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Key West vs Key Largo?

Old 01-10-2019, 08:16 AM
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Question Key West vs Key Largo?

I never knew finding a decent used boat would be such a chore. Let me premise this post by saying I have been looking hard for a nice used Key West 1900. I found a nice local 2005 Key Largo 180 with an 05 Yami 90 four stroke (300 hours assumed, will hook it to computer to verify) on it last week for $8K. Went and looked at it and put a deposit down contingent on good mechanical report and sea trial. Other than the trailer hardware needs work and bunks need recarpeted, it appears to be in immaculate shape. My only concern as this is severely underpowered with a 90hp on a 1650# boat.

Here is where the plot takes a twist. Last night while browsing, I came across an immaculate 97 Key West 1900 with a 150 Mariner for $6.5K, that appears to be meticulously maintained and is in beautiful condition. I know that's plenty of power for that boat, but know very little else about those motors. I have the opportunity to head up there tomorrow and sea trial and check it out.

I know most people on here would want an 8 year newer 4 stroke Yamaha on a lesser boat than a 22 year old Mariner on a much nicer boat, but I really want a darn Key West. Someone be the voice of reason and talk me out of the 6 hour drive tomorrow. What to do what to do? As always, I appreciate everyone's input on this board. Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:29 AM
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Go look at it. I can not speak to the engine but if a 2 stroke shouldn't be hard to fix if needed. The boat itself if in good shape even if old will likely be fine. I have a 1999 KW and it was a great boat. I sold it and bought a new KW mainly because how well my old KW still looked after being 14 years old and it did not have the best of care prior to my ownership.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:48 AM
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would not hurt to look at it, but I also would not want to drive 6 hours one way unless I really planned on buying. In the late 90's I bought a KW 1520 brand new. I looked at the Key Largo's hard as well and at that time it was only a couple thousand more dollars for the KW which was a much better finished boat. But the Key Largo's are work horses and hold up really good too. Kid of a tough call, really depends what you plan to do with it, how long you plan to keep it etc.

Comparing the fact that its on 05 boat and motor 4s yami vs 97, I would be inclined to go with the Key Largo I think. I dont think 90 would be severly underpowred. That is what they put on the KW 1720s. Run it and find out then have the KW as a backup.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:01 AM
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If the Key West is worth $6.5 giving the value of the engine at $500 it might be the better boat. 22 yr old outboards have a tendency to blow up in my experience. Good luck. I always kind of looked down on KL but have seen many older ones that appear to be in better shape than higher "tier" boats. I like their simplicity.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:07 AM
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You really do have to look at it from this perspective. If that Mariner lets go on you, can you afford to put a $12000 new engine on it? Is the boat worth hanging a new engine on? Do you want to deal with finding a used engine for it? Of course the same questions apply to the Key Largo, but the likelihood of that motor blowing at it's age is probably appreciable lower.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:13 AM
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The key largo will run WOT at about 30mph and cruise around 22mph.
My dad ran one for years, very economical and he was never in a rush. I would not want any more weight on the transom of that boat. Sits pretty low in the water as is.
The ride is pretty incredible for an 18Ft boat, its based off of the sea craft hull.

Never felt unsafe in it, fished all over from Port Canaveral to the Key in that little boat.
It is just a simple boat.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:23 AM
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To run them how they are I would take the Yamaha

Any plans to repower I would take the Mariner
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:32 AM
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I would go for the Key West . Better boat if all other things equal . The motor situation would not bother me either as both are not spring chickens and Yamaha 4 strokes of that era have been not proven to be anything Close to their precieved reputation. Many problems over many models more so than any other brand .
Both engines are long on years but from the sound of it a repower ( underpowered old Yamaha and old Mariner ) is going to be in the future so get the boat you want .
Good luck
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:41 AM
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I had a 2007 cape craft 180 (same exact boat as key Largo) and it was really a pretty awesome boat. No frills and rode well. Poor mans Cape Horn I called it.

the Yamaha F90 was fine, sipped fuel and got up on plane quick with 4 adults. WOT was like 32 I think?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:20 AM
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I think it also depends on what level of quality you are looking for. The Key West boats I have looked at of that era all use better components/hardware and are a nicer layout than a Key Largo. If you are willing to spend 8k on a Key Largo then I would say just be patient and wait for a Key West. I saw plenty of them on the market from the early 2000s in that price range when I was looking last spring.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MarcR View Post
Went and looked at it and put a deposit down contingent on good mechanical report and sea trial. Other than the trailer hardware needs work and bunks need recarpeted, it appears to be in immaculate shape. My only concern as this is severely underpowered with a 90hp on a 1650# boat.

Here is where the plot takes a twist. Last night while browsing, I came across an immaculate 97 Key West 1900 with a 150 Mariner for $6.5K, that appears to be meticulously maintained and is in beautiful condition. I know that's plenty of power for that boat, but know very little else about those motors. I have the opportunity to head up there tomorrow and sea trial and check it out.
Are you willing to lose your deposit on the Key Largo? Is it refundable for "changing your mind?" Or are you planning on fabricating a reason to kill the deal?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SCAngler View Post
Yamaha 4 strokes of that era have been not proven to be anything Close to their precieved reputation. Many problems over many models more so than any other brand .
Both engines are long on years but from the sound of it a repower ( underpowered old Yamaha and old Mariner ) is going to be in the future so get the boat you want .
Good luck
That is very debatable at best or flat out incorrect more realistically....not going to debate about all HP, but I have a 2005 F115 that has 650 flawless hours on it with nothing more than routine maintenance. The F90 is one of the most reliable and bulletproof motors Yami made/makes, including that era so, assuming its in the shape he described, its no where near a repower. Just throwing this out incase this steered you one direction or another. As far as the motors go, a 2005 4s Yami vs a 97 2s Mariner, the Yami is a no brainer.

Good luck and let us know how ya make out.....
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chad.sfds View Post
That is very debatable at best or flat out incorrect more realistically....not going to debate about all HP, but I have a 2005 F115 that has 650 flawless hours on it with nothing more than routine maintenance. The F90 is one of the most reliable and bulletproof motors Yami made/makes, including that era so, assuming its in the shape he described, its no where near a repower. Just throwing this out incase this steered you one direction or another. As far as the motors go, a 2005 4s Yami vs a 97 2s Mariner, the Yami is a no brainer.

Good luck and let us know how ya make out.....
I have owned many Yamaha’s before and during that era and after. I still have a115 4 stroke (2004) that has had to have a new power head due to the making oil issue which is well documented . The bad customer support offered by Yamaha means I will not buy a new one until something changes in the corporate structure.
The bottom line is you never know what an old engine looks like until it is gone over by a good tech . Both engines are older engines . At that point you should be looking at the boat mainly because in any case the boat should outlast the either engine .
Buy the Key West and you save money on the purchase put it in the bank to save for another engine . When the Mariner dies sell it for parts and go look for another engine. Long run you have a better boat at a better price .
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
Are you willing to lose your deposit on the Key Largo? Is it refundable for "changing your mind?" Or are you planning on fabricating a reason to kill the deal?
I would certainly let him keep it for his time already invested. As much as I want a Key West, and after much reading and researching, I think I'm going through with the Key Largo. It would be used to fish 90% of the time and I do believe it would be more suited for nearshore fishing with higher gunwales.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:40 PM
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Yesterday, I had a Yamaha tech meet myself, my wife, and the seller at the boat ramp. He hooked his computer to the 2005 Yamaha 4 stroke in the parking lot to pull the history, turned around with a shocked look on his face and said, "this motor only has 136 hours on it"! The owner was as shocked as the rest of us. Needless to say after a successful sea trial and a thorough look over of the rig, the mechanic said, "you need to buy this boat". Can't wait for the weather to warm up now. I the mean time, I'm going to work on the trailer. Thanks for everyone's input. I appreciate it.

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Old 01-13-2019, 01:41 PM
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Excellent! Take care of the boat, and it will take care of you. Enjoy
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:15 PM
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congrats. That looks very nice and well taken care of. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined (if not pay for the service), I would recommend changing the engine oil and filter, LU oil, plugs, impeller, grease all fittings, change all the fuel filters and sacrificial anodes and pull the prop, grease splines and check for line...Overall, you'd be looking at a couple hundred dollars in parts and wold serve the engine well and you'd get to familiarize yourself with it. Enjoy!!!!
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:30 PM
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Didn't yamaha make a lot of the old mariner motors? My buddy has one and the flywheel and case both have the yamaha logo stamped on them.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by the82bronco View Post
Didn't yamaha make a lot of the old mariner motors? My buddy has one and the flywheel and case both have the yamaha logo stamped on them.
I believe Yamaha made the early Mariner motor up to 40 HP for Mercury marketed as Mariner, and were older Yamaha engines that had been discontinued. Mercury made the larger engines but I believe still had some parts like the lower unit gears made by Yamaha.

Jim
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MarcR View Post
Yesterday, I had a Yamaha tech meet myself, my wife, and the seller at the boat ramp. He hooked his computer to the 2005 Yamaha 4 stroke in the parking lot to pull the history, turned around with a shocked look on his face and said, "this motor only has 136 hours on it"! The owner was as shocked as the rest of us. Needless to say after a successful sea trial and a thorough look over of the rig, the mechanic said, "you need to buy this boat". Can't wait for the weather to warm up now. I the mean time, I'm going to work on the trailer. Thanks for everyone's input. I appreciate it.

Congrats on the boat purchase!

Personally I would hesitate a bit buying a 14 year old motor with only 136 hours. Was the seller the original owner? Did you have the serial number run for past warranty/repair history? Are you sure ECM/powerhead/etc was original? Thats less than 10 hours per year... I personally like to see at least 25-50 hours per year at a minimum as low hours are some times worse than high hours.
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