When does an everyday Bluetooth cellphone headset become a desirable boating accessory? When a pair of them can also provide a captain and mate hands-free intercom capabilities up to 300 feet apart. The powerful transceivers in Callpod’s $100 Dragon V2 headsets are also purported to double or triple the 30-foot performance of a typical Bluetooth cell, which may mean you can leave yours in a safe spot while roving your yacht. Dragons boast noise suppression and enough lithium ion battery power to talk for eight hours. Moreover, the little (1.25-inch diameter, plus ear hook) headsets can simultaneously pair with two devices, letting you switch between your phone and perhaps a PC running Skype or a charting program with verbal alarms. I’m sure I’m not the only boater anxious to see how well Dragons work around the physical and electrical complexity of a yacht, and if the results are positive, we may see megayachts adopting Callpod’s $5,000 Phoenix system, which can network five of them together for, say, complex docking maneuvers. I hope to test all three of the Bluetooth products described this month, and I will post results at my blog (www.powerandmotoryacht.com).
This article originally appeared in the November 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.