Key West Boats Direct
Global distributors of fine Key West watercraft
US Boats at US Prices — Shipping Worldwide
No matter what body of water on the planet you fish and cruise on, Key West Boats Direct is ready to supply you with a new Key West fishing boat at the same great prices U.S. buyers enjoy. Like Key West owners everywhere, you’ll get exceptional features standard, a wealth of options and unmatched durability. You’ll receive a ten-year factory warranty on the hull, the lowest lowest CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) available – guaranteed – and consummate customer service throughout.
Are you ready to take to the water in style? Just give us the signal and we’ll soon have you onboard your Key West and cruising for sun, fish and fun.
Watch this brief video, see just how easy KWBD makes buying a new Key West boat – the safest, best performing and best value fishing craft on the water today – and save thousands of dollars on your boat!
In just a few minutes, the following video shows you just how easy it is to own a new Key West boat—the safest, best-performing and best value fishing craft on the water today.
“I’ve read a few online discussions regarding KW Boats and KW Direct and it has all been positive. From my perspective, it has been easier, more informative and I know from the start what I am getting for my money (compared to Australia). It is only early days of the transaction, but I’m impressed by the quick response and information provided by you about the build and shipping process. It makes it all a little less stressful.”
“Pretty impressed with the service and delivery – If you have felt any pain in your back its me talking about the service into Australia giving you the big rap. I have lost track of how many times the photos and pricing have been distributed internally both onshore & offshore, with the amount of lads importing new /second hand boats I hope this swings some business your way. Definitely keep doing what you are doing the service is unbelievable.”Troy M (244CC) - Karratha, Australia
Key West Boats: The Best Value On The Water Today
Boats crafted by anglers for anglers
Performance and safety mean everything when you’re out on the water, right? Then consider this: As an experiment, Key West chopped the bow off one of its boats and took it for a test ride. The craft not only didn’t sink or capsize, it was still maneuverable. That’s because every Key West model goes beyond unsinkable, offering positive and level flotation. What more could a boat maker do to prove its total commitment to keeping you and your family and friends safe offshore?
And here’s how tough Key West’s all-composite hulls are: When an independent laboratory did a flexural strength test on a hull sample, the piece withstood an average pressure of 307 megapascals (MPa) before breaking. Australia’s tough regulations for commercial vessels call for just 120MPa. A boat from a highly rated U.S. competitor—one that sells for twice the price—managed just 250 MPa. Every Key West boat has U.S. Coast Guard certification, and many models boast CE certification as well, satisfying the world’s most stringent regulations.
Key West has been producing that kind of rare quality and value since 1986. The employees own the company, and take deep pride in building hand-laid boats using the latest composites and technology at its two locations in South Carolina. And with over 160,000 square feet of operational facilities for design, manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer service, Key West is set maintain its leading edge on quality, technology and value.
Much more could be said, but the best source of feedback about Key West boats is the people who buy them, so here is a sampling of what owners have told us.
About Our Company
Part of the Allied Marine Group, Key West Boats Direct (KWBD) is a licensed boat dealer and exporter based in Florida with offices in Florida and Japan. As the authorized overseas distributor for Key West Boats, we’ve delivered hundreds of craft to clients in North America and overseas in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, France, Cyprus and throughout the Caribbean, with a focus to date on Australia and the Pacific Rim.
While Key West is a hugely popular brand in North America—and always among the top three makers of sport fishing boats—the company has never developed a dealer network outside of. (They’re too busy keeping up with local demand and enhancing their reputation for quality.)
KWBD fills that crucial gap, and now sells the Key West brand worldwide. At the 2012 China International Boat Show in Guangzhou, for example, KWBD generated an intense level of interest from customers in China as well as from Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and New Zealand despite not having a boat to display.
Jack Barker, our CEO, is a founding member of the original Boats-R-Us Superstores and a former corporate executive vice president in charge of boat purchasing there. Jack has been delivering boats from Florida since 1994, and heads the KWBD Florida office. Simon Burger, born and raised in Western Australia and a longtime resident of Japan, handles KWBD’s operations in Kobe. Simon’s comprehensive understanding of the Australian market and its regulations and his experience in conducting business in Japan, China, Singapore and Malaysia make him a trusted export agent.
If any model in Key West’s extensive lineup—which includes everything from serious tournament fishing boats to center console crafts to skiffs—KWBD will be happy to talk you through your options and handle every aspect of the transaction and delivery. If you’re not sure about dealing with someone you’ve never met, let us describe the advantages of going through KWBD.
The KWBD Edge
The combination of price, import/export experience, shipping and warranty we offer you puts us on an entirely different level, whether you’re comparing KWBD to local import brokers or other U.S.–based dealers. Here are some specifics:
Key West Boats Direct vs. Local Import Brokers
Price: We do for free what a middleman charges you thousand of dollars for, and you’ll get the best shipping rates in the business through our two carriers.
Experience: A lot of import brokers are popping up now, but we’ve been shipping boats since 1994, and our CEO, Jack Barker, has been buying and selling boats in the United States for over thirty years.
Shipping: We’ve shipped hundreds of boats using the same shipping line for over a decade and never gotten a damage report. We’ve also started using another carrier with a stellar safety record that offers even better rates.
Note: We don’t recommend containers unless your boat’s beam is less than eight feet and both boat and trailer can sit flat in the container (no angled or side loads).
Warranty: Your boat comes with a full manufacturers warranty on the hull and fittings—ten years on the hull and a year on the electrics—and Key West provides full factory backup on every boat we export.
Key West Boats Direct vs. Other U.S. Dealers
Export: U.S. dealers typically can’t and won’t export new boats because they lose their factory rebate if the sale isn’t in their territory. Exporting is integral to our business.
Price: You rarely end up paying just the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Dealers throw in delivery charges, prep fees, paperwork fees, state taxes and more. Transport from their yard to the nearest port alone usually runs from US$450 to over US$1000 if the jump-off point is a state or two away. We guarantee you the lowest cost and freight price on any new Key West boat. We are also Key West’s exclusive authorized export dealer.
Experience: The slow U.S. boat market has every dealer saying “We Export!” Most of them, however, have no clue about shipping and import/export laws. We know your country’s import laws, and about trailer sizes and customs requirements as well. This is where most people come unstuck when buying a boat, and getting it wrong is expensive. We constantly hear stories from happy clients about other people’s boats sitting at the port for months because they didn’t have the correct paperwork for customs.
Warranty: Purchasing a new or used Key West model from any other U.S. dealer will result in no factory warranty on your boat. KWBD gives you a full manufacturers warranty on the hull and fittings—ten years on the hull and a year on the electrics—and Key West provides full factory backup on every boat we ship out.
New Boat or Used?
More and more people are choosing to import a boat themselves. Ninety percent of these boats are used—and at least half are lemons. Even the good ones can cost you a lot more than you expected.
Here are some of the problems and extra charges buyers face:
- Underestimating freight costs, often by thousands of dollars
- Not factoring in customs and quarantine charges
- Forgetting about total GST/VAT on the boat, freight and clearance
- Paying servicing costs to get a used boat seaworthy
- Buying a rusty old used trailer that can’t be licensed
- Buying a used boat unseen online in the first place!
Plenty of dishonest sellers, scammers and dealers out there are ready to steal your money, too. They’ll describe their boats as “pristine,” “like new,” and “great engine with low hours” when the opposite is true. KWBD and other legitimate dealers are constantly amazed that anybody would pay $20,000 for a five-year-old boat they’ve never inspected in person.
If you’re like most people, you wouldn’t buy a used boat without checking it out first, especially if it’s close by. So what if this “cheap” used boat is ten thousand miles away? Because so many U.S. used boat sellers are targeting importers, your chances of buying a junker go up.
Unless you’re looking at a boat five years old or more, the price difference between it and a new boat is minimal—especially at the prices Key West Boats Direct offers. Add in trailer repair costs or a new trailer and the extra U.S. road and sea freight charges, and a new KWBD boat can often be cheaper.
Used vs. New—A Head-to-Head Comparison
Here are some aspects to keep in mind while making your choice between a new boat and a secondhand one:
Used: Is the boat older than seller says? Are there stress cracks in the hull, is the bottom paint hiding something, and are the hours on the engine accurate? Are the electrics, bilge pumps, bait wells and so on working well? If the boat is dirty, you’re facing cleaning fees and the likelihood of quarantine and fumigation fees upon arrival.
New: You know what you are getting because you ordered exactly what you wanted, and the boat is in pristine condition. Everything works. New, clean and shrink-wrapped, 99 percent of new boats go straight through customs with no quarantine fees.
Used: Is the boat stolen? Thousands of boats go missing in the U.S. every month, and exporting them is an easy way to make cash. Boat thieves won’t tell you about a boat’s flaws, either. If a composite register of stolen hull ID numbers (HINs) becomes law in the States and your country’s boat registering authorities consult that register, your boat will probably be repossessed.
New: A brand new boat with a new title and invoiced in your name.
Used: The boat’s trailer will likely need major (read expensive) modifications to meet your country’s registration laws. Trailers more than two years old also generally have rusty springs and brakes that will need replacing to pass inspection.
New: Your new Key West comes with a brand-new trailer with torsion axles and disc brakes all round. All you’ll need to satisfy registration is a local positive coupler and lights.
Used: Used imports—older and farther along in their service life—have poor resale value.
New: Import a new boat and people’s perspective changes when you’re ready to sell. “One owner from new” always attracts serious buyers.
The bottom line: Buying a used boat unseen is a gamble. Buying a new one—especially a Key West boat from KWBD—is a smart, solid investment offering you years of trouble-free enjoyment, for the same money or even less. Here’s what the editor of Trailer Boats magazine said in an editorial regarding the “new or used” question: “What would I do? Well, I believe that a boat is an extension of your personality. And to settle for something less than what you really desire is cheating yourself. As Shakespeare once wrote: ‘To thine own self be true.’ ”
Here’s a cautionary tale in pictures that one of our freight forwarders in Australia sent us of a used Bayliner they handled.
“Got to say that the Key West 210BR has been an absolutely fantastic tournament boat for fishing the bream competitions. It is fast, peaking at 90 km/hr; has enabled us to continue fishing in very shallow water as we did with my old tinnie—at one comp venue we drove it up onto the sand with the electric and cast for most of the day towards the shore across shallow flats. And it is damn comfortable. At three events this year we experienced 35+ knot winds, and in the Derwent on the weekend it gusted to over 45 knots. In our small systems here the effects of the wind and tide saw waves in some areas peak at well over two meters; if we were in a smaller boat, it would have considerably restricted our range of areas to fish and consequently would have affected our finishing result. Got to say that at times the weather got pretty dangerous, but the 210BR just cut through the waves, and when we took waves over the front we had considerable amounts of water in the boat and the self-draining decks worked a treat.”Damien V (Key West 210BR) – Tasmania, Australia