Then we built the dodger. The dodger still holds the #1 spot on the most rewarding project list, but it does have one distinct disadvantage - it's hard to see around when you're anchoring or docking. About this time I read a review on the Simultalk 24g headsets. The review was very positive (almost to the point of gushing) and addressed two of the issues I had with the Mariner 500 headsets - price, and the tendency for them to get knocked off into the water. Amazon had the Simultalks at a really good price so I took the plunge and bought them.
We used the Simultalk this weekend for the first time and I have to say that I considered changing my rating system on this blog just so I could give this more than 5 stars. After using them several times this weekend here are my observations:
** We tested the range on the docks and were able to go several hundred yards down the dock before losing communications. This is much more than they had advertised. We got about a hundred yards with me inside the boat and Tim on the dock. With me outside the boat and Tim walking we got at least 200 yards and maybe 3. Kintala is 42 feet so this is excellent for us.
** We tested in 25 knot winds on the nose and the wind protectors on the microphones worked flawlessly.
** Communication is clear and full duplex so one person is not "stepping on" the other person's
communication, an extremely annoying feature of many headset pairs.
** We were able to use normal speaking voices and could hear each other clearly.
** We used them all weekend and they are still nearly fully charged.
Our experience with these headsets anchoring was a calm, quiet, controlled maneuver. The person on the bow was able to perform to full potential because smaller adjustments could be made in position rather than the ones that hand signals produce. At the helm, I was able to receive instructions such as "come about 5 degrees to port" or bump it into gear for just a second and then back to neutral."
The Simultalk 24g will be moving up quickly to the top of our Most Valuable Equipment list.