Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision

Ben Ellison takes a closer look at the Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision--an advanced Class B AIS transponder that was honored with an Innovation Award in Miami.

Sailing World

Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision

The Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision is arguably the most advanced Class B AIS transponder ever built, and was honored with an Innovation Award in Miami. Vesper has worked for years developing sophisticated collision avoidance software that alarms when you want it to, and not when you don't. That technology is now on Vision's 5.7-inch color touchscreen where it can be used standalone while also outputting target data in every form possible. A boat's navigation computers or MFDs can receive AIS info from a Vision via USB, NMEA 0183, or NMEA 2000. Meanwhile, smart phones and tablet can access and even control a Vision via WiFi, and the Vision can also serve as a hub for getting additional boat data like wind and depth info to apps. Moveover, the Vision is designed to host its own apps, such as an anchor watch feature that takes good advantage of its built-in GPS and low power consumption. In addition to the Vision, Vesper Marine introduced the WatchMate AIS XB-8000 which includes most of the same AIS transponder features in a black box form. Both products are currently awaiting FCC approval, with pricing to follow. Vesper Marine, www.vespermarine.com