A Clear Leader – Aussie families will love this affordable powerhouse.
WORDS + PHOTOS KEVAN WOLFE – December 2005
Seldom does a trailerboat come on the market that does everything it should at a price within reach of the average mum and dad.
The Whittely 2100 Clearwater cuddy cabin is just that and the price I will leave that surprise for last.
The Whittley Clearwater 2100 is designed for fishing in calm waters and off shore. It’s a genuine walk-around with 250mmwide side desk and 250mm-high gunwales to stop feet slipping over the edge when moving forward. The self-draining cockpit is simple but functional. The hull has foam buoyancy built in as well, which dampens the water noise when underway.
There are two kill tanks, one either side of the cockpit. A neat feature is the strainers over the drain holes that stop any gunk blocking up the tubes, which can be a pain.
On the port side is a plumbed live bait tank and on the other side are two tackle boxes. Five rods can be stored in rocket launchers on the Targa top and there’s three vertical rod holders on the front of the transom designed for making baiting hooks easy. They are placed just in front of the optional bait preparation station.
The driver’s seat is adjustable fore and aft and up and down, so when driving off shore legs don’t chafe on the seat when standing up. The wheel tilts up to also make it easier.
The instrument panel is basic and there’s plenty of room to mount sounders and plotters where they can be easily read. The windscreen is glass and the clears and bimini top come standard.
The cabin is also basic with an 185cm (6ft 3in) vee-berth that was probably designed by Neville Whittley, who would be close to that height himself.
But it does convert into a double. There probably won’t be much over-nighting done on this boat. But just in case there is, a Porta Potti is positioned in the aft right hand corner instead of up the front where they are normally put.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The performance of this boat for its size is bloody amazing. How does 3.5 seconds and 18 knots on the plane sound? And this with a 140hp Mercury, V6, two-stroke on the back.
Some people have suggested fitting a 200hp to it, but why would you?
It already has buckets of power and the 140hp is far more economical to run.
A good cruising speed was at 3000rpm and 21 knots with the outboard trimmed out about a quarter on the gauge. We estimated at this speed it was using about 20lt per hour. In this day and age of soaring petrol prices, that makes for some economical and affordable boating.
There was plenty left in the engine too. The throttle control was one of the new Mercurys that push straight into gear without having to lift the lever in the handle first. It’s similar to the DTS controls and is smooth and easy to use.
Pushed forward to 4200rpm, the boat jumped away at 31.6 knots. Now wait for it! Wide open throttle at 5600rpm brought up 39.7 knots over the ground on the GPS, which is just under the legal speed limit on Queensland’s Gold Coast Broadwater.
The latest Clearwater 2100 is another new design from the Whittley factory and very different to the other cruising boats they build in Melbourne.
The boat made its first appearance in Australia at the Brisbane International Boat Show, where five were snapped up quickly. The test boat is number six, but you can’t have it. Chris has earmarked it for himself!
Oh! I almost forgot, the price. How does $55,995.00 with safety gear on a quality trailer sound?
It has often been said that as each Whittley boat leaves the workshop, a piece of the Whittley family heritage goes with the rig.
Two generations of Whittleys have made it their life’s passion to build family powerboats.
In the years when trees were felled and craftsman built boats with hand tools, Jim Whittley and his brother Ossie built a boat for a friend.
Word spread and soon Jim found a queue of people keen to sign up for a Whittley built boat.
Now, some five decades later company founders Jim and Aileen Whittley have eased into retirement. Whittley sons Neville and Steven head up the company, continuing the family tradition. Skilled and trained craftsmen in their own right, the contemporary Whittley generation are just as exacting and fastidious about the boats as their father was.
The Clearwater was powered by a Mercury 140hp, V6, two-stroke. It does not need a bigger engine; the 140hp had more than enough grunt for the boat.
The test was conducted on the Gold Coast Broadwater in smooth conditions.
KNOTS – RPM
21 – 3000
31.6 – 4200
39.7 – 5600
DEADRISE: 21 degrees
ENGINES: 140hp Mercury two-stroke
+ Top price; Hole shot performance
– No sink or stove