In the winter 2020 issue of Valhalla, we introduced you to a new company called ElectroSea, founded by Dr. Louis and Daniel Cosentino, owners of the Viking 72 Judith Ann. The father-and-son team had just come to the market with an intriguing new product addressing a growing maintenance problem in our industry – marine debris clogging seawater conduits. Barnacles, biofilm and other marine growth can cause major headaches for yacht owners, choking their raw-water lines used for air conditioning, chillers, refrigeration and hydraulics.
“When the seawater system in a marine air conditioning environment becomes clogged or has growth, it will slow down or stop the flow of the seawater, which then renders it impossible for the unit to work,” says Mike Samuels, Viking Vice President of Customer Service. “And failure occurs not only with highly fouled systems; one barnacle can cause a lot of problems.”
The increase of marine growth – especially in warmer climates – has been forcing boat owners to have their seawater systems cleaned and flushed several times a year. This raises their maintenance costs and keeps them off the water. Dr. Louis Cosentino was one of those owners. “We were experiencing first-hand the need for constant flushing of the seawater system,” says Louis. “We thought, there has to be a better way. We applied our background in electrochemical systems, sterilant and filtration technologies and came up with an answer for us, for Viking owners and for the entire marine industry.”
Louis and Daniel, who combined have more than 100 patents in the medical device field, introduced the CLEARLINE System in February 2019. The patented CLEARLINE System uses electrochlorination technology to create an environment where barnacles, biofilm, algae and marine growth simply can’t live. CLEARLINE keeps raw-water lines for A/C, chillers, refrigeration and hydraulics free of debris to maintain peak performance levels with maximum flow rates.
The product consists of two key components, the Control Unit and the ClearCell. When seawater enters the ClearCell, which is plumbed into the raw-water lines, an electrochemical process generates a consistent, low level of chlorine similar to what you’d find in tap water. The Control Unit monitors the vessel’s raw water demand and dynamically delivers the precise amount of chlorine to prevent growth. Chlorinated water flows through the air conditioner, refrigeration and other systems, and a secondary flow of chlorinated water runs back through the strainers.
“Once the ClearLine System is installed, the boat will never need descaling again,” Daniel was quoted as saying in our 2020 article. Since then, ClearLine has certainly lived up to that claim, proving its effectiveness in several hundred Viking installations.
“I would absolutely recommend ClearLine on a new build and as a retrofit,” says Lonni Rutt, Viking Vice President of Design and Engineering. “It’s going to prolong the life of your Viking and reduce the maintenance. Viking and ElectroSea have worked together very well. ElectroSea integrated our control requirements with their system, and it can function independently, which has really made a big difference in the application of the product in our boats. Because of the success of the system and its reliability, we decided to move forward with making it a component of the design, engineering and build process. We’re actually designing and engineering the boats for ClearLine.”
About 250 Vikings – ranging from a 37 Billfish to a Viking 92 – are protected with the ClearLine System. This includes more than 70 new builds and 135 retrofits. ClearLine has also been installed on four Valhalla Boatworks V-46 center consoles. Viking President and CEO Pat Healey puts it in perspective: “It has been an absolute game-changer for the maintenance of sportfishing boats.”
The Viking Customer Service Department and the Viking Yacht Service Center have also endorsed ClearLine. “It’s safe to say that we’ve retrofitted over 50 boats with the system,” says Mike. “We don’t just bolt in the system. We make sure to measure flow rates and keep plumbing in line with Viking engineering guidelines so it’s done right.”
“We first learned about ClearLine about 3-1/2 years ago,” remembers Lonni. “They came up with the system, introduced it into their Viking 72, did some testing and presented their findings to us at our service center in Florida. It was an aha moment. We said, ‘this is really a good idea.’ The fact that their system requires very little user interface was a big positive for us.”
The ClearLine System is customized to your vessel’s seawater intake demand and is recommended for watercraft from 25 to 200 feet. The System operates automatically 24/7/365 and is built for flawless and reliable performance.
The system takes about a day to install and is virtually maintenance free. “About every three to five years the component that generates the chlorine will need to be replaced,” says Daniel. “But there is no scheduled maintenance.” Daniel and Louis spent two years developing the technology in the lab, making sure their product not only prevented marine growth but also had no effect on the integrity of the conduits it cleaned. They generated several prototypes and tested the system for one year on Judith Ann.
Their understanding of Viking mechanicals allowed them to come up with a design that’s tailored specifically for Vikings that utilize a dual-pump control in which the unit is wired to the boat’s centralized seawater box and automatically alternates the pumps, which is crucial for maintenance. ClearLine is available for Vikings that utilize its centralized seawater system and those with independent pumps, which adds to the versatility of the technology.
Viking and ElectroSea continue to work together closely. “We’re looking to improve, they’re looking to improve,” says Lonni. “We’re collaborating as we plan for the future.”
“There are many companies that design and build good products for the marine industry,” adds Pat. “But only a few build great products. We look for greatness in the people that are behind what they design and what they engineer.”