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Old 24-02-2012, 23:57   #1
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Best headset for sailing??

Been to all kinds of sailing forum sites and this one I keep coming back to- CruisersForum is by far the place I tend to get questions answered. I have been looking though for any information in regards to headsets- bluetooth, wireless, wifi, etc.... There are so many on the market and some of them now offer aspects of being rugged as well as can cancel out the wind from a conversation up to 22 knots. Any input is helpful, as always I can't wait to read what the experiences are.

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Old 25-02-2012, 01:21   #2
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Re: Best headset for sailing??

I have a feeling you might be talking about a cell phone or Skype headset? But in case you are looking for a "music" headset, I'm going to offer up this opinion anyway so other readers hear this for some thought as to what my two cents is about "headsets" on boats. What kind do I like? None! When you are on watch it's dangerous. And how about even down below when you are off watch and there's an emergency on deck? How are you going to hear anyone calling for help or calling all hands??
I don't mean to paint a dark picture but 'stuff' happens at the darnedest and least expected times at sea, and you don't have to be on a long passage in rough weather for stuff to go wrong. Here's a sad example I was personally involved with, and I wasn't even on a boat. I was in ham radio contact with a bunch of guys that stayed on the radio after one of the maritime mobile nets closed down and we were chatting with a guy and his wife who were aboard their sailboat as they motor-sailed from Baja across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan (in glassy seas and nearly a calm). His wife took their video camera (VHS tape back then) up on deck to video the beautiful sunset as night was setting in, and he stayed below at the nav station talking with us on the ham radio. His wife had a long power supply cord fastened onto the video camera. Fifteen or so minutes later when she didn't return he got off the radio and went up on deck...only to find the power cord was dangling over the side... She had somehow fallen overboard! He went into a panic and immediately turned the boat around on a reciprocal course. I will NEVER forget the sound of his voice when he came back on the radio. We called the Mexican Navy too and a massive search was undertaken...but sadly she was never found. The sound of the diesel, the distraction of the ham radio noise, and our conversations...he could not hear her calls for help, and in such calm conditions everyone let their guard down---including her, with no PFD, harness, or strobe. Sometimes it doesn't take much for a lot to quickly go very wrong. Now...if you need a blue tooth headset for your cell phone? I dunno...but I thought I'd throw that story out there anyway for anyone who thinks it's cool to groove with headphones, loud music, or distractions that isolate themselves from the boat, the real world, and the crew while offshore.

s/v "Bamboleo" - Freedom 32 (Hoyt)
Farrier Trimaran -- Morgan 41 Classic,
Rawson 30
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Old 25-02-2012, 01:35   #3
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Re: Best headset for sailing??

Thank you for your story- I can't imagine the emotions that must bring back.

I was actually thinking of a headset for phone calls/skype/having one ear listening to say a favorite podcast. There are some out on the market that do use both ears to work correctly but I doubt that will enter into this thread (they tend to cost 5 times as much and they have cords usually connecting them which means just one more thing to watch out for not snagging)

Thank you again
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Old 25-02-2012, 01:51   #4
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Re: Best headset for sailing??

There are a couple sport orientated earbuds with a mic on the cable as well. They work remarkably well.

iPhones have similar earbuds, I just leave one in my ear and can talk hands free without issue. I ended up cutting the other one as it would just get tangled with things.

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Old 27-02-2012, 06:25   #5
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Re: Best headset for sailing??

Originally Posted by Wireless1 View Post such calm conditions everyone let their guard down---including her, with no PFD, harness, or strobe.
Not to hijack the thread, but that's why the rule with my wife and I is no one is EVER on deck alone (unless we are anchored) without wearing a PFD and being harnessed to the boat. EVER!
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