All-in-One WatchMate 850 Class B Transponder Wins for Innovative AIS Filtering and Dedicated Display

Auckland, New Zealand Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products, announced today that its WatchMate 850 has been named Practical Sailor’s ‘Best Choice’ in a head-to-head test of AIS collision avoidance solutions. Practical Sailor’s Best Choice designation is awarded to products the magazine’s editors believe outperformed comparable products in extensive product tests and would be the best solution for readers looking to purchase such products. Featured in the September 2013 issue, Practical Sailor concludes, “Vesper’s WatchMate 850 simply brings a lot more to the table in terms of features, options, and display customization. Its numerous targeting options allow users to reduce target overload and ‘see the forest in spite of all the trees’”.

The WatchMate 850 transmits a boat’s name, size, position, speed and course over AIS channels while simultaneously displaying the timely and easy-to-process information boaters need to interpret potential hazards and react accordingly — providing a more worry-free, on-the-water experience.

“Practical Sailor’s recognition is tremendous endorsement of our dedicated collision avoidance AIS transponder,” said Jeff Robbins, co-founder, Vesper Marine “The magazine’s extensive testing aptly identified the benefit of the WatchMate 850’s proprietary filtering algorithms that eliminate screen clutter and false alarms, and provides boaters with a clear picture of potential hazards. Boaters can enjoy their time on the water with the knowledge that their WatchMate 850 is always watching for potential danger and that their vessel is always visible to others.”

A compact and self-contained device, the WatchMate 850 offers an easy-to-read display, simple to use button-driven menus, built-in GPS antenna, and powerful Class B AIS transponder. The system transmits a critical vessel details while simultaneously displaying the timely and easy-to-process information boaters need to interpret potential hazards and react accordingly. Designed to give boaters the ultimate peace of mind, the WatchMate 850 provides unparalleled collision avoidance features for a more worry-free, on-the-water experience.

A subscription-supported magazine, Practical Sailor is a resource for serious sailors and DIY boat owners to read unbiased evaluations of boats, sailing products, and related services. The magazine’s review of the WatchMate 850 compared Class B transceivers that pick up and display signals from AIS-equipped search-and-rescue transponders (SARTs) or man overboard (MOB) beacons. Practical Sailor summarized, “The WatchMate 850 provides a wealth of user-adjustable settings and customizable options with regards to AIS filtering and display. The ability to prioritize targets based on CPA, TCPA, bearing, range, etc., is a definite plus in the war on screen clutter. It’s our Best Choice for an AIS-B unit with an integral display.”

For more information on Vesper Marine’s award-winning products, its complete line of AIS solutions, or to learn more about Vesper Marine, please visit