What Our Customers Are Saying...

I am very impressed with the way Vesper are continuously developing functionality rather than developing new models like rabbits, typical of some mainstream suppliers, such that one month after buying the product it is obsolete...

Myron Bileckyj, S/V Evening Star (Contest 37), UK (email September 18, 2016)
XB-8000 owner

​I can not more highly recommend your product to other sailors.

I purchased a WatchMate specifically for a short handed (2 person crew) voyage from Norfolk VA USA to Turkey. Based on this voyage the two "do not leave home without them" items are WatchMate AIS with repeater at the helm, and autopilot.

Our transatlantic weather alternated between flat calms and 25-35Kn winds with 15-20+ foot waves. We set our course to run between the two main shipping lanes and frequently were in close contact with large cargo vessels; most of whom expressed appreciation to our use of the AIS as it enabled them to take early evasive action to steer clear of us in the heavy weather we were experiencing.

​Alan Thilo, SS Makai, 43ft Slocum (email September 8, 2016)
WatchMate 850 owner

We left May 25th from Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly Massachusetts and arrived June 2nd to Herrington Harbor North in Deale Maryland, about 600 nautical miles. Trip was fantastic, weather was great and the crew comprised of (4) Argentinians including myself, We sailed large portions at night and in some cases with fog, your system performed flawlessly in both my Raymarine C80 and the Standard Marine CP300i. While in the Long Island Sound and in the New York City area we were able to sail safely using the built in alarms in both systems.

Very happy with the system, I do regret not buying the wifi version just to complete the iPad with Navionics package I am now putting together as a back up and trip planning package.

Marcel Beraud, S/V Merlin, Marblehead (email July 27,2016)
XB-6000 owner

The WatchMate 850 is a full class-B transponder, with kill switch (so it only listens, not transmits), anchor watch/alert, and the incredibly handy built-in NMEA multiplexer (includes data from one other NMEA device, such as a heading sensor, in it's output so you can link it to your radio without needing extra hardware). Ultra handy.

Vesper's tech support and engineering is absolutely first rate - this is a fantastic piece of kit. The menus are simple and easy to use, even while in a heavy seaway, it's incredibly smart about conserving power, and best of all it has the SMARTEST alarms I've ever seen on an AIS device. You do not keep getting alerted every single time the ship's course is projected to intercept you once you've acknowledged the incoming vessel. This is a huge benefit to those trying to sleep belowdecks, since if the watch is really doing their job it'll only beep once for each target that could be a collision hazard.

If you've used other AIS devices with alerts, you know how valuable this feature is and how annoying other devices can be as you bounce around with your heading changing every wave and the target going in and out of the 'danger zone' and triggering the alert EACH TIME. Oy! This device eliminates that!

Daniel Collins, S/V Aletheia, Georgia
WatchMate 850 owner posted April 10, 2016 on a forum and confirmed via email

Congrats on your success. I’m really happy to see smart products sell well. Our Vesper AIS is still one of the most intelligently designed components on the boat.

Bruce Balan, S/V Migration, Indonesia (email March 15, 2016)
WatchMate 850 owner since 2012

I love this product, it’s absolutely amazing and it’s solved the biggest problem I had on the boat (an old busted Simrad chart plotter) and an old NMEA 0183 system that’s fully functional but not very expandable.

I now have the NMEA 0183 bridged into every application I use (iNavX, OpenCPN) via WiFi and I have GPS going out to all the devices on the boat (SSB, VHF, Radar) and I have full portability on the boat with my iPad and laptop.

Truly thank you for the great product. It’s brilliant. Please pass on my thanks to the product development team.

Nojan Moshiri, S/V Pasargada, Seattle, WA (email February 8, 2015)
XB-8000 owner

I wanted to let you know just how delighted I am with the Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision and antenna splitter.

Installing these took me less than an afternoon. What was most remarkable about the installation was how easily the WatchMate Vision connected with my laptop (via included USB cable), my iPad via wireless, and my chartplotter via included cable. I was astounded we all three worked within about 15 minutes of tweaking settings -- including the time it took me to remember to turn the WiFi on on my iPad!

As I expected, I was delighted with the clarity of the data regarding crossing situations in which I know not only when and how close another vessel will be but where it will be relative to me when we cross. Thus I know if I should speed up, slow down, or hold course. All with a single click.

What I had not expected was the usefulness of having groups of different alarm settings depending on the situation of your cruising. I now have different groups of alarms for when I am navigating in harbors or "close in" situations, coastal navigation, or offshore. Thus if I am getting too many alarms I can just change to a different setting. One click changes all the parameters. It is brilliant.

I am delighted with the ease of connection, clarity of data presentation, and ease of changing settings on the fly. Very satisfied.

Also, until yesterday and negotiating the marine traffic funneling in towards New York City, I had not used your app for the iPad -- which I found Very Helpful, especially being able to respond to alarms without going below to where the unit is mounted.

Jay Peters, SV Kenlanu, Port Washington, NY, enroute to the Bahamas
WatchMate Vision owner (email October 7, 2015)

We were in the Azores last summer and often discussions would come up about AIS receivers vs transceivers. By the Azores, most were convinced transceivers were best.

We were solidly in the English Channel to Western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico route. Two boats had systems that displayed on their chartplotter. They had wanted Vesper Marine, but with budget constraints, bemoaned the fact none were available on eBay. They figured nobody was getting rid of theirs. They bought other brands, but decided they would spend the money for a Vesper Marine, before leaving again!

The English Channel was a breeze with our Vesper Marine AIS! We arrived at the Channel entrance from the SW at about 8pm, then south of Falmouth a little later, too late to try and enter before daylight. A large number of cargo ships were heading out of the channel and many fishing boats were leaving France. With our AIS, we found them all (and the ferries) very polite. They maintained sufficient distance from us - nice to be seen.

By midnight, we made it up into the bay and away from traffic. We hung out until dawn. We had heard so many stories about English Channel traffic, but no problems that night and none on a few passages to Brighton. All the ships were polite and appeared to know we were there.

Can we say that Vesper Marine has tamed the English Channel?

John & Ellie Wheeler, S/V a Serenity, English Channel (email October 5, 2015)
WatchMate 850 Owners

Just fitted my 2nd XB-8000 this year to a catamaran I am working on and really like them.

I am a professional seafarer working as a Navigator in the merchant marine & skipper on yachts. I am currently working on a Carbon Fibre catamaran in the med where I have just installed the XB 8000. My wife and I also own a small oyster which we cruise around the world which we installed an XB 8000 on at the beginning of the year.

I have been downloading various apps and especially enjoy the fact I can sleep with an (iPhone) anchor/wind speed alarm under my pillow. Like most people in the world everyone brings a tablet / smart phone onboard which can easily be converted into their own personal plotter.

Though many people review the fact they like to have a solid plotter bolted to the nav station the flip side is I can have 5 plotters onboard and an iPhone in a metal box in the oven (for a lightening strike). And if you get tired of the software simply download a different app.

I use lifeproof cases for all my smart devices which are durable fully functional and don't look like a plastic bag. ( they even make a life jacket for the iPad)

Apologies for the excited rant. With the exception of radar I just don't understand why anyone needs to own a plotter.

Charles Darwall, Custom 16m Carbon Catamaran
Greece and Oyster heritage 37, Gibraltar (email September 5, 2015)
Owner/skipper with two XB-8000 AIS Transponders
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