The Beauty of Wireless Headsets

Eartec UltraLITE Headsets

In the past, I’ve never been a big fan of headsets. Easy Goin’ is only 40-feet LOA, but we do have some communication issues when docking and anchoring, which also create safety concerns. We’ve always gone with the old-school way, using the spoken word and hand signals, via a chat onboard well in advance, followed by some quiet (or not so quiet) words and hand signals (sometime jesters) during the event. We all know how well sound travels across the water and you know you can be heard.

Eartec UltraLITE Headsets

Thanks to a discussion with Scott Feeley, Eartec representative, and last year’s three-and-a-half-month cruise of the British Columbian coast, my opinion of headsets has undergone a radical change. We purchased a set, which included batteries, battery charger and carrying case and then put them to the test. They facilitated a level of safety, calm and quiet that was flat-out amazing, with no hand signals.

Early in the trip, while docking at Kanaka Wharf in Ganges on Saltspring Island one morning, Arlene and I were able to communicate at such a low-decibel level, thanks to five push-button volume settings, that other boaters nearby didn’t seem to even notice our arrival. And because the ergonomically designed headsets are wireless, full-duplex (providing hand-free operation) and contain a rechargeable lithium battery for six hours of continuous use on a full charge, no cords or battery packs, or other entanglements to deal with made for easy and reliable operations.

Later in the trip we found the headsets handy in crowded anchorages and picking up a mooring buoy in windy conditions, for a calm and quiet experience. Not to mention the reduced stress level for the crew.

Eartec UltraLITE Headsets

Another reason why we are sold on this stout but light weight (2.5 oz) single earcup headset is the mic boom swivels 270-degree to accommodate wearing on the chosen ear. The single ear cup also allows the user to hear what else is going on in the area, maintaining complete situational awareness. The mic is muted when it’s raised, for speaking with an individual nearby.

Besides the ease of operation, improved communications, added safety and reduced stress level when docking and anchoring, the headsets also came in handy when setting and retrieving shrimp pots and crab traps. When setting and recovering shrimp pots we like to hold the boat over the desired location, usually in 250 to 350-feet of depth, and not drift off the spot thereby keeping the pot directly below the boat. Arlene is at the helm and I’m on the aft deck operating the pot puller out of her sight and with the sound of the motors idling it is hard to communicate. With the headsets we can effortlessly communicate, making pulling the traps and pots without yelling.

We found the Eartec UltraLITE headsets to be well designed and manufactured and the added ease of communications and safety made our purchase well worth it. (Eartec UltraLITE, $335 per set, eartec. com).