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Old 11-09-2013, 13:02   #16
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Re: Why AIS?

On a solo cruise from the Virgin Islands back to Florida this summer, I didn't have it, and never really felt I wish I had it.

Good self steering - now that's another issue all together.
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Old 11-09-2013, 13:08   #17
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Re: Why AIS?

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Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
Living on the colder west coast where fog is a common problem I have been using radars since the 80s. I hvae avoided many in fog collisions over the years. I look at computer generated AIS but find it rather lacking in this area. The big vessels, mostly commercial, seem to have it, but the big number of smaller crafts which travel at higher speeds don't. I believe it is a good addition but we should be aware of how easily complacancy can set in with high tech equipment. Just because we don't see it on the screen doesn't mean it's not coming straight at you. I don't think I would consider it a replacement for radar and would choose radar first every time if there was only one choice. Buoys and other such devices are not sporting AIS, yet.
I have seen buoys showing AIS info. But of course that was in Ensenada in Mexico, just below San Diego, California...

Radar? different thing. Great for navigating in Dark or Fog, and around land or other things. I do not see how AIS and Radar would be anything but complementary...
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Old 11-09-2013, 13:33   #18
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Re: Why AIS?

Bob,

We just returned from sailing 4,000 miles up to Alaska and back this summer with a new AIS system (send and receive). It was my favorite piece of equipment and I endorse everything jeremiason just wrote.

For us I see it as a necessity because we spend a lot of time going offshore. Inshore, as previous posts mentioned, most boats will not have it meaning they will be invisible to your AIS system. However, the ones that do will allow your AIS to tell you instantly whether they are a collision threat or not. At night I found this removed a significant amount of stress when encountering another vessel.

It is also pretty cool to watch the progress of those with AIS ahead of you in an area of variable current and tide. When you see their SOG slow you know yours will as well.

Cheers.

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Old 11-09-2013, 13:49   #19
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Re: Why AIS?

Today we waited a little to let a large boat go through a narrow passage, radar would not pick him up as he was behind a mountain, AIS showed him to be there steaming to the pass at 21 knots so we gave him room.

Speed, direction and call sign all available.

We absolutely enjoy the benefits that it has, it cuts down on guessing intent of cargo vessels and negates the radio call to an unknown ship in such and such a position.

Two weeks ago we were anchored in a small bay on Milos, in the morning i turned it on and it showed a mates boat was in the next bay (on our buddy list) so that also was something radar etc just doesn't do.

Agree it's another tool to be used.

Cheers
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Old 11-09-2013, 14:10   #20
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Re: Why AIS?

Couple of comments regarding AIS and large ships:
  • Radar reflectors are not even close to a guarantee that a ship sees you.
  • AIS tells ship you are there, and what your heading/speed is.
  • AIS tells you who ship is (name and MMSI)
  • I have never gotten an answer from a ship when calling "ship at X location with Y heading". Haven't really tried that many times, but everytime time I did no answer.
I do not have AIS at this time, but its near the top of my wish list. I do have radar and don't see it filling many of AIS's features regarding not getting run over by a big ass ship.

As far as other small boats concerned, not much help, but if sailing with large ships around you, AIS seems like good tool to avoid getting run over.
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Old 11-09-2013, 14:15   #21
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Re: Why AIS?

I'm thinking that these are the early days of AIS, and the debate pro/con installing them harks back to that of VHF radio aboard ships/boats.

By govt. reg, the big boys were required to install VHF. Eventually, the size/weight/cost/power consumption of VHF dropped to the point that almost every boat has it. Most folk won't leave port without VHF capability. Heck, even many dinghies carry a handheld unit.

This process is now happening with AIS, but it will take time before full compliance is achieved and all the big boys - regardless of flag - will have AIS transponders.

And as with VHF, when it comes to AIS some cruisers will be early advocates and install full transponders, some only receivers, some will take a wait and see approach.

But my understanding is that the EU is moving towards requiring every vessel more than 15 metres LOA to have full AIS transponders - commercial OR pleasure - to operate in their waters. {That point may have already been reached.... don't know for sure.} One day down the line, it won't take much for some bureaucrat to justify his job by changing the 15 to a 10 metre LOA requirement.

Country by country, it'll reach the point where AIS is required aboard a vessel before it's allowed to be registered.

Pros vs cons for AIS? Debate away, but methinks it's more the coming thing, like requiring life jackets and flares.

For our vessel... I've recently installed a rcv only unit and have a separate transmitter still in the box. Once that's wired in, at least I'll be able to shut off transmit power when/if a situation seems dicey.

And that's MHO...
James
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Old 12-09-2013, 16:46   #22
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Re: Why AIS?

Just had some friends in Singapore respond that they had over 500 contacts on AIS around the harbor. The harbormaster apparently has mandated for all vessels that they need to have a transponder onboard when entering or exiting.

I saw a picture from the chartplotter with the AIS overlay; it was friggin insane.
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Old 12-09-2013, 18:04   #23
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Re: Why AIS?

If you ask, you may not need.

We have, and we love ours. We only have a receiver. I want a transceiver now.

b.
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Old 12-09-2013, 18:06   #24
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Re: Why AIS?

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Just had some friends in Singapore respond that they had over 500 contacts on AIS around the harbor. The harbormaster apparently has mandated for all vessels that they need to have a transponder onboard when entering or exiting.

I saw a picture from the chartplotter with the AIS overlay; it was friggin insane.
A situation which will maybe have big ship set technology using filters to remove contacts of no risk to them, either from size of vessel or type, thereby removing all of us little people with active transnponders from their display. you only need to look at how many owners are leaving their transmitters on24/7 even if they have flown home and their boat is parked in it's homemarina slip, just so they can look on line at home at AIS to see if their toy hasn't been stolen, or where it is if it has!!!

We non-commercial users need to have a responsible commonsense approach to this, turn off transmit unless at sea and in crowded waters where a mark 1 eyeball is all that is required anyway. Otherwise we will risk ourselves being filtered out when we really really wanted to be seen and we ourselves cannot see the wood for the trees...
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Old 12-09-2013, 19:09   #25
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Re: Why AIS?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I saw a picture from the chartplotter with the AIS overlay; it was friggin insane.
Yes a screen capture can look insane... but thats just a capture. When its on your own machine its not so daunting, you certainly dont need to filter, just zoom

Also in busy places you can cut the tracks recorded to a shorter time, have the projected course shortened etc.



It looks confusing. But this is a whole harbour of New York! You would be navigating much more zoomed in.

At least you can see everyone and where they are going or anchored.
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Old 12-09-2013, 19:18   #26
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pirate Re: Why AIS?

If your totally paranoid and obsessed with staring at screens spend the $$'s... otherwise do what us wrinklys do... look outside now n then...
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Old 12-09-2013, 20:58   #27
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Re: Why AIS?

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If your totally paranoid and obsessed with staring at screens spend the $$'s... otherwise do what us wrinklys do... look outside now n then...
10% in agreement, but information is power, so I like to have all that is available so I can interpret depending on the changing circumstances in that respect I see AIS as a very useful tool but in conjunction with not instead of using mark 1 eyeball or radar. I do not see AIS as a cheaper, or power saving, option to radar nor as a replacement for it, Radar 'sees' when I cannot and it can also see things not transmitting AIS data,
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Old 12-09-2013, 21:19   #28
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Re: Why AIS?

It isn't "either-or"...need we explain?
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Old 12-09-2013, 23:59   #29
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Smile Re: Why AIS?

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If your totally paranoid and obsessed with staring at screens spend the $$'s... otherwise do what us wrinklys do... look outside now n then...
totally agree have been out with people who stare at screens all day it gives me the willys you cant beat the no 1 eyeball.
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Old 13-09-2013, 00:03   #30
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Re: Why AIS?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Yes a screen capture can look insane... but thats just a capture. When its on your own machine its not so daunting, you certainly dont need to filter, just zoom

Also in busy places you can cut the tracks recorded to a shorter time, have the projected course shortened etc.



It looks confusing. But this is a whole harbour of New York! You would be navigating much more zoomed in.

At least you can see everyone and where they are going or anchored.
Ours doesn't show their track just their icon (and data if we want) makes for less screen congestion.
Interestingly you see the icon then locate by eyeball, most times the eyeball cannot see the target it being so far away, great tool if used properly.
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