Whittley Clearwater 1750 Review

This classic will have you humming on the water.

The Whittley Clearwater 1750 certainly lived up to its name because the water on Botany Bay during the review was like a millpond. Oddly, once I put the camera down and the review was over, a strong and gusty sou’-wester suddenly spread across the bay.

Perhaps this Clearwater 1750 has special powers but a 115hp Yamaha was all the power it really needed. The tested craft revved out to 6100rpm and felt like it could go higher, even though the rated rev range for this two-stroke oil injected Yamaha was 4500-5500rpm. We clocked a maximum 38 knots but with a different prop combination the Whittley would probably deliver a top speed in the 40-knot plus arena, with a slight loss in hole shot. In its ‘as tested’ set-up, the 19in SST delivered excellent acceleration from 3-30 knots in less than 10 seconds.

Once up the Clearwater required little attention to leg trim and she held her bow high without any tendency towards porpoising. With glassy conditions during the review all I could do was cross the photo boat’s wake to establish whether there was any excessive spray through the chop and, overall, she seemed quite dry. Later, once the wind picked up it was confirmed that the flared bow and high topsides delivered a dry ride.

The Whittley Clearwater 1750 stands out as a classic Aussie half cabin family runabout small enough to tow and big enough to take the whole crew out for the day. The boat we tested was a just-released 2009 model with cutting edge looks. The Clearwater range has been a growing component of the Whittley stable and with several new models, including a 1600 and 1750, they expect to produce around 400 Clearwaters in the next year pushing the Victorian based Whittley Marine overall output close to 800 vessels per year.

The layout is multi-functional in that it delivers a relaxing day boat and a handy fishing platform. Wait a minute! This boat is set up with rocket launchers, has a fish finder and live bait wells, so perhaps it is more like a fishing runabout. There’s a roomy cabin with a comfortable V-berth, which is great for a snooze when the fish aren’t biting.

The vessel’s ‘fishability’ is also extended by the nice flat combings, long side pockets for rods and nets, foot room under the side pockets and drop down aft seats that create a large uncluttered cockpit. Perhaps one of the biggest giveaways that the Clearwater 1750 is targeted at the fishing family is the integrated tackle box located across from the helm.

From a general point of view, the 1750 has lots of drink holders and good stowage areas; for example, the open stowage area located beneath the glove box is an excellent space, ideal for mobiles and the extra clutter of modern life.

The helm is set up with a pedestal bucket seat or a stand-up driving position that also seems natural and offers good visibility. All the essential instruments are on the dash, as well as a VHF radio. Absent is an elbow/arm rest in the throttle area. Helm arm rests are a simple feature often forgotten but also much appreciated when more precise throttle control is required in choppy conditions particularly when you’re standing up. The steering seems a little heavy, but that’s often a matter of taste as well as conditions.

The Whittley 1750 has been built and equipped to a very competitive $40,970 price (on water with trailer) so I am sure other options, if required and if the budget allowed, could be easily fitted. Some good features included were the bimini and depth sounder. A stainless steel prop came standard with the outboard.
Another great feature was the opening windscreen combined with full-length forward hatch this design provided safe access to the bow and anchor areas without having to climb on the foredeck. If you were considering a bow rider as an option but would also like some protection from the elements, this vessel would be an excellent balance between the two.

The tested 1750 Clearwater is a new design created in-house by Whittley Marine for Whittley Marine. Most Whittleys are built and designed in Victoria some of the Clearwater models are derived from the Savage designs of earlier years (for example the Clearwater 1600 uses the Savage Centurion hull with a modified deck design). Currently only one Clearwater is an imported design and that is the 21ft Walkaround.
This new model Whittley hits the spot because it draws upon popular designs of the past and through clever bow and hatch design, adds more functionality to the traditional half cabin set-up. For its price the Whittley Clearwater 1750 is a real performer.