Kraken 50

2018 March 1

This well-appointed offshore cruiser is made to cross oceans in style

Kevin Dibley, the designer of the new Kraken 50, is an old mate of mine and always provides me with enough “meat” to the design to allow me to do an accurate review. For that I  am grateful. This new luxury cruising boat is built in China by Hansheng Yachts and is designed to combine comfort and performance. We hear that all the time but in this case, with Kevin as the designer, I think we can actually believe it.

It’s nice to have a full set of hull lines. This is a beamy boat with an L/B of 3.39 on a beam max of 14 feet 9 inches. Beam is carried well aft as is the current style. It’s hard to argue with the additional deck space and interior volume this creates, along with more sailing length, additional stability and a huge swim platform. Draft is 7 feet 6 inches with all the lead ballast near the keel tip for a very low VCG. Everyone likes a stiff boat.  


On a boat this size I would like to see at least a partially balanced rudder and Kevin echoes that feeling. But the client wanted a full skeg and that’s what he got. Skegs can be a challenge to build and the lack of “balance” area to the rudder means you can end up with more helm pressure than you would like. But, if the boat is well balanced,  and I suspect this one will be, it should not be an issue. 

I like the fact that Kevin gave the bow just a bit of overhang by adding a weldment to extend the anchor roller forward of the stem so that the anchor can clear the stem. 

The D/L is 203. There is some deadrise to the forward sections but this fairs out just aft of amidships and goes to a section aft that is tangent on centerline, i.e. no deadrise aft. There is just a hint of spring to the sheer because a generous sheer spring does not work well with this kind of contemporary styling. Kevin designs his hulls to a prescribed curve of areas. This curve maps the distribution of volume throughout the hull. This is not an unusual way to design hulls and has been used by some very successful designers.

The layout is designed for two couples with an additional small cabin forward with stacked single berths. There are heads with shower stalls forward and aft. 

The galley runs along the passageway to the aft cabin on the port side. I’ve done this before and it works quite well. It’s quite a large galley with a lot of counter space. The nav station is tucked along the cockpit well to starboard. There is a long settee to port in the saloon and an L-shaped settee to starboard with a small dining table. For me, this is a problem. Without adding a folding chair or two I can’t see more than three people dining comfortably at this table. 

The forward head is accessible from the saloon and the forward stateroom. The raised cabinhouse with its big windows will let in a lot of light, but the lower edge of the big window is above your eye level and that would bother me. I’d have to stand on the settee to see out the windows. There is an optional layout that leaves out the small cabin forward, brings the double berth aft adjacent to the head and offers a lot more room in this area.


I like the profile of this boat. The long almost flush deck forward works great aesthetically and pragmatically. The tall, raised cabintrunk helps take the curse off the high cockpit profile and tall cabintrunk aft. It’s all nicely integrated. 

Climbing in and out of the cockpit might be a bit awkward, but the cockpit is unusually large and roomy for a center cockpit boat. The well opens up aft to allow for a large diameter wheel. Winches and line controls are all handy to the helm position. The mainsheet traveler is aft of the cockpit and provides close to end boom sheeting. That’s good. The broad swim step aft will be perfect for people like me who’s knees are not what they once were.

The rig is a tall, SA/D 19.2, sloop rig with a self-tacking working jib tacked just aft of the stem. In light air you would use a genoa tacked at the stem. A short, deck mounted bowsprit gets the tack of the asymmetrical chute away from the headstay. An 80-horsepower diesel will bring you home when the wind dies.

It’s always a pleasure to review a Dibley design. I wish Kevin and the Kraken boys success with this project.

LOA 50’; LWL 45’10”; Beam 14’9”; Draft 7’6”; Displ. lightship 37,148 lbs., loaded   46,297 lbs.; Ballast 14,330 lbs.; Sail area 1,445 sq. ft.; SA/D 19.2; D/L 203; L/B 3.39; Auxiliary Yanmar 80-hp; Fuel 227 gal.; Water 185 gal.

Our best estimate of the sailaway price:  $839,000

Kraken Yachts Ltd

A3, 8/F, TML Tower

3 Hoi Shing Road

Tsuen Wan, New Territories

Hong Kong

+852 2618 9335