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By Carol Bareuther


If the idea of hard water spots crusting your beautiful dark colored hull or of spending hours shammying down the entire boat after a long day of sea are definitely not on your list of favorites, then you need a WetSpot.

WetSpot is the original portable water softening system.

"Many people buy a WetSpot for cosmetic reasons, but there are several other benefits of soft water," says Charlene Strauss, who with husband, James, owns the Pompano Beach, Florida-based company.

Soft water improves the life of finishes on boats as well as cars, RVs and aircraft. It's easier on skin and can reduce the risk of skin irritations and also gentler on hair where it leaves locks softer and shinier. It won't produce off flavors in foods and beverages like coffee and tea. And, it can protect appliances, everything from the dishwasher and washing machine to the coffee maker, from a build up of deposits than can eventually clog supply hoses and water outlets.

Hardness in water is caused by minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals get into the water supply as it travels the earth's surface. The hardness of the water varies in different geographic areas due to the earth's mineral composition in those locales.

"The WetSpot works by an ion exchange process," says Strauss. "Picture a magnet moved through the water that picks up all the hard minerals like calcium and swaps them for something softer like sodium."

This is the same way a water softening system works at home or in a commercial setting. However, the advantage of the WetSpot for boaters is that the unit is designed to be portable and it's recharged manually, meaning no electrical hook up is needed.

The WetSpot comes in four sizes. The smallest, that weighs only 22 pounds, is for boats 40-feet and under. The Plus size is for vessels up to 70-feet in length, the Heavy Duty for boats 70- to 100-feet and the Super for yachts over 100-feet. All units easily fit on a dock, need to electrical outlets and connect to a spigot on the dock or the boats own wash down hose. The WetSpots are rugged and made to last in harsh marine environments. The PVC, aluminum, brass hose fittings and rubber wheels are all constructed out of a specialized material.

"Water hardness, as well as boat length, determines which unit is best to buy," says Strauss. "For example, you may choose to buy one size larger if you spend a lot of time in a hard water area like South America, Mexico, Mallorca or Croatia."

Every WetSpot comes with a test kit that owners can use to determine the hardness or softness of water in a particular area. Units also come with a service hose, recharge hose, re-usable recharger and a 12-year warranty.

The WetSpot must be 'recharged' periodically to maintain its softening power. For this, says Strauss, "you need to have ordinary rock salt. Keep in mind that 50 pounds of rock salt in Florida costs about $5 to $6 dollars. But, if this amount has to be flown down to St. Thomas, for example, its about $180. I suggest boats carry their salt aboard. Do transfer it into a vacuum sealed container to prevent it from taking on moisture."

Recharging is easy and takes about 30 minutes each month.

Instead of rock salt, some crews use the brine flush in their systems to recharge the WetSpot. This is a little trickier to calculate the right amount of brine to do the job correctly.

Accessories for the WetSpot include a gallon meter and nickel-plated quick disconnect fittings. Perhaps the best accessory is the company's T-shirts. For women, the inscription reads, "Ask me about my WetSpot". For men, it's "Where's Your WetSpot."

The WetSpot can be purchased through retail distributors such as Boat Owner's Warehouse and Lewis Marine Supply in Florida or several other dealers around the world. For more information, Call: 1-888-4WETSPOT or visit their website: go there

The ABMT is proud to have Wet Spot as a sponsor of our tournaments.