Key West 186 Bay Reef
APRIL 2003

Length Overall18'6"
Weightapprox. 1,700 lbs
Fuel Cap60 gal
The Key West 186 Bay Reef is a purely fun, zippy little center console, powered by a single 115 Yamaha four stroke outboard, for which they didn't have to beef up the transom. 'We build them that way anyway,' said plant manager Walter 'Buzzy' Renken III, who took me out for a run at the Miami boat show. He explained that this new boat is a condensed version of their popular 19'6" model.

They pack a lot of nice features into this little boat, like twin jump seats in the back on either side of a 40-gallon livewell centered in the transom. Up in the bow, there's a large raised casting platform with a plug for a trolling motor and a 12-volt outlet for a spotlight or other accessories. There's also a socket where you can fix one of the two jump seats as a bow casting seat. And there's a 72-quart cooler seat in front of the center console.

We ran out into the breeze with a slight chop and the planing was nearly instantaneous. The boat is amazingly stable, even with three large guys onboard. Stand-up operation was great, though the windshield provided good protection while seated on the 94-quart cooler seat. It's got a flip/flop back rest that allows you to sit facing fore or aft. There are three rod holders on either side of the console. Top speed was about 43 mph at 6000 rpm, wide-open throttle.