WatchMate XB-8000 smartAIS Transponder with WiFi and NMEA 2000 Gateway

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Teak Rail: The Best Black Box AIS

'"The best black box a boater can buy is the XB-8000."

Compared with Raymarine, Garmin and others. "It truly offers the most advanced technology in any AIS transponder available today."

The Teak Rail is the result of hundreds of hours of research and thousands of hours of abuse aboard vessels sailing the high seas.

The full-featured Class B smartAIS transponder from Vesper Marine has all the smartAIS functions of Collision Prevention, Anchor Watch and Man Overboard (MOB) Alarms actively keeping your vessel and crew safe.

The world's first Class B AIS with built-in WiFi and NMEA 2000 gateway converting navigation instrument data so it can be viewed on most any tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac. This full-featured AIS "black box" is the only transponder that can be used as a GPS source for NMEA 2000 networks.

WatchMate XB-8000 is WiFi enabled allowing navigation information to be viewed from anywhere on your boat. Mounting the XB-8000 is made easy with innovative cable connection points that create neat low profile installations.

The XB-8000 WiFi can securely connect up to 5 other devices simultaneously. You can have a wireless connection to your laptop, smart phone and tablet - all simultaneously! And for even larger networks, you can wirelessly connect the XB-8000 to an external WiFi router for unlimited expansion capability.

Vesper Marine AIS transponders are the only AIS with a fast 5Hz GPS update rate providing greater detail and higher resolution plotting resulting in smooth tracking on chart plotters, MFD's and mobile apps.

AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alarm

A true safety device, the XB-8000 is the only "black box" AIS transponder with an AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alarm. Simply connect an external alarm to your XB-8000, equip your crewmembers with any manufacturer's AIS MOB device, and you'll be immediately alerted if someone falls overboard. No other devices need to be connected or switched on. The XB-8000 silently and continuously watches for an MOB and sounds the alarm as soon as it detects one.

Anchor Watch enhances your safety

Anchor Watch

You'll be safer and sleep better because the XB-8000 is the first "black box" AIS to include an Anchor Watch.

When you drop anchor, activate it using your smartphone, tablet or a physical switch and the XB-8000 sounds the alarm if you drift outside a circular zone configured around your anchor position.

Monitor your position remotely from Android and Apple devices using the free WatchMate app. If your mobile device is powered off or the app is closed, the XB-8000 anchor watch continues to monitor the situation and sound the alarm to warn you.

The XB-8000 is like having three products all in one compact and affordable package:

  • A powerful and extremely sensitive AIS transponder that transmits your vessel position and details and receives this information from other vessels with AIS transponders. Super sensitive dual parallel AIS receivers provide greater range than other AIS transponders. Fast 5Hz GPS navigation computations result in smoother tracks and greater accuracy.
  • A secure Wifi router that allows up to five other devices to connect to it and each other wirelessly. GPS, AIS and NMEA instrument data can be shared with all your mobile devices and laptops. These devices can even talk to each other using the XB-8000 as their router. If you need greater range or more device connections, simply add an ordinary WiFi router and easily configure the XB-8000 to join that router's network instead of creating its own. No other AIS transponder or marine WiFi can do this.
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  • A NMEA 2000 gateway that translates NMEA 2000 instrument data and makes it available over WiFi to your mobile devices. You'll get all your instrument data displayed on the mobile app of your choice! There is no need to buy a separate NMEA 2000 gateway product when you have an XB-8000 that supports a wide range of wind, depth, speed, heading, log, and temperature PGN's. It even translates NMEA 2000 to USB for computers and NMEA 0183 for older plotters too.

This innovative easy to use AIS Transponder combines:

    Download on the AppStore
    Get it on Google Play
  • Free iPad, iPhone and Android app provides a "radar" style plotter screen of all nearby vessels. The app also includes configuration, status monitoring and interactive remote control over the XB-8000's operation.
  • Anchor watch triggers an external alarm if you drift outside anchor zone
  • AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alarm works with all AIS MOB devices
  • NMEA 2000 & 0183, WiFi and USB
  • Translates and routes NMEA 2000 instrument data over WiFi, USB and NMEA 0183
  • Makes all your NMEA 0183 data available over WiFi and USB. Use your tablet or computer to view instrument data whether it is coming from NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183
  • Industry-leading high performance parallel two channel AIS transponder
  • You can switch this transponder into Silent Mode (receive-only) from your tablet, phone, PC, Mac or with a hard-wired switch
  • Includes 50 channel GPS receiver with external antenna and 10m (33') cable
  • WiFi configuration options: Access Point creates a network or Client of an existing router
  • WiFi security with configurable WPA/WPA2 protection
  • View AIS and navigate from your computer, smart phone or tablet from anywhere on your boat over wireless connections for up to five devices

Not just a product, but an extensible AIS platform

The XB-8000 is an upgradeable AIS platform, designed to be compatible with a continuous stream of feature updates, adding new and unique capabilities. These are provided in periodic updates which all owners may download for free by visiting Some features described here may require an update if it hasn't been installed already.

Mobile App Support

Download the Vesper Marine app The free Vesper Marine WatchMate app is a great way to configure and monitor your XB‑8000 AIS transponder.

View and update your vessel information, monitor transponder and GPS status, and show all AIS-equipped vessels on an easy to use "radar" plotting screen.

This is the only mobile app with instant target acquisition. All other apps take time for AIS targets to appear, but the Vesper Marine app takes advantage of unique capabilities inside your XB-8000 allowing it to display all received targets immediately when you start the app.

Download on the AppStore Get it on Google Play
In addition, the XB-8000 is supported by a growing set of 3rd party mobile apps and we frequently post reviews of iOS and Android apps for compatibility and features.

Anchor watch

When dropping anchor, activate the anchor watch from your smartphone, tablet or a wired switch. The XB-8000 monitors the GPS position and triggers the alarm if you drift outside a circular zone configured around your anchor position. Configure, monitor and activate the anchor watch using Apple and Android phones and tablets. The XB-8000 monitors the anchor watch continuously and does not require the mobile device to be switched on or the app to be running.

AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alarm

Automatically triggers an extenal alarm whenever an AIS MOB is detected. Silently and continuously on-watch for all your crew. Works with all AIS MOB devices from any manufacturer (not included).

Connect wirelessly to other devices using WiFi 802.11 b/g

Secure WiFi connection for up to five devices simultaneously.

Fully certified NMEA 2000

Ensures easy integration with any other NMEA 2000 equipment. You can confidently use the XB-8000 with any chart plotter by all the major manufacturers.

Translates and routes your NMEA instrument data over WiFi

Translates NMEA 2000 instrument data (heading, wind, depth, speed, log, temperature) and routes to mobile devices over WiFi, USB or NMEA 0183 for supporting plotters without NMEA 2000. All this data is combined with GPS and AIS data and sent simultaneously to up to five WiFi devices (tablets, smart phones, computers) and well as computers via USB or plotters using NMEA 0183. Display and use this data in your navigation applications such as NavPlay, iNavX, SEAiq on an iPad. Or use Android apps and Windows or Mac navigation software. For larger WiFi networks, you can extend the number of connected devices by adding an ordinary WiFi router.

Interact with a variety of standard applications on iPad and Android tablets

Remotely access AIS information on other applications via smart devices.

Watch the video here that takes you through the steps to enable AIS information to be displayed on iNavX for iPad.

High performance AIS Transponder

The XB-8000 is an AIS transponder with two channel parallel receiver and transmitter. This highly sensitive transponder means greater range and increased safety. Connects to 12 or 24 volt power supply.

Very Low Power Consumption

Designed for minimal power consumption the XB-8000 is extremely well suited for energy conscious vessels.

Fully Water Proof

Unlike most other AIS transponders, the XB-8000 is water proof so you don't have to worry about it. It's a measure of how robust and reliable it is. It is even rated IPx7 which means it is totally submersible to 1m for up to 30 mins!

USB Connection (waterproof and locking with optional cable)

The USB connection can be used to connect the XB-8000 to on-board computers. The XB-8000 provides a GPS and AIS data feed directly to computer-based navigation software. It translates selected NMEA 2000 instrument data and sends that to your computer too. An optional 5m (16') waterproof cable features a locking ring so it can't vibrate out of the back of the XB-8000.

GPS receiver

Built-in 50 channel GPS receiver (with WAAS/EGNOS) and includes our powerful external antenna. The external antenna can be pole mounted on standard 1" threaded tubing or mounted on a flat surface with the included base. The cable has a small connector, about the same diameter as the cable, to facilitate easy routing through small holes.

The XB-8000 is the only AIS transponder that can be used as a source of GPS data on a NMEA 2000 network and is also the only AIS transponder with a fast 5Hz GPS navigation and update rate. This results in higher resolution and smoother tracks on your plotter or MFD, even during high speed maneuvers.

Silent Mode Control via iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac or an external switch

Allows XB-8000 to be put in Silent Mode. When in this mode, the AIS receivers and GPS continue to operate normally. The only change is transmissions are inhibited. Perfect for those times when you want privacy. Silent mode can be controlled by an external switch (not included) or via WiFi from your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet.

Self Diagnosis Status Lights

Multi-color LED keeps you informed of operational status providing self diagnosis that shows warnings if AIS, GPS, or antenna are not functioning.

Dual WiFi Configuration

XB-8000 provides dual WiFi configuration as either a secure Access Point supporting up to five other devices or connected to an existing WiFi router providing WiFi expansion capability.

Wireless Access to AIS Information

View AIS and navigate from your PC, Mac, iPad or Android tablet from anywhere on your boat over wireless connections.

Increased Safety

With AIS your safety is increased day and night when offshore or in busy traffic areas.

Sleep better with Anchor Watch

Dedicated anchor watch keeps track of your position and sounds an alarm if you drift too far from your anchor. Once activated, does not require any other devices to be switched on.

AIS Man Overboard (MOB) protection

Immediately trigger an alarm in the event an AIS MOB is detected. Works with all manufacturer's AIS MOB devices.

Easy installation

Mounting the XB-8000 is made easy with innovative cable connection points that create low profile installations. As well as being waterproof the XB-8000 also has multiple connection options; NMEA 2000 / 0183, WiFi and USB connectivity.

Single GPS antenna on NMEA networks

AIS transponders must have their own dedicated GPS antenna, but the XB-8000 is the only AIS transponder that can be used as a source of GPS data on a NMEA 2000 network. This means you can now have one less GPS antenna.

Fast 5Hz GPS navigation update rate

Results in higher accuracy and smoother tracks on plotters, MFD's, PC and Mac software and mobile apps even when doing high speed maneuvers.

Remote Transponder Control

Monitor and control the transponder and silent mode features remotely via iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet allowing users to remotely control the XB-8000.

Positive Identification

You'll have each vessel's name and call sign and others using AIS will also have yours. If you wish to call another vessel you will be able to ensure you are talking to the correct vessel. This is very important when operating in busy areas or in bad weather when visibility is reduced.

Operates on very low power

Energy conscious users know how important low power operation can be particularly on a long voyage when charging from solar or wind. The XB-8000 consumes less power than other AIS transponders even with the WiFi operating!

Learn More About the XB-8000

What's In The Box

  • GPS antenna with 10m (33') cable
  • Installation Guide
  • 2m (6.5') Power/data cable
  • 1m (3') USB cable
Size 200mm wide x 130mm high x 60mm depth (7 7/8" x 5 1/8" x 2 3/8")
Environmental Waterproof (IP67: submersible to 1m for 30 mins)
Operating temperature -25°C to +55°C (-13°F to 131°F)
Power supply 10-32 VDC, 4W nominal
Number of receivers 2 AIS, 1 DSC (timeshared)
Receive sensitivity -113 dBm (<20% PER)
Number of transmitters 1 AIS
Transmit power output 33 dBm (2W)
GPS 50 channel (external antenna included) with WAAS and EGNOS
GPS navigation rateSelectable 1Hz or 5Hz with magnetic variation included in output
GPS sensitivity-159dBm tracking & navigation
-142dBm acquisition (cold start)
GPS accuracyPosition 2.5m CEP, SBAS 2.0m CEP
VHF antenna required 50 ohm, max 2:1 VSWR @ 162MHz, PL259 connector
Serial data 1 fully isolated USB port (mini), 1 isolated NMEA 0183 input (RS422 4800/38400 baud) 1 NMEA 0183 output (RS422 4800/38400 baud)
Connectivity NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183, USB, Wireless 802.11 b/g

All input NMEA 0183 sentences are repeated to the NMEA 0183 output, USB and WiFi. Selected NMEA 2000 PGN's (heading, wind, depth, speed, temperature, and log) are translated to NMEA 0183 sentences and repeated to the NMEA 0183 output, USB and WiFi. This allows a wide variety of NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 instruments to be interfaced and output to all other connected devices.
NMEA 2000NMEA 2000 certified. LEN 2. Micro-C male connector. Female drop cable required (not included). Compatible with all NMEA 2000 certified Raymarine SeaTalk NG devices (DeviceNet cable required), Garmin, Furuno, SimNet (NMEA 2000 adapter cable required, Navico part 24006199 or 24006413), and other NMEA 2000 certified products.
Wireless Access Point for up to 5 devices or client of existing router
Wireless Security WPA / WPA2 Personal (PSK)
ProtocolsIEC 61162-1, NMEA 0183, NMEA 0183 HS
StandardsIEC 62287, IEC 60945, IEC 61108, IEC 61162, ITU-R M.1371, ITU-R M.825, ITU-R M.1084
ApprovalsBSH, BABT, CE, US Coast Guard, US FCC, Industry Canada
WarrantyTwo year world-wide warranty
Supplied With• 2m Power/Data cable
• External GPS antenna
Optional• SP160 VHF/AIS Antenna Splitter
• Waterproof USB cable


Specifications may change due to product improvements and different product release versions.

Includes Vesper Marine's patented AIS technology. For more information about our international patents, contact us.

  XB-8000 Transponder Navico NAIS 400 Comar CSB 200 Garmin AIS600 em-trak B100 Raymarine AIS650
Full receive of all Class A and B AIS data and transmission of Class B AIS data Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anchor watch triggers an alarm if you drift outside a configurable circular zone Yes No No No No No
AIS Man Overboard (MOB) alarm triggers if a crew member falls overboard (works with any manufacturer AIS MOB device, not included) Yes No No No No No
WiFi enabled (802.11 b/g) Yes No No No No No
Can simultaneously connect to 5 wireless devices Yes No No No No No
Dual WiFi configuration allows connection to an existing WiFi router or can create its own WiFi network Yes No No No No No
Ability to connect to computers via USB Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Galvanic isolated USB protects AIS and computers from possible damage and allows USB to be used at all times Yes No No No No No
Waterproof, can be externally mounted Yes Yes No Yes No No
Power consumption 3.5W 3W 6W <20W 3W 3W
Certified NMEA 2000 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Controls silent mode features remotely via iPhone, iPad, Android Yes No No No No No
Interact with standard applications on iPad and Android Yes No No No No No
Provides a NMEA 0183 to WiFi 802.11 b/g gateway (routes NMEA 1083 data to WiFi and USB) Yes No No No No No
Provides a NMEA 2000 to WiFi 802.11 b/g gateway (routes NMEA 2000 instrument data to WiFi and USB) Yes No No No No No
SD card slot available No No No No Yes Yes
Interfacing to optional chart plotters and displays (NMEA 2000) Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Interfacing to optional chart plotters and computers (NMEA 0183) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Please Note: This information has been gathered from public sources. To the best of Vesper Marine’s knowledge it was correct at the time of publication (early 2016). We want to keep this up-to-date, so if you see anything missing or incorrect, please let us know so we can update this information.