REVIEW: WHITTLEY CLEARWATER 2100 WALKAROUND

By: Bernard Clancy


Whittley’s Clearwater 2100 is a polite walkaround for the whole family, whether fishing, skiing, or just out for a thrash, writes Bernard Clancy

The Clearwater 2100 Walkaround, built by Australian company Whittley in the US, is aimed to slot into the all-rounder class – ideal for a young family wanting to spend a weekend on the water to do a bit of camping, fishing, skiing, or swimming.
At the same time it makes a valiant effort at being affordable. It is a very different boat to Whittley’s Australian-made cruiser range in that the Clearwaters have more of a fishing orientation.
But the Clearwater has creature comforts, too, albeit a limited number in a 6.3m boat. The cabin is quite adequate but the trade-off is a limited amount of fishing room out back. Add to that, however, the ankle-deep walkaround from which throw baits or lures into the briny. This area is quite useable by adults or children in calm conditions and is protected by a good split bowrail running the full length of the walkaround.

ANCHORS AWAY
The anchoring set-up is convenient, with the pick hanging off the bow on a bowroller with a lidded rope locker right on the nose and small twin cleats behind.
The cockpit is a little on the small side, not helped by the space-eating conventional stern with large engine well and rear quarters seats. Although the seats are removable, this set-up is very 1960s. The Yamaha 150 is bolted to the stern in the traditional way with a plastic berley pot beside it. A teflon boarding platform on the port side has a single swing-down step attached. There is a baitboard over the engine well at thigh height.
Coamings are padded, although gunwales are only knee high. There are two fishbins either side of the underfloor fuel tank. Doors to the batteries and oil bottles are under the rear seats. Four rodholders in the stern quarters had snapper rod racks in them, giving the impression of a little more freeboard.
The starboard step up to the walkaround has a tackle drawer built into it and the opposite step contains a smallish, lidded livebait tank. Lights on both sides are handy for night work.
The five-spoke stainless helm looked the goods but, without hydraulic steering, turning was an arm wrestle at low speeds. In front, the skipper looks through a five-piece screen supported on a central pillar. The screen provides for good vision, as do the clears above. The steering is tilt adjustable. A Raytheon C80 combo unit with twin Yamaha digital instruments are front and centre, but there is no compass. It could be argued that one doesn’t need one these days, that it’s all in the electronics. True, but what if they fail when you’re on the shelf out of sight of land? I suppose you could start following the sun…
A CD player and radio are mounted beneath the helm next to a switch panel, all within easy reach. The fire extinguisher was mounted in the corner near the right knee.
Twin bucket seats on height adjustable poles were comfortable but needed footrests. The interior is fully moulded with separate moulded side panels adjacent to the driver and passenger, where there is also throttle binnacle and two shelves, but only one of which had a side on it to stop stuff from falling out. Maybe you could put a net across the top one because it is useless as it is.
The bimini (with clears) is a good height and clips back to a fairly basic five-pot rodholder.
Access to the cabin is through a lockable bi-fold smoked acrylic door and a large overhead hatch, which minimises ducking, weaving and head bangs in rough weather. You step down into a fully carpeted and lined cabin with a Sanipotti to starboard next to the step (which itself is a small storage bin). The vee-berth is a good size but there is only a small parcel shelf in the bow section and none around the sides due to the walkaround configuration.
A small overhead glass hatch lets in a reasonable amount of light, supported by an interior light.

CLEARWATER CRUISING
The hull rides on fairly wide chines, which give it excellent stability, and the boat traveled well in a small chop on its 22-degree deadrise and was quite dry. However, there was some noisy wave slap despite the foam-filled hull.
We achieved 60kmh at 5300rpm from the new Yammie and the boat cruised well at 46kmh at 4000rpm. One could say they were respectable figures, but not outstanding. And that would sum up the Clearwater by Whittley USA – it’s a respectable boat without getting the adrenaline rushing. In this instance, I think Whittley Oz can (and certainly will) teach Whittley US a thing or two.

WHAT WE LIKED
Spacious cabin
Good walkaround
Dry ride

NOT SO MUCH
Needs hydraulic steering
Low gunwales
Small fishing space

 

SPECIFICATIONS: Clearwater 2100 Walkaround

HOW MUCH
Price as tested: $61,527
Options fitted: Bimini and clears, baitboard, marine radio, berley bucket, rod rack, Sarca anchor and bowsprit, Mackay tandem trailer.

GENERAL
Material:    GRP
Length overall:   6.3m
Beam:     2.39m
Deadrise:    22-degrees
Rec. max HP:  150
Weight  on trailer:   1800kg approx

CAPACITIES
Fuel:     220lt

ENGINE
Make/model:    Yamaha 150 Saltwater Series
Type:     V6
Rated HP:    150
Displacement:    2596cc
Weight:    194kg
Prop:     19-inch alloy

SUPPLIED BY
JV Marine,
Braeside, Vic.
Phone: (03) 9798 8883

Originally published in TrailerBoat #207

 


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