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Old 08-04-2011, 14:52   #1
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Cruising Solution Head Sets

I am look at the purchase of the headsets marketed by "Cruising Solutions". Can anyone comment on the quality and performance of these duplex headsets

Fletch
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Old 08-04-2011, 15:28   #2
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

Fletch--

We purchased a pair of these headsets in 2004 and have put them to very good use. They seem to be well built and work very well. We have used them when anchoring to ease cummunication between the bow and the helm and when we're maneuvering through a fog shrouded harbor or fairway with my (much) better half watching our radar at the nav table staying warm and dry below while I deal with the helm in the damp and drip. We have also used them during night watches. I wear a pair while sleeping below and my wife keeps hers at hand at the helm and, if need be or its my turn in the barrel, she can turn her transmitter on and yell for help (works better than a string tied to my finger!)

FWIW...
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Old 08-04-2011, 15:31   #3
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

They work quite well. Duplex is a very nice feature.

I do get some interference when the antenna comes near the headstay when hauling up anchor.
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Old 08-04-2011, 15:43   #4
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

I have used them, on a friend's boat. They were "OK', but not perfect because of wind noise. Better than screaming, no question, but to geeky.

Honestly, what works best is to have a brief conference in the cockpit to discuss the plan, and then simple hand signals. 50-ton crane lift, when the operator and ground crew are in sight, are done with universal signals; why should anchoring require more? Agree on the signals ahead of time; we use simple variations based upon these crane signals.
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Old 08-04-2011, 16:57   #5
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

I agree with thinwater. I've used them on friend's boats and spent more time worrying about dropping them in the water than anything else. There is no substitute I have found for good hand signals.
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:27   #6
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

Absolutely great. We do have a set of hand signals ready should the headsets fail, and they will from time to time, but we use them for anchoring all the time. The view from the bow is quite different than from the cockpit. Having the headsets allow us to discuss the options of where we want to anchor in addition to the routines of the actual anchoring. This also allows each of us to acknowledge what the other one has said, no need to turn around to check if they even are looking at you. Also, we sometimes use them when we are docking, nice to have when your head is on a swivel pulling into a slip in a tight fairway so you don't even have to look at your mate for signals. At this point I should point out that using the headsets will help you AVOID certain one finger "signals" when the visual communication begins to fail.

We also use them when there is work to be done up the mast. No more yelling over the wind or other noise, just talk in a normal voice. When you decide you need a tool that you forgot to bring up with you you can talk your mate through where to find it even if they are inside the boat.

Yeah you can work out a set of signals, that will fail you at the most inopportune time, or you can just put the headsets on and talk it through. There ARE couples who have the signal routine down to a "T" but you will find that one of life's great free entertainments is watching the ones that don't have that skill start yelling at each other as they are trying to work out the nights anchoring.

There is a reason they are nicknamed "the marriage savers".

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Old 08-04-2011, 17:57   #7
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

We have a set and really like them. Ours have foam muffs over the microphone to help cut down wind noise. Besides using them for anchoring and docking, they also come in handy when one person has to be below, say with a wrench on a nut, and other on deck with a screwdriver.

Rich
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Old 08-04-2011, 18:26   #8
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

We had these head sets, & upgraded them by bending the antennae down, & securing it to the headband on my wifes. (Who is at the wheel under the bimini). On mine, which I wore bending over at the bow while pulling in the anchor, I added a wrap around headband to keep it more secure.

They sometimes gave a loud "feedback noise" when I was next to the staysail stay, and just weren't working for us. We REALLY wanted to stop yelling over the wind and lower the drama. First, I finally installed a windlass! It was hard for a trimaran purist, but the time had come. Then we found some better, (MORE EXPENSIVE) intercoms. (Also duplex) They have a small light headphone/mike, a wire, and small belt clip radio.

They are Eartec TD 902 ... $283 in the Defender Industries catalog, for a pair. This includes a 110V wall charger, holsters, and soft case. The wall charger converts to 12V DC, so we plan to cut the wire off of the wall outlet boxs, and hook them up to the boat's 12V DC directly. You can also get Alkaline battery packs.

These are very nice radios. They only require that you deal with the wire. I have the radio on one side, and the headset wire runs across my back to the opposite side @ the headset. It is vastly superior to the old intercoms, if bending over or standing under a bimini are required! M.
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Old 08-04-2011, 18:30   #9
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Mental telepathy...

I've found that working on my mental telepathy skills helps greatly...
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:02   #10
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

So far, we've travelled from Miami to Australia and consider our headsets to be one of the best purchases we've made for our cruise. We use them not only for anchoring but also when someone is up on the mast for repairs or in a look-out situation...i.e. watching out for those "boomer" in the Marquesas and Tuamotos. We wouldn't be without them!
Peter and Margie Benziger
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:04   #11
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

They work great. Hand signals are nice when necessary, but I prefer talking to my wife.
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:05   #12
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

I add the Insatiable seal of approval for the concept of this sort of "walkie-talkies".

The "Intergalctic Communicators" that we use were sourced from a very reliable marine equipment house: Toys R Us ! Yep, 19.95 for a pair back about ten years ago. They are pretty micky mouse, use the abominable 9 volt alkaline batteries, and are a silly color, but they have provided needed communications for us.

In particular, working up the mast, standing on the spreaders conning the boat through coral areas, and picking up a mooring in the dark are places where they have been valuable to us.

I bet that the newer ones are even better, and would love to have such... keep meaning to do that!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiabe II lying Morning Cove, NSW, Oz
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:34   #13
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

I'll add my voice to the chorus of support for these headsets. You get what you pay for which includes a lot of feedback/interference at times. But they are great for docking or anchoring and they are likely the best value per $$ spent that we have received from any boat item. Hand signals might work if the plan never changed but they would at best be a poor substitute for headsets.
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Old 08-04-2011, 21:38   #14
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

Oh, I forgot about hand signals!

On I-two we normally use hand signals for anchoring drills, but, ya know what? They don't work well at night! Nor do they work well for picking up a mooring at night: one hand for the torch, one for the boat hook, one to hold on to the bow pulpit if there is a sea running, one to do signals with... if the signals could be seen in the dark. You get the picture... love the communicators!

Jim
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Old 22-06-2013, 12:08   #15
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Re: Cruising Solution Head Sets

Our Chinese friends have improved their motorbike intercom design. Have a look at the latest version!
- range up to 700m - can be used on land for dinghy rides, shopping, bicycling etc.
- full duplex & voice activated
- up to 6 devices
- you can stream music and link to your mobile to make calls (while the mobile is safely stored on the nav table - connected to gsm amp)
- mini USB charging - easy to set up a charge station.
- waterproof!

Price is competitive.
All you need it to change the headphone style (the one that fix behind the ear) and make a belt clip.
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