Wednesday, December 09, 2009

An OnStar-like option for boaters



Three years ago we told you about a nautical product on the market that had similar features to what you see advertised for cars in OnStar. A vessel assist device that always knows where you are, even when you don’t, and can call for help.

Now imagine such a marine device working in partnership with the equivalent of the Automobile Association of America of boating, BoatU.S. Of course BoatU.S. is much more than that, but they do claim that their towing fleet offers North American boaters the largest network of U.S., Canadian and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels - three times that of any other service provider – a similar advantage to AAA’s dominance on land.

With a new Spot unit combined with a BoatU.S. membership, boaters can now call for help with the touch of a button, even when cell phones and VHF won’t work, as the Spot Assist message is sent via communications satellites. And, like EPIRB, your location is determined by GPS satellites and sent with your help message.

BoatU.S. recommends that offshore boaters still carry an EPIRB, and that all boaters continue to carry a VHF radio. But at an annual price that is less than the cost of a tank of fuel for most boats, adding Spot Assist to your BoatU.S. membership is an inexpensive way to have additional peace of mind on your next family boating trip.

Learn more at BoatU.S. or Spot's website.

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