Every once in a while we spotlight what we call “sailing gizmos” for lack of a better name – innovative interesting little ideas that make our sailing world a little bit better. Today we check out CrewWatcher, a pocket sized alert system that keeps track of the crew and sends out a signal should someone fall overboard.
Technology in the sailing universe is a peculiar kind of friend. On the one hand sailing is a great place to unplug and be away from the technology-related inundation we often feel on land and, on a practical level, it can also give us a false sense of security, which is why wise old Captains are always beating the drum for the use of paper charts in coordination with GPS units, as an example. But there is no disputing how much technological advancement has brought to the table. GPS, EPIRBS, knot-meters, anemometers, autopilots… the list goes on and on. There’s no argument that advanced electronic components are part of nearly everyone’s recreational sailing universe. So, if you’re one of the majority of folks that is on board with all the electronic goodies and are always looking for safety-related solutions, you’ll probably love CrewWatcher.
This little device is only a few inches in length and is designed to fit in a variety of different places. It has what they call a “universal mounting hole” that allows for attachment to a PFD, clothing or even a dog collar. The idea is that the skipper has a corresponding app with all of the devices registered – if someone were to fall overboard, an alarm will sound within three seconds then display where the MOB was located and give constantly updating rescue heading details. It will only activate when the little unit becomes submerged or falls out of range and knows not to sound it’s in the rain or been hit by an on-deck wave. It has a three-year battery life and doesn’t require cell service.
CrewWatcher has won a number of different awards for its innovative design and is endorsed by Yachting World magazine and the Royal Dutch Coast Guard who reportedly gave it a thorough testing in real life circumstances. The units cost about $90. To learn more go to crewwatcher.com.