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Old 19-10-2015, 22:08   #1
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Not using your AIS

I've noted that some boaters don't always use their AIS when underway. So, why have it and not use it? Is it perceived as an invasion of privacy?

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Old 19-10-2015, 22:38   #2
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Re: Not using your AIS

Ais is good for congested waterways, overnighters, when short handed and at times of limited visibility. If its a nice day with clear air and not much traffic, there's not much more to see than your eyes will see anyway. Its smarter to save a few sparks in the battery than to simply run electronics for the sake of it.
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Old 19-10-2015, 22:44   #3
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Re: Not using your AIS

Spend my time in the "congested" waters of the San Francisco estuary.

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Old 20-10-2015, 00:57   #4
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Re: Not using your AIS

No idea why you would turn if off. Does not use that much power and yea we keep watch during the day but we also want to know how close that tanker that is 10nm away is going to come to us as well as that fishing boat in front of us and on and on. A big boat coming up behind you at 15-18k or a cruise ship at 25k coming up behind you while you are doing 6k overtakes you pretty fast and we want to know as early as possible to take evasive action.
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Old 20-10-2015, 02:48   #5
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Re: Not using your AIS

I completly agree with ozskipper. I can see another reason for temporarily disconnecting the ais and that is when working low signal radion communication. I’ve understood that even though very low power the ais can cause QRM interference which can make reception of low signal very difficult. Even more so with the radar. /Magnus
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Old 20-10-2015, 05:36   #6
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Re: Not using your AIS

My VHF gets its positional data from my AIS, but even without that, I'd leave it on.
Exception being if for some reason I need to be not seen.
I've noticed our local USCG Cutter won't have it on, next time we are both out, I think I'll ask on VHF why it isn't.
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Old 20-10-2015, 06:03   #7
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Re: Not using your AIS

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
My VHF gets its positional data from my AIS, but even without that, I'd leave it on.
Exception being if for some reason I need to be not seen.
I've noticed our local USCG Cutter won't have it on, next time we are both out, I think I'll ask on VHF why it isn't.
Military vessels typically do not use AIS. They have their own systems. USCG is military. They may opt to switch on their transponders when involved in search and rescue and keep them off at other times.
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Old 20-10-2015, 06:18   #8
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Re: Not using your AIS

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Ais is good for congested waterways, overnighters, when short handed and at times of limited visibility. If its a nice day with clear air and not much traffic, there's not much more to see than your eyes will see anyway. Its smarter to save a few sparks in the battery than to simply run electronics for the sake of it.
Strangely my experience is completely the opposite. I find my AIS completely useless in congested waters. Do you have any idea how many ferries in Sydney Harbour are going to collide with me when I leave my mooring? More significantly .. how many stationary berthed ships are on a collision course? :-)

On the other hand at sea when there is hardly any shipping it is invaluable because I can see bulkies 50 miles away. And they can see me. At night. With typical yacht utterly useless navigation lights. What's even more important I know their name and course and CPA and have on several occasions called up freighter captains to negotiate safe passing, given a yacht sailing solo often has limited course correction abilities.

Without AIS, VHF is virtually useless. Which is why the most dangerous creature at sea is undoubtedly the fishing boat. No AIS, night blind, no radio operator, on autopilot, can't maneuver, often don't show up on radar, and move unpredicably.
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Old 20-10-2015, 06:23   #9
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Re: Not using your AIS

I only occasionally turn my receiver on. I use it when I don't want to be surprised by shipping, off shore or in the dark. I don't have a transmitter, nor do I want one. For confined waters, you need to be watching where you're going, not farting around with electronics.


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Old 20-10-2015, 07:05   #10
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Re: Not using your AIS

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snip
I don't have a transmitter, nor do I want one. For confined waters, you need to be watching where you're going, not farting around with electronics.
snip
The reason to want one is because you want to be noticed by others (for your own safety) and there's nothing to fart around with... Just an on/off switch. If you're planning to operate in dangerous waters and want to be stealthy, there's another switch to disable transmit but still receive. That's about all the "farting around" you can do with AIS.

In limited visibility I want others to know I'm there, so faster/bigger and any other vessels can avoid me.


edit: And confined/congested waters is where you're most likely to have a collision, so yes there too.
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Old 20-10-2015, 07:16   #11
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Re: Not using your AIS

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Strangely my experience is completely the opposite. I find my AIS completely useless in congested waters. Do you have any idea how many ferries in Sydney Harbour are going to collide with me when I leave my mooring? More significantly .. how many stationary berthed ships are on a collision course? :-)

On the other hand at sea when there is hardly any shipping it is invaluable because I can see bulkies 50 miles away. And they can see me. At night. With typical yacht utterly useless navigation lights. What's even more important I know their name and course and CPA and have on several occasions called up freighter captains to negotiate safe passing, given a yacht sailing solo often has limited course correction abilities.

Without AIS, VHF is virtually useless. Which is why the most dangerous creature at sea is undoubtedly the fishing boat. No AIS, night blind, no radio operator, on autopilot, can't maneuver, often don't show up on radar, and move unpredicably.
I get what you are saying and I know Syd Hbr well too. By "congested waterways" I was referring to Traffic separation zones, south china sea, Straits of Malacca etc. Certainly not syd harbour as its all happening too fast and there is no time to keep ducking below to look at a screen. In fact, on a summer sunday, one barely has enough time to open the next beer- But we have crew for that thankfully. They are also known as AIS "Automated Intoxication Service"
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Old 20-10-2015, 07:30   #12
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Re: Not using your AIS

I guess it depends on your definition of confined waters.

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Old 20-10-2015, 07:41   #13
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Re: Not using your AIS

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Certainly not syd harbour as its all happening too fast and there is no time to keep ducking below to look at a screen.
I don't have to do that, my screen is in the cockpit Sunday on the Harbour? No WAY! I'm not competing with weekend warriors that regularly motor South of the nearby North Cardinal straight into Snapper Island Reef.
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Old 20-10-2015, 07:58   #14
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Re: Not using your AIS

We find it most valuable in congested waterways when we are crossing traffic separation zone and in harbors with multiple ferries. As for fishing boats we found some have them bur a lot do not.
And I am not paranoid so I do not care who sees me. The more the better. And please don't give me that pirate crap or big brother is watching. Big brother is watching if you are using AIS or not and makes it a bit better as being open with them they leave us alone. We have had patrol boats come up fast on us and then turn and slow down. They can see us on AIS and that is a good thing.
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Old 20-10-2015, 08:08   #15
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Re: Not using your AIS

Actually, there ARE reasons or times when you might not want to be seen, or at least not be identified! Not everywhere in the world is the same and not everyone behaves the same way. But, it's usually useful to see who else is about, and you are always at your leisure to just stop looking at the screen!

Even in crowded areas, you might want to call the other boat, even a ferry, and it's handy to know its name.
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