Where Credit Is Due: March 2014
After reading the reviews on AIS systems (PS, October 2013), I decided on the Vesper Watchmate 850 (www.vespermarine.com). I ordered it in November. While waiting for delivery, the December issue of Practical Sailor had a review of the Vesper AIS-VHF-AM/FM splitter. I realized that this is just what I needed, and I ordered it, and a separate GPS antenna, directly from Vesper in New Zealand. It arrived in three days.
Unfortunately, I ordered the wrong GPS antenna as it had the wrong connector. I emailed Vesper, and I got an answer in 15 minutes. “Jeff” said that I needed to find a particular TNC connector. It arrived promptly. No charge.
I was very impressed with the efficacy of this company and the super-friendly and knowledgeable staff. Jeff was very helpful not just with my initial query, but with questions about the setup as well. He even sent me an email while sailing the Tasman sea during his vacation!
The unit works beautifully. I would recommend it to anyone interested in such an independent AIS system.
Graceful Exit, Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 No. 96