What Our Customers Are Saying...

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

Just a spontaneous email to let you know I am very happy to have the WatchMate 850 installed on my Contessa 32. It is connected via the NMEA in-and output to a miniplex-2-Wifi multiplexer and a Icom M400 VHF.

DSC call setup through the WatchMate is accepted by the Icom and the multiplexer transmits AIS data by Wifi to an Ipad (with Inavx installed).

Crossing the busy shipping lanes in the English/French Channel has become much safer. And I particularly like the CPA soft button! One feature which is, to my opinion, also very useful, is the built-in antenna quality check: really clever.

Erik Mertens, Contessa 32 GIULIA, Antwerp, Belgium (email August 16, 2015)
WatchMate 850 owner

Everything works, no hassle installation and low amp draw. Great dealer support from Miltech Marine. Thanks

Brian O'Neill, S/V SHIBUI, Bainbridge Island, WA (email July 6, 2015)
WatchMate 850 owner

We just returned to San Diego from 6 months in Mexico after bringing the our J/42 down from Seattle last Sept. For the last 5000 NMs the WatchMate 850 has been an essential piece of navigation equipment for us! We use its AIS NMEA 0183 output for our Simrad NSE8 and NSS7 chart plotters when under way and rely on its low-power drain anchor watch capability when anchored. We also use the USB virtual COM port output with OpenCPN on our PC as a backup navigation capability.

A great product - thanks!

Rod Deyo, S/V Northern Lights (J/42), San Diego (email June 9, 2014)

The unit worked flawlessly when I fired it up. Integration with my Furuno NavNet 3D MFD was a snap. No problems with that at all. I am inputting heading data from the old Nobeltec heading sensor to my 850 and the MFD and that is also working very well. So very happy with the installation and the unit so far.

Joe Barnes, S/V Argonauta, Anacortes, WA (email May 24, 2015)
WatchMate 850 owner

I feel very comfortable having bought your XB-8000 and l have no hesitation in promoting your range of transponders to our fellow cruisers. By the way, l did tons of research before making my decision.

Allan Ward, S/V Windward, Brazil (email May 15, 2015)

I'm new to a boat of this size (46') and also European waters, so did a lot of reading on Cruisers Forum on which I really appreciated your, and Matt Paulin's comments whenever anyone needed help with AIS. This was probably the first thing that attracted me to your products. Then, the reviews about your systems convinced me, and then Matt finished the deal by being so supportive (and your mail is the icing on the cake).

I chose the XB-8000 because the boat has an older Garmin 3006c chartplotter and the XB-8000 would allow me to see AIS on a laptop, and also via smartphone/tablet (android).

Really like the idea of a New Zealand developed product, and I read really good reviews about your products - well done.

Clay Sparkes, Amel Maramu located in Portugal (email May 14, 2015)

I installed this product a year ago and it has worked flawlessly. I needed to change the MMSI number as have changed the registration from Croatia to Australia and your staff were extremely helpful.

Graham Breeze, Fiu 2 Many, Crotone Calabria, Italy (email May 11, 2015)
XB-8000 owner

In May, 2014 we left New Zealand bound for Alaska via Japan. Prior to departing Guam we fitted a Vesper XB8000 AIS transponder to our 13 metre yacht, Monkey Fist, as we expected to encounter a large volume of commercial maritime traffic. We were not disappointed. Once arriving in Japan’s waters, the XB 8000 AIS rarely showed less than 50 vessels and often up to 100 at any one time – maximum in our vicinity was 235 ships. On the first occasion we found the unit invaluable where, under storm conditions off the south coast of Honshu, our yacht would otherwise have effectively been invisible to the large commercial vessels. Our hands were full handling the seas and wind and the AIS made our lives manageable calculating the vectors of the other traffic for us. Two days later we entered the Seto Inland Sea and needed to navigate through the shipping channels (with no separation lanes) at night again it demonstrated its value by making our presence made obvious to the other traffic. I have no doubt that regardless of the size of our yacht, at night and at several miles distance, our transponder return would have been apparent to the officer on watch and would have been taken into account in their navigation.

Another use we found for the AIS was when navigating through the Kaii Strait between Awijima and Shitoku reported to be the strongest current in Japan’s waters, up to 8 knots. Timing of the transiting of the strait is critical and we were able to monitor the change in speed of the commercial traffic to establish the safest time for our yacht to pass.

The wifi feature of the unit means that my wife, who prefers to use the navigational software on her iPad allows her to comfortably navigate our way through situations that may otherwise have required my input.

In summary we must say that we have found the Vesper XB 8000 an invaluable tool in navigating the challenging waters of Japan.

Paul Tudor-Stack, S.V. Monkey Fist, Japan (email May 7, 2015)
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