My boat is flag blue. I knew the extra maintenance involved with a dark hull before I bought it. But it looked so damn good, on top of fulfilling all my boating needs, that I couldn’t restrain myself. So I wrote the check and ran Breakaway home from Cape Cod to Long Island. I’ve owned her seven years now and the extra waxing and compounding doesn’t bother me. The tiny scratches that wouldn’t show on a lighter color don’t bother me either—not much, anyway. What kills me are the freaking water spots.
|The Clearinse CR2 Portable Washdown System is one marine accessory the delivered what it promised: a dark hull free of water spots.|
There are a lot of minerals in the water supplied at my dock. One look at the white crud seeping out from around the hose bib and main shutoff valve makes that fact easy to see. That STUFF defies my ability to wash my boat and have it look good when I’m done. Instead, it looks as though a hundred salamanders stepped in flour then crawled all over the hull.
Then I received a Clearinse CR2 Portable Washdown System for testing. You need to understand that the UPS and Fedex trucks stop at my house about every third day, delivering every conceivable type of gadget, doodad and marine accessory. Most are unasked for. Most remain still in their boxes, piled in my shed. The reason? Many marine accessories are solutions for problems that don’t exist.
But the Clearinse CR2 promised to solve a problem I really had. And, since actually testing products for published review is one of BOATING’s hallmarks, I ripped open the box and hauled the Clearinse CR2 down to my dock.
It took me longer to walk down the street carrying the box than it did to install. No tools were required. Simply connect to the spigot with the supplied 5-foot reinforced hose and connect your dock hose on the output side. It comes with web strapping and a buckle so you can fasten it to the dock. In my case, the dock pilings run higher than the deck, and I strapped it to the same pile that held my hose hanger.
My first question was whether or not there would be a decrease in pressure from the hose after I installed the Clearinse CR2. As this video shows, there was no noticeable pressure drop.
I didn’t install a pressure gauge, but anecdotally the hose’s water stream retained its ability to flush loose debris through the scuppers from ten feet away and still blasted semi-dry bird crap off the deck when up close and personal.
How’s it work? Water flows first through a pre-filter designed to remove heavier particulate matter—the small canister in the photo. It then goes through the water softener, which removes the salts and other miniscule stuff.
Are the spots gone? I used the Clearinse CR2 after having just detailed the boat, so it was spot free. I washed it and…no water spots on my hull. This is one marine accessory that lives up to its marketing claims.
The Clearinse CR2 isn’t maintenance-free. The CR2 model I tested is designed to filter and soften 2000 gallons of water before needing a recharge. Since I use about 40 gallons per wash to clean my 23-foot boat (Since I wash after every trip, comparing last year’s water bill to my logbook allowed me to estimate gallons per wash) I haven’t yet hit that mark. But I did go through the recharge process and it was straightforward. Basically you back-flush the unit with salt using a special canister supplied with the unit. Took me half an hour. The pre-filter’s 10-micron cartridge needs to be replaced about every two recharges, according to Clearinse. That’s going to be about once every two years for me—but depending upon the hardness of your water and the amount of water you run through the system, the maintenance intervals may be shorter.
Clearinse offers stock portable washdown stations up to 6000 gallons, offers built-in or “inline” systems and has the ability to custom-build systems to suit particular needs.
Part Number: 75800 2,000 Gallon System
Measurements: 28” high x 9” wide x 6” deep
Construction: CNC Machined Starboard® top and base
Machined 6463 BDA Aluminum Schedule 40 Pipe
Machined Brass Fittings
Stainless Steel Screws
#10 housing w/relief valve
Glass wound poly tank
High Speed, High Flow softening resin
Clearinse 75800 CR2: $795, 561-596-2085, http://www.clearinse.com/