Key West’s approach with its flagship 351CC was to develop a fishing-first center console with creature comforts. She comes standard with a windlass, trim tabs with indicators, an 18-gallon freshwater system, a porcelain toilet, and a hardtop with LED lighting and a powder-coated frame.
To get the boat offshore to go after big fish, Key West suggests triple outboards up to 900-hp, so long as they are not V-8 motors on the 351CC because of their width and weight.
- •A windlass
- •Auto-retracting trim tabs with position indicators
- •Flush folding aft bench seat
- •Leaning post tackle station with tackle storage, a livewell, a freshwater sink, a prep area, battery storage, and a fire extinguisher
- •A private head in the console with a porcelain toilet and SeaDeck flooring
- •A hardtop with LED lighting, spreader lights, and powder-coated framework
The Stern. Taking a closer look at the 351CC, the easiest way to board from the docks is to step on at the platform forward of the motors and enter the cockpit from the gated passageway aft to port. There’s a boarding ladder aft. In the cockpit, there are the aforementioned aft bench seat and coaming pads that extend all the way to the bow. Directly abaft the seat is an insulated fish box. Outboard to starboard is a 40-gallon (151.4-liter) livewell with an acrylic hatch.
The Leaning Post. The aft side of the leaning post has a well-organized tackle and prep station with a freshwater sink and 28-gallon (106-liter) livewell beneath separate hatches up top and drawers and tacklebox slots down low. There are fishing line spools on the inside of the door. Key West installs the batteries in the bottom of this locker. The front side has two seats with fold-up bolsters and armrests and a glovebox in the base.
The Helm. Key West placed the tilt helm and Edson stainless-steel steering wheel with spinner knob as far to port as possible, which creates plenty of space for the driver and companion to travel side-by-side. The forward-most vertical section of the dash has space for two 15” (38 cm) chartplotters.>/p>
Ahead of the starboard seat, the dash has two 12-volt plugs just below two stainless-steel cup holders. This would be a good spot to plug in cell phones. To facilitate rigging the helm and adding electronics, the entire panel pulls aft on hinges.
The Console. Entry to the head is through a hatch in the port passageway and there’s a screened portlight to starboard. Because the head is positioned so deep in the hull, there’s more than enough seated headroom for an average adult. Underfoot, Key West uses SeaDeck faux teak in the head. Drawers provide additional gear and tackle storage, and there are four racks for fishing rods or landing tackle.
Gunwale Storage. Making good use of available space, Key West puts open rod racks and secure lockers in the gunwale on each side of the 351CC. Forward in the bow outboard on each side are open trays with retainers that should be tall enough to contain docklines and three stainless-steel cup holders on each side.
The Bow. It could be said that on the 351CC, the cockpit abaft the console is for fishing, and the bow is for relaxing or cruising. There are side-by-side bucket seats on the forward side of the console with cup holders in the center armrest. Beneath the bottom cushion is an insulated cooler that drains overboard. Forward in the bow, there are lounges with backrests that fold out of the gunwales. Outboard of the lounge on each side are storage trays with three cup holders.
Bow Storage. In addition to the trays outboard on each side, the 351CC has insulated lockers in the bow sole that can be used as coolers or for dry storage. In the foredeck, there’s a compartment that Key West designates for fender storage aft of the anchor locker that contains the standard windlass.
Construction. Key West builds the 351CC with a solid fiberglass bottom and foam coring in the hullsides and deck. The transom is cored with composite, and an aluminum plate is fiberglassed into the transom to provide additional support for the multiple outboards.
The hull and deck are attached in a shoebox-lid-style joint that is bonded with 3M 5200 and through-bolted. Stringers are molded as a one-piece grid outside the boat and then bonded in place and foam filled. Aluminum plates also back up all deck hardware.
Power and Performance
The 351CC has a single step bottom and is rated for a maximum of 1,050-hp in a triple-outboard configuration. Twin engines would have 25” (63.5cm) shafts and triples would have 30” (76.2cm) shafts.
We haven’t tested the boat, but Yamaha did and produced a Performance Bulletin on the 351CC with triple 300-hp F300 4-stroke outboards and a test weight of 12,419 lbs. (5,639 kg).
The engines turned 15” (38cm) x 20” (50.8cm) (port and starboard) Saltwater Series II propellers and a 15” (38cm) x 21” (53.3cm) (center) Saltwater Series HS54 prop through 1.75:1 gear reductions. According to Yamaha, at wide-open throttle at 6050 rpm, the 351CC hit 61.6 mph and burned 79.0 gph, giving the boat a range of 228 miles. Best cruise was at 3000 rpm, where the boat ran 27.5 mph and burned 19.8 gph, resulting in a range of 407.8 miles. In acceleration tests, the boat ran to 30 mph in 4.55 seconds, according to the Yamaha techs.
$270,000 with triple 300-hp Yamaha F300 4-stroke outboards
Warranty. 10-year Transferrable Hull warranty
Options to Consider
- •Choice of hull colors, Black, White, Sand, Sea Foam, Ocean Blue, Ice Blue, and Gray
- •T-top gull wings
- •Additional pull-up cleats
- •Outrigger bases and/or outriggers
- •Leaning post cover
- •T-top spray shield
The 351CC follows a trend we’re seeing in center consoles with a comprehensive list of standard equipment that simplifies the buying process. It makes sense because most of these items are options that we think most owners would order anyway, such as a windlass, trim tabs, and the hardtop.
Looking at the 351CC’s hull design, it has a noticeable Carolina flair and a deep bow entry that tells us Key West intends for users to take this boat offshore. Serious anglers might be concerned about the ability to boat large fish. There is a small transom door aft to port, but a larger side door would be a welcome option.
Key West is known to be a “value” brand, but it has pulled out all of the stops with the 351CC. It is full of useful design innovations, and we find the execution impressive for the price.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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