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Keeping Watch

Track conditions in the immediate area, and have a plan to get out.

February 4, 2011
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Safe and Sound
The SafeLink Solo 406 MHz GPS personal locator beacon ($390) from Kannad Marine operates on the Cospas-Sarsat search-and-rescue satellite communication system. The durable little unit is waterproof to 10 meters and is designed to be carried at all times. The SafeLink Solo does not require a subscription and, when activated, uses its 50-channel GPS to establish your position and communicates it to participating agencies through the satellite system. Westpac Marine Services, 800-343-5826; www.westpacmarine.com

Through the Looking Glass
Low-light night-vision technology has its advantages, particularly when conditions head south as night falls — the Titan series of night-vision binoculars (starting at $2,800) from OceanView can shoot through pilothouse glass. The user gets the functionality of a night-vision system in an easy-to-use handheld unit, seeing into the dark without installing a hard-wired, mounted camera or stepping out of the pilothouse door. The Titan lets the user look upon the 2.5-inch, low-temperature polysilicon, thin-film transistor LCD screen with both eyes, a view thought to reduce fatigue in difficult conditions. OceanView Technologies, 954-727-5139; www.nightboating.com

Single Focus
All the WatchMate 850 ($1,100) from Vesper Marine does is collision avoidance. This compact, standalone unit has full AIS functionality and gives all relevant data, including target position, speed and vessel name, facilitating communication. A five-inch, daylight-viewable grayscale LCD means that these targets and their information will not get lost on the main multifunction display. Button-driven menus make for simple control. The WatchMate 850 can be mounted flush or on a bracket and is waterproof to IPx7 standard. A USB port eases connection to an onboard computer. Vesper Marine, 858-405-5810; www.vespermarine.com

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