Key West touts its 244 center console model as being a boon for those in the market for “serious bluewater fishing.” The Key West 244CC has a fishing-first design with enviable power and speed derived from her shorter, lighter frame. Fishing enthusiasts in the market for a boat that wastes no time on other activities and can give a strong, sure ride are the Key West 244’s target market.
With a 24’4” (7.44 m) LOA and a 9’ beam (2.74 m), the 244 CC is Key West’s newest entry to serious blue water fishing. Designed with safety, efficiency, and ergonomics in mind, the 244 CC has Key West’s second generation steeped hull, an extreme angle of entry, and an exaggerated bow flair that make for a comfortable, dry run. Let’s start by taking a look at her seating.
Seating. The 244 is not designed with the seating capacity of your typical cruising/ entertainment sports boat, and while this space is re-utilized well for other ends (fishing, fishing, fishing), the seating is not extensive.
The bow has two seating spaces with removable seating pads and fore-facing backrests. A below deck fishbox sits in the footwell of this seating area, and so no option is offered for the filler cushion that transforms the space into a large sunpad; this is a familiar option, and it’s absence here in favor of the fishbox is a nice example of how the design of the boat is so thoroughly geared toward fishing expeditions.
Moving aft, a flip-up jump seat can be found on the front of the center console, which is a nice way to provide a bit more versatile seating space on a boat not necessarily interested in maximizing it.
The center console comes of course with the captain’s chair, and we’ll be looking at that in a bit more detail when looking at the helm.
Finally, in the aft section sits some bench-style seating that can also flip-up for more space or range of movement. The seating is simple -- well upholstered and comfortable, but not designed for lounging or long periods spent resting. This, like all of the seating on the boat, is more utilitarian in style, and as such works beautifully, butting up against one of many rows of rod holders on the boat.
The helm. The dash panel in the 244 CC’s center console is intuitive and laid out nicely. Linco trim tabs come standard, and the dash can be customized in many ways through optional GPS systems, radars, and other devices. The stainless steel wheel and control knob comes with hydraulic steering standard. The switch panel controls the livewell, macerator, fresh and raw water systems, bilge, and lights throughout the boat.
The captain’s chair is double-wide, with flip-up bolsters and rocket launcher rod holders along the back.
Bow storage. The bow seating has two large boxes resting just beneath the seating pads. In-floor just aft of the seating footwell is an in-floor fishbox. This storage space is macerated and lifts up with a stainless-steel piston. It has overboard draining.
The boat’s windlass anchor has a storage hatch in the bow as well.
Center console storage. The deluxe center console has a storage locker at 5’ (1.52 m) high, 33” (83.8 cm) width, 34” (86.4 cm) depth, and an 18” (47.7 cm) door. This area is versatile and can double as changing area or can accommodate a Porta Potty that comes optional.
Further center console storage includes a cubby underneath the wheel and a small compartment under the footrest.
Cockpit storage. The remainder of the storage comes in the cockpit, and it is fishing-specific. The gunwales have molded-in rod storage that has a drain channel beneath doubling as a toe rail.
Just beneath the captain’s chair rests a dedicated cooler-storage, as well as the option to include a 94 qt cooler.
In the aft section are the 244’s twin 18-gallon livewells. Both have clear lids and independent water systems that bring in water and drain overboard, as well as blue LED lights inside.
The hardware throughout the 244 is stainless steel, and this includes not just the bow and center console grab-rails, but the pull-up cleats, fender protectors, cup holders, steering wheel, and rocket launcher rod holders as well.
Plush bolsters line the cockpit, providing (along with the rod holder drain channel toe rails) an excellent platform from which to fight a big catch. The aft section of the boat has even more rod holders situated just aft of the flip-down bench seating, as well as a molded-in swim platform with a telescoping ladder.
Power and Performance
Power options. The 244 is an outboard-powered boat and, as such, offers adding twin motors or grouping all the horse power into one. Maximum horsepower is 300, and Key West recommends between 230 and 300. We tested the 244 with twin 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s.
Test Results. Our test boat weighed 4,491 lbs., and we reached a top speed of 50.4 mph at 5,550 rpm. Best cruise speed came in at 24.9 mph at 3,000 rpm, which got us 2.83 mpg, giving it a range of 357 statute miles. In acceleration tests, the 244 CC got to plane in 2.7 seconds, 20 mph in 3.3 seconds, and 30 mph in 4.9 seconds.
The 244 CC has an exaggerated Carolina bow flare, which helps make for a very dry ride on a relatively light boat in choppy seas. In maneuverability tests, we found the 244 CC adept and fast, though trading some smoothness one would find in a longer, heavier boat. The integrated trim tabs run a full 12” under the hull and allow for greater adjustment to planing surface.
Option to Consider
• Premium stereo, amp, and speakers upgrade
• Garmin 3206 Color GPS/sounder combo
• Additional pull up cleats
• Portable toilet
• High-bow rail
• Yamaha multi function tachometer and speedometer
• Yamaha Command Link 2 gauge package
• T-top spray shield
• Flip-top cooler cover
• Set of four pull up fender holders
• Dual battery switch and wiring
• Bow lifting eye
• Twin captain’s chairs
• Outrigger bases and/or outriggers
• Aluminum Bimini top
• T-top deluxe with radio box, spreader lights, and rocket launchers
The 244 CC is a boat without excessive frills or gadgets, but designed for safety, efficiency, and pure fishing experience. Rod holders and rocket launchers abound, options are there for outriggers, the livewells are top in class, and the no-wood, no-rot fiberglass construction is particularly sturdy and reliable.
The 244 CC’s upright, level flotation design makes it unsinkable and guarantees she will stay upright should you be swamped. For those in the fishing boat market, the Key West 244 CC has all your needs covered and can provide a fast, powerful ride.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Key West 244CC (2016-) is 50.4 mph (81.1 kph), burning 23.80 gallons per hour (gph) or 90.08 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Key West 244CC (2016-) is 24.9 mph (40.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.83 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.2 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 357 miles (574.54 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 150 H.O. Evinrude E-TEC G2 25" shaft.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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