August 14, 2012
By Blair Wickstrom
When it comes to nighttime swordfishing, knowing who your neighbor is far more important than you think. At night, nothing looks the same as it does during the day, especially when it comes to determining the size, speed and direction of another vessel. A 500-ton vessel doesn't appear all that different than a 10- ton vessel. The importance is just as big as the difference in the size--the larger the vessel, the less likely they are to be able to adjust their heading because of you.
In short, you need to adjust yours.
Recently, Jeff Robbins, of Vesper Marine, stopped by our office to show us their new product, the WatchMate Vision. The WatchMate is basically your eyes, watching for ship traffic, while you're fishing or on-the-hook sleeping. The display performs one function, detection of ship traffic or boat movement. It's simple, but important. GPS units continue to add functionality to their units, sometimes distracting boaters, such as the captain and crew watching full length movies.
The WatchMate Vision includes a built-in Class B transponder incorporating a GPS antenna; it works off of receiving and transmitting AIS data. It can connect with your iPad via a wireless network and can be networked with your VHF radio. It displays GPS status, position, course and speed, and is the perfect device for alerting you if your anchor position has changed. With the lowest power consumption of most any display transponders, you'll be comfortable with running it any time your on your boat.
You can check out more information on the unit at www.vespermarine.com.