WatchMate XB-8000 Named Practical Sailor’s 2017 Gear Of The Year

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Auckland, New Zealand – Practical Sailor have announced that the Vesper Marine XB-8000 smartAIS transponder has been awarded 2017 Editors’ Choice for Gear of the Year.

The Practical Sailor Editors’ Choice is awarded to products tested between September 2016 and September 2017 that Practical Sailor editors believe represent outstanding quality and value. The magazine is highly regarded by serious sailors and DIY boat owners for its unbiased evaluations of sailing products and related services because Practical Sailor is an advertising-free, subscription-supported magazine.

XB-8000 is Practical Sailor Editors' Choice for Gear of the Year 2017

“It's a great honour to be recognized by Practical Sailor,” said Jeff Robbins, CEO, Vesper Marine. “Their recommendations are based on how products work in the real world because they test products by putting them through extensive sea trials. The quality and value of our XB-8000 is something we are very proud of and we’re thrilled with this validation.”

The WatchMate XB-8000 smartAIS transponder is the world’s first black-box AIS transponder to incorporate built-in safety alarms. smartAIS transponders have smart alert logic that triggers proactive alarms in case of collision risk, anchor drag or man overboard situations. The alarm sounds on your transponder or can be viewed on your MFD or mobile device like smartphones, tablets or smart watch via WiFi.

According to Practical Sailor, “Automatic Identification Systems have revolutionized offshore sailing by greatly reducing the chance of collisions. XB-8000 combines an AIS transponder, an NMEA 2000 gateway, and a WiFi router. It can send and receive AIS data, interface with the ship’s NMEA 2000 instruments and displays, and then wirelessly share GPS position, AIS target data, and other key instrument data like depth and speed with up to five different Android and iOS devices. It also can connect with NMEA 0183 devices via the NMEA 0183 output, the USB port, and WiFi.”

The WatchMate XB-8000 is continuously upgradable with new innovative features, updated automatically through a smartphone and the WatchMate App. The latest firmware includes remote access and operation of the WatchMate XB-8000 using your smart watch – a world-first.

For more information on Vesper Marine, the WatchMate XB-8000, or other products by Vesper Marine, please visit

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