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AIS WatchMate will let you know when you’re in line to hit another boat—leaving you free to keep an eye out for Jaws
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AIS WatchMate will let you know when you’re in line to hit another boat—leaving you free to keep an eye out for Jaws

In these crazy times when dolphins body-slam seafaring women and sharks land in fishermen’s laps, a nautical danger-spotting device is more than welcome. Although the Kiwi-designed AISWatchMate won’t alert you to leaping sea animals, it will let you know when you’re in line to hit another boat—leaving you free to keep an eye out for Jaws.

Utilising the Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification System (AIS), the WatchMate isn’t the first device to identify danger in fibreglass form, but it is the first to pare everything down: price, power usage, the need for an accompanying computer (there isn’t one) and the information you receive, so there’s nothing left for the weekend boatie to decipher.

“If you’re within 500 metres of hitting a boat, it will say ‘excuse me’ in the form of a really loud alarm,” says co-creator Graham Brewster, an industrial designer who has worked with successful New Zealand corporates such as Navman. “You’re immediately alerted with the closest point of approach and the time remaining until CPA.”

The CPA is how close a ship will come to your boat if you both maintain your course and speed, but you don’t need to know that either. All you do need to know is if you’re a boatie living in New Zealand or the US, you can now equip your vessel with an AISWatchMate. And get back to watching out for uninvited guests above deck.

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