When you're on a pile of fish, it's fun to share them with a fishing buddy, unless you have to do it over open VHF channels, where other anglers can hear you. But since the introduction of digital selective calling (DSC), the technology exists to transmit position data to, or receive it from, other DSC-equipped boats. So you can call your buddy using your VHF radio with DSC and instantly see his lat/lon numbers on your chartplotter and radio. And because your conversation is private when using a DSC radio, you can talk about where the fish are biting. Standard Horizon takes this technology a step further by working with C-Map to develop the software that allows your buddy to appear as a charted position on your plotter's display.
To test this Position Polling System, I hooked up Standard Horizon's CP160 chartplotter-running C-Map/NT plus cartography-to its Spectrum Plus DSC VHF radio by connecting three wires (clearly spelled out in the radio's manual). Then I called my friend Mark with a position request. Sure enough, there on the screen was a little box showing me exactly where he had found some stripers. Ten minutes later, I was on them, too, and we had the school to ourselves.
Standard Horizon's CP150, 150C, and 170C chartplotters can also be used, as can the company's Intrepid Plus DSC VHF radio. Price: CP160, $599; Spectrum Plus, $299.
Contact Standard Horizon at 714/827-7600, www.standardhorizon.com.