Weems & Plath has long set itself apart by constructing high-quality analog marine gear like brass clocks, barometers, and bells. And now the company seems to have hit a home run with connected devices, including the award-winning crew overboard beacon, CrewWatcher. The new device has already racked up international awards, including an innovation award at this year’s Miami Boat Show, where the awards committee praised its simplicity of use.
It is pretty simple: Pair the waterproof beacon (it looks like an orange key float) with the CrewWatcher app and then securely affix it to your PFD. One smart device—a phone or tablet—can watch up to five crewmembers at a time, as long as each has a beacon attached to a PFD (or, for those furry crewmembers, a collar). If the beacon goes overboard, its hydrostatic trigger will automatically sound an alarm. The alarm also sounds when the beacon is too far from its paired device. During an overboard event, the rescue screen on the app displays the target’s bearing, distance, and lat/long coordinates for locating and retrieving the package.
Of course, if you’re not wearing a lifejacket, it’s significantly less useful.