How do I decide which is the best boat for me?

First accept that no one boat is always right. There will be times when you want to do something unusual such as take the neighbor and his family on the water along with your own family. Always chose a boat that suits your needs most of the time, and remember it has limitations in those extreme cases, and nothing will suit your needs all the time. Ask yourself how many people will realistically be on the boat, where you plan to use the boat, and what you would like to do with the boat, and then pick a boat that best fits those situations. Most importantly make sure it is a Key West Boat.

Should I be concerned about E-10 ethanol fuel in my Key West Boat?

Every component used in the fuel system of a Key West boat is the latest and most ethanol resistant material available at the time of production. All of our fuel tanks are either poly or aluminum and we have never used fiberglass tanks. Because of this there is no need for undue alarm because of E-10 fuel. This is not to say that alcohol in fuel causes no problems though and every effort should be made to stabilize the fuel when not in use. E-10 is less stable than straight gasoline and more prone to moisture absorption. Ethanol also contributes to the deterioration of even the most resistant fuel lines shortening their life span. Consequently all fill, vent, and supply lines should be inspected periodically.

How much horsepower will I need on my boat?

At Key West Boats we try to make this decision easy for the new owner. In the specifications we list not only the maximum horsepower for each model, but also a recommended range of horsepower. The maximum is not always the best choice. Today we have a wide variety of engine brands and technologies available such as the new four stroke engines and DFI two stroke engines. The best power for you may also involve your choice of these technologies. We are increasingly interested in efficiency, therefore the simplest answer to how much horsepower is to select an engine where it will be running at its most efficient RPM range when the boat is cruising at the speed it will be operated at most of the time. The reason for this is that sometimes you can go with an engine so powerful that to run at your chosen speed it actually runs too slow to achieve its potential efficiency. On the other hand an engine that is too small will run too hard to achieve efficiency and will also wear prematurely. It's not a simple answer and one best discussed with a dealer before the final choice is made.

Which is better, 2 stroke or 4 stroke, and what brand engine?

A book could be written to answer this question and at the end you could still be confused, but rest assured all engines built today are much better than engines built just ten years ago. Because of government regulations regarding emissions and the warranty covering items affecting those emissions, we are enjoying engines that not only run cleaner, but also are much easier to operate and do so on much less fuel, and seem to be lasting longer as well. Because of this, even though fuel costs are higher, the operating expenses are nearly the same as they were a few years ago. Whether we credit the government or the builders, boating is more fun today no matter which brand of engine supplies the power, or how many strokes it takes.

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Glossary of Terms

Where the side wall of a boat turns to form the bottom of the hull. A hard chine is an angular transition and a soft chine is more rounded. Most planing hulls will have a hard chine.