What Our Customers Are Saying...

I was so pleased with the Vesper WatchMate unit on our last circumnavigation, that I purchased an 850 Class B transponder for our upcoming third circumnavigation.

AIS is the single most important collision-avoid device developed in my lifetime. I consider it far more useful than my radar. I wouldn't cross an ocean without one.

And now, in most busy ports of the world, all my family and friends can see GANESH in near 'real time' via marinetraffic.com on the Internet... almost instantly and for free! Yippee!

Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, S/V Ganesh (email Apr 20, 2013)

I had a new patch lead made up and bingo everything is working good! So thanks very much for your help with my problems. I will be recommending you guys if I meet any sailors about to buy an AIS machine.

Craig Porter, Shetland, UK (email Apr 18, 2013)

I have been thinking today about the tremendously responsive, accurate, and timely tech support I have gotten from you, and I was wondering if there is some way I can comment to this effect in a place or forum where it make a difference to you and Vesper Marine. I suspect you are not one who likes to "toot his own horn" but I would appreciate the opportunity to do it for you. Please let me know how I can give you some well deserved "cyber applause."

Bob Hargreaves, XB-8000 owner, Mason 44 Bright Angel (email Apr 11, 2013)

Winifred is on her homeward leg from Hobart, we left Eden this morning after a rough trip across Bass Strait. If you want to read our Blog mvwinifred.blogspot.com/, I gave you a glowing recommendation without using your name. We would be pleased if you wanted to use it as an endorsement. We love the simplicity and the Logic and the clarity. Compared with the Raymarine Plotter sounder Radar, it is a breath of fresh air.

Andrew Purnell, Yacht Winifred, Bass Strait enroute from Tasmania
(email Feb 22, 2013)

First off I want to say, one of the best purchases I have ever made. We were sailing down the coast from Vancouver Canada to Mazatlan Mexico. in a storm off the Oregon coast the AIS alerted us we were about to be run down by a freighter from behind, when we could not contact the freighter. so we called the coast guard to hail him for us, the coast guard wanted me to adjust my course but the wind was 45+ knots and all I had out was a handkerchief of a sail, the freighter then called and he adjusted his course. then just inside Mexican waters my raymarine plotter died, so I had no GPS or Radar working...But I had my ais and paper charts. the AIS never faltered, our buddy boat also lost there plotter and relied on our GPS for navigation. so here we are in sunny Mazatlan. thank you. now one question Can I use the nmea out put to send a gps signal to my pactor modem.

Mike Northup, S/V Defiant, Mazatlan (email Jan 4, 2013)

Hello, At first, I am entirely satisfied by the AIS WatchMate 850 I bought at the start of this year, it was simple to use and clever...and your customer service is impeccable. But the race season is finish, and I can't keep the boat for the next season, but we search to find a new boat.

Edwin Thibon, France (email October 30, 2012)

A year and a half ago, it was time to add AIS to my nav equipment as we prepared for our trip down the coast from Seattle to Mexico. Now I can say it was fortunate that my Raymarine equipment was too old to integrate AIS. The standalone WatchMate 850 has proven to be a way better choice.

Why? Several reasons.

1. We do not have the chartplotter cluttered with AIS targets. The chartploter display is busy enough already when we use radar overlay. Besides, it is often convenient to range out on the AIS to look ahead for shipping coming our way while keeping the chartplotter on close-in detail. That was especially useful one night when crossing the Sea of Cortez last winter as we picked up on AIS a freighter still some distance away and outside of useful radar range. AIS projected him to pass a bit too close for comfort, so we had plenty of time to ask him to give us a bit more room, which he did by a minor course correction. Due to language difficulties, it took several exchanges and significant time to get that done. Glad we got a jump on that one.

2. The WatchMate uses so little power, it can stay on all the time while we turn off the more power hungry nav instruments. For that reason, it is our best anchor watch tool, with the added bonus of being seen on AIS while anchored.

3. The ability to set preferences for each profile (Harbor, Coastal, Offshore) is a HUGE benefit. When in harbor profile, for example, we only really want to see and be warned about vessels that are on the move and seem to have a special desire to run us down! Before I adjusted these preferences, my wife kept turning off the AIS due to the false alarms. With adjusted settings, we all get along fine with WatchMate! It is very useful to pick up targets sooner while sailing coastal and offshore. The WatchMate provides for that too.

4. The user interface and navigation through the displays must have had a lot of user testing because it just feels right. Well done!

Charlie Stillman, S/V Gratitude, Seattle (email August 18, 2012)

I am a huge fan of your product. I was sold the moment I saw it at the show in Miami. I am on the Ohio River now, with very heavy barge traffic in the bargain too, and since all the barge traffic uses AIS, it is a great tool... especially at night. You would think a 1500 foot pushboat/barge combo would be easier to see. I really like that they can see me. I also really like the anchor watch system, as well. Best of anything I have encountered and it takes just a tiny sip from the batteries overnight.

Mike Phillipps, WatchMate-850 owner (via email July 25, 2012)

This is a fantastic device. Was not sure I how I would like AIS since I had not had it before but since I was outfitting a new boat, I put it on. Wow is all I can say. It is incredibly helpful on Long Island Sound, especially for dealing with the ferries between New London and Orient Point as well as for the fast ferries on that route and to Block Island. Can’t imagine life without an 850!

Jim McCrea, "North Star", Essex, Connecticut
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