Several man-overboard systems are kicking boat safety up a notch.
posted Sep 21st, 2011 at 4:14pm
Man-overboard devices are becoming smaller, more reliable and more integrated into the total helm package.
A couple of years ago, McMurdo set the bar high with a personal locator beacon the size of a pack of cigarettes (if anyone remembers what that looks like). ACR answered the challenge this year with the 4.6-ounce ResQLink ($325), claiming the title as the smallest PLB in the world. With the addition of a 406link .com subscription, the unit also functions as an “I’m OK” e-mail or text message check-in device.
Kannad Safelink R10 broadcasts a rescue request to VHF radios within a four-mile range.
Stand-alone AIS Vesper Marine’s AIS WatchMate 850 offers simple button-driven menus, a built-in GPS antenna, an AIS receiver and a Class B AIS transponder. Transmitting and receiving on both AIS frequencies simultaneously, its features include the ability to send a mayday message over AIS. The SP160 waterproof splitter uses standard VHF coaxial connections, provides an AM/FM connection, is adaptable to both 12- and 24-volt systems and allows the unit to tap into an existing VHF antenna. WatchMate, $1,100; SP160, $250.