smartAIS® Advantage - Proactive Alarms

Exclusive Vesper Marine Benefits

WiFI anywhere on board

Securely connect up to 5 mobile devices or unlimited devices using a WiFI router

NMEA 2000 Gateway

Translates NMEA 2000 navigation data and routes it over WiFi, USB or NMEA 0183

High Resolution GPS

Fast 5Hz GPS update rate for higher resolution and smoother tracking

WatchMate App

Monitor navigation data, AIS and GPS, manage alarms from your mobile device

Upgradable AIS platform

Get the latest smartAIS features with firmware updates using your smartphone or tablet

Low Power Consumption

Keeps it always on, always visible, always watching

Galvanic isolated USB ports

Protect your transponder and connected equipment (laptops) from high current.

Fully Waterproof IPx7

Can be safely mounted anywhere

Easy To Integrate

Always Alerting

XB-8000 consumes very low power which makes it most effective when power is limited in resource or needs to be conserved.

While cruising, the XB-8000 sounds the alarm in case of a potential collision or a man overboard situation, even when all other equipment like MFDs or mobile devices are switched off. While at anchor, you can sleep soundly knowing fully well that the smartAIS transponder watches out for anchor drag or man overboard situations and sounds the alarm without needing any other equipment.

Universal Compatibility

Vesper Marine is compatible with all the leading brands of marine equipment and MFDs including Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno, Simrad and many more.

Mobile applications

Vesper Marine's transponders are also compatible with a wide variety of mobile, and tablet applications.

Learn More

Award Winning Performance

"The best black box a boater can buy"

The Teak Rail

"Revolutionizing offshore sailing"

Practical Sailor

External Alarm and Switch

WatchMate XB-8000 is often mounted in a low profile location behind an instrument panel, but its powerful external alarm and switch can be mounted anywhere on board at a convenient location where you can access it. If the XB-8000 detects a risk situation due to a potential collision, anchor drag or an MOB activation, it sounds the external alarm which operates even if your plotter, MFD or mobile device is turned off. more

WatchMate XB-8000 is the world's only black box transponder with built-in smartAIS alarms. Get alerted with the external audible alarm included with the XB-8000 that sounds if it detects a risk in case of potential collisions, dragging anchor or man overboard situations. The alarm sounds even if your MFD or mobile device is switched off.

Complete Class B AIS Transponder

WatchMate XB-8000 is a Class B AIS transponder with a two channel parallel receiver and transmitter. It transmits your vessel position and details and receives the same kind of information from other vessels with AIS transponders.

The AIS data is sent every few seconds and includes information such as course, speed, latitude, longitude, and heading. Static information about the vessel is sent every few minutes and includes the name, type of vessel, length, beam, draft, etc.

smartAIS features

Unlike normal AIS which send and receive AIS data, WatchMate XB-8000 has smartAIS which is an active system with smart alarm logic that alerts you rapidly to potential dangers.

smartAIS includes these three powerful features:

  • Safety Underway. This alerts you when smartAIS detects a potential collision.
  • Safety at Anchor. If your anchor drags, smartAIS will let you know immediately.
  • Safety for your Crew. If someone falls overboard, smartAIS not only alerts you, it also provides their location so you can pick them up quickly.

It means you can focus on enjoying your time on the water, knowing smartAIS is always keeping watch in the background and is ready to alert you the moment it detects an unwanted event.

Safety Underway – Collision Avoidance

WatchMate XB-8000 proactively alerts you when you have potential collision situations.

It combines GPS data such as position, course and speed along with AIS data and smart alert logic to continually determine safety implications and alert you. It computes the closest point of approach and time until the closest point of approach and triggers alarms to warn you of vessels posing a threat.

CPA Alarm

smartAIS computes the closest point of approach and time until CPA. A CPA alarm is triggered if a vessel will come too close in terms of CPA and the alarm is prioritised by TCPA.

Alarm Prioritization

Alarms are presented in priority order of collision risk.

Bearing and Range

Computes the bearing and range to each vessel. Bearing can be displayed in magnetic to facilitate easy visual identification using your compass and binoculars. Bearings can alternatively be displayed in true degrees.

Guard Alarm

Sounds alarm if any vessel comes within the specified range. Both CPA alarms and guard alarms may be used together.

Alarm Profiles.

Choose from multiple profiles according to the current situation (Offshore, Coastal, Harbor or Anchored) and the profile defines the distance notifications for alarms.

Safety at Anchor – Anchor Watch

Every boater knows that being at anchor is no guarantee of total safety. In particular, anchors can drag without those on board being aware. Thanks to Anchor Watch, however, you can be safer and sleep well at night. That’s because Anchor Watch sounds the alarm if you drift outside a zone defined around your anchor position. Activate the anchor watch when you drop the anchor using either a wired switch or your smartphone or smartwatch remotely from the windlass or anywhere on-board.

Move Anchor Position

If your Anchor position needs fine-tuning after you have marked it, you can do that with the Move Anchor Position.


XB-8000 plots your position in relation to the anchor and marks your positions over time for easy visual identification if you are dragging.

Safety for your Crew: Man Overboard (MOB) alarm

WatchMate XB-8000’s Man Overboard (MOB) alarm sounds the alarm you the instant somebody goes over the side and activates his AIS MOB device. The Alarm clearly identifies the MOB on the display screen and gives you the location, bearing and range of the person for quick retrieval. It also provides continuous updates of position, bearing and range.

WiFi connectivity anywhere on board

WatchMate XB-8000 has built-in Wi-Fi. You can securely connect up to 5 other devices simultaneously. You can have a wireless connection to your laptop, smartphone and tablet.

AIS data, GPS and Navigation instrument data over WiFi

Besides AIS data, GPS and NMEA instrument data can be shared with all your mobile devices and laptops. This is exclusive to Vesper Marine smartAIS transponders. Manage your vessel’s navigation, set and monitor alarms or take decisive action from anywhere on-board using your mobile device.

Connect Wirelessly to Other Devices Using WiFi 802.11 b/g

WatchMate XB-8000 provides dual WiFi configuration as either a secure Access Point supporting up to five other devices simultaneously or connected to an existing router providing WiFi expansion capability to unlimited devices.

Certified NMEA 2000 Gateway

Translates NMEA 2000 instrument data (heading, wind, depth, speed, log, temperature) and routes to mobile devices over WiFi, USB or NMEA 0183 for supporting plotters

Over WiFi, USB

All NMEA 2000 navigation data is combined with GPS and AIS data and sent simultaneously to up to five WiFi devices (tablets, smart phones, computers) as well as computers via USB. Display and use this data in your navigation applications such as NavPlay, iNavX or SEAiq on an iPad. Or use Android apps and Windows or Mac navigation software.

To NMEA 0183 instruments

Integrate chart plotters, MFDs and radars using NMEA 0183 to your NMEA2000 navigation network using WatchMate XB-8000.

High resolution GPS

WatchMate XB-8000 is equipped with a fast 5Hz GPS navigation and update rate. This provides greater detail and higher resolution plotting. Displays GPS satellite status and navigation data such as your position, course and speed viewed from the My Vessel screen.

GPS source for navigation network

Use it as a source of GPS data on a NMEA 2000 network which means you do not need an additional GPS antenna. View GPS data on your plotter or MFD, with higher resolution and smoother tracks even during high speed maneuvers.

External GPS Antenna

An external GPS antenna connection is provided with the WatchMate XB-8000.

WatchMate App

Monitor your WatchMate XB-8000 on a tablet or smartphone using the free Vesper Marine WatchMate App. View and update your vessel information, monitor AIS data, navigation information and GPS status from anywhere on board. Be alerted of potential risk situations to take decisive action. More than a simple mobile AIS viewer, you can also remotely control alerts, alarms and transponder settings.

AIS-equipped vessels can be viewed on an easy to use radar plotting screen.

Instant Target Acquisition

The WatchMate App is the only mobile app with instant identification of other vessels. All other apps and MFDs take time for AIS targets to appear, but the WatchMate app takes advantage of unique NMEA gateway capabilities of your WatchMate XB-8000, so it displays all received vessel information the instant you start the app.

Alarm Setting

Activate the Anchor Watch on your WatchMate XB-8000 from anywhere on your boat. Monitor your position relative to the anchor location on your Apple or Android phone or tablet and receive alarms wherever you are on board.

Third-party apps

In addition, the WatchMate XB-8000 is supported by a growing set of third-party mobile apps and we often post reviews of iOS and Android apps for compatibility and features. Interact with applications such as NavPlay, iNavX, SEAiq and iRegatta on iPad, WatchMate, droidAIS, Sailtracker and iRegatta on Android tablets or your favorite navigation software on computer (Windows or Mac). Learn more about third party apps

Firmware Updates

When you buy a WatchMate XB-8000, you get not just a product, but an extendable AIS platform.

WatchMate XB-8000 has an upgradeable AIS platform, designed to be compatible with a continuous stream of feature updates. You can automatically update your WatchMate XB-8000 with the latest firmware using your smartphone or tablet and the WatchMate App. Or online at

Some of the innovative features of WatchMate XB-8000 include:

  • It incorporates Vesper Marine’s new multiprocessor architecture for fast performance and includes dedicated AIS processors ensuring reliable, instant AIS data acquisition.
  • Easy installation: Just plug in a VHF antenna and connect to 12-24 VDC. WatchMate XB-8000’s low power consumption that keeps it always on, always visible, always watching.
  • The WatchMate XB-8000 is water proof (IPx7) so it can safely be mounted most anywhere.
  • Galvanically isolated USB port ensures the transponder and any connected equipment (e.g. laptops) are always protected against damage and can be used at any time.

What's In The Box

  • GPS antenna with 10m (33') cable
  • External Alarm and Switch
  • Installation Guide
  • 2m (6.5') Power/data cable
  • 1m (3') USB cable
Size 200mm wide x 130mm high x 60mm depth (7 7/8" x 5 1/8" x 2 3/8")
Environmental Waterproof (IP67: submersible to 1m for 30 mins)
Operating temperature -25°C to +55°C (-13°F to 131°F)
Power supply 10-32 VDC, 4W nominal
Number of receivers 2 AIS, 1 DSC (timeshared)
Receive sensitivity -113 dBm (<20% PER)
Number of transmitters 1 AIS
Transmit power output 33 dBm (2W)
GPS 50 channel (external antenna included) with WAAS and EGNOS
GPS navigation rateSelectable 1Hz or 5Hz with magnetic variation included in output
GPS sensitivity-159dBm tracking & navigation
-142dBm acquisition (cold start)
GPS accuracyPosition 2.5m CEP, SBAS 2.0m CEP
VHF antenna required 50 ohm, max 2:1 VSWR @ 162MHz, PL259 connector
Serial data 1 fully isolated USB port (mini), 1 isolated NMEA 0183 input (RS422 4800/38400 baud) 1 NMEA 0183 output (RS422 4800/38400 baud)
Connectivity NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183, USB, Wireless 802.11 b/g

All input NMEA 0183 sentences are repeated to the NMEA 0183 output, USB and WiFi. Selected NMEA 2000 PGN's (heading, wind, depth, speed, temperature, and log) are translated to NMEA 0183 sentences and repeated to the NMEA 0183 output, USB and WiFi. This allows a wide variety of NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 instruments to be interfaced and output to all other connected devices.
NMEA 2000NMEA 2000 certified. LEN 2. Micro-C male connector. Female drop cable required (not included). Compatible with all NMEA 2000 certified Raymarine SeaTalk NG devices (DeviceNet cable required), Garmin, Furuno, SimNet (NMEA 2000 adapter cable required, Navico part 24006199 or 24006413), and other NMEA 2000 certified products.
Wireless Access Point for up to 5 devices or client of existing router
Wireless Security WPA / WPA2 Personal (PSK)
ProtocolsIEC 61162-1, NMEA 0183, NMEA 0183 HS
StandardsIEC 62287, IEC 60945, IEC 61108, IEC 61162, ITU-R M.1371, ITU-R M.825, ITU-R M.1084
ApprovalsBSH, BABT, CE, US Coast Guard, US FCC, Industry Canada
WarrantyTwo year world-wide warranty
Supplied With• 2m Power/Data cable
• External GPS antenna
Optional• SP160 VHF/AIS Antenna Splitter
• Waterproof USB cable


Specifications may change due to product improvements and different product release versions.

Includes Vesper Marine's patented AIS technology. For more information about our international patents, contact us.

  XB-8000 Transponder Garmin AIS 600 Raymarine AIS 650 Simrad NAIS 500 Amec 108W em-trak B100
Collision Avoidance - Determines crossing situations by CPA and TCPA and triggers alarms with prioritization Yes No No No No No
Anchor Watch - Triggers an alarm if your anchor is dragging Yes No No No No No
Safety of Crew - Triggers an alarm if a crew member falls overboard (works with any manufacturer MOB) and provides position information with updates for quick retrieval Yes No No No No No
Alarm Management - Dedicated built-in alarms, do not need any other equipment to trigger alarms Yes No No No No No
Built-in WiFi – Access anywhere on board. Monitor and control your AIS transponder at all times from your smartphone or tablet Yes
AIS, GPS and navigation sensor data
No No No Yes
Limited to AIS data
NMEA 2000 Gateway - Translates NMEA 2000 navigation data and routes it over WiFi to smartphones and tablets, USB to computers or NMEA 2000 or 0183 to radar, chartplotters and other navigation equipment Yes No No No No No
Higher resolution GPS – Fast 5HZ update rate for smoother GPS tracking. Yes Slower 1HZ update rate Slower 1HZ update rate Slower 1HZ update rate Slower 1HZ update rate Slower 1HZ update rate
GPS source for the entire navigation network Yes No No No No No
Upgradable AIS platform – Automatic firmware updates from your smartphone or tablet Yes No No No No No
Low power consumption 3.5W <20W 3W <3W 3W 2.5W
External GPS antenna included Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Galvanic isolated USB ports - Protect your transponder and connected equipment (laptops) from high current. Yes No No No No No
Fully waterproof IPx7 rating - Can be mounted anywhere Yes Yes No
Only IPx2
Yes No
Only IPx2
Only IPx2

Please Note: This information has been gathered from public sources. To the best of Vesper Marine’s knowledge it was correct at the time of publication (May 2017). We want to keep this up-to-date, so if you see anything missing or incorrect, please let us know so we can update this information.