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Sessa Key Largo 34

The Key Largo 34 is a category-busting cruising center-console that's built for entertaining.

August 13, 2013
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Sessa Key Largo 34

LOA: 32’8″
Beam: 10’8″
Draft (max): 3’0″
Displacement (approx.): 11,464 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 16 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 8’6″
Max Cabin Headroom: 6’5″
Fuel Capacity: 317 gal.
Water Capacity: 57 gal.
Max Horsepower: 700
Available Power: Twin Yamaha or Mercury outboards

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

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Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

btg0913_ft2_sessa_4.jpg

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

Sessa Key Largo 34

I’m not sure where the best place is to start explaining the Key Largo 34 from Sessa Marine. In the beautifully styled stateroom and salon below? Well, it’s not exactly a traditional cruiser. Or from the centrally located raised helm under the hardtop? It’s not exactly a classic center-console either. Maybe it’s best to start with both, and we’ll just call the Key Largo a stunning center-console cruiser.

Seeing it dockside, luxury center-console enthusiasts might first want to compare it to a custom rig like the Intrepid 327 Cuddy ($220,00 for the base boat with twin Yamaha F300s, intrepidboats.com). But that’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. For while the Intrepid can be decked out in any number of ways to meet the owner’s needs, the cuddy offers a far smaller space belowdecks than the Key Largo offers. It does have 6 feet 2 inches of headroom (compared to 6 feet 5 inches for the Key Largo) and a settee that converts to a berth that sleeps two. The Key Largo, on the other hand, has a midcabin stateroom situated under the raised center-console. The berth can be set up as either a queen bed or two twin beds, depending on your needs. Ports on either side allow natural lighting below.

The main salon features a forward dinette that converts to a V-berth, so in total the boat sleeps four. The interior styling is appealing, with walnut flooring and cabinetry and a stylish mix of fabrics and stitching on the pillows and seat cushions that give the salon an elegant ambience. So too does the simulated dark leather tabletop and galley counter. In a nod to function over form, Sessa plans to rework the galley counter to feature a more practical hard countertop with a built-in sink.

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The head to starboard has 6 feet of headroom and features a porcelain toilet and shower. A slatted teak inlay covers up the floor drain while providing solid footing. A magnet installed as a keeper prevents the head door from slamming shut inadvertently. An insole hatch in the salon provides great access to the shower sump.

Abovedecks, the cockpit layout for the Key Largo 34 is focused on entertainment. The entertainment center is built into the leaning post behind the helm, centrally located for access from the L-shaped aft lounge. It features a stainless-steel sink, cabinets with fiddled shelves, a two-burner electric grill and both a refrigerator and an ice maker. I really liked the beefy stainless-steel grab handle as well. The cabinet doors are adorned with teak panels.

For that matter, the entire cockpit sole is lined with teak, as are the twin swim platforms to either side of the outboards. The cockpit table? Teak. One of my favorite features has to be the portside dive door, which features a fold-out boarding (or swim) ladder that sports teak steps.

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The helm features twin high-backed seats with flip-up bolsters that provide excellent comfort whether sitting or standing. An armrest in between harbors storage for phones and glasses or paper charts. The stylish two-tone dash has enough space to flush-mount an optional Raymarine C125. The curved windshield lends itself to the boat’s sporty lines, but I wish it were a little taller.

With the center-console configuration, one might be confused into thinking the Key Largo 34 could double as a fishing boat. The bow configuration should dispel that notion. In keeping with its Mediterranean roots, the bow sports an oversize sun lounge with an angled backrest on the front of the console. The plush, comfortable cushions remove for access to the windlass system and chain stop. There’s also a large storage space for dock lines and bow fenders. The bow rails are stylish yet functional, being taller than knee high, and provide a handhold along the walkways to the bow.

If fishing’s your thing, consider the Scout 350 XSF ($295,289 with twin Yamaha F300s, scoutboats.com), which has a small cuddy cabin built into the console and a much smaller sun pad just forward of the console, but with the open bow arrangement and main cockpit layout more familiar to the piscatorial set.

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The Scout and Intrepid are both faster boats, with the option for triple outboard configurations. (The Key Largo is capable of reaching 50 mph, though we weren’t able to hit that on test day as our engines didn’t reach the top range — 6,000 — of their rpm band.) Still, when put through its paces, the Key Largo 34 handled like a dream, carving tight turns and sexy S-curves and taking on other boat wakes with nary a shudder or rattle. It also handled well in the tight confines of the marina, easing in and out of its slip with the aid of the bow thruster. Maintenance on the basics — batteries, filters — is easy thanks to a technical storage room under the cockpit sole accessed via a teak ladder.

With this sporty center-console cruiser, you can pull in and out of any marina in style.

Comparable models: Intrepid 327 Cuddy, Scout 350 XSF

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