.
The Kraken galley is big and well thought, the heads, on the two-cabin layout, are very good, and like on the Pegasus the cabinet storage is more than adequate, being bigger on the Kraken due to the huge cabinet storage on the king-size cabin. If a three-cabin solution is needed the Kraken has more space to offer a better solution, and while, on a three-cabin solution, the bow cabin will be a small one on the Pegasus, it will be a normal-sized one on the Kraken.
Above, Kraken second cabin. Below, Pegasus 3rd
open cabin. On the two-cabin version, this cabin is
closed and longer, being the bunk a double one.
The Kraken 50 offers good storage but does not offer a dinghy garage. The storage, more than the one on Pegasus, depends on the chosen layout. If only with two cabins it can have a relatively small sail locker at the bow (that has a central beam that does not make sense, because it does not allow big sail bags to be stored there) and anyway it is much smaller than the big one on Pegasus. The Kraken 50, for having good storage needs that sail locker to be functional and needs the aft part of the king-size cabin to be closed on the sides (in the interior), to allow for outside storage.
The space for equipment is good on both boats, bigger on the Kraken, especially in the version without the chart table on a pulpit. That version offers in compensation a bigger and nicer saloon. The access to the engine and generator on both boats is good, using the Kraken an original system that allows access by the cockpit, through a rotating cockpit table.
The system is nice however I would like to have the fixation of the chart table to the cockpit stronger, even if it would give some more work to open. That seems not difficult to manage on a semi-custom boat.
In all photos I saw of Kraken 50, all interior space is used to make bigger the big King size-cabin, even the space I find necessary to have good outside storage. That leaves for outside storage only a small part near the transom. The storage space there has a considerable volume because it is very deep and narrow, and therefore, difficult to use.
On the Pegasus' three cabin layout the bow cabin is small and the 2 cabin
layout offers a better solution, turning most of this space into storage.
Anyway, Kraken is like Pegasus, a semi-custom boat and it would not be difficult to have the two aft cabin lateral spaces turned into outside storage, allowing for adequate storage for long-range cruising. Besides having bigger standard storage space, the one on the Pegasus is much more easily usable, due to much better access (less deep), not to mention that it has a dingy garage, accessed also from the cockpit, and in a passage, with the dinghy folded, it has space for everything...and more.
Two bluewater seaworthy boats with very good safety stability and AVS but at the same time, two very different yachts pointed to different clients with different sailing and cruising tastes, as well as lifestyles.
| Drawing by Titouan Lamazou, the winner of the 1st Vendee Globe, |
for Eric Tabarlay (one of the greatest sailors ever) book:
"Guide de Manoeuvre"
Kraken, with a bigger displacement, has better static stability characteristics (bigger overall stability), the Pegasus has better dynamic stability, due to having a smaller and less high lateral surface exposed to a breaking wave, and a much smaller keel area, that will allow it to dissipate the energy of a breaking wave sliding laterally much more easily than the Kraken, that would have a tendency to trip in its huge keel, transforming the impact force into rotating energy.
Also, Pegasus's much superior speed will allow it to have a bigger ability to escape bad weather or to position itself in a better position to face an upcoming bad weather or storm.
Kraken is a lot heavier and that means that if they were equally well designed, built the same way, and using the same materials and techniques, the Kraken would be a considerably stronger boat, but even if they share some modern techniques there is a substantial difference due to several factors: the use of carbon on Pegasus on the hull and hull structure, amounting there to 50% of all the fibers. The Pegasus hull without windows allows for a lighter boat, because for having windows and the same resistance, a hull has to have a lot of reinforcements and therefore be heavier.
Above, Kraken head (only photo I could find), below, Pegasus head
The keel fixation, method on the Kraken results heavier than de traditional one, with the need for a much thick composite in all the keel area, than what it would be needed, if it was not used to hold the keel, and that it is probably one of the reasons why on Kraken a sandwich composite is only used on the top sides and not in all the hull and also explains the need to use a longer keel structure.
A composite sandwich hull is used only on the top sides (up from 40cm water line), making the hull less strong to flexion and in need of a stronger interior structure to compensate. All these things add weight to the hull.
I know that many think that having only the top sides cored is a good thing, because it prevents water to enter the core and because monolithic is stronger to impact, but they would be wrong on both counts.
This system (sandwich only in the top sides) was used by Halberg Rassy and Contest before they understood completely the structural advantages of a full sandwich hull and before having seen that a well-built hull, with monolithic at the points where it is more convenient (through the hull passages, engine and keel and rudder support), using a top waterproof resin (vinylester or epoxy), does not pose a threat in what regards water intrusion to the core and increases in much the boat resistance to flexing, allowing also a lighter hull.
|Separated Pegasus shower cabin|
Contest understood that several decades ago, and Hallberg-Rassy more than a decade ago. All the top yards now build composite hulls this way, using full sandwich hulls, which is a lot more expensive than using monolithic hulls.
Regarding impact, using many layers of fiberglass on a monolithic hull increases the strength but fiberglass has considerable brittleness, and under a strong localized impact can shatter. That is attenuated when you use a sandwich composite. The first layers of the outer skin are breached more easily, but the foam, rigidified by the resin, will be able to absorb a lot of energy and will make it more difficult for the inner skin to be breached, than all the skin of a monolithic hull.
In what concerns water intrusion, being all through the hull passage areas in monolithic and using both boats a resin that does not absorb water (vinylester) and a waterproof epoxy-based gelcoat, with several layers of epoxy on the underwater part of the hull, there is no possibility of water intrusion, and Hallberg Rassy, Contest or any of the high-quality yachts that use fully cored hulls (practically all) don't have any problem regarding water in the core.
Also, the Pegasus hull is built using vacuum infusion when on Kraken it is hand laid. Only on the deck do both use vacuum infusion with a foam core. That also contributes to making the Kraken heavier as well as the very different interiors of the two boats, with lots of heavy massive wood on the Kraken, while most of Pegasu's interior is made of cored composites or fiberglass.
And, of course, when you end up with a heavier boat, you have to make it even heavier, putting in it more ballast for having the same B/D. Even having the Kraken a considerably smaller B/D (34.2% to 39.7% ) the Kraken has to have more 1620kg ballast than the Pegasus to attain that smaller B/D.
So, if you add all the weights all these factors save on the Pegasus, plus the difference in weight between a big aluminum mast and a carbon mast, you will understand why we cannot relate directly the superior Kraken displacement, with a stronger yacht.
Both brands use vinylester resin, both use cored bulkheads laminated, or epoxy bonded to the hull, both utilize a strong structure that is mounted in place and fiberglassed to the hull, but Kraken uses only glass (with some kevlar inserts) while 50% carbon is used in Pegasus' structure and a lesser percentage on the hull.
The full outer layer of Pegasus' hull is made of carbon, while on Kraken they use Kevlar inserts in the areas more prone to collide with something. Both have a bow crash box, with foam, to absorb the impact and watertight bulkheads at the bow and aft. On the Pegasus all interior "walls" are made of composite cored material and are part of the boat structure, as if they were transversal bulkheads.
The monolithic part of the Kraken hull has an average of 15mm with a maximum of 18mm thickness. Pegasus hull is much thicker but both cannot be compared because Pegasus has a full-cored hull with the core being 25 to 30mm thick with an outside layer of carbon and several layers of fiberglass on each skin. On the submerged part of the hull (from 40cm below the waterline) the Pegasus hull is reinforced with extra layers of fiberglass and carbon.
Both boats are very well built and even if Kraken can resist better to a collision with a heavy object without sustaining any damage, the difference will not be meaningful regarding Pegasus (that will breach more easily the outside skin of fiberglass but will not have open water and no problem in continuing sailing, but will need to be repaired), considering that for the same object, at the same speed, the force of the impact will be much bigger on Kraken, due to its bigger mass and inertia. Anyway, both will certainly resist better to be damaged by contact with a heavy object than most cruisers.
|Kraken space for technical equipment and engine access.|
Both have very good tankage, the Kraken carries 560L water and 845L diesel and has a 2x90L black water tank. Pegasus has a 480L diesel tank, a 740L water tank and two 60L black water tanks. It is very curious to see that the water tank is bigger on the Pegasus while the Diesel tank is much bigger on the Kraken, meaning that the Kraken will be used much more as a motor-sailor than the Pegasus, an assumption that is logical, giving the huge difference in sailing potential in light winds. Kraken will take some more days for doing an ocean passage and it will need less water and provisions.
But it is strange and contradictory to see that the Pegasus has a proportionally bigger engine, a 75HP while the Kraken has an 80HP engine, which for a displacement of 22 tons (loaded) is not much. For instance, the Contest 50CS has a standard one with 110HP and the Hallberg Rassy 50 one with the same power (110HP). I don't see any option for a bigger engine on the options list, but probably it is possible.
Both are as standard true sail away boats, with a huge list of equipment, everything you need, from sails to the liferaft, passing by electronics, bow thruster and generator, but there are differences: while the Pegasus has a hydraulic boom vang and hydraulic backstay adjuster, the boom vang on the Kraken is mechanic, and a backstay adjuster is an option on Kraken, the sails on the Pegasus are more (3 to 2) and of better quality, the Kraken has an aluminum mast, the Pegasus has a carbon one.
Kraken has standard two conventional drum furlers for the headsails, Pegasus has a self-tacking rail, one flat webbing furler, and two endless furlers.
For the mainsail the Kraken uses a furling mast, the Pegasus a one-line furling system, with lazy jacks, with the boom having a shape to better accommodate the lazy bag. Optionally they both propose electric boom furling and electric head furlers, and Kraken offers as optional, a one-line single furling, lazy jacks and lazy bag, as well as a carbon mast.
Both include windshields and a sprayhood that is much more than a sprayhood on the Pegasus, with a targa rigid cockpit cover with a movable central part, to let the sun in.
Kraken offers a similar windshield but instead of a rigid sprayhood, has a canvas one with "plastic" windows and a cover that can close all the (smaller) cockpit area. Compared to Pegasus the solution is quite ungraceful and creates a lot more windage.
Access to the storage space is very good
Both boats offer air conditioning, but the Pegasus offers also diesel heating, which is extra on Kraken. both offer generators (the Kraken one is more powerful) but Pegasus offers also standard a powerful hydrogenerator and 720W of solar pannels), which are options on Kraken.
Both have radar, Pegasus a better 4G plus a B&G Forward-looking Mini Colour Camera with Infra-Red, and B&G ForwardScan sonnar. Pegasus offers AIS, which is extra on Kraken, the batteries are AGS on Kraken and lithium on Pegaso even if Kraken offers a standard bigger installed capacity, that the lithium batteries can probably compensate.
Above, Pegasus storage and space for equipment, below,
the big swim platform (Kraken has a smaller one and not
directly connected to the cockpit), and the way the
dinghy can be stored (look at the photo above).
The Kraken has a 160L refrigerator and a 90L freezer, the Pegasus has a 130L refrigerator and a 110L freezer, both have induction cookers with integrated ovens and microwaves, both offer watermakers (Kraken a bigger one), both come with washing machines and the Pegasus even comes with a 2.70m dinghy and an electric motor. Pegasus offers a dingy garage while Kraken offers electric davits.
Both have more standard equipment, including all needed electronics and autopilots but if you are interested you will have to ask them for the complete list of standard equipment and options because this post is already too long, and the items are too many to mention.
Pegasus sail hardware and everything that is related to sailing is more and of better quality. Pegasus also bets more on renewable energy sources. Most that is related with comfort onboard is bigger on Kraken, but overall, even if the standard equipment is very good on the two boats, Pegasus is better equipped as a standard boat, and the options you have to better it are very few, while on Kraken you have a long list of equipment and upgrades or additional equipment, many of the upgrades standard on Pegasus.
I bet that many will be asking by now, how much all this will cost. Of course, it has to be a lot, but compared to other brands like Hallberg Rassy or Contest, equipped the same way, I can tell you that is more than a fair price, it is a surprising price, in what regards both boats, 1.245 million euros for the Kraken and 1.085 for the Pegasus 50. The price does not include VAT.
Before assuming I am mad for saying that these boats have a good price, let me tell you that the new Contest 49CS costs, without sails, electronics, and with the few pieces of equipment a boat uses to have standard, 1.35 million euros, and, for having a similarly equipped boat you will probably spend 300 000 euros, if not more, and the Contest price is not very different from the one Hallberg Rassy 50 has.
Pegasus and the Kraken are two very good options for the ones that want to sail to distant shores, even if I would have preferred the Kraken to have the keel bolted and encapsulated, like Island Packet does, because I do not like the idea to be among the first dozens to try a new solution (on this type of hull) and, see if it works as well as the one that is normally used and that works well.
Two very different boats, being the Pegasus maximized for voyaging and cruising at speed and with comfort and the Kraken to cruise extensively in luxury, while having a good sail performance. Both are what we call bluewater boats and offer more than adequate safety to cruise anywhere, on the right season and even if in the wrong season, if not at high latitudes in bad weather.
The theory that any small boat can sail safely anywhere and in any conditions is a dangerous one and a myth. Any small yacht, even of this size, can be sunk by a big storm.
More frequently the boat is damaged, with ripped sails, and an inoperational engine, suffering repeatedly knock-downs till the crew calls for extraction and abandon the yacht. There are cases where even ships, Navy ones included, were sunk in huge storms, but that does not mean that these boats cannot take more, and are not more seaworthy than mass-production boats of the same size, or even bigger, and that is the case.
Pegasus has fewer rivals and none with the same sailing performance and interior characteristics. Kraken is similar in approach to yachts like the Contest 49/50CS or HR 50, offering huge standing heights and a luxurious interior, but offering a raised pilot station with some visibility to the outside.
Up and below, Kraken has a nice hull, with the exception of the keel,
rudder and the bow huge rake, which unnecessarily diminishes LWL.
It is at least as well built as the Contest, if not better, and has better hull specifications and structure than the HR (with the exception of the keel fixation and rudder), it is less fat, and it is offered at a lower price, even if the interior cannot match the design quality of any of those yachts.
I don't consider the way the keel is fixed on Kraken a positive point, if compared to Contest or Hallberg Rassy, more of a point that would raise doubts, and if I was interested in one I would want to know if the keel is really supported only by being encapsulated, or if there is (as I suppose) a fiberglass structure, connected with the boat structure supporting the efforts, and I would want to have a look at the designs and effort calculations.
On the other hand, Contest and Hallberg Rassy use a several decade-old method, that was used on this type of hull extensively, tried and proved in thousands of boats built by them without any problem. I have no reason for not having confidence in their accumulated experience and savoir-faire, which have time tested and have shown to be trustworthy.
But even regarding Pegasus, the less expensive of the two, the idea that a couple or even two couples need a 50ft boat to cruise in a bluewater boat with speed and safety, implies a luxury approach, one that is even bigger on Kraken than on Pegasus. Boats like Saare 41, HR400, Contest 42CS or Pogo 44 and JPK 45 show that it is possible to manage that with much smaller less expensive boats, with high comfort but without show-off, or the modern luxury that today passes for having much more space than what is needed for living and sailing comfortably.
None of the mentioned smaller boats offer a pilot station with an outside view, but today an ocean visual watch can be accomplished from inside a sailboat with modern electronic systems. They are expensive (about 25 000 euros) but uncomparably less than the difference in price for a bigger boat, and those systems have reached a point of great reliability, and they offer the advantage of having an incorporated alarm. More information on the link:
With that visual system, radar and AIS, you could perfectly sail the boat from the interior with as much, if not more safety than having a view to the outside. Of course, these systems imply a bigger knowledge regarding how to use them and will probably need training, but that is something you can learn by yourself. The use of these systems implies the use of a powerful hydro-generator or a diesel generator, but those smaller boats have already the interior space to have them, still offering two cabins, two heads, and a comfortable saloon, at a much smaller price.
Kraken has announced a new 44ft boat, and I have tried repeatedly to convince Pegasus builders to make a smaller boat, a 44/45ft boat, that is probably the smaller size that a nice looking deck saloon with a raised chart table can have, still offering two heads, two cabins, very good storage space, and on a light boat, the stability and seaworthiness to make it clearly a bluewater boat.
Above, CR 380DS, below CR 490DS
CR yachts have managed all that in a 38ft boat, even if a boat of that size, being more than able to cross oceans with safety in the right season (as much as a relatively bigger mass-production boat), cannot really deserve to be called a bluewater boat. It just does not have the displacement needed to provide it with the overall stability that I consider necessary, on a true bluewater cruiser.
They are also doing a new 49ft yacht, this one clearly a bluewater sailboat, and an option to be considered if one is interested in a boat with this size, but one that fully equipped will cost more than the Pegasus (even if less than the Kraken) offering also two cabins, two heads, lots of storage space and a true deck saloon configuration, with a raised pilot chart, and like Pegasus, a dinghy garage.
JPK 45CR cruising at high latitudes.
All these 50ft boat will cost well over a million euros, most closer to 1.5 million, even without VAT. I believe it is possible to have a 45ft true bluewater voyage boat, with high interior quality, a raised saloon and chart table, an arch on the back for solar panels, that serves as davit for the dinghy, two comfortable heads, two cabins, lots of storage, that fully equipped would costs about 700 000 euros, and I believe there is a market for such a boat, as there is a market for the JPK45, that is the closest you can find, even if not having a deck-saloon or a raised chart table.
If you have appreciated the article please don't forget to look at some ads. I don't receive anything for my work unless you open them, and this post gave me a lot of work. You can find more information regarding the Pegasus 50 here:
You can find more information about the Contest 49/50CS here:
More information regarding the Hallberg Rassy 50 here:
Some videos about Kraken 50 and Pegasus 50. You can find a lot more online: