The short-range Bluetooth wireless standard, commonly used for cellphone headsets, is now usefully making its way onto boats. So while Cobra’s new MR F300 BT may look quite like a VHF speaker mic, in fact it’s designed for making cell calls possible in a noisy and potentially wet environment. It has noise-cancelling technology on both the receive and transmit sides, and that “push-to-talk” button is actually a reverse mute control so your callers don’t have to listen to your engines while they’re talking. The 4.5-inch-tall MR F300 has a bright, legible display and one-button access to both a 50-number received-call log and an equal-size phone book; thus your real, not-waterproof cell can live in a safe spot, possibly hooked to an amplifier and charger. The $190 handset also has a hands-free speakerphone mode for quiet times, and it comes with a waterproof connector so it can be wired to your boat’s power—no batteries to charge—and optionally to its stereo. Cobra offers extra connector kits so that this innovative device can be switched to other cell-challenging vehicles like convertible sports cars.
This article originally appeared in the November 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.