Red Head (ex-Key Largo)
Design Number 269
The 65′ Key Largo was the second freighter built by the original Florida Bay Coaster Company. In her, we took the opportunity to try out many of the ideas for improvements we’d generated while using the 50-footer. All her cabins are quite a bit larger. She had luxury additions like the skylight over the master stateroom and the hot tub on deck in place of the stack. There’s full headroom in the hold area, opening up options like a captain’s cabin in this space, and greatly increased tankage and a watermaker, making possible an even more extended time away from shore.
The deck space is much greater than on the 50, too, and this allows for the port side stairs amidships from the waist deck to the pilothouse. There were also stairs aft from the lazarette/steering compartment all the way up to the “fun deck” for quick movement when making landings or in moving from one area of the entertaining to another. The “fun deck” has the barbecue, hot tub, picnic tables and chairs and plenty of lounging space.
The Key Largo operated for several years as a charter vessel, carrying four to six passengers on trips in the Florida area in the winter months and in Maine in the summer, with coastwise trips in transit in between. She even did the “Great Loop” cruise one year.
After a while, she was sold into private usage, continuing her North-South annual transits. Then, with that owner building a larger boat, she was sold to Billy Joel who used it for several years as his personal yacht. He made several changes to her to suit his needs:
• Added power lifts to open the cargo hatches.
• Changed the color scheme on the boat to gray and white with red trim.
• Lengthened the saloon and remodeled the galley area.
• Removed the crane and substituted a mast and boom for lifting duties.
• Removed the hot tub and skylight, making the boat deck clear.
• Removed the quarters in the hold, restoring it to the original cargo use.
• Removed the aft staircase from hold to boatdeck and closed in the deck openings.
• Renamed the boat Red Head.
• Upgraded many systems.
We’d be delighted to build another one for you. This size of boat lends itself to a lot of variations in layout and usage. (Some of these are shown in our Small Ships book, available online from www.tillerbooks.com.)
*CAUTION: The displacement quoted here is for the boat in cruising trim. That is, with the fuel and water tanks filled, the crew on board, as well as the crews’ gear and stores in the lockers. This should not be confused with the “shipping weight” often quoted as “displacement” by some manufacturers. This should be taken into account when comparing figures and ratios between this and other designs.