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Key West 197SKV (2016-)
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Brief Summary

Key Features

  • No Wood-No Rot Construction
  • Ten (10) Year Hull Warranty
  • Console windshield and SS grab rail
  • Generous bow casting deck
  • 4 stainless steel cleats
  • Anchor locker with hatch lid
  • Large storage compartment in bow
  • Polished SS steering wheel with anti-feedback mechanical steering
  • Flip-flop cooler seat with backrest
  • High-speed pick-up livewell
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 19' 4''
    5.89 m
    Beam 84''
    2.13 m
    Dry Weight N/A
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 8''
    0.20 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 2-deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 30 gal.
    114 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 4-stroke outboard up to 115-hp
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    Captain's Report

    Key West 197SKV running shot
    The Key West 197SKV measures 19’4” (5.9 m) with an 84” (2.1 m) beam, and in true skiff fashion, she draws a maximum of 8” (20.4 cm) with the motor down.


    Key West developed the 197SKV to be a skiff that delivers as much bang for the buck as possible in a boat that measures just under than 20’ (6.1 m) long. To help her meet that mission, the boat comes from the factory with a livewell, a large bow casting deck, and a cooler with a padded seat on top.Power is provided by a single 4-stroke outboard up to 115-hp, and Key West recommends a 90-hp motor.

    Key West 197SKV running shot
    The Key West 197 SKV’s beam is carried all the way to the bow to create a wide stable casting platform.

    Features Inspection

    The Bow.

    Stepping aboard the 197SKV, we’ll start in the bow, which has a full-beam step up casting deck. There’s an anchor locker forward and two cleats outboard on each side. A trolling motor is an available option. A cushion is available to turn the area into a wide sun pad. We would add a cleat on the centerline of the bow for the anchor rode.

    Key West 197SKV running shot
    The Key West 197SKV’s standard bow is wide open with a step-up casting area forward.
    Key West 197SKV bow options
    In this photo, the Key West 197SKV’s bow is loaded with options, including the trolling motor, the cushion, and pull-up cleats.

    Bow Storage.

    Forward storage on the 197SKV includes an anchor locker ahead of the casting deck and two hatches that access a large area beneath it. Some owners will like that the compartment is open so that the contents can be retrieved from both sides. Others might prefer that it be separated into two lockers, so items don’t roll from side to side.

    Key West 197SKV bow locker
    Dual latches ensure that the hatches for the bow locker stay shut. The rubber seal should help keep out water.

    The Console.

    Moving aft, the console has a seat on the forward side with a bottom cushion and backrest. The bottom cushion is hinged at the front, and it opens to reveal a storage box. On the port side of the console, there’s a vented hatch that opens the console storage.

    Key West 197SKV forward seat
    There is a seat on the forward side of the console.

    The Helm.

    The straightforward helm on the 197SKV has an acrylic windscreen ringed by a stainless-steel rail, so passengers have something to hold onto when the water gets bumpy. The dash comes with a speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge. The steering wheel is to the left with a binnacle-style shift/throttle lever to starboard. The boat comes standard with anti-feedback mechanical steering and a stainless-steel steering wheel. The leaning post is wide enough for two people to lean against, and it has a fold-down footrest.

    Key West 197SKV steering wheel
    Key West equips the 197SKV with a stainless-steel steering wheel. The knob is an option.
    Key West 197SKV leaning post
    The leaning post is wide enough to support two people, and two more could stand behind and hang on.

    The Cockpit.

    Abaft the leaning post, there’s enough space to pass between it and the raised aft casting deck that has enough space for a single angler. An aft deck cushion and backrest are available options. Beneath the outboard hatch to port, there’s a livewell, and to starboard, there’s storage. In the center, a hatch opens, so owners or technicians can get to the battery and to on board systems such as the livewell pump.

    Key West 197SKV profile
    The aft seat and backrest shown here could be worthwhile upgrades for an owner with young kids.
    Key West 197SKV livewell
    The livewell drains and has rounded corners and a blue finish.
    Key West 197SKV drain
    In the opposite corner in the stern, there’s draining storage.


    The 197SKV is built 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 deck to provide additional support for the outboard. The cockpit is a one-piece liner, and the hull and deck are attached in a shoebox-lid-style joint that is bonded with 3M 5200 and thru-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 the pieces of deck hardware, and they are thru-bolted wherever possible.

    Key West 197SKV liner
    The 197SKV has a single liner that makes up the cockpit, which creates a stronger boat and produces cleaner fit-and-finish.
    Key West 197SKV stringers
    The stringers and bulkheads are part of a one-piece grid that’s built outside the boat and then fiberglassed into the hull.
    Key West 197SKV foam
    Foam is injected into the stringers until it comes out the top. Then it’s trimmed off, and the holes are sealed with putty before the deck is lowered on top of the hull.
    Key West 197SKV
    Deck hardware is installed with thru-bolts and nylon-lined backing nuts.


    We haven’t tested the Key West 197SKV. Key West offers the boat with a single 4-stroke outboard up to 115-hp and recommends the 90-hp model.

    Key West 197SKV transom
    One of the design elements of a skiff-style boat is a near flat aft running surface. The 197SKV has a 2-degree deadrise at the transom.


    $25,560 with a 90-hp Yamaha 4-stroke outboard.


    10-year Transferrable Hull warranty.

    Options to Consider

    • Rear deck cushion with backrest
    • Three rod holders for side of console
    • Aluminum Bimini top and boot
    • Compass
    • Trolling package with Minn Kota Riptide 24-volt trolling motor with thrust ratings from 55 to 80.
    • Sea Star hydraulic tilt steering
    • Bow cushion
    • Swim platform with ladder
    • Dual battery switch with wiring
    Key West 197SKV swim step
    The optional swim step and boarding ladder are on the port side of the motor.
    Key West 197SKV racks
    Optional racks in the gunwale provide storage for three fishing rods.
    Key West 197SKV running shot
    For owners who like to fish close to home, the Key West 197SKV is a low-cost option.


    Anglers who only want to fish inshore in protected water should take a look at the Key West 197SKV. For the price, she comes standard with almost everything an angler needs to head right to the ramp. It is important to remember that the USCG requires that all boats with a 2-hp or greater engine under 20’ must float level, if swamped. The 197SKV meets that requirment.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Exterior Features

    Swim Ladder Optional
    Swim Platform Optional


    Bimini Top Optional


    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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