Boat Test: 2006 Key West Key West 152CC

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Boat Tested2006 Key West Key West 152CC
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Center Console
Manufacturer Key West
Length15ft 2in / 4.62 m
Since 1986, Key West has been manufacturing fishing boats, geared to the inshore and offshore waters of Florida and the Atlantic coast. With a big water heritage and designs suitable for fishing or recreation, the inland lakes and bigger waters of Canada are an ideal market for this rugged line of boats from 15 to 29 feet.



The Key West 152 Centre Console's hull is mated to a one piece cockpit liner and bonded to a foam injected fibreglass stringer system. The solid, wood free hull is backed by a ten year transferable hull warranty.



From the bow back, the design of the 152cc is clean and definitely low maintenance, with a surprising number of features for a 15' boat. The anchor locker has slots and locking tabs to securely stow the supplied anchor. There is plenty of room for rode and a large stainless cleat is installed for securing the rode.



The bow casting platform has an effective non-skid pattern and incorporates a large storage space underneath. A snap-in marine grade vinyl cushion converts this area to seating. For safety while seated in the bow area, there is a solid stainless bow rail. A nice touch is that the navigation lights are recessed into the hull on either side of the bow, minimizing glare in night running.



At the helm, the new wider helm seat, with storage and flip-flop bolster is roomy and comfortable for two. A marine cooler with a removable padded cushion, provides additional seating ahead of the centre console.



The centre console itself, features a stainless grab rail that protects the low windscreen and provides a solid hand hold when underway. The helm incorporates full instrumentation including compass and 12 volt accessory power outlet. A waterproof switch panel for lighting and systems is located on the lower face of the console and has room to handle additional electronics and accessories.



When seated, the stainless steel wheel and engine controls fall readily to hand but they are a stretch when standing for us taller folks. Standing, or moving about to fish, the self bailing cockpit's non-skid surface feels quite secure and will be quite easy to keep clean thanks to the built-in wash down system. With a built-in fuel tank under the deck, you wind up with ample room to fish aboard this 15 footer.



While not the largest casting platform, the stern casting deck also incorporates a 13 US gallon aerated live well to port and access to the battery to starboard. Also located in the battery compartment, is a full size fuel filter/water separator, a good example of Key West's attention to detail.



The 152 CC is rated for a maximum of 80 horsepower, but our test boat came with a more practical and efficient Honda BF 50. The Honda popped the 950 lb. (431 kg) Key West on plane quickly and delivered a top speed of 29.6 mph on GPS. Acceleration was quite acceptable for 50 hp, with the boat reaching 20 mph in 6.2 seconds and top speed was reached in 13.8 seconds.



Test conditions were otherwise ideal, but cold in Pointe au Baril on test day. In spite of the near freezing temperatures as we started up, the Honda didn't hesitate at all. In calm conditions the 152 CC ran flat requiring minimal motor trim. Overall, the hull design proved to be a well balanced, predictable handling package. To put the Key West through its paces, we had to create our own rough water with both the 152cc and our camera boat creating wakes. As predicted, the 10 degrees of dead rise in the hull had the boat pounding over the bigger stuff, but a moderate chop was handled well.



If you're contemplating a compact fishing machine or a great boat for the family to run around with at the cottage, look south and now north for Key West.
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