Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Key West specializes in center console boats. In fact it offers three series of center console boats totaling sixteen models from seventeen to thirty-five feet. The 176 CC is part of the core center console series of eight models from fifteen to twenty-three feet and is part of what Key West calls its new generation of seventeen footers.
At seventeen feet, seven inches long on a seven foot, four inch beam, the 176 CC is rated for up to 140 maximum horsepower while Key West recommends a horsepower range of 90 to 115. Factory tests in fact show that 90 horsepower is perhaps quite adequate for most needs in a boat this size as the test boat ran 40 mph at 6100 RPM and had an optimum cruising speed of just a fraction under 20 mph at 3500 RPM powered by a 90 horsepower Yamaha.
The 176 CC is purpose built with standard equipment for fishing and utility yet, for a seventeen footer, has a most commendable list of optionally available equipment that will allow you to outfit it for cruising and exploring or even more serious fishing. It has a tall center console fitted with a high and protective curved tinted windshield with surrounding stainless steel grab rail.
The lower level of the dash houses all of the necessary DC switches and a 12-volt accessory outlet while the upper surface will easily accommodate the standard engine analog or digital gauges from the engine brand of your choice plus a navigation/fishfinding screen. A polished stainless steel steering wheel with convenience knob is standard. This may be optionally fitted with tilt and/or Sea Star hydraulic steering.
Two-person helm seating is provided by a cushion-topped 72-quart cooler complete with a flip-flop backrest to accommodate aft-facing seating when at anchor or rest. This arrangement may be optionally exchanged for a leaning post with a 72-quart cooler or with a pair of Captain’s chairs. Whatever helm seating arrangement you choose, canvas covers are optionally available for their protection. A large storage compartment is found within the console and a single seat with padded backrest is fitted to the forward face of the console.
A foredeck anchor locker is provided as is a large bow casting deck with storage within. This casting deck may be optionally fitted with a casting seat, pedestal, and base or with just the base on which to mount your own choice of seat. A bow cushion is also available to fit this casting platform. A pair of low profile safety bow rails is provided standard as are pull-up cleats and a foredeck-accessed trolling motor harness and plug.
Within the self-bailing cockpit is a pair of molded-in stern compartments for storage and a standard livewell with high speed pick-up. These may be upgraded with cushions to become jump seats with removable backrests for added cockpit seating. Courtesy lighting is standard as is a pair of recessed under-gunnel horizontal rod holders with tubes on each side of the cockpit. Four stainless steel trolling rod holders with drains are also provided.
Whatever the use you envisage for your Key West 176 CC, you may want to add a bimini top with either aluminum or stainless steel supports and with boot or better still, the deluxe T-top complete with a radio box, spreader lights, and rocket launchers. To this T-top you may then add cargo netting, gull wings, and a spray shield.
For fishing enthusiasts, you may add re-circulation to the standard livewell, a pair of console mounted vertical rod racks, and/or two trolling motor packages; a 12-volt, 55 lb. thrust Minn Kota Riptide with hand control, wiring, and charger, or a 24-volt version of the Riptide with 70 lb. thrust and a dual charger, both units available with a quick-release bracket. You should now upgrade to dual batteries.
Other notable optional upgrades include trim tabs, a stereo with MP3 port and four speakers, a set of four pull-up fender holders, a high bow rail, console cover, and choice of mooring covers. A port side transom-mounted swim platform with ladder is provided standard and you may optionally delete this if you so choose. Rails may also be deleted and additional cleats may be added. Optional hullside colours are also available.
As part of Key West’s new generation of seventeen footers, it’s easy to see why this 176 CC model has become so popular.
|Dry weight:||1,300 Boat Only lbs||590 Boat Only kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||40 US gals||151 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 140|