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decision 17 robalo vs 17 key west

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the Robalo info. I am trying to decide between a 1999 17 Robalo with 90 merc vs 2001 17 Key West with a 70 Johnson. Both center consoles and same dollars. Even the equipment matches.

Opinions which one and why
post #2 of 15
I owned a 2001 Key West 1720 for 3 years. Very solid boat, well laid out with better than average hardware. Great to fish alone or with one other person. Mine had a 75 merc and I could get almost 40 mph with that setup. The only down side to the Key West is it has a very narrow beam which while helping it handle the chop well makes it pretty cramped gunnell to gunnell. The only other drawback is that it can be wet going into a quartering chop. Quality wise I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. My boss (the owner/publisher of On The Water) has had the same boat set up with a side console raised rear deck and has fished up and down the Elizabeth Islands for years in all kinds of weather.

I'm not sure about the quality of the late 90's Roballos. I know they went through some ownership changes and had some quality issues for a few years with wiring and fit/finnish. That being said, they are a much wider boat, more room to move around and fish comfortable with a larger group.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sandman
The spec's on the Robalo show it with 7ft6in beam and weighting 2240. It also draws a foot draft.
I am leaning towards Key west. I have not heard one negative towards that boat.
post #4 of 15
Good for you... I think you'll enjoy it. The Key West hull weighs substantially less at 1150 lbs. I think the beam is just under 8'.
post #5 of 15
Roballo..... it gets my vote.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Why the 99 Robalo? I like it but I am concerned about it weighing almost 1000lbs more then most other 17 foot boat and only having 20 additional hp. Also Robalo was partnered with US marine when the boat was made but they are now part of another group and no longer making a 17. Parts availability could be an issue.
I think the Robalo is a very well made boat but its specifications are so far different fron other 17 footers (extra weight, added draft etc)it concerns me.
post #7 of 15
Hi Ghost.
First post on this board, but I couldn't pass this one up! I own a 1998 Key West 1720 with a 1998 Evinrude 90 hp. Its a simply terrific boat. I agree with everything one gent said above about it being a great 1 or sometimes two person fishing vessel, if thats what you are looking for. Yes it is sometimes a bit wet on a choppy day, but what 17 footer isn't? It can easily be turned into a fishing machine. I also sometimes take a bunch of my friends out waterskiing or to local bar on the water (I live near the CT river) and with 5 peeps on board the handling is a bit sluggish, but I still can get up on plane no problem and cruise. We even can pull waterskiiers behind us with 4 peeps on board. Only drawback is the narrow beam like the poster above also mentioned. I wouldn't hesitate to buy Key West again, only move up in size. Great little boat!
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. The key West I am looking at has a 70hp Johnson not a 90. I have heard nothing but good things about the KW.
I only fish with one other guy or my dog so I am hoping the 70 is OK.
post #9 of 15
Never been on a KW so can't comment on them, but I've been fishing a 1999 Robalo 24' center for the past five seasons. They're built like tanks which you'll appreciate every time it gets snotty. The extra weight and the really deep V make it excellent for rough conditions, at the price of using significantly more fuel. I'd go the lighter boat if you'll mostly be fishing flat water; otherwise you might appreciate the extra weight.

post #10 of 15
If you plan on fishing on the weekends mostly you might want to consider the Robalo. I own a 23 ft. Kencraft which is substanially heaver than any other center consoles in her class and the ride when there is a bump is great. Plows through waves that push other 23s around. As for the loss of speed, there are not to many times ,except during the week, that you will be able to safely charge around doing 40mph! Ride vs. Speed?
post #11 of 15
Originally posted by ghost:
Why the 99 Robalo?
Because it is almost as well built as a Boston Whaler

Quality product that holds its value.
post #12 of 15
Have you performed a compression test on both engines? If you have not you should before making any decision.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
As it turns out i did not buy either. I instead decided to purchase a 1988 Mako 17 with a 2002 115 Evinrude. Checked it out and had a good but cold sea trial . All is well. I registered it today, now all i need is some nice weather.
post #14 of 15
Did the warranty transfer over to you? They likely had a 3 year warranty on that engine.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes it will transfer. I need to contact Evinrude and provide some minor paper work. It is under warr. to 7/05. Ran like a top.
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