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Old 29-08-2013, 08:38   #16
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

I really can't agree with you on this.

- AIS is not a panacea. By the numbers, most vessels don't transmit. Hell, most boats don't even receive. It's getting better but it will never happen that all vessels, or even all vessels that should, are broadcasting.

- I leave the transponder on a lot because I want my friends to find me and know where I am if they're sailing by (it happens). The idea of some Mexican panga thugs (with an AIS receiver) targeting my vessel for nefarious purposes is complete fiction, and not even good fiction.

- If you're sailing in the Gulf of Aden, turn off your transponder.


I don't know what you were expecting from AIS, but you're the first person I've ever even heard of that didn't say it's a very helpful technology with a bright future.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:44   #17
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

On a night with reduced visibility in a high traffic area, would you rather not know about a lot of the vessels scooting around? AIS essentially gives you quality details about more, but not all, vessels.

Why would anyone not want more information, basically for free and with no operator intervention, including passive collision warning alarms?

If you don't want to transmit, just keep your receiver on and get info. If you're weirded out about ships knowing where you're going, don't transmit or just leave the transmitter on during passages and reduced visibility.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:50   #18
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I don't know what you were expecting from AIS, but you're the first person I've ever even heard of that didn't say it's a very helpful technology with a bright future.
An issue I didn't bring up on my initial post, which I'll bring up now, is a concern for how many cruisers I've spoken with recently who now have an over confidence in their AIS system and have chosen to get rid of radar or to not have it installed on a new boat.... preferring instead to rely exclusively on AIS without seeing the possible problems, like seeing other vessels who aren't transmitting.

I agree with you, AIS is a very helpful technology.... But for now, I'll choose to only receive rather than to transmit.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:57   #19
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
You sound paranoid
You sound naive.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:58   #20
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Paul,a radar detector can be purchased for $40. Do these pick up marine radar?,and what kind of range?Seems like a cheap low draw backup.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:18   #21
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
An issue I didn't bring up on my initial post, which I'll bring up now, is a concern for how many cruisers I've spoken with recently who now have an over confidence in their AIS system and have chosen to get rid of radar or to not have it installed on a new boat.... preferring instead to rely exclusively on AIS without seeing the possible problems, like seeing other vessels who aren't transmitting.
While I don't share previous concerns about advertising one's presence to the boogeyman, I agree that AIS is a poor substitute for radar. Unfortunately, radar takes skill to use, and AIS is as easy to use as turning on a switch, so we'll see a lot more cruisers opting for AIS without radar.

The day is coming when boat dealers will advertise two-button boats. You push one to make sure ships don't run you down, and you push the other to beg for a rescue if at any point you feel icky out there.

We should keep in mind that the original post is a review of the AIS system by someone who never installed an AIS transponder, and is therefore being creeped out by what he imagines could happen in worse-case scenarios, rather than by what actually happens with AIS in the real world.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:20   #22
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
An issue I didn't bring up on my initial post, which I'll bring up now, is a concern for how many cruisers I've spoken with recently who now have an over confidence in their AIS system and have chosen to get rid of radar or to not have it installed on a new boat.... preferring instead to rely exclusively on AIS without seeing the possible problems, like seeing other vessels who aren't transmitting.

I agree with you, AIS is a very helpful technology.... But for now, I'll choose to only receive rather than to transmit.
That's fair, and I'm glad you'll keep the receiver on and use it in the context of getting more, but not all, info on vessels around. It's troubling to imagine other sailors not doing the same. It makes sense though: people more and more want to remove the skills and interpretation aspects of navigating and think it's a video game.

I put a transmitter onboard, especially because I could do it rather cheaply on sale, because I wanted to be "part of the solution" and add one more vessel transmitting and receiving which I believe ultimately adds more safety and strengthens the AIS network.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:20   #23
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Lets separate the collision and privacy issues.

As far as anti-collision, the OP should get a transceiver. That way he is providing the best possible information to other vessels (who are AIS equipped). HE can help all the rest of us see him if he does that. When they are 'give way' they will know exactly what they have to do, and if you have a radio conversation with them about how to pass they will know who you are and what your course heading and CPA are. Not only will your getting a transceiver help me avoid you, but it can also help you because other vessels will know your information. Pre-AIS I remember having a VHF conversation with a navy vessel in the approaches to the Chesapeake bay about how we were going to pass each other, only to discover a while later that I was not the sailboat he meant to talk to but since he did not have any names on his radar screen he did not know that.

The privacy issue is more difficult. For starters, as discussed in another thread - I turn my AIS off (or into silent mode) when in harbor, and believe others should also do this. If you do that, then the discussion is only about your sailing track data. Not only are you telling other vessel where you are when sailing, but there are websites that are collecting and storing your track. As has been mentioned, your cell phone is providing track data to the phone company and the police can get that data, but that is a very different level of disclosure to the very public AIS public track data that anyone can look at. How much of a "problem" this actually is I don't know. Obviously you would not want to be transmitting AIS thru the western Indian ocean, but otherwise I doubt thugs/thieves go looking for a specific vessel - they just go down to the harbor and try to rob anyone who happens to be there. Obviously if you are coming back to the USA from Cuba, or doing something else against the law, you might want to turn your AIS to silent mode. And if you like to tell tall tales in the YC bar about where you cruised, you should be aware that they can check your story if they cared to.

Privacy is an important and difficult topic these days. There is extensive technical discussion about collision systems for automobiles that could similarly be publically trackable.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:25   #24
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Flipping the AIS transponder off is just that: a flip of a switch. Not a big deal and most people do it to save power anyway (when anchored, moored, etc).
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:41   #25
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
"nearly 50% unreliable in detecting other vessels who choose not to transmit a signal." Kenomac


This is what happens when I don't wear my reading glasses and decide to edit a previously coherent sentence. Should have read "detecting other vessels (period)." Oops.
But how do you know it is not detecting vessels that are transmitting, when it is not detecting them?

I spend two weeks in Zeeland this summer. Spent quite some time observing traffic on the (very busy) approaches to the Delta Ports (but from land, using Vesseltracker on my iPad). I noticed that basically every ship that looked like it was big enough to be obligated to carry AIS was indeed transmitting. And correctly so, with even a destination port that made sense (although often misspelled...). All pilots and tugs had AIS transponders as well. Fishing boats mostly, but not all, and quite a large number of yachts, but indeed not all.

Maybe it depends on where you sail...
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:41   #26
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

My wife and I have a perspective that appears quite different than most... having personally been robbed and burglarized four times while on land, twice in the past year. So far only once with the boat... but that was by a shipyard, so not sure it that one counts

People always seem to think crime statistics and threats are way overblown and overstated.... until it happens to them. Why make it any easier for the bad guys?
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:43   #27
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

I know where you are coming from. I grew up under the EL tracks and learned early on you survive by not giving them a chance. You can have a thousand friends but it only takes one a_ _ hole. That isn't being paranoid it's called being careful.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:44   #28
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

If someone wants to follow you or rob you they will regardless of AIS functionality.

I have a transponder and use it coastal cruising in Maine, USA. The main reason I installed it was for crossing oceans. Just another possible way to be seen. It should never be your only means of detection or for you to detect other boats.

It is just a tool to supplement the many tools you use to navigate and communicate.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:56   #29
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

For every argument that the bad guys can see where you are, there is also an argument that the good guys can see you too. Personally, I find comfort in knowing that the coast guard knows where I am. However, unlike some people apparently, I have nothing to hide. An AIS transponder can be a great SAR tool. While I am down in the bilge trying to stop the flooding, the coasties are getting an updated position every few seconds without me having to stay b y the radio. If some other guy violates the COLREGS and there is an accident, there is a record of your movements. It seems to me the benefits outweigh the privacy risks for any law abiding citizen with nothing to hide. With as many war ships that are prowling around the Somali coast, I think I would leave my AIS on there too. I would want big brother watching me in that area.
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Old 29-08-2013, 09:58   #30
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

The advantage in AIS is to transmit and receive ,not just receive. If everyone could so that the system would be useless. Use a transponder

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